Making a Killing
Suggest to the average leftist that animals should be part of broader liberation struggles and—once they stop laughing—you'll find yourself casually dismissed. With a focus on labor, property, and the life of commodities, Making a Killing contains key insights into the broad nature of domination, power, and hierarchy. It explores the intersections between human and animal oppressions in relation to the exploitative dynamics of capitalism. Combining nuts-and-bolts Marxist political economy, a pluralistic anarchist critique, as well as a searing assessment of the animal rights movement, Bob Torres challenges conventional anti-capitalist thinking and convincingly advocates for the abolition of animals in industry—and on the dinner plate. Making A Killing is sure to spark wide debate in the animal rights and anarchist movements for years to come.
animals. For example, were I a fickle pet owner and were I to tire of living with the dog who is sleeping at my feet while I write this, I could sell her for whatever I felt was a fair price. Emmy (the dog sleeping at my feet) is my legal property. If someone came along and wanted to pay $500 for her, I could certainly and legally sell her for that price.2 Similarly, I could take her to the vet right now and have her euthanized if I wished.3 In either case, because she is my property, I am more
the thinking of Kropotkin et al on regaining our collectivity, it is now necessary to relate this back to the question of animals and how their property status necessarily leads to their exploitation. As I mentioned earlier, animals exist in a somewhat different status than non-slave human laborers, for animals are the direct property of their owners.Where the human laborer may receive a wage, the animal who is involved in production cannot meaningfully receive any wage beyond its means of
that some other animals will have rights tomorrow.28 As the movement is structured today, there is a deep and abiding disconnect between means and ends. By pursuing the means of reform, animal protection organizations assume that somehow, at some point, in some way in the future we will reach an end where animals are no longer exploited. It is almost reminiscent of all of the talk on the Left about life after the revolution.The problem is that the primary means of activism today simply
the roots and branches of violence against animals. I see no comparison in importance between how chickens are treated and how women or any humans are treated. In fact, for me the animal rights agenda resonates barely at all, and the antisexism agenda is part of my life.The message of the little story is, instead, that life is not always easy or optimal. We have to pick and choose our battles, sometimes even setting aside parts of a whole that are worth affecting, but, at least for a time, are
“The German Ideology: Part 1,” in The Marx-Engels Reader, 2nd. Ed., ed. Robert C.Tucker (New York and London: W.W. Norton and Company, 1978). 5 Ibid., 155. 6 Louis Althusser, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses,” in Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays (New York and London: Monthly Review Press, 1971). 7 Marx, “The German Ideology: Part 1.” 8 Ibid., 173. 9 National Public Radio, Poverty in America