About John Sanbonmatsu

John Sanbonmatsu is an associate professor of Philosophy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is at work on a book called "The Omnivore's Distraction: The Politics and Ethics of Killing Animals," and edited the collection of essays "Critical Theory and Animal Liberation" (2011). Critical Theory and Animal Liberation approaches our relationship with other animals from the critical or "left" tradition in political and social thought. Breaking with past treatments that have framed the problem as one of "animal rights," the authors instead depict the exploitation and killing of other animals as a political question of the first order. The contributions highlight connections between our everyday treatment of animals and other forms of social power, mass violence, and domination, from capitalism and patriarchy to genocide, fascism, and ecocide.

Fascism and the Language of ‘Humane’ Meat

if given the “choice” between, on the one hand, being shot in the back of the head while overlooking the pleasant Latvian countryside, and a deep trench filled with bodies, and, on the other, being worked to death at Treblinka, then yes, by all means, I’ll take the former. But the moment one claims that the former “option” is “humane,” then I fear you are laboring in Orwell’s totalitarian vineyards, and indeed are repeating, but in a different key, the same arguments made by the Binding and Hoche and other leading ideologues of Hitler’s euthanasia program. … READ ON

The Boy and the Fox: From Beating to Eating Animals

One of my secret pleasures as a boy was to sit for hours poring over my father’s collection of photography books. There, in The Family of Man, Days to Remember, and others, I saw disclosed the strange and varied wonder of the human condition, at least as it appeared to professional photojournalists at mid-century: children in Bombay lifting their smiling faces to the rain, Jackie Robinson, “first Negro in major league baseball,” the first television. There were also many disturbing pictures of grief, tragedy, and violence, indelible images of mob slayings and suicides, terrible industrial accidents and “the war in Indo-China.” … READ ON