Authors: Richard White*, Sheffield Hallam University, Ophélie Veron, Université Catholique de Louvain, FR
Topics: Animal Geographies, Gender, Geographic Thought
Keywords: anarchism, feminism, veganism, meat, capitalism, patriarchy, violence, oppression
Session Type: Paper
Anarchism is a philosophical and social movement that rejects any form of domination or exploitation – that is, any system of archy. Contrary to Marxism, anarchism does not prioritise any particular social struggle – hierarchy, monarchy or oligarchy must be simultaneously fought. Anarchism should therefore logically oppose two other forms of oppression – patriarchy (the institutionalised domination of men over women) and anthroparchy (the human exploitation of other species, in particular nonhuman animals). However, the existence of these forms of exploitation is not always acknowledged by anarchists, as reflected by the quite recent growth of anarcha-feminism and veganarchism, which have far from unanimous support in the movement. This paper will examine the relationships between these movements, their divergences and oppositions, as well as the paradoxes and dilemmas that face them. Is it possible to be anarchist without fighting against patriarchal and paternalistic power relationships – which are often present even amongst militant circles – and while eating meat and animal products? Similarly, is it possible to be feminist or antispeciesist without being opposed to the statist and capitalist system, which is built as much on animal exploitation as on male domination?