John Sorenson

Brock University

John Sorenson is a full professor in the Sociology department at Brock University, where he gives courses on animals and society, racism, and corporate globalization. Much of his research has been on war, nationalism and refugees. His books include Culture of Prejudice: Arguments in Critical Social Science; Ghosts and Shadows: Construction of Identity and Community in an African Diaspora; Imagining Ethiopia: Struggles for History and Identity in the Horn of Africa; Disaster and Development in the Horn of Africa; and African Refugees. His current research concerns the exploitation of animals, representation of animals and animal rights as a social justice movement His most recent book is Ape (Reaktion Books).

  • Constructing Ecoterrorism

    Capitalism, Speciesism and Animal Rights

    By John Sorenson     April 2016

    Informed by both critical animal studies and critical terrorism studies, John Sorenson analyzes ecoterrorism as a social construction. He examines how corporations that profit from animal exploitation fund and produce propaganda to portray the compassionate goals and nonviolent practices of animal activists as outlandish, anti-human campaigns that operate by violent means not only to destroy Western civilization but also to create actual genocide. The idea of concern for others is itself a dangerous one, and capitalism works by keeping people focused on individual interests and discouraging compassion and commitment to others.

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  • About Canada: Animal Rights

    By John Sorenson     March 2010

    Adopting Mahatma Gandhi’s idea that “the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated,” this book considers the status of animals in Canada. Casting a critical gaze over how dominant ideologies, such as capitalism and patriarchy, have negatively impacted our relationships with the natural world, Sorenson examines the institutional exploitation of animals in agriculture, fashion and entertainment. Addressing the fur trade, seal hunt, Calgary Stampede, puppy mills, horse slaughter and Canada’s virtually unregulated vivisection industry, the book analyzes discourses used by animal-exploitation industries to defend their practices and suggests that a society that claims to protect animals while maintaining antiquated laws is suffering from “moral schizophrenia.” This book advocates an abolitionist agenda, promotes veganism as a personal and political commitment, shows the economic, environmental and health costs of animal exploitation and presents animal rights as a social justice issue.

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