'Nailing Descartes to the Wall': Animal Rights, Veganism and Punk Culture

Jim Donaghey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Through bringing together material from numerous bands, zines,
patches, leaflets, and newly researched interview material, this essay examines the relationships between punk culture and animal rights/vegan consumption habits. It is argued that this relationship is most strongly and consistently expressed, and most sensibly understood, in connection with anarchism. Examining the overlaps between animal rights/veganism and punk is important in several ways. Firstly, it is a significantly under- researched area—as environmental journalist Will Potter (2011) argues, given the importance that punk plays in the political development of individual activists, it is surprising that “there is a shortage of research into punk’s impact on animal rights and environmental activism” (pp. 101–102). Secondly, the themes raised in this essay resonate far beyond the punk scenes from which material is collected: focusing on broader questions of diversity and difference within activist communities, how these differences are managed (even “policed”), the prioritization of certain forms of activism over others, and the role of culture are all issues which cut right to the heart of contemporary activist and community organizing. Thirdly, the topic is of personal importance to the authors, both of whom are writing the essay from the impetus of their own life experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnarchism and Animal Liberation: Essays on Complementary Elements of Total Liberation
EditorsAnthony J. Nocella II, Richard J. White, Erika Cudworth
Place of PublicationJefferson, North Carolina
PublisherMcFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4766-2132-6
ISBN (Print)978-0-7864-9457-6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Co-authored with Will Boisseau


  • Punk
  • Anarchism
  • Animal Rights
  • Animal Liberation
  • Veganism
  • Intersectionality
  • UK
  • Critical Animal Studies
  • Ethnography
  • Grounded theory


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