Book Review: Sister Species
Category : Uncategorized
I just finished Sister Species: Women, Animals, and Social Justice, and I cannot recommend it enough. The book is a collection of essays written by fourteen amazing female activists who have personally experienced the manner in which oppression affects both animals and humans, and it serves as a reminder that concerns about speciesism deserve a place at the table (so to speak) with other social justice issues, like sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and poverty, among others. All oppressed individuals are connected in the same ways, and all social inequality is intimately linked. The essays encourage readers to recognize how privilege and oppression affect each of our lives and those of everyone around us, urging us to consider how we can best embody the values of compassion and equality that we all strive for.
The back of the book states that the essays demonstrate “with painful clarity why every woman should be an animal activist and why every animal activist should be a feminist.” I’ll admit that I believed this before I read Sister Species–that every social justice activist should be an advocate for the rights of all oppressed individuals, regardless of sex, race, species, etc. But I am more completely convinced of that fact after having read it, and now I have a more concrete understanding of how and why.
When I finished the book, I felt overwhelmed. But I also felt inspired and empowered by the reminder that so many of us are working towards a truly fair and compassionate world. I learned so much from reading it and know I’ll be referencing it again and again in the future.
Sister Species features essays from lauren ornelas of the Food Empowerment Project, Breeze Harper of Sistah Vegan, pattrice jones, and Karen Davis of United Poultry Concerns, among many talented others, and the foreword is written by Carol J. Adams, who first became known for her groundbreaking 1990 book, The Sexual Politics of Meat.