Katja M. Guenther explores feminist politics, exploitation of animals and animal shelters in US

Katja M. Guenther's book, "The Lives and Deaths of Shelter Animals," offers an intimate look into a high-intake animal shelter in the United States. 

Over three years of ethnographic research (see definition of this term below), she encountered thousands of animals and noted a stark contrast in their stories and survival odds. 

Guenther suggests that the fate of these animals is closely tied to societal views on race, class, gender, ability, and species. 

Katja M. Guenther explores feminist politics, human exploitation of animals, and animal shelters in the United States
See citation for this image below.

She deciphers the language and actions of the shelter's staff and volunteers, shedding light on internal power structures, breed bias, and moments of defiance and autonomy. 

This book prompts us to reconsider the way we view our animal companions.

Guenther's research highlights the impact of social justice on animal shelters, revealing the processes that lead to higher rates of animal euthanasia in public shelters. 

Her work shows that human-created inequalities affect the destiny of shelter animals, especially in shelters that serve lower-income Latino communities, as opposed to those in wealthier, predominantly white areas of Los Angeles.

Katja M. Guenther’s research highlights the need for a radical reconceptualization of the problem of shelter confinement and animal deaths, emphasizing social justice and challenging prevailing norms. 

Nathan Winograd the animal shelter advocate said this:

As reported last week, Kristen Hassen and Katja Guenther wrote a journal article that calls for abolishing animal shelters and leaving the welfare of dogs and cats to whatever fate befalls them on the streets. My rebuttal to their cruel suggestion is here.

Nathan further adds:
To make their case, Hassen and Guenther offer a revisionist history of the humane movement. Specifically, they argue that 19th-century reformers — like Henry Bergh, Caroline White, and George Angell — were racist capitalists intent on doing the bidding of bankers and financiers by oppressing black people and other “marginalized communities.” Bergh founded the nation’s first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York, White founded the second in Pennsylvania, and Angell founded the third, the Massachusetts SPCA (MSPCA).
Katja M. Guenther, an Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of California, Riverside, has conducted extensive research on the intersection of feminist politics, human exploitation of non-human animals, and animal shelters in the United States.

Ethnography is a qualitative method for collecting data often used in the social and behavioural sciences. Data are collected through observations and interviews, which are then used to draw conclusions about how societies and individuals function. - University of Virginia provided the definition.

Citation for the image:

Provider: Stanford University Press
Database: SUP
Content:text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
TI  - The Lives and Deaths of Shelter Animals
AU  - Guenther, Katja M.
SP  - 312
CY  - Stanford
PB  - Stanford University Press
PY  - 2020
UR  - http://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=32332
Y2  - 2024/04/30
ER  -


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