Sunaura Taylor on Disability and Animals

Is there another way? What would a reframing of dependency look like to animals oppressed by humans? Viewing the dependence of farm animals through a disability studies framework gives new answers to the questions surrounding animal exploitation and may also open up a third path. Instead of continuing to exploit animals because they are dependent on us, and instead of leading these animals to extinction as a potential vegan alternative, could we not realize our mutual dependence on each other, our mutual vulnerability, and our mutual drive for life? The big questions in disability studies seem equally relevant to the animal rights debate: How can we create new meanings for words like “dependent” and “independent”? How can those who are seemingly most vulnerable within a society be perceived as also being useful, strong, and necessary?

Sunaura Taylor, “Beasts of Burden: Disability Studies and Animal Rights”

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