SuperWeed

SuperWeed

communications from an eco-anarcha-feminist animal

SuperWeed RSS Feed
 
 
 
 

Don’t Let Publishers Perish

Charles Patterson’s powerful and important book, Eternal Treblinka, was rejected by 83 (!) publishers before Lantern Books agreed to take the risk of publishing a relentlessly researched account of the shared roots of human and animal exploitation named after Isaac Bashevis Singer‘s observation that “for animals it is an eternal Treblinka.” (Treblinka was a Nazi death camp.)

In Eternal Treblinka, which you really should read if you haven’t yet, Patterson surveys the deep history of animal exploitation before going on to explore the specific question of how “our treatment of animals” helped to set the stage for the Holocaust. This is not some simplistic “It’s just like the Holocaust!” or “It’s just like slavery!” argument but, rather, an intellectually nuanced and carefully expressed inquiry into the origins of one of the most horrific episodes in human history. In my view, Patterson’s book, along with Alice Miller‘s work on German patterns of child rearing/abuse, provides essential context within which to ask, “How did this happen? How might we stop it happening again?”

Now in its third printing, Eternal Treblinka has been translated and published in Israel, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Poland, Croatia, the Czech Republic, and Serbia, with translated publication in Spain and Latin America underway and Russian, Slovenian, and Arabic translations on the way. So, let’s give it up for Lantern Books, which got the ball rolling by picking up the book in the first place. Lantern was also Wangari Maathai’s first U.S. publisher, printing her book about the Green Belt Movement long before that movement made her the first African woman and first environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Lantern also published Aftershock and, while I don’t dare put my book into the category of those two, the same principle of publishing something because it needs to be said, regardless of the bottom line, was at work. The book was actually publisher Martin Rowe’s idea, launched after he read an article I wrote and thought that it might be expanded into a book that would be substantially helpful for social change activists. Thus anybody who has found the book helpful needs to thank Martin, not me.

I mention all of this both because I’ll be speaking with Charles Patterson, which is always a delight to do, at the upcoming AR2008 conference and also because Martin Rowe just posted a piece on the Lantern blog reminding us all that, while not technically a non-profit, they don’t make any money and do need help to keep going. One way to help out Lantern while also helping your local community (or a fellow activist) is to buy one of their books for a local library, IndyMedia center, or political prisoner.

4 Responses to “Don’t Let Publishers Perish”

  1. 1
    stupidstuff:

    I’ll make a point of checking out lantern.

    One of the most irritating/perplexing arguments against speaking up and acting for, animal rights, is the one that pits nonhuman rights against human rights. It is so disappointing to me when I hear people argue (and more often than not it’s from those of a “liberal” bent,) that while there are universal human inequalities, and most often this refers to sexism and racism, that animal rights issues should take a backseat.

    I try to figure out what the hell they are talking about. I do. They imply that acting for one means you are neglecting the other. I find them to be interrelated; in the words of the 90s group Consolidated, a unity of oppression.

    So anyway yeah, I am interested in taking a look at the books you mention.

  2. 2
    pattrice:

    You might also want to check out The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol Adams, The Dreaded Comparison by Marjorie Spiegel, and Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Nature edited by Greta Gaard. And, keep an eye out for the Sistah Vegan anthology edited by Breeze Harper, which will be forthcoming from Lantern. There’s a nice interview with Breeze, which addresses some of the arguments you’ve faced, here.

  3. 3
    stupidstuff:

    ty I will look into them.

    I love the song The Sexual Politics of Meat!

    Harper:
    [i]you have to be careful not to appropriate, to understand the power dynamics behind what you are doing, and how it may potentially offend people you are “trying to enlighten.”[/i]

    Yeah, I try to take myself out of the argument as much as is reasonably possible. Of course, then the question Well, what has it done for you? can pop up. OK fine, they asked for it. ;-D

  4. 4
    warwak:

    Many people are deeply upset because animal rights activists use the term “holocaust” when referring to the torment and killing of millions of animals. And they seem to think the word has been irreverently taken from those who use it to describe the horror of what happened to millions of persons whose bodies were immolated in the ovens of Nazi concentration camps.

    But they are wrong. The word “holocaust” is taken from the biblical term used to describe the total immolation of sacrificed animals–they were known as whole-burnt offerings. The Greek word for such sacrifices is “holókaustos” and was used in the translation of the Hebrew scrolls as far back as 250 B.C. That translation (called the Septuagint) was completed for the Jews who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, and could no longer read or speak Hebrew.

    So referring to the death of millions of animals as a holocaust was used more than 2,000 years before people applied it to the torture and slaughter of human beings. It is not animal rights people who have linked the death of animals and the death of people. It is those who were appalled at the human carnage of Nazi Germany, who likened it to a holocaust–to the death of millions of animals.

Leave a Reply

texts






Widget_logo



Random Post

Categories

Hot Topics

All-Time Top Posts

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Blogroll