We are all denizens of the Anthropocene. It’s well understood in progressive circles that the frenzy of production and consumption is the underlying cause of increasing inequality, environmental damage and climate change. What’s less understood is that nonhuman animals have been the biggest victims of anthropogenic violence. Humans account for 36% of the mammalian mass while cows, pigs and other livestock account for 60%. Then there are the billions of chickens, turkeys and other living beings reared for human consumption in torturous conditions.
We believe that a proper accounting of the anthropocene and its injustices can’t be undertaken without expanding our circle of justice to non-human creatures and investigating how changes in material conditions impact their lives. In other words, we believe in expanding the concerns of the traditional left to include the travails of the non-human world.
With that thought in mind, we have started an eponymous blog, “The Animal Left,” with an introductory article on our perspective on the nexus of Animals Rights and the traditional left. We welcome participation – both constructive and critical – from those who share our concerns.
About the Authors
Alok Hisarwala Gupta: Alok Hisarwala is a lawyer, researcher and activist working on animal rights.
Naisargi Dave: Naisargi N. Dave is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto. Her research concerns emergent forms of politics and relationality in India, specifically queer and animal. Dave’s articles have appeared in journals such as American Ethnologist; Cultural Anthropology; Social Text; Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East; Signs; and Feminist Studies. Her book, Queer Activism in India: A Story in the Anthropology of Ethics is published by Duke University Press and was awarded the Ruth Benedict Prize. She is currently working on her second book, The Social Skin: Humans and Animals in India.
Rajesh Kasturirangan: Rajesh Kasturirangan is a mathematician and cognitive scientist by training. He is the co-founder of Socratus, a platform for solving wicked problems through the activation of our collective wisdom. He’s also faculty at Azim Premji University where he heads the Centre for Data in the Public Purpose.