Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Sister Species: Women, Animals and Social Justice Paperback – May 23, 2011
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"If you desire to be a stronger, more confident advocate and to feel less alone, despairing, and frustrated in pursuit of justice for animals, if you care about what animals are going through and about animals themselves. . . Sister Species is for you." Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns
"This book will change your way of thinking about animals who don't happen to be human." The Book Garden Review
"...having read Sister Species, I see... the intersection of oppressions in a culture whose various appetites demand young, firm flesh and large breasts in more than one species." Kathleen Stachowski, Other Nations (OtherNationsJustice.org)
"A picture is worth a thousand words, and the cover of Lisa Kemmerer's anthology Sister Species is a doozy. . . . It's an eye-grabbing, opinion-provoking cover, and a fairly accurate preparation for the content featured in Sister Species.--Bitch
"Animal lovers will find this of clear interest, while those investigating women's lives will likely be surprised and intrigued by the issues it raises."--Booklist
"Takes us on a unique journey of thought and self-discovery."--Journal for Critical Animals Studies
"Kemmerer provides a space to embrace narrative and the unique experiences of women doing social justice work. . . . The growing discourse of ecofeminists and women animal advocates needs a larger library of texts like these."--Feminist Formations
About the Author
Lisa Kemmerer is a philosopher-activist dedicated to working against oppression, whether on behalf of the environment, nonhuman animals, or disempowered human beings. Her books include In Search of Consistency: Ethics and Animals; Animals and World Religions; Sister Species: Women, Animals, and Social Justice; Call to Compassion: Reflections on Animal Advocacy; Speaking Up for Animals: An Anthology of Women's Voices; and Primate People: Saving Nonhuman Primates through Education, Advocacy, and Sanctuary. Kemmerer has hiked, biked, kayaked, backpacked, and traveled widely, and is currently associate professor of philosophy and religions at Montana State University Billings.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
In her anthology Lisa A. Kemmerer introduces the reader at length to the topic of animal activism and its close connection to other forms of oppression such as sexism, racism, homophobia, etc. sharing a collection of essays focusing on animal ethics. These essays are as diverse as the women who wrote about their experiences, including cock fighting, factory farming, the bushmeat trade, as well as contemplating theology and animals, to mention but a few.
You don't have to be a feminist to understand this book and its message. Being vegetarian probably helps. Overall I think it's almost safe to say that a lot of people won't like this book, because it forces them to rethink their view of "the other", in this case non-human animals, but it is important to understand that what we do for "us" (humans) should not be achieved at the cost of "others" (animals). Inconvenient truths? You bet. And if it weren't for women like those contributing to this book, the voices of those who can't fight for themselves would only be heard in slaughterhouses and experimental laboratories.
In short: This book will change your way of thinking about animals who don't happen to be human. Read it!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley.com book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Edited by Lisa Kemmerer, Forward by Carol J. Adams
University of Illinois Press, 2011
Review by Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns
"When you put down this book, ask yourself, `in relationship to the other animals, what is my own story of awareness and engagement?' `What does this awareness ask of me?' " - Carol J. Adams, Forward.
"The theology chair was on the phone when I arrived, so I had to stand awkwardly in the hallway. I felt like a naughty schoolchild outside the principal's office. I waited for quite some time. Obviously, I was not a high priority, just a nuisance. But I was an eighty-year old woman, a pioneer woman theologian of almost fifty years. I had to remind myself that I was on a new and unique mission - who I was or how I was treated did not matter - I was here to bring change for nonhuman animals." - Elizabeth Jane Farians, "Theology and Animals"
Sister Species presents the experiences of fourteen women activists who are working on behalf of nonhuman animals and a more just and compassionate world. Representing a diversity of backgrounds, ethnicities and social identities, they tell their gripping stories. The key ideas in this collection, of empathy, silence, trauma, and voice, arise from each author's personal struggle to become conscious, strong, expressive and morally effective in a world dominated by "normal" violence, ethical blindness (both unwitting and willful) and abounding cruelties. The contributors are people who have put their traumatic knowledge to work for the animal people of the planet, our sister species.
Several contributors reveal their own complicity in animal cruelty, even after they became aware of the abuses they were supporting. For one contributor, guilty knowledge of what her university job entailed facilitated a genetic predisposition to the cancer that killed her grandmother, aunt, and mother. Canadian-based farmed animal cruelty investigator, Twyla Francois, writes: "During this brush with death, I examined my life and pondered where I'd taken a wrong turn. I realized that after fighting through my teen years, I had ultimately succumbed to society's demands. I turned to books like Reviving Ophelia, which examines how prepubescent women, before they have been manipulated, are their true selves."
In addition to self-examination and a recounting of the difficult recovery and discovery of one's true self and vocation, Sister Species looks at the resistance of many feminists to the inclusion of nonhuman animals in their ethic of opposition to all forms of oppression. In her Introduction, Editor Lisa Kemmerer, associate professor of philosophy and religion at Montana State University-Billings, cites the often ferocious feminist opposition to animal-free meals at feminist conferences. Kemmerer and Carol J. Adams inquire of such exclusionary feminism: why is it necessary to challenge cultural traditions of male dominance over women, "but not cultural traditions of human dominance over nonhumans?"
Much in Sister Species is enraging and crushingly sad. In "Freeing Feathered Spirits," professional artist and animal activist, Linda Fisher, describes how seeing a parakeet suffering and dying in a department store as a child led her to dedicate much of her life to educating people about the plight of captive parrots. Her activism began when she summoned the courage to tell the store clerk that this little bird was sick and needed help. The clerk ignored her and she started to cry, still pleading, when two security guards grabbed her and forced her out of the store and told her to "Stay out!" "I thought I'd broken the law, that I had committed some terrible crime," she writes. Fisher, who is part Ojibway and Cherokee, describes her conflicted emotions at Native American functions, where "leather goods, feathers, and trinkets made of nonhuman animals' bodies" surround her. Her story of Lily, an Eclectus parrot caged in a feed store with other exotic birds, is excruciating, but instead of giving up, Fisher paints a large canvas, which she calls "A Blessing for Lily."
In my own contribution, "From Hunting Grounds to Chicken Rights: My Story in An Eggshell," I respond to the often asked question of how I "started as an academic and ended up as an animal rights activist rescuing and defending the rights of chickens and turkeys." Actually, I didn't start as an academic. My story begins in a Pennsylvania town where hunting and fishing and conservative politics prevailed. I have my own sad parakeet story to relate from my childhood along with my lifelong affinity for birds, my involvement in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, my obsession with the Nazi concentration camps in college, and other preoccupations that put me on a path totally different from my parents' wishes. ("When I questioned my father's point of view, my mother said I should respect other people's opinions. I replied that I was only obliged to respect other people's right to hold an opinion, not the opinion itself.") I describe the events that led to the precise moment when I became an animal rights activist, my work on behalf of chickens and turkeys, and my philosophy of engagement for animals.
My outlook on animal activism and the realities that animals and their advocates face has much in common with the views set forth by contributors Allison Lance and Tara Sophia Bahna-James. Lance, whose essay "A Magical Talisman" evokes her gut-wrenching work with Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, sums up her opinions forged by the unspeakable atrocities she's witnessed toward nonhuman animals on both sea and land by disparate cultures: "People often ask, `Do you think there is hope?' I find this a very strange question, very anthropomorphic - hope for whom?" The words that follow are like a torrent of waves during shipwreck.
In "The Art of Truth-Telling," Bahna-James explains that animal advocates need to "step into that uncomfortable place where we acknowledge that the scope of the problem is unfathomable, but the individual act still has meaning. Animals need us to be courageous and curious and to accept the possibility of failure. And they need us to not let things we cannot do stop us from doing what we can."
In her Forward, Carol J. Adams notes that the essays in Sister Species don't just offer insights into why and how women work on behalf of animals. "Through their stories, these writers give us the opportunity to learn more about what is happening to animals," she says. Anyone who desires to be a stronger, more confident advocate and to feel less alone, despairing, and frustrated in pursuit of justice for animals, anyone who cares about what animals are going through and about animals themselves, including dragonflies and hornets and the community of life on earth: Sister Species is for you.
Contributors are Carol J. Adams, Tara Sophia Bahna-James, Karen Davis, Elizabeth Jane Farians, Hope Ferdowsian, Linda Fisher, Twyla Francois, Christine Garcia, A. Breeze Harper, Sangamithra Iyer, Pattrice Jones, Lisa Kemmerer, Allison Lance, Ingrid Newkirk, Lauren Ornelas, and Miyun Park.
Lisa's introduction is the best explanation I've read on intersectionality and ecofeminism. She lays out the basics of how feminism and animal advocacy are linked. Her introduction explains the philosophy in an easy-to-understand way for those new to the topic and helps those of us already familiar with the topic to fully grasp the importance of linking feminism to other-than-human animal issues.
The diversity of entries are uplifting and illuminating. For some of us who have experienced the 'animal rights world' ourselves, we know that the much of the animal rights movement reflects that of the general society - patriarchal, white-supremacist, classist, ageist, etc. This intersectional approach is the missing link that any social justice-oriented person would benefit from educating herself about. Speciesism is so easy to overlook and this book does a great job bringing our unique experiences with nonhuman individuals to the forefront. A. Breeze Harper's story of how her father encouraged her compassion was very touching.
As I read this collection of essays, I was touched by the authors' unique stories and also reminded of heart-touching, beautiful, meaningful moments in my life that awakened my compassion. Reading it was an emotionally healing experience. The ways that the authors turned their compassion and despair at what is done to other-than-human animals into positive action was inspiring as well.
This book shows why we need an intersectional approach to animal advocacy. I loved the diversity of entries. It delves into culturally taboo topics like racism, gender identities and how we project them onto animals, classism, environmental issues, and unique experiences that touched the authors' lives.
I highly, highly recommend this book to anyone who is saddened at the cruelty inflicted on animals, anyone who wonders why there is so much violence against women in our world, anyone who is concerned about the environment, and anyone who wants to co-create a kinder world in general.