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My Travels in the USA

November 12th, 2014 No comments
Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals and the Earth edited by Carol Adams and Lori Gruen (Bloomsbury)

Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals and the Earth edited by Carol Adams and Lori Gruen (Bloomsbury)

Now that I’m at the end of the second week of my three week trip to the USA, it’s time for a further update on my activities. For example, in New York City I:

  • Spoke about animal rights to some 60 students at Pace University in two Ethics in the Work Place classes and one Animal Law class with Professors Len Mitchell and David Cassuto respectively
  • Met with and called ASI supporters and colleagues from the animal rights movement
  • Got together again with Mariann Sullivan and met for the first time Jasmin Singer from Our Hen House, who took me to a fundraising event in support of Mercy for Animals called Art of Compassion
  • Recorded a radio interview with Caryn Hartglass for her radio show, Real Radio
  • Filmed an interview with Nancy Kogel of Reaching Out for Animal Rights for a documentary she is making
  • Met with attorneys David Wolfson and Sarah Griffin from Milbank about Minding Animals International
  • Spoke to a packed room of some 100 people at Bluestockings radical bookstore to launch the new anthology, Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals and the Earth edited by Carol Adams and Lori Gruen (Bloomsbury) along with Carol and fellow contributors pattrice jones and Sunny Taylor

I left New York City Friday afternoon for Baltimore for the second stage of my six-city, three week itinerary. My next update will focus on my activities in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington DC during this week. On Saturday, I leave Baltimore for the final stage in my itinerary in Portland, ME and Boston, which I will also share with you later.

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Update from NYC

November 3rd, 2014 No comments

USAIt’s great to be back in the USA and in New York City! I’m truly appreciative of the 20 years I spent living and working in this country. So, yes, it’s great to be back!

I arrived late Wednesday and I write this post early Monday morning. These past few days have been very busy. Here are some highlights.

Animals and Society Initiative at New York University

More than 70 students, faculty, advocates, and others joined me for my presentation, ‘The Animal Rights Challenge,’ at a public lecture hosted by NYU’s Animals and Society Initiative. It all went well with some excellent questions forcing me to come up with some thoughtful answers. Earlier versions of this presentation are on this website. Check out the section ‘Animal Rights Challenge.’ My research, writing and presentation in this subject is part of a larger project which will be part of my second book (see below Lantern Books and A Brighter Green). NYU’s ASI is an outstanding project and in the forefront of the development of Human Animal Studies. It is among a handful of universities who are investing in this emerging field of academic endeavour. I strongly believe HAS, along with Critical Animal Studies, will contribute to deepening our understanding of our relationship with other animals and help to redress our past wrongs in our treatment of them by informing public policy. Prior to my presentation, I met with Nicolas Delon, who is Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow, NYU Animal Studies Initiative in the Department of Environmental Studies. Along with NYU’s ASI, please also check out Wesleyan Animal Studies at Wesleyan University and the Centre for Human Animal Studies at Edge Hill University, where I am a member of the Advisory Board.

James Jasper

Protest: A Cultural Introduction to Social Movements by James Jasper.

Protest: A Cultural Introduction to Social Movements by James Jasper.

Jim is a sociologist whose research and writing in social movements has been a major influence and is internationally recognised. When I was the Executive Director of Animals and Social Institute and co-produced with the Culture and Animals Foundation the International Compassionate Living Festival, we were honoured to have Jim present research from his book, Getting Your Way: Strategic Dilemmas in the Real World. This is recommended reading as is his classic work, The Art of Moral Protest. Jim is very informed and sympathetic to animal rights and his insights are invaluable to helping us understand more about how to make social justice happen. We had an excellent discussion about the challenges facing social movements and, in particular, the animal rights movement. Jim kindly gave me a copy of his new book, Protest: A Cultural Introduction to Social Movements, which includes animal rights and I look forward to reading it. To learn more about James Jasper, please visit his website. We met for lunch at Blossom vegan restaurant in Chelsea. Fabulous meal!

Lantern Books and A Brighter Green

I met with Martin Rowe of Lantern Books and Mia MacDonald of Brighter Green. As you no doubt know Lantern Books published Growl and the anthologies of articles I edited from The Animals’ Agenda magazine. For more information please visit my author’s page at Lantern Books.

It was an opportunity for us to bring ourselves up to date with news and developments. For example, Mia spoke about her work with Brighter Green, which is a ‘public policy action tank that works to raise awareness of and encourage policy action on issues that span the environment, animals, and sustainability.’ We discussed a number of projects, including, in my capacity as editor of Philip Lymbery’s website, the publication of a guest editorial from Mia in the coming months. Philip Lymbery is Chief Executive of Compassion In World Farming and co-author of Farmageddon.

Martin is my editor and I wanted to use the opportunity of our meeting to talk in person about the next book I want to write. Presently called, The Animal Rights Challenge, we discussed various aspects to it and approaches to take to get it produced. This included feedback on my NYU presentation and other matters. It’s too early to say more about my second book other than it will follow on from where Growl ends. This is to say that its focus will be on the status of the animal rights movement. Martin kindly gave me a copy of his The Elephants in the Room, which I look forward to reading as part of my research into my project about Topsy, the elephant electrocuted in NYC in 1903.

Animals and Society Institute

ASIFurther to these activities, there have also been other meetings related to my work with the Animals and Society Institute in which I have been getting together with our supporters and bringing them up to date with our activities and thanking them for their continuing support.

 

 

And What Else?

I’m in New York City until Friday and my schedule includes

  • Further meetings and calls with ASI supporters and colleagues from the animal rights movement
  • Meeting with attorneys David Wolfson and Sarah Griffin about Minding Animals International
  • Meeting with Jasmin Singer and Mariann from Our Hen House
  • Speaking to two Business Ethics classes and one Animal Law class at Pace University
  • Attending the Art of Compassion event in support of Mercy for Animals
  • Interview with Caryn Hartglass for her radio show, Real Radio
  • Book launch for the anthology, Ecofeminism, which includes a contribution from me

For information and links to these events, please go to the post that precedes this one.

From Friday evening onwards for one week I will be in Baltimore and from there will be doing events in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington DC. I plan to publish my next update from Baltmore during this coming weekend.

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Growling to America!

October 8th, 2014 No comments

Just three weeks to go before I leave the UK for the USA on Wednesday, October 29. This trip in support of my animal rights work and to promote my book, Growl, is made possible by the generous support of many people in my recent Indiegogo campaign.

I want to express my sincere thanks to everyone who generously contributed and made possible this three-week long working visit to the East Coast. Thank you!

Further, your support has kept me very busy here in the UK with several speaking engagements promoting Growl, including at the International Animal Rights Conference in Luxembourg, London Vegfest, 2nd Annual Humanities in Public Festival at Manchester Metropolitan University, and the forthcoming inaugural launch conference of the Centre for Human Animal Studies at Edge Hill University.

Here’s my US itinerary:

Thursday, October 30: Presenting my talk, ‘The Animal Rights Challenge,’ at a public meeting hosted by the Animal Studies Initiative at New York University
Friday, October 31: Lunch with sociologist James Jasper, which is followed by an interview with Caryn Hartglass of REAL Radio
Saturday, November 1: Meeting with my publisher Martin Rowe at Lantern Books
Tuesday, November 4: Presenting my talk, ‘Growl,’ at Professor David Cassuto’s Animal Law Class, which is followed by making the same presentation to Professor Len Mitchell’s Business Ethics Class at Pace University
Wednesday, November 5: Second ‘Growl’ presentation for Professor Len Mitchell’s Business Ethics Classes at Pace University, which is followed by a meeting with Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan of Our Hen House (we may be also, schedule permitting, recording an interview for the Our Hen House TV program)
Thursday, November 6: Speaking at the launch party for the anthology, Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals & the Earth, at Bluestockings radical bookstore, NYC
Friday, November 7: Meeting with attorneys Sarah Griffin and David Wolfson about Minding Animals International
Monday, November 10: Presenting ‘Growl’ at the vegan cafe, Grindcore House, hosted by The Humane League in Philadelphia, PA
Wednesday, November 12: Presenting ‘Growl’ at Red Emma’s bookstore and vegetarian cafe in Baltimore, MD
Thursday, November 13: Lunchtime presentation of ‘Growl’ for the staff, volunteers and trustees of Alley Cat Allies, Bethesda, MD
Thursday, November 13: Presenting ‘Growl’ at a public meeting hosted by Alley Cat Allies at the Washington Humane Society’s Behavior and Learning Centre
Friday, November 14: Consultation with Dawn Moncrief, A Well-Fed World, which is followed by an afternoon presentation of ‘Growl’ for the staff of the ASPCA’s Washington DC office
Saturday, November 15: Evening presentation of ‘Growl’ hosted by Maine Animal Coalition at University of Southern Maine
Sunday, November 16: Eventing presentation of ‘Growl’ at the vegan Grasshopper Restaurant hosted by the Boston Vegetarian Society
Monday, November 17: Evening reception hosted by GREY2K USA Worldwide at their offices in Arlington, MA

Additional dates to my itinerary are being finalised. Please visit the Events section on this website to keep up to date with the latest news and information.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re interested in me speaking in your area or working with you on your animal rights campaigns.

Thank you for doing all that you do for the animals!

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Growl Feedback

October 1st, 2014 No comments

A pleasure from Growl I didn’t anticipate is receiving feedback from readers. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did think about negative comments and how I should react to them. Of which, I’m pleased to say I haven’t received any ….. yet! So, the favourable comments come as a very pleasant surprise, which goes along with the kind reactions I’m receiving from the public readings and talks I’m currently making. One comment from someone who asks to be known as ‘Ireene V’ has given me her permission to share it with you here.

We met at the animal rights conference in Luxembourg. Me and my husband bought your book and you asked as to send you a feedback after reading it. I did read it and liked it very much. I liked that it was written on a personal level, not just theoretical. Although it is important to read theoretical works about animal rights, from time to time one just needs to hear about personal stories and struggles to know how to cope better, to know that someone else has had a similar experience, that someone else has felt the same. So thank you for that! After leaving the conference I woke up next morning and went straight to the Misanthropic Bunker. I haven’t really experienced that before but the contrast between the “real world” and the atmosphere of the conference was too much to handle. I started reading the “Growl” and it helped me address these feelings. I also appreciated the history and the background information of British animal rights movement. I am very interested in history of veganism and animal rights. I share your view on non-violence. I think it is extremely important that animal rights movement differs from animal abusers and violence should not be accepted. As I don’t have any companion animals I haven’t felt that magical connection with animals yet. I do hope to experience it someday. I am sorry there are too many thoughts to write down coherently. But all and all I do think it is an important book and I do hope people will read it. I am definitely going to recommend it to my friends.

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News from Growl!

September 19th, 2014 1 comment

In six weeks time on Thursday, October 30 I will be in New York City as the guest of the Animal Studies Initiative at New York University making a presentation about Growl and the issues that I raise in my book. This date marks the beginning of a three-week working visit to the East Coast of the USA.

My recent Indiegogo campaign helped to raise the funds needed to make possible the following itinerary. I want to express my sincere thanks to everyone who generously contributed. Thank you!

Additional dates to my itinerary are being finalised. Please visit the Events section on this website to keep up to date with the latest news and information.

Please know your generous support of my Indiegogo campaign also helped to make possible my presentations at the following:

And between now and leaving for the USA in six weeks, I will be also speaking at:

Please watch my presentation at the International Animal Rights Conference in Luxembourg here.

I will be back in touch soon with further updates, including announcements about book clubs reading Growl and more public events.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re interested in me speaking in your area or working with you on your animal rights campaigns.

Thank you for doing all that you do for the animals!

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Watch My Growl Presentation

September 15th, 2014 No comments

The presentation that I made at the recent International Animal Rights Conference in Luxembourg is now available to watch. It was called ‘Animal Witness’ at the conference but is given the name ‘Why Animals and Their Well-Being Matter to Us’ on YouTube but more importantly it reflects the essence of what I have to say in Growl.

 

To watch my presentation from the IARC 2013, please click here.

To learn where I will be presenting in the future, please visit Events on this website.

For more information about the IARC, please click here.

 

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Spying on Animal Rights

September 3rd, 2014 1 comment
A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre

A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre

There’s something fascinating about the so-called Cambridge spies: Anthony Blunt, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, and Kim Philby. They all came from the upper middle class and met at Cambridge University in the 1930s. They went onto hold various powerful positions in society while acting as double agents for the U.K. and U.S.S.R. or worked in the Foreign Office or for the Windsors as the Surveyor of the King’s Pictures.

I’m not delusional about the severe damage the Cambridge spies caused to Britain and its security as well as the deaths of many hundreds of people that their espionage resulted in. Nonetheless, I cannot but help find appealing the heroic, romanticised view of the Cambridge spies as they’re presented in, for example, the plays of Alan Bennett (e.g., ‘An Englishman Abroad’ about Burgess and ‘A Question of Attribution’ about Blunt) and in the telly series ‘Cambridge Spies.’ Not quite the same thing but I keep promising myself to read John le Carre’s spy novels but have yet to get round to doing so.

A book I have just finished is A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal by Ben Macintyre (Bloomsbury), a writer and editor on Murdoch’s The Times.

What makes this book different from the many others about Philby is that it’s about his friendships and particularly with Nicholas Elliott, who, like Philby, was a spy in MI6, Britain’s secret intelligence service. What’s fascinating is how Philby was able to hide his spying for the Russians from his wives and closest of colleagues and friends who all knew him intimately. There is, of course, a lot more to say about all of this but this briefest of descriptions will have to suffice.

There’s one aspect to the Philby story that stands out above all others, which made me very angry as I read the book. Philby was protected by his class because it couldn’t be possible that ‘one of them’ could be a traitor. This privileged status ensured that for years Philby, while in our employ, spied for the Soviets unchallenged. 

Read more…

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Almost Direct Action Everywhere

August 19th, 2014 1 comment

I was hoping for more from reading The Evolution of Veganism: Is Empowered Activism the Next Stage? by Wayne Hsiung, founding organiser of Direct Action Everywhere (DAE).

His three conclusions are:

  1. The first is that we have to move beyond simply creating an environment that accepts and tolerates vegans.
  2. The second is that a confident and assertive approach — playing offense rather than defense — is key to our movement’s growth.
  3. What we need, if our movement is to grow, is more and stronger activists.

Now, of course, I could quibble with each one of these three points but it’s the absence of a much larger point that I find troubling: the exclusive reliance upon individual action to make institutional change while ignoring the democratic, political process.

Yes, which vegan wouldn’t want to have to campaign for an environment that embraces us?

Yes, haven’t vegans been playing offence since they became, er, vegan?

Yes, of course, we need more and stronger activists.

As I discuss in my book, Growl, I do not believe everyone is going to go vegan, which doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try; nonetheless, the reality is that not everyone will care about animals as much as we do. Moreover, not everyone will understand animal rights within a progressive agenda of social change.

This is why we need to think beyond animal rights as an optional lifestyle choice. Yes, I agree with DAE about what we do to animals is violence. Nonviolence is one of my four key values in animal rights. We need to challenge the institutions that perpetuate the violence toward animals as the social norm. Yes, their campaign targeting is Chipotle is fine, and I wish them every success in all that they do.

But there will never be enough individual vegans to challenge the thousands if not millions of enterprises like Chipotle across the planet.

Of course, we must try, and that is essentially what animal rights activism is all about: fomenting the same change in others we experienced in ourselves whereby we have a personal transformative moment when animal cruelty is no longer hidden from view, and consequently we boycott products of animal exploitation by going cruelty-free, vegan.

But individual change will only go so far. We need also institutional change.

We can no longer naively believe individual vegans and animal advocacy organisations will change the world.

We have to work within the mainstream politics to embed the values of animal rights within their culture. They are the people and the organisations who we elect to represent us, form governments, and pass laws.

In short, the single greatest challenge we face is making animal rights a mainstream political issue.

Of course, anarchists and those who have written off the political process will disagree with this premise. There’s nothing I can say or do to change their minds. We will just have to agree to disagree.

Take note, however, of how gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people organised not only as a social movement (coincidentally, as disparate as ours) and worked within political parties across the world to achieve significant lifestyle and political change as a legislative issue.

As public sentiment moved to accept those who were previously considered as outsiders, informed and sympathetic public policy makers and elected representatives fought for and won legislation protecting them, thereby bringing together public education and public policy into legislation and its enforcement. While there’s still work to be done, G/L/B/T folks presently enjoy legal protection as never before. Further, individuals who do not respect these laws are liable for prosecution.

A case in point is Britain’s Hunting Act 2004. Now, I know is far from perfect; however, it had the effect of criminalising those who previously enjoyed the protection of the law when they legally chased and killed wild animals for fun, and it reinvented in part the role of hunt saboteurs as hunt monitors to help ensure the law is enforced.

This combined strategy of public/political and individual/institutional is the message that I look for from not only DAE but also the entire social movement for animals. So far, I don’t hear it very much.

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Growl Two Months On

August 9th, 2014 2 comments

Two months on from the publication of Growl by Lantern Books and I pause to list some of what’s happened and what’s forthcoming.

Reactions

  • Hastings Independent free newspaper says Growl is ‘fascinating and insightful book’
  • Historian Hilda Kean says Growl ‘carefully debunks the idea that real change in the position of non-human animals can occur simply by individuals altering their lifestyle’
  • Humane Research Council recommends Growl in its Summer Reading List
  • VegFund says ‘Any activist, new or seasoned, can learn from Stallwood’s experiences and apply them to his or her own advocacy’
  • Brian May’s Soapbox promotes Growl
  • Responsible Eating and Living radio interview with Caryn Hartglass
  • Growl Launch Party at vegan Moose’s Kitchen in St Leonards on Sea attracts more than 35 people
  • Mark Hawthorne online interview ‘Kim Stallwood: Helping People Help Animals’
  • Hastings Online Times says Growl is a ‘fascinating insight into the experiences of a man who has dedicated most of his life to animal advocacy and protection’
  • Speaking inquiries received from Finland, Poland, and Australia
  • Professor Marita Giménez-Candela, Director, Master in Animal Law and Society, adds Growl to the recommended reading list for the Graduate Course ‘Law and Animal Welfare’ and Master Program ‘Animal Law and Society’ at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
  • Presented Growl at the VegFest in Bristol in May

Forthcoming

  • Presenting Growl at the London Vegan Festival, the International Animal Rights Conference in Luxembourg, and London VegFest
  • Launch party for Growl at the inaugural conference of the Centre for Human Animal Studies at Edge Hill University in October
  • Presenting Growl at the 2nd Annual Humanities in Public Festival at Manchester Metropolitan University in October
  • US East Coast book tour late October to mid November includes NYU Animals and Society Initiative, Business Ethics and Environmental Law classes at Pace University, and GWU Law School

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Growl Launch Party at Moose’s Kitchen

July 6th, 2014 No comments
Moose's Kitchen hosts Growl launch party.

Moose’s Kitchen hosts Growl launch party.

More than 35 guests celebrated the launch of Growl at Moose’s Kitchen on Friday, July 4.

The book launch party also took pride in the vibrant vegan community in St Leonards on Sea and Hastings.

Party goers included folks from the Hastings Vegan Dining Club, local creatives, and friends and neighbours. Zelly Restorick, who profiled me in Hastings Online Times, was among the guests.

Jane, Renee and Davina

Jane, Renee and Davina

Moose’s Kitchen ‘serves healthy, home-cooked meals, made with LOVE: Local, Organic, Vegan and Ethical ingredients.’ Moose and her colleague, Paul, kindly donated and served a variety of starters to the party.

Another local vegan business, Hastings Brewery, generously gave a keg of their Galaxy Pale Ale.

Me saying a few words about Growl standing next to a portrait of Moose in her vegan cafe.

Me saying a few words about Growl standing next to a portrait of Moose in her vegan cafe.

And yet another local vegan business, 1066 Cake Stand, baked a special ‘Growl’ cake! Trevor from the Bay Tree House–the family run vegan hotel in Hastings–also joined in the celebrations.

I welcomed everyone to the party and read part of the section from Growl called ‘Altruistic Love’ (p. 147-149).

My adoption by Boobaa and Honey transformed the anger I felt about animal exploitation through the Magical Connection. My altruistic love for Boobaa and Honey helped me to be a little more at peace with myself and with my presence in the world. These little dogs put flesh and blood on my understanding of what animal rights meant.

It was great to launch Growl with its first party with friends in the town where I now live. For many of us, Hastings and St Leonards on Sea is the vegan capital of the world.

Moose's Kitchen in St Leonards on Sea in East Sussex hosts the launch party for Growl. Photo: Paul Knight

Moose’s Kitchen in St Leonards on Sea in East Sussex hosts the launch party for Growl. Photo: Paul Knight

 

Packed house at Growl Launch Party at Moose's Kitchen. Photo: Paul Knight

Packed house at Growl Launch Party at Moose’s Kitchen. Photo: Paul Knight

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