Beasts of Burden: Animal and Disability Liberation

Beasts of Burden: Animal and Disability Liberation

by Sunaura Taylor

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Overview

2018 American Book Award Winner

A beautifully written, deeply provocative inquiry into the intersection of animal and disability liberation—and the debut of an important new social critic


How much of what we understand of ourselves as “human” depends on our physical and mental abilities—how we move (or cannot move) in and interact with the world? And how much of our definition of “human” depends on its difference from “animal”?

Drawing on her own experiences as a disabled person, a disability activist, and an animal advocate, author Sunaura Taylor persuades us to think deeply, and sometimes uncomfortably, about what divides the human from the animal, the disabled from the nondisabled—and what it might mean to break down those divisions, to claim the animal and the vulnerable in ourselves, in a process she calls “cripping animal ethics.”

Beasts of Burden suggests that issues of disability and animal justice—which have heretofore primarily been presented in opposition—are in fact deeply entangled. Fusing philosophy, memoir, science, and the radical truths these disciplines can bring—whether about factory farming, disability oppression, or our assumptions of human superiority over animals—Taylor draws attention to new worlds of experience and empathy that can open up important avenues of solidarity across species and ability. Beasts of Burden is a wonderfully engaging and elegantly written work, both philosophical and personal, by a brilliant new voice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620971284
Publisher: New Press, The
Publication date: 03/07/2017
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 576,618
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author


Sunaura Taylor is an artist and writer based in New York City. She has written for AlterNet, American Quarterly, BOMB, the Monthly Review, Qui Parle, and Yes! Magazine. She has contributed to the books Ecofeminism, Defiant Daughters, Occupy!, Stay Solid, and Infinite City. Taylor and Judith Butler’s conversation is featured in the film Examined Life and the book of the same title, published by The New Press.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Chicken Truck xiii

Part 1 Epiphanies

1 Strange but True 3

2 What Is Disability? 7

3 Animal Grips 23

Part 2 Clipping Animal Ethics

4 The Chimp Who Spoke 47

5 Ableism and Animals 57

6 What Is an Animal? 83

7 The Chimp Who Remembered 95

Part 3 I Am an Animal

8 Walking Like a Monkey 101

9 Animal Insults 103

10 Claiming Animal 111

Part 4 All Natural

11 Freak of Nature 119

12 All Animals Are Equal (But Some Are More Equal Than Others) 123

13 Toward a New Table Fellowship 149

14 Romancing the Meat 157

15 Meat: A Natural Disaster 179

Part 5 Interdependence

16 A Conflict of Needs 193

17 Caring Across Species and Ability 205

18 The Service Dog 219

Acknowledgments 225

Notes 231

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