Constructing Ecoterrorism

Capitalism, Speciesism and Animal Rights

By John Sorenson  

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Animal rights is an important social justice movement, and the animal rights movement presents ethical and political challenges to deeply rooted structures of violence and exploitation, challenging ideologies of capitalism and speciesism. Corporate interests that form the animal industrial complex understand the animal rights movement as a threat to their profits and have mobilized to undermine it.

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.

Driven by powerful and wealthy industries founded upon the exploitation of nonhuman animals and the extraction of natural resources, the discourse of ecoterrorism is a useful mechanism to repress criticism of the institutionalized violence and cruelty of these industries as well as their destructive impact on the environment, their major contribution to global warming and ecological disaster, and their negative impacts on human health. Further, by deliberately constructing an image of activists as dangerous and violent terrorists, these corporations and their representatives in government have created a widespread climate of fear that is very useful in legitimizing calls for more policing and more repressive legislation, such as Bill C-51 in Canada.

“John Sorenson brilliantly exposes the primary discursive and legal strategies employed to manage social dissent, as well as the outright lies, deceptions, hypocrisies, and dirty tactics employed to protect the corporate and political interests of the animal and environmental exploitation industries. This book is a worthwhile addition to the literature on the war on terror, social movements, animal rights activism, securitisation, and US history.”

— Richard Jackson, University of Otago, New Zealand

  • EPUB
  • ISBN: 9781552668436
  • July 2016
  • For sale worldwide
  • Kindle
  • ISBN: 9781552668443
  • July 2016
  • For sale worldwide

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Contents

  • World of Illusions
  • Existential Terrorism
  • Terrorism Entrepreneurs
  • Constructing Animal Rights Violence
  • Turning Activists into Terrorists
  • Politics of Fear
  • Ag-Gag
  • Constructing Ecoterrorism In Canada
  • References

Authors

  • 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).