Ecofeminism and Animal Rights

Forest Nymph

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2017
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Northern California
I'm tentatively considering my Masters research on animal rights from the ecofeminist epistomological and methodological approach.

Like other feminist research approaches, ecofeminism is always contextual rather than generalized, and focuses on horizontal relationship building rather than subject-object scrutiny, often making way for participatory action research and "real world" impact.

Ecofeminism is a wonderful critical approach to animal rights because it is inherently anti-naturist and anti-speciesist. The capitalist patriarchal paradigm is inherently hierarchical so subjects nature and animals beneath the heel of men in power. Ecofeminism references Judeo-Christian history as well as modern capitalism for the knowledge that this "control over nature" also involved control over (and oppression of) women, as well as indigenous tribal people from various cultures.

First wave feminists were often vegetarian and anti-vivisectionist in the 19th century. This first wave informs our position, rather than the later waves of feminist thought which were not only speciesist, but classist, and even racist. Think of a rich pantsuit feminist screaming mememe while eating steak and talking about glass ceilings - that's NOT an ecofeminist.

I've collected atheist and religious animal rights views, intersectional feminist/animal rights works, and one goldmine article that critically examines Peter Singer's utilitarianism and Tom Regan's natural rights, and compares it with ecofeminism, with the acknowledgement of second wave feminists who wear fur and eat animals.

Mostly Im doing an historical and cultural overview of animal rights to provide background for my own research, as in "how did we get here." However, theoretical paradigms must be applied in social science, since in social science there is rejection of the idea that any human being is "objective" so we all see through a lens. Ecofeminism is my positionality as a woman who has an environmental science degree, but also as a person who sees the holistic connection between attitudes towards nature, animals and people. I will also apply scientific Positivism when it fits My other lens would be Deep Ecology but I don't think it's appropriate to my research topic.
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