Resources & Literature
*Please note, including the following articles, websites and books on this page does not mean we agree with everything stated within them. We trust our audience to critically decide their views for themselves, taking inspiration from a variety of sources.
Other Useful Links
Farmed Animal Welfare Law in New Zealand: Investigating the gap between the Animal Welfare Act 1999 and it's delegated legislation by New Zealand Animal Law Association.
This report provides a good overview of the legal context of animal oppression, highlighting inconsistencies within the state's own legislation. A good introduction to NZALA's work and strategy.
Provides an overview of political standing in regards to animal welfare.
Access all animal welfare codes here to examine the codification of systematic animal oppression, torture and slaughter. These codes override the Animal Welfare Act.
The Act forms part of the legal basis for state sanctioned animal oppression and killing, creating legal protection for humans to use, abuse and kill animals in the situations set out in the Act.
The socio-political environment for animal agriculture:
Conservation in Aotearoa
The Culture of Conservation in New Zealand (Video) by Wayne Linklater
Associate Professor at Victoria University shares his presentation on the colonial culture of conservation and how this strategy is bound to fail.
Predator Free 2050: A flawed conservation policy displaces higher priorities and better, evidence-based alternatives by Wayne Linklater and Jamie Steer
"New Zealand's policy to exterminate five introduced predators by 2050 is well-meant but warrants critique and comparison against alternatives. The goal is unachievable with current or near-future technologies and resources. Its effects on ecosystems and 26 other mammalian predators and herbivores will be complex. Some negative out-comes are likely."
When All Life Counts in Conservation by 11 authors, including Wayne Linklater and Jamie Steer from Aotearoa
"Currently, conservation data are filtered through a value system that considers native life the only appropriate subject of conservation concern. We examined how trends in species richness, distribution, and threats change when all wildlife count by adding so-called non-native and feral populations..."
Consider the Possum: Foes, Anti-Animals, and Colonists in Paradise by Professor Nicholas Holm
"Commonly presented as an invasive and destructive entity, whose existence leads to the destruction of native wildlife, I argue that the possum works to distract from the environmental destruction directly wrought by pākehā colonists in Aotearoa-New Zealand. I thus suggest that possum-hatred acts to resolve the contradiction between the vision of a pristine natural environment that informs Aotearoa-New Zealand’s wide range of conservation practices, from species restoration to border security, and the continued existence of the settler state."
Consider the (Feral) Cat: Ferality, Biopower, and the Ethics of Predation (another good read from this professor)
"This paper examines anti-possum rhetoric in New Zealand, identifying the operation of several distinct—yet related—discourses negatively situating the possum as (a) an unwanted foreign invader and a threat to what makes New Zealand unique; (b) the subject of revenge and punishment... and (c) recognizably “cute, but . . .” merely a pest and therefore unworthy of compassion. This paper argues that the demonization of possums in New Zealand is overdetermined, extreme, and unhelpfully entangled in notions of patriotism and nationalism."
Traces New Zealand's conservation strategies and "argues that in propagating a specific national discourse about biodiversity, species, and economic interests—rooted in what I term bio-nationalism—the Biodiversity Strategy has helped expand the scope of governance of New Zealand’s human and nonhuman populations."
"In 1861, the animals' protection policy firmly emphasised the protection of particular imported species. The vast majority of indigenous birds were, therefore, unprotected...By 1910, however, every indigenous bird was protected absolutely in New Zealand unless it was exempted by Order in Council. The reasons for the change in the animals' protection policy were many and varied, but underlying all of them was the colonial adoption of an indigenous national sentiment."
Framing Speciesism by Emily Major
"Emily Major is a PhD scholar in Human-Animal Studies at the University of Canterbury...Her thesis research focuses on the framing of the Australian brushtail possum...as a ‘pest’ in Aotearoa New Zealand and considers how the strategic use of compassionate conservation could potentially alleviate some of the suffering and cruelty that is directed towards the indefensible possum (and ‘pests’, more generally) in the region."
Explores our broken relationship with animals deemed "pests" and how we might move towards compassionate conservation methods.
Articles & Radio
Killing for conservation "unnecessary" RNZ interview with Dr Arian Wallach
A discussion around the growing movement of "compassionate conservation" and how we need a more holistic approach to conservation - and the need to move away from our obsession with controlling and dominating nature towards peaceful coexistence in thriving ecosystems.
Possums Deserve Love, Too by Philip McKibbin
"Possums are persecuted in Aotearoa, but I believe they deserve love just like humans do."
Should we learn to live with introduced species rather than wipe them out completely? Nikki Macdonald interviews Jamie Steer
"It's time to call out New Zealand's war on wildlife firmly, but nicely. "Killing with kindness" is an oxymoron, the language of hate appalling, and where have welfare and conservation groups gone?"
Animals in Aotearoa
End Animal Slaughter by Sandra Kyle
This website includes writings by Sandra Kyle and other contributors with the aim of raising "awareness of the issues involved in animal agriculture, and create empathy for suffering animals. It will also increasingly focus on strategies to achieve the end of factory farming and animal slaughter."
"The first comprehensive history of vegetarianism in Aotearoa New Zealand; in it writer Catherine Amey describes how animal-free diets evolved in New Zealand from Victorian vegetarians through to modern animal rights campaigners." (Download PDF)
The Politics of Love by Philip (Piripi) McKibbin
Articles and interviews with multiple contributors. "Politics is a dimension of ethics; it concerns how we live together. Love is a way of relating: to ourselves, each other, non-human animals, and the natural environment. It involves care, concern, and commitment – and it requires work." (See also the book, Love Notes: For a Politics of Love)
He Ika Haehae Kupenga by Philip (Piripi) McKibbin
"Shares kōrero with Māori from across Aotearoa New Zealand. It presents articles and interviews, exploring connections between kai, lifestyle, te taiao, hauora, and non-human animals."
A New Zealand Book of Beasts: Animals in Our Culture, History and Everday Life by Annie Potts, Philip Armstrong, and Diedre Brown
"In the book's four parts, the authors unravel the contradictory ways New Zealanders nurture and eradicate, glorify and demonize, cherish and devour, and describe and imagine animals....[the book] illuminates fundamental aspects of New Zealand society." (Download PDF)
New Zealand Vegetarians: At Odds with Their Nation by Annie Potts and Mandala White
"This qualitative study, conducted between August and December 2006, explored the opinions and experiences of New Zealanders who challenge orthodox attitudes to the use and consumption of nonhuman animals. To date, New Zealand (NZ) has under-investigated the perspectives of those who oppose animal farming, the eating of nonhuman animals, and the exploitation of nonhuman animals."
Some recommended reads from us and our friends. The top link takes you to the purchase site (if available); please consider buying the books if you have the means. Otherwise we have also included a downloadable free version. Also, these categories overlap - it's the very nature of these topics.
Race, Colonisation and Animality
Critical Animal Studies: Women of Color (Essays) edited by Anastasia Yarbrough and Susan Thomas
Essays from women of color scholars and activists across a variety of disciplines and social justice initiatives...on the issues of race, gender, and animality in critical animal studies."
“[T]he pervasive availability of cows’ milk today—from grocery stores to gas stations—is a historically unprecedented product of industrialization, urbanization, culture, and economics. To these factors, I would add colonialism and international law."
Animal Bodies, Colonial Subjects: (Re)Locating Animality in Decolonial Thought By Billy-Ray Belcourt
"[W]e cannot address animal oppression or talk about animal liberation without naming and subsequently dismantling settler colonialism and white supremacy as political machinations that require the simultaneous exploitation and/or erasure of animal and Indigenous bodies."
A collection of essays that "provide new theoretical frameworks on race, advocacy for nonhuman animals, and feminism...Using popular culture as a point of reference." (Download Pdf)
This book "offers a compelling vision of a reimagined social justice movement marked by a deconstruction of the conceptual framework that keeps activists silo-ed fighting their various oppressions - and one another." (Download Pdf)
Veganism in an Oppressive World edited by Julia Feliz Brueck
"This community-led effort provides in-depth, first-hand accounts and analyses of what is needed to broaden the scope of veganism beyond its current status as a fringe or “single-issue” movement while ensuring that justice for nonhumans remains its central focus." (Download Pdf)
"A series of narratives, critical essays, poems, and reflections from a diverse community of North American black-identified vegans. Collectively, these activists are de-colonizing their bodies and minds via whole-foods veganism." (Download Pdf)
The Dreaded Comparison by Marjorie Spiegel
A short book illustrating "in-depth similarities between the violence humans have wrought against other humans, and our culture's treatment of non-human animals...[defining] the modern system of animal exploitation in terms of the model and legacy of human slavery." (Download Pdf)
Colonialism and Animality: Anti-Colonial Perspectives in Critical Animal Studies by Kelly Struthers Montford and Chloë Taylor
"Explores some of the ways that the oppression of Indigenous persons and more-than-human animals are interconnected." (Download Pdf)
Dangerous Crossings: Race, Species, and Nature in a Multicultural Age by Claire Jean Kim
"[The book] demonstrates how race and species operate as conjoined logics, or mutually constitutive taxonomies of power...she argues for a multi-optic approach that takes different forms of domination seriously, and thus encourages an ethics of avowal among different struggles." (Download Pdf)
Feminism, Animal RIghts and Environmentalism
The Sexual Politics of Meat - A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory by Carol J Adams
"[An] inspiring and controversial exploration of the interplay between contemporary society's ingrained cultural misogyny and its obsession with meat and masculinity." (Download Pdf)
"Leading feminist scholars and activists as well as new voices introduce and explore themes central to contemporary ecofeminism." (Download Pdf)
"[A] book-length meditation for social movements and our whole species based on the subversive and transformative guidance of marine mammals. Our aquatic cousins are queer, fierce, protective of each other, complex, shaped by conflict, and struggling to survive the extractive and militarized conditions our species has imposed on the ocean. Gumbs employs a brilliant mix of poetic sensibility and naturalist observation to show what they might teach us..." (Download Pdf)
"An examination of the Scientific Revolution that shows how the mechanistic world view of modern science has sanctioned the exploitation of nature, unrestrained commercial expansion, and a new socioeconomic order that subordinates women." (Download Pdf)
Feminism and the Mastery of Nature (Pdf) by Val Plumwood
"...draws on the feminist critique of reason to argue that the master form of rationality of western culture has been systematically unable to acknowledge dependency on nature, the sphere of those it has defined as ‘inferior’ others. Because its knowledge of the world is systematically distorted by the elite domination which has shaped it, the master rationality has developed ‘blind spots’ which may threaten our survival. The future depends increasingly on our ability to create a truly democratic and ecological culture beyond dualism."
Defining Critical Animal Studies: An lntersectional Social Justice Approach for Liberation edited by Anthony J. Nocella II, John Sorenson, KimSocha, and Atsuko Matsuoka
Rooted in anarchist perspectives that oppose all systems of domination and authoritarianism, CAS both challenges anthropocentrism and presents animal liberation as a social justice movement that intersects with other movements for positive change. (Download Pdf)
Veganism as Left Praxis (Article) by Jonathan Dickstein , Jan Dutkiewicz , Jishnu Guha-Majumdar & Drew Robert Winter
"Concern with animals is often sidelined in left and progressive politics, and veganism is often derided by leftists as a liberal project...this article argues that veganism conceived as a boycott aligns with existing Left commitments to social and environmental justice, and also those concomitant with a trans-species anti-exploitation ethic.
Total Liberation by Anonymous
'[The book] sets out an insurrectional project that draws its strength from social ecology, deep ecology and anti-speciesism. Casting aside outdated methods, it proposes a holistic multiform struggle fought in defense of all forms of life - humans, animals and the earth. " (Online, Download Pdf)
"Grounded in interviews with more than one hundred activists, on-the-spot fieldwork, and analyses of thousands of pages of documents, websites, journals, and zines, Total Liberation reveals the ways in which radical environmental and animal rights movements challenge inequity through a vision they call “total liberation.” (Download Pdf)
Contemporary Anarchist Studies: An introductory anthology of anarchy in the academy edited by Randall Amster, and others
A collection of essays which "highlights connections between anarchism and other perspectives such as feminism, queer theory, critical race theory, disability studies, post-modernism and post-structuralism, animal liberation, and environmental justice." (Download Pdf)
Animals and Capitalism
Making a Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights by Bob Torres
"With a focus on labor, property, and the life of commodities, [this book] contains key insights into the broad nature of domination, power, and hierarchy. It explores the intersections between human and animal oppressions in relation to the exploitative dynamics of capitalism." (Download Pdf)
"This important two-volume set unapologetically documents how capitalism results in the oppression of animals ranging from fish and chickens to dogs, elephants, and kangaroos as well as in environmental destruction, vital resource depletion, and climate change." (Download Pdf)
[David Nibert[ "finds in the domestication of animals, which he renames "domesecration," a perversion of human ethics, the development of large-scale acts of violence, disastrous patterns of destruction, and growth-curbing epidemics of infectious disease" (Download Pdf)
"Offers an overview of how animals resist human orderings in the context of capitalism, domestication, and colonization...[T]hese lenses provide insight into how animals' resistance disrupts the dominant paradigm of human exceptionalism and the distancing strategies of enterprises that exploit animals for profit." (Download PDF)
Animal and Disability Liberation
Beasts of Burden: Animal and Disability Liberation by Sunaura Taylor
"[An] inquiry into the intersection of animal and disability liberation... How much of what we understand of ourselves as “human” depends on our physical and mental abilities...? And how much of our definition of “human” depends on its difference from “animal”?(Download Pdf)
The efforts of diverse disability activists work to weave together...interconnections among nature, ability, and animals. Eco-ability stresses the interdependent relationship among everything and how the effect of one action such as the extinction of a species in Africa can affect the ecosystem in Northern California.
LGBTQIA+ and Animal Rights
Queer and Trans Voices: Achieving Liberation Through Consistent Anti-Oppression by Julia Feliz Brueck and Zoie Zane McNeill
A collaboration "to raise the voices of LGBTQIA+ vegans across the world working to acknowledge the interconnections between social justice groups in order to consistently and effectively achieve liberation for all."
Ignoring Nature No More - the Case for Compassionate Conservation collection of essays edited by Marc Bekoff
"Marc Bekoff and a host of renowned contributors argue that we need a new mind-set about nature, one that centers on empathy, compassion, and being proactive." (Download Pdf)
The Ethics and Rhetoric of Invasion Ecology Collection of essays edited by by James Stanescu and Kevin Cummings
"An introduction to the controversial treatment and ongoing violence routinely utilized against non-native species. Drawing from the tradition of critical animal scholars, Stanescu and Cummings have assembled a group of advocates who argue for a different kind of relationship with foreign species. Where contemporary approaches often emphasize the need to eradicate ecological invaders in order to preserve delicate habitats, the essays in this volume aim to reformulate the debate by arguing for an alternative approach that advances the possibility of an ethics of co-habitation."
"My research and writing reflect my on-going and eclectic interests that center on the basic tenets of compassionate conservation, namely, "First do no harm" and the life of every individual matters because they are alive and have intrinsic value, not because of what they can do for us. Treating every individual with respect and dignity is the decent thing to do."
A response to a BBC article addressing some of the main criticism of compassionate conservation.
"Research shows that anthropomorphism challenges traditional wildlife management."
"My fieldwork is mainly conducted across the Australian arid zone, where I am researching the influence of dingoes on biodiversity and native-non-native coexistence. My research has challenged established paradigms on the cause and treatment of biodiversity decline in Australia, by showing that protecting dingoes enables species to thrive in modern ecosystems, and that lethal control of introduced species is both unnecessary and counterproductive."
The Centre for Compassionate Conservation: innovative research; new approaches; paradigm shift from University of Technology, Sydney
"Current conservation practice needs modernising to address the balance between human and non-human animal interests."
Animals as Legal Beings: Contesting Anthropocentric Legal Orders by Maneesha Deckha
Examines...legal orders around the world, participate in the social construction of the human-animal divide and the abject rendering of animals as property. Through a rigorous but cogent analysis, Deckha calls for replacing the exploitative property classification for animals with a new transformative legal status or subjectivity called "beingness." (Download Pdf)
"Many activists also must struggle with "aftershock," the physical and emotional reverberations of frightening, horrifying, or otherwise traumatizing experiences endured in the course of their activism. This book is for aftershocked activists and their allies, as well as for people and organizations that practice high-risk activism."
"...argues that property in animals represents a bio-political conquest that aims to secure animals as the spoils of war. The goal for pro-animal advocacy must be to challenge this violent sovereignty and recognize animal resistance through forms of counter-conduct and truce." (Download Pdf)
A comprehensive website including resources and information on abolitionism, based on the philosopher Gary L. Francione's writing on the topic.
Critical Animal Studies: Thinking the Unthinkable by John Sorenson
A collection of essays which "examines our exploitation and commodification of non-human animals...Analyzing economic, ethical, historical, and sociological aspects of human-animal relations" (Download Now)