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Veganism as anti-anthropocentrism: The potential of vegan advocacy discourse

Gough, Louis Arthur

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Louis Arthur Gough


Proceeding from an identification of anthropocentrism as the ideological bedrock of interconnected human to nonhuman animal and intra-human oppressions, and the central role played by discourse in transmitting and normalising anthropocentrism and its consequences, this article provides a critical exploration of four ways in which vegan advocacy discourse can undermine anthropocentrism in its various manifestations. These include: the centring of the beyond-human interests of nonhuman animals through ethical vegan argumentation and the simultaneous decentring and invalidating of the human interests in exploiting them; the exposing of the oppressive reality of animal products for the affected nonhuman animals, in opposition to the connected industries’ efforts to manufacture the public’s understanding of animal product production; the eroding of the discriminatory, otherising human/animal dichotomy through the championing of shared animality between humans and other animals and the decentring of human-supremacist judgements to the contrary; and an intersectional analysis of nonhuman and human oppressions which recognises their common ideological source under the inherently oppressive system of capitalism. Several potential anthropocentric or otherwise counterproductive pitfalls of each recommended discourse strategy are also considered. In providing said critical exploration, the author hopes to have supported the case for veganism’s indispensable contribution to opposing the interconnected nonhuman and human oppressions of Western societies, and elucidated some key ways in which vegan advocates can enact this potential.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 15, 2024
Online Publication Date Jun 4, 2024
Publication Date Jun 4, 2024
Deposit Date Jun 10, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jun 11, 2024
Journal Animal Ethics Review
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Keywords advocacy, anthropocentrism, capitalism, discourse, intersectionality, language, nonhuman animals, oppression, vegan, veganism
Public URL
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