Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Veganism and Feminism

I am not a food blogger. I have been posting a lot about food lately but I still intend to post non food posts. If I had my ideal blog I would have amazing food pics with feminist and other issue posts. Food photography is not one of my skills however and I don't seem to have the energy at the moment for all of my feminist and other more thoughtful posts. I think I just miss Sour Duck's feminist blog and kind of fell out of the loop with other feminist bloggers apart from Shrub who I still read and love.

Anyway, it saddens me that feminism and veganism don't go hand in hand together. In my mind they are so related as are other issues such as human rights. They all have exploitation in common and much more. So I can't help but get disappointed when PETA use female body images to sell animal rights/veganism and that when I point it out to vegans they don't see what is wrong with it. Or that there are 100+ posts on what is wrong with calling a man a 'girl' in a vegan forum with many thinking that it fine to call a man a 'girl' as a insult. Or that feminist blogs don't discuss animal rights. I don't think single issue approaches are the best way at all. I don't want to go into discussions about any of that right now because I just don't have the energy to argue and be sad about it.

I am glad to see posts like Gary Francione's recent one called postmodern feminism and animal welfare: perfect together because they bring the two issues together. But I feel a little torn reading it. I agree with parts of it but feel that I can not completely support it. Perhaps it is because I sit somewhere between a 'postmodern feminist' and 'radical feminist' in terms of his definitions and actually tend to be closer to a 'radical' feminist. I've never thought of myself as radical in any sense of the word. Or perhaps it because I am not completely anti-animal welfare. I think I need to sit with it for a little while but I would love to know your thoughts. Here is a preview:

The animal welfare movement makes people feel more comfortable about animal exploitation just as the postmodern feminists make people feel better about participating in the exploitation of women. You can be a “feminist” as you enjoy a lap dance at a strip bar; you can be an “animal rights” person as you eat your “cage-free” eggs or meat that is approved by animal protection organizations.

7 comments:

Theresa said...

I completely agree with your sense of despair at the lack of connections. There was an International Feminist Summit in Townsville (you may remember I posted a little about it) where, after decrying oppression and exploitation, everyone stuffed their face full of chicken and cheese. Catherine MacKinnon wore a leather jacket.

Whenever I'm at an Indigenous Human Rights meeting I have the urge to shout: "It's all capitalism, black people, women, animals, are all exploited because the modern financial system attaches monetary value to lives!" I have yet to actually shout it, because it won't really get across to anyone.

So, slowly we trudge along, trying to make people see the connections between things... I decided this year instead of a resolution, I would aim for a new year's revolution. I'm sick of people's ignorance...

As for the Francione snippet... I have to agree. I think, in the short term, welfare and po-mo may help a few individuals. They should be seen as steps along the way to liberation. But, unfortunately, they make people complacent because they think they have done enough. Sigh.

kristy said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks for such a thoughtful response!

cristy said...

Great post Kristy. I totally agree with you. I think that is one of the reasons that I have always enjoyed your blog (and Theresa's) and why it was so lovely to meet the two of you.

If only we were all in the same city...

I am also with you on the having the imaginary perfect blog in my mind. Mine would also contain tons of thoughtful posts about feminism, capitalism, veganism, human rights and the environment - with enough food 'porn' and humour to lighten it up for popular consumption...

Maybe one day. In the meantime, at least it means that I get to connect with people like you guys who actually get it.

kristy said...

thanks cristy!!!!

I think your blog is a lot closer to your ideal than mine and I love that both you and Paul blog together. Your right though even if it isn't perfect at least we get to connect with like minded individuals.

You will both just have to move to Melbourne, it's got to be the most vegan friendly of the options :-)

Johanna said...

I can see why you get upset at that sort of discussion - the whole ironic isn't-it-funny attitude really bothers me because it seems to devalue and/or ignore people who have fought for the freedoms we enjoy today. I feel I shouldn't say too much as I am no role model! But I wanted to suggest a book. Have you ever looked at a book called the Sexual Politics of Meat - I remember reading it when I first went vegetarian because a friend was really into it and it was very interesting.

kristy said...

Johanna, I have one of Carol Adams books called the pornography of meat and have heard a lot about the sexual politics book, but haven't got around to reading it yet. Thanks for suggesting it!

harriet said...

I so know what you mean about this. I can't understand how some people can be so understanding and compassionate about one type of oppression and completely dismiss another. It drives me nuts.