This accessible and cutting-edge work offers a new look at the history of western "civilization", one that brings into focus the interrelated suffering of oppressed humans and other animals. Nibert argues persuasively that throughout history the exploitation of other animals has gone hand in hand with the oppression of women, people of colour, and other oppressed groups. He maintains that the oppression both of humans and of other species of animals is inextricably tangled within the structure of social arrangements. Nibert asserts that human use and mistreatment of other animals are not natural and do little to further the human condition.
Nibert's analysis emphasizes the economic and elite-driven character of prejudice, discrimination, and institutionalized repression of humans and other animals. His examination of the economic entanglements of the oppression of human and other animals is supplemented with an analysis of ideological forces and the use of state power in this sociological expose of the grotesque uses of the oppressed, past and present. Nibert suggests that the liberation of devalued groups of humans is unlikely in a world that uses other animals as fodder for the continual growth and expansion of transnational corporations and, conversely, that animal liberation cannot take place when humans continue to be exploited and oppressed.
Chapter 1 Toward A Sociological Analysis of Animal Oppression
Chapter 2 Economic Basis of Animal Oppression
Chapter 3 Capitalist Expansion and Oppression
Chapter 4 The Growth of Agribusiness and Global Oppression
Chapter 5 Oppression and the Capitalist State
Chapter 6 The Social Construction of Speciesist Reality
Chapter 7 Toward A United Struggle against Oppression
David Nibert is a former tenant organizer and community activist who is now an associate professor of sociology at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. He is the author of Hitting the Lottery Jackpot: State Governments and the Taxing of Dreams (Monthly Review Press, 2000) and articles in such journals as Critical Sociology, Society & Animals, and Race, Gender & Class.
"The unbridled capitalism of the petrochemical-pharmaceutical, medical, and agricultural and energy industrial complexes, combined with the military and other government and nongovernmental establishments and organizations, has created a huge market and much wealth out of the exploitation and degradation of human and other life, harming the soil, our food, our health, and our quality of life [...] This brilliant and well-referenced book, long overdue, is an incisive critque of the global problematique of Western civilization and the American way. [...] This book should be essentail reading for all undergraduate students in the sciences and the humanities. David Nibert helps show us the way to a more humane and visable future."
– Michael W. Fox, veterinarian, author, and syndicated columnist
"A groundbreaking study of the interrelated oppressions of humans and other animals; rich in historical context, well-researched and well-written, a compelling revelation."
– Michael Parenti, author of The Face of Imperialism and God and His Demons
"We live no separate history – oppression and denial harm both workers and the other animals. Yet common oppressions present an uncommon challenge. David Nibert moves the analysis to the next step with Animal Rights/Human Rights. In these pages are important insights, urgent connections, and a vital, liberating theory."
– Carol J. Adams, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat
"Nibert presents a highly provocative, engaging, and accessible discussion of how capitalism has commodified the interests of both humans and nonhumans, and that the 'freedom' supposedly provided by capitalism results in the oppression of us all. The animal rights movement – particularly in the United States – has largely ignored the economic underpinnings of animal exploitation. And American progressives have largely ignored the issue of animal rights. Nibert's book is essential reading for both groups."
– Gary L. Francione, Rutgers University
"Is capitalism all that it's cracked up to be? Or is something wrong when kids (who can afford to) can explore the whole universe over the Internet, yet are not safe enough to walk their own neighborhood streets? When a man who can entertain himself (and does) with all manner of techno-gadgetry, takes 'time out' to shoot deer and doves for fun? Thoughtful, engaging, and filled with gripping examples from the history books of how prejudice and economic bullying can create true misery for the have-nots of any race, gender, or species. Far more than dinner table discussion, this is food for progressive thought."
– Ingrid Newkirk, president, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)