ON A PATH TOWARDS A MORE-THAN-HUMAN WORLD: A CRITICAL ANIMAL PEDAGOGY WORKSHOP
Faculty of Education, University of Primorska, Koper, Slovenia
Institute for Educational Science, University of Innsbruck, Austria;
Faculty of Arts, University of Maribor, Slovenia
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Split, Croatia)
DEC 15, 2022; 9 AM (CET), ZOOM
Humans slaughter more than 70 billion individual land animals annually only for food, while humans and livestock account for an unbelievable 96 percent of all mammal biomass. These data do not only testify to the fact that our lifestyle became unsustainable but also pose serious ethical questions related to our attitude towards more-than-human world. In either case, it seems safe to assume that the change in this respect is urgent and that one of the most important tasks of educational institutions entails efforts to transform our way of life into a more just and ethically acceptable coexistence with other living beings. This, in short, is a task of animal ethics education that in 21st century became central to postmodern societies.
Awareness-raising about animal ethics is, however, one of the main missions of “Critical Animal Pedagogy” (CAP), an educational endeavor that seeks to display power relations, inequalities, and injustice in the wider field of human exploitation of non-human animals. One of the main tenets of CAP is the conviction that acquaintance with ideologies such as carnism (system of beliefs that normalizes and stimulates meat consumption), anthropocentrism (the conviction that human interests are the only important factor in decision-making), and speciesism (discrimination based on biological species) will help us deconstruct the framework that enables animal abuse. Starting from this point, four talks within the workshop will address different aspects of CAP which can help us overcome current state of affairs. The workshop will thus be suitable for general public and students as well as the specialists from the fields of education and critical animal studies that want to expand their knowledge.
Introductory words and greetings (9:00 – 9:10)
Introduction to Critical Animal Pedagogy and Discursive Analysis
The animal-abuse enabling ideologies: anthropocentrism, carnism, and speciesism (9:10 – 9:45)
Critical animal pedagogy closely relates to critical theory, a current of philosophical and sociological reflections, connected with the so-called Frankfurt School. The main idea behind these movements was analysis of social injustice and the mechanisms that perpetuate it. Transposed to the field of animal abuse, the task of critical theory becomes the identification of belief systems that justify and normalize animal abuse. Such ideologies are predominantly anthropocentrism, speciesism, and carnism. The first holds that only human interests are morally and politically viable and that consequently all the actions should be judged from human perspective. Speciesism, on the other hand, denotes discrimination based upon biological species while carnism entails various psychological and social mechanisms that normalize and justify meat consumption. The talk will introduce these ideologies together with the ways of their deconstruction.
Speciesism in Advertising: A Critical Discourse Analysis (9:50-10:25)
The presentation introduces the concept of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), a transdisciplinary, text-analytical approach to critical social research that focuses on the role of discourse in the legitimation and reproduction of power, dominance, and inequality in society. When applied to human-animal relations, it examines the role of discourse in the domination and oppression of other species by humans.
The presentation examines the speciesism conveyed in advertisements, highlighting the role of advertisements in encouraging the view of consumption of "animal products" as normal and ethically unproblematic. Additionally, the presentation is intended to encourage the participants to think critically about how advertisements of "animal products" attempt to manipulate our understanding of human-animal relations and, consequently, legitimate the continued oppression of animals.
Contemporary Advancements within Critical Animal Pedagogy
Self-determination - a reality for us and other animals? (10:30-11:05)
This paper discusses Self-Determination Theory and its implications for us as researchers, students, but also for nonhuman animals and our relationships with them.
In our societies and in the education system the structures and practices tend to train us to fulfill social functions and expectations. Likewise, we reproduce this behaviouristic paradigm in our relationships with children and companion animals. What is lost is the sense of ownership of one's life, intrinsic motivation and health. Is Self-Determination Theory a way out of this dilemma?
Utopia, Childlikeness, and Non-human Animals (11:10 – 11:45)
Starting from specific thoughts of Paulo Freire, the presentation finds childlikeness to be a valuable utopian capacity and one which does not only takes into account human but also non-human animals. Concerning this, the presentation also offers a few educational guidelines.
Final discussion and closing words (moderated by T. Grušovnik; 11:45 – 12:00)
In order to participate please register at the following link: registration form
(your registration is needed primarily in order for us to send you the zoom session link).