This spring has brought the release of two new anthologies, each with a chapter by one of VINE’s cofounders. The books are The Ethics of Captivity, edited by Lori Gruen, which includes a chapter by VINE cofounder Miriam Jones, and Ecofeminism edited by Carol J. Adams and Lori Gruen, which includes a chapter by VINE cofounder pattrice jones.
The books are very different, and yet share several similarities. For example, both include contributions by both scholars and activists. Similarly, Miriam and pattrice’s essays are very different in tone and content, yet share key similarities—the most important of which is that each is the result of a process of empathic imagination and thoughtful engagement with nonhuman animals here at the sanctuary. In other words, both are rooted in relationships with nonhuman animals and express ideas that evolved over the course of years of labor.
The Ethics of Captivity brings together essays considering the practical and theoretical implications of captivity in various contexts, including zoos, circuses, labs, sanctuaries, prisons, and private homes. Contributors include scholars, activists, and survivors of imprisonment. Writing about sanctuaries from within sanctuaries, Marge DeMello of House Rabbit Society and Miriam Jones of VINE offer nuanced discussions of some of the difficult ethical questions with which sanctuaries constantly wrestle. Also writing from within life experience, formerly imprisoned SHACtivist Lauran Gazzola reports and reflects on her prison experiences, as do a group of currently incarcerated men. (Those two chapters alone are worth the price of the ticket.) We were particularly glad to see chapters on dogs and cats kept as “pets” in this volume on the ethics of captivity. Those who, like us, focus on farmed animals will be both informed and stimulated by the chapters on other animals, such as marine mammals and elephants. Highly recommended!
Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals and the Earth collects a number of the contributions to the 2012 conference honoring the work of Marti Kheel, along with new essays written especially for this volume. If you’ve never understood why VINE calls itself an ecofeminist organization or even what ecofeminism might be, this book might be a good place to start. Two features are particularly useful: First, Adams and Gruen’s “Groundwork” chapter sketches the venerable history of feminist and intersectional approaches to animal advocacy; next, a timeline that runs along the edges of the pages of the whole book fills in many fascinating details of that history. Those who share VINE’s commitment to careful thinking about intersectionality will be particularly interested in Claire Jean Kim’s analysis of the Michael Vick incident, Sunaura Taylor’s discussion of interdependence and disability, and pattrice’s particularly queer approach to the ecological crisis. Again: Highly recommended!
In coming weeks, we’ll offer detailed reviews of each of these new and important books. But what we really hope is that you will get and read both of these books yourself. If you can’t afford them, do everybody a favor and specifically request that your local library buy them. (Even if you will be buying your own copies, that’s always a good thing to do, by the way: When libraries buy books, that puts them on shelves where lots of people will see them.)
Speaking of buying books, we strongly support small publishers and independent bookstores. At the same time, we know that many people shop at Amazon. If that’s you, please be aware that you can support VINE whenever you shop at Amazon. Just go to Amazon Smile and, when prompted to choose the charity your purchases should support, type in either “VINE Sanctuary” or “veganism is the next evolution.” Choose us from the list that pops up, and a small portion of anything you purchase via Amazon Smile will be donated to VINE. Again, we are not in any way suggesting that you should shop at Amazon, simply reporting that you can earmark donations for VINE if you already do so.
We’ve got more books to talk about this summer, including the publication of our side of the saga of Bill and Lou. Stay tuned…