Lauren Corman in a podcast S2E6 - Intersepcies Subjectivity (Lauren Corman) | The Animal Turn

A wrong is committed when we speak on behalf of someone and not let them have their own voice.

Voice is:

  • Agency
  • Capacity for Resistance
  • Reclamation of Experience

The notion of voice often relates to advocacy, voice as speaking for those who ‘do not have a voice. This is of less relevance as entities can speak for themselves.

Subaltern cannot be represented, they need to participate themselves. If they are not heard, they become oppressed. Voice is not enough. You also need political structures, Spivak

Morris, Rosalind C., and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, eds. Can the Subaltern Speak? Reflections on the History of an Idea. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010.

Voice is a significant metaphor within liberation movements. Cf. “voice of the voiceless.”

In animals rights movement, speaking on behalf of animals can be seen as problematic.

Corman, Lauren. ‘The Ventriloquist’s Burden: Animal Advocacy and the Problem of Speaking for Others’. In Animal Subjects 2.0, edited by Jodey Castricano and Lauren Corman, 473–512. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2016.

The (anthropocentric) attributes of political voice include subjectivity, relationality, experiential knowledge, and resistance.

"Respect for others involves acknowledging their distinctness and difference, and not trying to reduce or assimilate them to the human sphere. We need to acknowledge difference as well as continuity to overcome dualism and to establish non-instrumentalising relationships with nature, where both connection and otherness are the basis of interaction. The failure to affirm difference is characteristic of the colonising self which denies the other through the attempt to incorporate it into the empire of the self, and which is unable to experience sameness without erasing difference." This is about the limitations in deep ecology.

Plumwood, Val. Feminism and the Mastery of Nature. 1993. Reprint, London: Routledge, 2003.

On the need to listen to trees in law:

Richardson, Benjamin J., and Afshin Akhtar-Khavari, eds. Ecological Restoration Law: Concepts and Case Studies. New York: Routledge, 2019.

Rights of nature as one way to give a 'voice' to 'natural entities'.

Gilbert, Jeremie, Ilkhom Soliev, Anne Robertson, Saskia Vermeylen, Neil W. Williams, and Robert C. Grabowski. ‘Understanding the Rights of Nature: Working Together Across and Beyond Disciplines’. Human Ecology 51, no. 3 (2023): 363–77. https://doi.org/10/gtffsh.