Challenging Speciesism: Youth Repositioning of Identities as Ethical Adults

  • Carolina Castano Rodriguez
Part of the Cultural Studies of Science Education book series (CSSE, volume 16)


In this chapter I explore how science education has promoted dominant ideologies that commodify and transform other animals into economic objects. I discuss why education should offer spaces to re–construct and transform youth identities into more ethical and critical ones. Speciesism ideology, described as the validation of the different forms of human domination over other animals, is reinforced by nearly every array of social practices and institutions, including political economies based on exploitative capitalism and industrial technics. It provides a platform for the legitimatization not only of the brutal and unethical utilization and subjugation of nonhuman animals, but also of an unsustainable lifestyle. Moreover, school curricula often fail to provide spaces for the construction of identities that challenge the exploitative nature of our current relationship with other animals. To counteract this, education needs to be re–thought. It needs to provide platforms and pedagogical practices that problematize the domination, oppression and subordination of other animals. Particularly, those disciplines that deal with knowledge regarding animals, such as science and environmental education, need to adopt a total liberation pedagogy, one that works against all forms of oppression, including nonhuman animals. This chapter contributes to the understanding of youth formation of identities as consumers of nature, and how education could be radicalized to integrate themes of animal’s rights, environmental justice and anti–consumerism.


Marginalization Speciecism Critical pedagogy Animals Identity 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Australian Catholic UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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