IARC 2013

September 15th, 2013 No comments
The IARC 2013 was held at the Kulturfabrik that was originally a slaughterhouse. Here, we look up at the ceiling to see the large hooks that moved the carcasses along the production line.

The IARC 2013 was held at the Kulturfabrik that was originally a slaughterhouse. Here, we look up at the ceiling to see the large hooks that moved the carcasses along the production line.

The International Animal Rights Conference in Luxembourg is an impressive event. It attracts animal advocates from across the world and produces an impressive program of speakers. It is also well organised and comprehensive and welcoming. Generally, the attendees are younger activists. They are thoughtful and passionate.

The conference is held at the Centre Culturel Kulturfabrik Esch which was formally a slaughterhouse and is now an arts complex with a restaurant, galleries, offices, and studios. I was not aware of this until I arrived and it was pointed out to me. So, attending the conference becomes a bizarre but creepy positive experience in that animal rights was being discussed inside an old slaughterhouse.

I was honoured with making the opening plenary presentation. I decided to present the paper I had written for the academic journal, Relations. This is because the paper, ‘Animal rights: Moral crusade or political movement?’, summarised my critique of the animal rights movement. Other presenters also addressed related issues about the movement’s ideology and strategy.

The conference organisers have opened a page in YouTube where it is possible to watch many if not all of the presentations made. These recordings are a valuable resource into the different views and perspectives made about animal rights and its ideology and strategy.

You can watch my presentation here. Please share with me your thoughts and comments on my thesis that the animal rights movement should be less like a moral crusade and more like a political movement. Thank you!

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Interview with On Human-Nonhuman Relations Podcast

July 12th, 2013 No comments

Sociologist Roger Yates, who I’m proud to say is a respected animal rights colleague I’ve known since the 1980s, recently recorded an interview with me for his podcast, On Human-Nonhuman Relations. Here’s Roger’s introduction

My special guest for podcast 31 is long-time animal advocate, Kim Stallwood, who has been vegan since 1976 – his journey to veganism began with a summer job in a chicken slaughterhouse. Kim Stallwood and I first met in the early 1980s when he was a central figure of the radicalisation of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV). Kim quickly transformed the BUAV’s magazine from its rather weak and washy format, “Animal Welfare” to “The Liberator,” regularly reporting on the activities of the Animal Liberation Front and the various Animal Liberation Leagues. In the podcast, Kim provides a brief summary of the origins of political campaigning in Britain, greatly influenced by Lord Houghton, and expounds his view that political campaigning in the 21st century is increasingly important if the animal movement is to achieve it’s goals. I have never been keen on political campaigning, preferring vegan education initiative in civil society and on the cultural level. As you’ll hear, our conversation gets a little heated at times – but respectfully so! Kim Stallwood is appearing at the 2013 Animal Rights Conference in Luxembourg, and he has outlined his case for political engagement in a 2012 Critical Perspectives on Animal In Society conference.

Roger and I share many views but we don’t agree on everything. Our differences become apparent as our conversation develops. Even though we do disagree on some, we discuss our differences with passion and humour.

Listen here to the podcast, Growling with Kim Stallwood.

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Elephants, Politics & Animal Rights

July 9th, 2013 No comments

What do these three things have in common?

They all relate to new projects I’m currently working on and want to bring you up to date with.

First, my colleague at the Animals and Society Institute, Bee Friedlander, challenges us in the ASI Diary to find the “S” in the Animal Movement which exists in other social movements in the USA: Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall. In doing so, she explores the common ground among social movements, including animal rights. Bee refers to my paper, “Animal Rights: Moral Crusade or Social Movement?,” which emphasises, as she puts it, going “from philosophical to political, from theory to practice, as the underpinning of the movement.”

Second, in my new paper, “The Politics of Animal Rights Advocacy,” I investigate further the challenges the animal rights movement faces in embedding the values of animal ethics in mainstream politics. The paper is available to read in the journal, Relations–Beyond Anthropocentrism (Vol 1, No 1).

Finally, I am honored to have been invited by the Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests, to present a paper at the First International Elephant Congress in Delhi in November. The focus of my paper will be about Topsy, the elephant Thomas Edison electrocuted in 1903.

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News About My Work

June 27th, 2013 No comments

Approaching the midway point of the year provokes reflection on the current status of my work for animal rights.

GREY2K USA joins my roster of client organisations. I am honoured to be assisting them with their successful efforts to “pass stronger greyhound protection laws and end the cruelty of dog racing on both national and international levels.”

Also, I am pleased to announce that my responsibility has expanded as Editor of A Compassionate World, the blog of Philip Lymbery, Chief Executive, Compassion In World Farming. I am now also the blog’s Project Manager and will be working with Compassion’s talented staff to improve and expand A Compassionate World.

My book, GROWL. Life Lessons, Hard Truths, and Bold Strategies from an Animal Advocate, is scheduled for publication by Lantern Books in October. Look out for changes here that will feature GROWL!

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NCSU Libraries Recognises My Animal Rights Work

June 4th, 2013 No comments

I received recently a much appreciated letter from Greg Raschke, Associate Director for Collections and Scholarly Communication at NSCU Libraries, recognising my work in support of the Tom Regan Animal Rights Archive at North Carolina State University.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you personally for all of the hard work you have put forth towards helping us build the Tom Regan Animal Rights Archive here at the North Carolina State University Libraries. As you know, the animal rights archive at NCSU is one of the best venues for scholars and activists to conduct research on the history and development of the animal rights movement. We hope to continue growing the collection and to encourage even more frequent use of the materials.

Your pivotal role in helping NCSU obtain the records of the Animal Rights Network was a key part in generating the momentum we needed as we sought to expand our animal rights collections. We are equally grateful that you have brought other collections to our attention, such as the Animal Rights/Animal Welfare Pamphlet Collection that we recently acquired. In April we released a press release announcing this acquisition and soon thereafter received a larger number of inquiries from researchers wanting to access the materials. No successful archive is built in isolation, and we are grateful for the collaboration of leading scholars such as Dr. Regan and leaders in the field such as you. Your contributions in connecting us with materials for purchase that are appropriate for the archive are most appreciated. We would like to build on these successes as we continue to grow the Tom Regan Animal Rights Archive.

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Amber Rudd MP Fails to Oppose Badger Cull

June 4th, 2013 1 comment

The Conservative MP for Hastings and Rye, Amber Rudd, who is my Parliamentary representative, writes to me in support of the government’s badger cull.

In response to a telephone call to her Hastings office yesterday morning, I asked for an emailed statement as soon as possible on Ms Rudd’s personal position on the badger cull in advance of tomorrow’s Commons debate. I said I would share her response.

Click on the link below to read the letter.

Amber Rudd Corres Badger cull debate 3 June 2013

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May 28th, 2013 No comments

With this summer’s 40th anniversary of when I worked as a student in a chicken slaughterhouse, the big news to report is that my book is scheduled for publication by Lantern Books in October. It is called GROWL. Life Lessons, Hard Truths, and Bold Strategies from an Animal Advocate.

Now, I hear you say, I thought it was called ANIMAL DHARMA? Well, it was. But things change. Including this book and its focus. GROWL has ended up as a more secular book than it started out. Which helps to explain the name change. Anyway, I have retained the name ANIMAL DHARMA and plan to return later to the project exploring animals and Buddhism.

GROWL explores what it means to care deeply about animals. It is a memoir weaving together a personal narrative of growing awareness of our complex relations with animals with my professional involvement as a leader of the animal rights movement in the UK and US. In 1973 I was a student spending the summer working in a chicken slaughterhouse. Three years later, I was a vegan campaigning against factory farming. This is a journey of personal empowerment and professional development. I recall the development of the modern animal rights movement. I present a psychological profile of people who love and respect animals. Leaving others to describe the cruel treatment of animals, I focus instead on understanding and solutions. I propose four key values in animal rights.

  • Compassion is our motivation for helping animals
  • Truth represents our ethical relations with animals
  • Nonviolence is the value in the relations we have with animals
  • Justice is our commitment to all animals

The writing and editing of GROWL took an extraordinary amount of time. It is a book that I could not write until now. This meant that I had to reassign my time from writing posts for this blog and its companion, the Grumpy Vegan, to focussing instead on GROWL. My editor at Lantern Books, Wendy Lee, has been tremendously helpful. But there is still a lot to do between now and its publication in October. Between now and then, my time is focussed on GROWL and much less so to maintaining this blog and Grumpy Vegan. Thank you for your patience!

One unexpected outcome from this present, temporary state of affairs is that it has led me to question how I should best use my time. Posting frequent blogs with a momentary nature or writing books with hopefully an enduring quality is a dilemma I am presently considering. Each has important and unique roles to play. Ideally, there should be a balance but that’s not always possible with limited time and resources. One thing is certain, though, I want to write books. I have interesting topics I want to examine and unique, even contentious, things to say about them! But I have to take each book in its turn. Writing and producing books requires a great deal of time.

Having recently sworn off ever writing another book while I was grappling with GROWL, may I be the first to tell you that my next book is underway! But this time I have decided not to discuss its focus with anyone! Well, at least for the time being.

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Happy Birthday!

February 11th, 2013 4 comments

Happy Birthday to this website which celebrates its third birthday on February 8!

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Making a Difference for Animals in 2013

January 28th, 2013 No comments

I worked in a chicken slaughterhouse 40 years ago this summer. I was a student at a college in London learning how to manage hotels and restaurants. Three years later, I was a vegan at Compassion In World Farming, campaigning against factory farming and the live export of farmed animals to Europe. Today, I work as an independent scholar and author on animal rights, and proud to include Compassion among my clientele.

Looking back on my life in animal rights has preoccupied me recently. This is because I have obsessed over the completion of the manuscript for my first book. I explore what it means to care deeply about animals. I look back on my involvement in the animal rights movement in the UK and USA. I conclude there are four key values in animal rights: Compassion, Truth, Nonviolence and Justice.

The end of January is not too late to consider what I want to accomplish this year. Clearly, the book, which has still yet to be finally named, will be a major preoccupation. In fact, I am as fed up with talking about my book-to-be as you must be in hearing me prattle on about it. At last! I will breath a sigh of relief because it will be finished. And those who want to will be able to read it because Lantern Books will publish it in May.

Here’s a recording of me briefly talking about the book and reading a short extract from the Introduction.



Writing is just one chapter in a book’s history. The next is the promotion and marketing to draw attention to what it has got to say. I will be in the USA on a book promotion tour from May to July. Before then, I will relaunch this website to feature the book. Incidentally, I have put the blog of my alter ego, the Grumpy Vegan, on hold because he deserves a well-earned rest.

Writing is a large part of my life now. In addition to my first book, I have also written papers for four academic journals and anthologies to be published in Italy, Canada, the USA and the UK. I will share with you here information about them as they are published. Also, I am working on a second book which explores the animal rights movement in America and Britain. My goal is to publish this as an ebook in the summer. Then, later, to publish it as a ‘real’ book.

Meanwhile, I continue to work with various organisations as an independent consultant.

The Animals and Society Institute is very dear to my heart, not only as one of its co-founders along with Ken Shapiro, but also as a very special group dedicated to, among other things, the development of Human-Animal Studies.

It’s great to be involved again with Compassion In World Farming. This time I work closely with Philip Lymbery, Compassion’s Chief Executive, as Editor of his blog, A Compassionate World. I assist Philip with the research and development of material that the blog considers.

If your organisation is interested in exploring how I may be able to help you as an independent consultant, please email me at kim@kimstallwood.com.

I also believe in giving back to the animal rights movement and volunteer for two groups. One is local; the other international.

The first is East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service, which rescues, cares, treats and releases, whenever possible, injured wildlife back into the glorious part of England that I live. The other is Minding Animals International, which I help as its Deputy Director. I work on MAI’s further development and our next international conference in January 2015 which is in partnership with the Wildlife Trust of India.

All in all, 2013 looks to be a very busy year. Which, of course, is as it should be, all the while animals are denied justice.

Please stay in touch with me by:

Here’s to making a difference for animals in 2013!

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Feminists for Animal Rights

November 11th, 2012 No comments

Although the impact of ecofeminism on my thinking about animal rights is as present as ever in my life, I had forgotten how important the presence of Feminists for Animal Rights was in the animal rights movement … until yesterday’s conference in celebration of the life and work of Marti Kheel at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

It is Sunday morning. The day after a very long day yesterday spent in the conference. I am still too close to what happened to be able to say anything about it other than it was incredible.

To meet and hear attendees and speakers, who are old friends and colleagues, some not seen in decades, and authors and intellectuals, who I only know through their writings but have now had an opportunity to hear speak, is something to be celebrated. Such a richness of insight and expertise.

The conference was built around a series of four presentations. Each one consisted of a panel of mostly four speakers in each one. As one of the presenters, we were asked by the organisers, Carol Adams and Lori Gruen, to submit a paper in advance to share with our fellow presenters. At the conference, we were asked to make a 10 minute summary presentation, which was followed by a discussion between panellists and then with everyone present.

This approach meant that in one session the subject ranged widely from a hearty critique of capitalism to the consideration of a hypothetical group of people from another time and place who were occasional cannibals. And much more to recall and detail here.

One of the outcomes from the conference is planned to be the publication of an anthology of articles. So, stay tuned on that one.

More immediate, however, another outcome is the revival of Feminists for Animal Rights. For various reasons, FAR had become dormant as an organisation in the animal rights movement and beyond. Yesterday reminded me of the unique and special role FAR had in not only informing the debate about our relations with animals but also with the development of the animal rights movement. There is a new website, which includes copies of FAR’s newsletter and important articles as well as links to like-minded organisations. Please visit the FAR website to discover or renew yourself with the unique insight of what ecofeminism has to offer.

Here is an extract from my paper from yesterday which recalled the impact FAR made on me as my ideas about animal advocacy developed.

So, beginning in the mid-1970s with the publication of Animal Liberation by Peter Singer, which advanced a utilitarian argument in support of animals, and, then, in the mid-1980s with Tom Regan’s Case for Animal Rights, I saw the emergence of animal ethics as a key discipline. Regan challenged Singer’s utilitarian arguments by making the case that animals were subjects of a life and held intrinsically rights, including the right to respect, which could not be traded away in something like a utilitarian calculation. Thus began the development of animal ethics whereby one theory was challenged by another and my thinking of animal ethics developed accordingly. Then, in the early 1990s when I found myself unknowingly transitioning from animal activism to animal advocacy, I became intrigued with what was I was learning from my discovery of ecofeminism.

Two developments stand out. The first is the publication of Carol Adams’s Sexual Politics of Meat in 1990. The second is watching Marti Kheel and Carol Adams present Feminist for Animal Rights slide show (a copy of which is in my archive). They awakened in me new and intriguing ways to think about animal rights and animal advocacy. These experiences led me to conversations with, among others, Marti, Carol and Batya Bauman, and to other books and anthologies which I also found enlightening. I liked how ecofeminism presented animal exploitation within a progressive context alongside other social justice issues. I found it exciting to see written and visual analysis being made of ideas about masculinity and masculine behaviour. As a gay man who was intuitively uncomfortable with sexism but little understood the theories of feminism, they resonated well and deeply with me.

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