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ASC Vegan Criminology 2017

Vegan Criminology

Kenneth Mentor J.D., Ph.D.
Department of Sociology and Criminology
University of North Carolina Wilmington

Abstract: The Vegan Criminology website, and the teaching and advocacy materials contained within, represents an effort to organize around the concept of “vegan criminology.” With a few exceptions among green and critical criminologists, criminology has not focused on violence against non-human animals. While there are several notable publications, and a few conference presentations each year, the theoretical foundation is limited and the boundaries of criminological study regarding animals are poorly defined. Animal abuse is seldom included in criminology textbooks and a search for related syllabi yields few results aside from research ethics courses. While animal abuse is considered by criminology when trying to understand the progression of violence toward humans, limited attention has been given to topics such as corporate violence toward animals, animals as property, the environmental harms of large-scale meat production, and the criminalization of advocacy on behalf of animals and the environment. Vegan criminology includes a focus on animal rights and the rights of those attempting to protect animals, including efforts to document and prevent environmental threats, the legal status of animals, the widespread acceptance of treating animals as food, the role of patriarchy, and the use of animals for entertainment, sport, and experimentation.


A year late - OLC Conference, big mistake. Goals for this project:

  • Not solely text-based
  • Open Access
  • DIY
  • Kitchen sink - Next class will be scholarly
  • Teachers Without Borders


  • 100% nearly impossible, but a plant-based diet - 90-95% vegan - is easy
  • As criminologists, how does veganism impact our understanding of victimization and harm?
  • Vegan criminology - catchy name, popular movement
  • Tool for learning - resources for educators and other curious travelers
  • Not creating new knowledge but there is value in organizing existing knowledge, especially to focus on new problems. (Seems odd to be doing this for so long time and still feeling defensive. But, a lot has changed. And a lot has not.)
  • Contrast to critical criminology, green criminology, rural criminology, environmental justice, conservation criminology, environmental criminology,
  • Broad overview - happy to see some much more focused work being presented this year.


  • Syllabi search - not open, but found a few - SOC, Phil, Law
  • Lots of ideas for the open access course

Criminology Texts

  • Content analysis - Another presentation this year

Show and Tell:

Thank you!

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