The Strategic Case for Animal Liberation
An Animal Rights Article from

FROM Dayton Martindale,
August 2020

Ecosocialists view animal rights as the third rail of climate politics. The opposite is true.

"It’s not just domestic animals that are a point of contention within the climate movement," writes Martindale. (Photo: Michael Setboun/Getty Images)

Tackling climate change will remake the world. Everything is on the table: not only our energy sources but how we travel, where we work, what we eat.

As Naomi Klein argues in This Changes Everything, the sheer scope creates an opportunity to unite the left’s movements. But there’s one movement Klein—and most ecosocialists—leaves out: animal liberation.

For many on the left, even those sympathetic, animal advocacy simply isn’t a high priority. But if the climate left does not start engaging seriously with animal politics, we will be caught flat-footed in some of the most important debates of the coming decades. Two dilemmas will inevitably arise: first, in confronting the meat question, and second, in wildlife conservation: the potential conflicts between climate action and endangered species, climate impacts on biodiversity, and the role of protecting and restoring habitat in sequestering carbon.

The pandemic illustrates the consequences of sidelining these issues. Most infectious diseases, COVID-19 among them, first reach humans through contact with other animals; habitat disruption and animal farming thus play key roles in the spread and mutation of disease....



Dayton Martindale is a writer and founding member of the Democratic Socialists of America Animal Liberation Working Group. His work has appeared in In These Times, Earth Island Journal, Boston Review, Harbinger and The Next System Project. Follow him on Twitter: @DaytonRMartind.

Return to Animal Rights Articles
Read more at COVID-19/Coronavirus Articles Directory