It’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.
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
Further 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.