Vegan activism in Paris : bodies in struggle

Authors: Julie Coumau*, Université Paris-Sorbonne
Topics: Animal Geographies
Keywords: Vegan-bodies-space-struggles
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Astor Ballroom III, Astor, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The goal of this presentation is to show the diversity of the vegan activism in Paris through the language of bodies in public spaces. The body is the first place of resistance for vegans: eating plant products is part of a political choice struggling against speciesism. This fact leads to the idea of veganism as a social movement connected between privacy and claims.
The collective actions in Paris can have traditional forms. Walks are a way to reapropriate public spaces for a group; this form of activism is source of empowerment.
The vegan activism unfolds in Paris with happenings based on corporal performances. The body becomes an activist tool. Embodiement in vegan activism remembers our similarities with other animals. Bodies and emotions are used in that goal. Some vegans mark their bodies with red iron in public spaces. This “trash” performance unites vegans called “extremists”. “Vegan Places” are a particular form of veganism in Paris. These places are ephemeral vegan towns composed by stands of different associations for animal liberation and vegan lifestyle stands. Otherwise, the disembodied activism gathers all sorts of vegan inscription in the public space.
Finally, the presentation will link vegan activism to other movements struggling against oppressions. Vegan-anarchists groups struggles for a global liberation, as much as vegan queer groups. The interconnection of oppressions inevitably involves a convergence among social struggles.

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