Annual Meeting of the International Association of Vegan Sociologists
Our 3rd conference is currently in planning stages.
Date: TBD 2022
Annual Meeting of the International Association of Vegan Sociologists
Title: The Promise of Vegan Sociology: Vegan Sociology as a Conduit for Human and Nonhuman Emancipation
Date: October 9-10, 2021
In 1959 C. Wright Mills wrote of ‘the promise’ of sociology in highlighting the broader structural links between individual biographies, and the historical context that shapes them. Now, more than half a century later, sociology has been used to inform a range of perspectives on current social issues. While much of the sociological field is focused on human experiences, sociological animal studies have played a crucial role in highlighting that the social world is a shared one — with many other species entangled in relations that are presumed to be human specific. As the consequences of human exploitation of nonhuman others manifest with increasing severity in climate events, environmental destruction and nonhuman suffering, our multispecies scholarly endeavours are needed now more than ever. Sociology, with its attention to the manifestation and influence of power in everyday life, is well placed to not only highlight the structural roots of multispecies social issues, but to critique the anthroparchal construction of knowledge that further contributes to this oppression.
The importance of this scientific inquiry is not lost on animal advocates. Vegan pioneers consistently advocated science as a means to understand optimal human diet and nutritional requirements, create viable alternatives to cruel animal products, and validate the connection they perceived between human and nonhuman injustices. Indeed, veganism was, in many ways, an invention of modern scientific thinking as activists challenged mainstream dogmas with their fact-finding mission to expand knowledge for the betterment of global society. When the Vegan Society formed in the midst of World War 2, its founders envisioned veganism as a promising solution to many sufferings arising with modernity including sickness, famine, war, environmental destruction, and alienation from human, nonhuman and natural communities. As we know, sociology also emerged in response to modernization and its many unexpected consequences, and many practitioners (like Mills) certainly believe in its capacity to serve the social good.
As sociologists are well aware, information exchange between peer scholars, field experts, and community stakeholders is vital for expanding our knowledge and improving the quality of our research. Early vegan activists (having forged their fledgling vegan society in response to the stonewalling of the Vegetarian Society) were especially keen to maintain a robust, critical dialogue for the benefit of the movement and its constituency. Vegan sociology, then, emerges from a long tradition of reflexivity, discourse and debate in both activist and scholarly spaces that is rooted in a rigorous commitment to social justice. With these considerations in mind, this online event spotlights the promise of a new sociology, one that is informed by a specifically vegan epistemological stance. In line with the mission of both veganism and sociology, it also situates knowledge in explicitly anti-oppressive stances that challenge animal exploitation alongside other sites of domination such as white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism and ableism. We ask contributors to consider what a sociology that is explicitly vegan looks like, and how this might be employed to conduct scholarship that is for nonhuman animals.
This online conference, organised by the International Association of Vegan Sociologists will be held online from October 9th-10th, 2021.
Title: Worldly Togetherness? Showcasing sociological contributions to understanding multispecies entanglements
Date: August 7th – 8th 2020
To further the creation of a sustainable and just world, and for the advancement of science, the question posed by Alfred McClung Lee, “Sociology for whom?” should be answered: sociology for all humans and other animals
David Nibert (2003, p.22)
Forty years ago, Clifton Bryant challenged sociologists to address their neglect of the ‘zoological connection’ in order to better understand the social world we share with other animals. In the decades that followed, socio-ecological studies of animals – that have developed the sociological imagination in different ways – have grown significantly. As a result, we have a burgeoning body of research to inform our understandings of multispecies entanglements as they relate to various social contexts. This ranges from insights on lived inter-species relationships and the structural conditions that underpin them, to the complex interplay of resistance and conformity that accompany any struggle towards a sustainable and just world. This collective knowledge has never been more needed than it is right now. 2020 has been a year of cataclysms and crises, with pandemics, bushfires, floods and other manifestations of our changing climate wreaking havoc on the integrity and stability of social and ecological systems. These disturbances are unmistakably intertwined with more-than-human relations and how living entities engage with and impact on the materiality of the world. We can no longer choose to ignore the zoological connection, nor the devastating impacts humans have had on our shared planet. The pursuit of a sustainable and just world cannot be postponed any longer.
This is a discussion that sociologists working in multispecies fields are well placed to inform. To this end, the Australian Sociological Association’s ‘Sociology & Animals Thematic Group’, the American Sociological Association’s ‘Society & Animals Section’ and the Canadian Sociological Association’s ‘Animals in Society’ research cluster have united to present an online showcase of cutting-edge research in the animal studies domain. This event will bring together research and researchers that critically explore aspects of human-nonhuman animal entanglements, and it will broadcast this research to a wide audience so that this research might inform pursuits of a more just and sustainable future: whatever that might transpire to be. We welcome presentation proposals from scholars conducting sociological research that is for nonhuman animals, including (but not limited to):
- Theorising multispecies entanglements
- Qualitative and/or quantitative research for nonhuman animals
- Nonhuman animal related activism and activist movements
- Social construction of nonhuman animals
- Capitalism and animals
- Human/Nonhuman animal labour
- Multispecies methods
- Intersectional approaches to nonhuman animal studies
- Companion animal togetherness
- Imagining multispecies justice
David Nibert, (2003) “Humans and other animals: sociology’s moral and intellectual challenge”, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 23 Issue: 3, pp.4-25, https://doi.org/10.1108/0144333031079023