Animal Activism On and Off Screen

Edited by Claire Parkinson and Lara Herring

Regular price $40.00 Sale

Format: paperback
370 pages
ISBN: 9781743329757
Publication: 01 Jul 2024
Series: Animal Politics
Publisher: Sydney University Press

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Animal Activism On and Off Screen examines the relationship between animal advocacy and the film and television industries. Leading scholars, activists, and film industry professionals critically analyse the ways in which animal activism has been represented inside and outside film and television programs in relation to the politics of celebrity, vegan, and animal activism.

Case studies include UK, US, and German television crime fiction, feature-length advocacy documentaries such as Blackfish (2013), The Ghosts in Our Machine (2013), The Animal People (2019) and Meat the Future (2020); fiction films such as Okja (2017) and Cloud Atlas (2012); as well as celebrity chefs, French activism and celebrity activists Pamela Anderson, Joaquin Phoenix and James Cromwell.

By exploring three key aspects of the current context for animal rights: representations of activism on screen; activist texts and their reception; and celebrity vegans and animal advocates, Animal Activism On and Off Screen evaluates the efficacy of advocacy narratives in film and on television, and offers important insights intended to inform animal advocacy strategies and campaigns.

Professor Claire Parkinson is Professor of Culture, Communication and Screen Studies, Associate Head of English and Creative Arts, and co-director of the Centre for Human Animal Studies (CfHAS) at Edge Hill University.

Dr Lara Herring is a lecturer in the School of Arts and Media at the University of Salford, UK.


Introduction by Claire Parkinson and Lara Herring

  1. Animal rights activism is (not) a crime: Portraying violence and the animal rights agenda in German, American and British TV crime series (c. 1990–2010) by Mieke Roscher
  2. Inspiring animal liberation: The representation of animal activists in US animal advocacy documentaries (2000–2019) by Núria Almiron, Laura Fernández and Olatz Aranceta-Reboredo
  3. The Animal People: Reconstituting identity in the animal liberation movement by Emily Plec
  4. Anti-capitalism, animal rights and advocacy in Okja by Claire Parkinson
  5. (More than) food, farms and freedom: Turning exclusions in “pro-vegan” documentaries into productive interventions for animal advocacy by Paula Arcari
  6. “Please don’t look away”: The ghostly intersections between seeing and feeling in documentary film by Lorena Elke Dobbie
  7. From carnism to cannibalism: Intersectional speciesism in the fiction film Cloud Atlas by Lara Herring
  8. Animal activism formula for success: Lessons for capitalising on the “Blackfish effect” by Debra Merskin and Carrie Freeman
  9. Meat the Future: An interview with Liz Marshall Interviewed by Claire Parkinson
  10. From Brigitte Bardot to Pamela Anderson: Celebrity activists in France and the United States by Elizabeth Cherry
  11. Food fights: The limits of celebrity chef activism by Brett Mills
  12. Celebrity activism: PETA, Pamela, Porn by Toby Miller
  13. About a speech: The media’s reaction to a celebrity advocacy intervention by Loredana Loy
  14. “That’ll do, Pig!”: Critical potentials in celebrity-activist media ecologies by Eva Haifa Giraud

“The contributors offer thought provoking ideas and insights into the strengths and limitations of animal activism on screen, making this book well worth reading and setting for undergraduate and postgraduate animal studies courses.”

– Professor Nik Taylor, Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha/University of Canterbury


“A great read for those interested in activism, how the media spreads messages, and how the cultural landscape around us is formed.” – Anthony Morris, Books+Publishing


Animal Activism On and Off Screen breaks new ground in animal-focused cultural studies. Featuring major critical animal studies scholars and important new voices, it offers a comprehensive and authoritative account of how pro-animal ideas, and the people who voice them, are mediated in twenty-first-century screen and celebrity cultures.”

– Professor Robert McKay, University of Sheffield

Professor Robert McKay  

Format: paperback
Size: 210 × 148 mm
370 pages
1 bibliography, 1 index, 2 figures, and 3 b&w tables
Copyright: © 2024
ISBN: 9781743329757
Publication: 01 Jul 2024
Series: Animal Politics