“There is no thing as a single–issue struggle because we do not live single–issue lives.”
― Audre Lorde
Intersectionality is the belief that all forms of oppression (i.e. racism, sexism, homophobia, speciesism etc.) are inextricably linked through sharing a root cause. Understanding how these systems of domination are connected gives us a greater knowledge of the nature of animal exploitation.
Intersectional politics views all forms of oppression as a dichotomy between two groups: the oppressor and the oppressed. In the case of racism this is whites and non-whites; sexism is men and women; speciesism is humans and animals. These systems of domination interact on multiple and often simultaneous levels, contributing to systematic social inequality.
These differing forms of oppression allow and normalise all other forms of oppression. The oppression of women by men allows for the domination of humans over animals etc. If we are to tackle animal exploitation we need to destroy all systems of oppression in order to achieve total liberation, not just speciesism. We argue that these oppressions cannot exist independently of each other and therefore need to be tackled together.
There is strong evidence to support the links between animal exploitation and other oppressions. From the language used to discriminate against women (“cow”, “bitch” etc.) to the techniques used in the African Slave Industry adopted straight from animal husbandry.