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Aug 24 2011

Ditwuss Award de la semaine: PETA

By now — since it is my custom to lollygag, dawdle, and often even dilly-dally until steamy breaking news has developed an unappealing crust on top before I set about wrinkling my lip at it — you have already heard of and perhaps even forgotten all about the irritating information that PETA intends to launch a porn site. Reportedly the site will lure porn enthusiasts with XXX naked sex ladies, then sock it to’em with explicit animal torture vids. This will supposedly encourage the ethical treatment of animals by … who, exactly? Dickheads who look at porn?

It’s pretty optimistic to imagine that dickheads who look at porn are capable of appreciating what is meant by “ethical.” So I guess the intended audience for this site is dudes who can’t bear to contemplate saving the whales without jerking off at the same time.

In fact, it has been suggested that the only possible result of the juxtaposition of human and animal exploitation on a porn site is the eroticization of animal torture. To be sure, this contingency is considerably less remote than the screwy idea that pornography, which is itself abuse, can actually stop abuse. Pornography, in fact, is the antithesis of “ethical treatment”. It relies for its existence on violence against women. As such it appeals directly to its consumer’s abusiveness. Fetishized abuse is the whole point of pornography.

On the face of it, the ethical treatment of animals sounds like a cause anyone could get behind. Unfortunately, that ship sailed for PETA long ago. They haul in $30 million a year, but they won’t spend a dime on a no-kill shelter. Crossing over to the Dark Side, they’ve all but abandoned useful discourse in order to mutate into a churlish Offensive Themes Theater troupe that seems to exist only for the sake of its softcore self. Their sexist, racist, anti-Semitic, full frontal shock campaigns — featuring Nazis, KKKlansmen, and of course copious amounts of female celebrity skin — are more juvenile, narcissistic performance art than revolution. PETA, Grande Douchebagge of the animal rights movement, has long been in the human exploitation business; this new .xxx site is merely a formality.

Knobs.

For a longer and more amusing article on the crapulence of PETA, see “Ingrid Newkirk Is The Worst Person In The World,” a January 2010 post by Jenna Sauers at Jezebel.

By the way. Carved in one of the many stones in the ancient city of Obstrepopolis, Savage Death Island, is the slogan “Go vegan, chump!”

_________________
“Ditwuss” = DTWS = “degrades the whole species”

257 comments

2 pings

  1. nails

    God fucking damn it. The jezebel post about Ingrid Newkirk was good but the comments start off with a bunch of pit bull nutter crap about how PETA sucks for wanting fighting dogs to be put down. It is like when you read a good take down of some fucked up healthcare policy only to see a bunch of shit about homeopathy in the comments. Barf.

  2. Pinko Punko

    They are so terrible.

  3. vinoveritas

    Wait, what’s wrong with pitbulls? Am I seriously misunderstanding that comment, or are you trolling?

  4. Jessie

    I’d like to know who the hell is actually donating to PeTA. I know a lot of animal rights activists and they all hate PeTA for a variety of reasons which include their treatment and portrayal of women. After all, you can’t fight abuse with abuse.

    I sort of get what they are trying to do with their comparisons of the abuse of women and other oppressed groups with the abuse of animals. Both people and animals are capable of feeling pain, after all.

    However, I still think their “meat = Holocaust (or slavery)” campaigns are offensive. First off, while people and other mammals can feel pain, humans are capable of levels of abstract thought that animals are incapable of. Enslaved people know they are enslaved; am animal born in captivity probably does not. Additionally, one of the past rationalizations for using African people as slaves was that they are supposedly more “animal-like” (less intelligent) than other people. It really should not be hard to see why PeTA’s ads comparing the enslavement of humans to ranching practices are considered racist (and I certainly think they are).

    There are huge problems with the way a lot of animals are treated in our society, but PeTA has really poisoned the whole animal rights debate. They’ve turned the issue into a joke and unfortunately, they are the first organization people think of when they think of animal rights or welfare groups. People like to bring up PeTA’s stupidity when the topic of animal rights is brought up and that often derails everything and distracts from the real issues (is the way animals are treated by various industries humane? How can we improve animal welfare?).

    Their new porn site idea makes me want to barf. No one’s going to go there to learn about animal welfare or rights – it’s going to be men looking for porn. Plus, mixing up porn with images of suffering is just outright sick.

  5. stacey

    This is me, hijacking this post, with a suggestion of where to spend your money:

    CANADIANS! Plan Canada has a program right now called “Because I am a Girl” which provides for educating 3rd world girls… including things like setting up secret homeschooling for girls whose schools get blown up and stuff. Until Sept. 12th, if you sign up for a $25 monthly donation, the Canadian gov’t has agreed to triple the amount. Triple triple triple! And they don’t take it out of your account or credit card until whatever Sept. date you tell them to; but you have to be signed up by the 12th.

    (And you can cancel at any time.) http://plancanada.ca/page.aspx?pid=2170

    Let’s dig a hole in the Conservative coffers, friends. I can ill afford it, but it pleases my bitter soul that Rat Bastard Harper has to give free money to educate girls.

  6. AlienNumber

    Plus, mixing up porn with images of suffering is just outright sick.

    Porn IS images of suffering. Or did you not get the memo? Bloody hell. (I smell another dude)

    On a different note, going vegan is really not the solution. Making enough vegan food to keep the population and – some – animals alive means that industrial agriculture with its soil-destroying monocrops will take over the world and in no time our planet will turn into a desert (it is already well on its way). The radical solution to animal suffering is somewhat more complex and includes reproductive freedom for all women, local farming and animal husbandry (what a funny term), and an understanding and appreciation of the cycle of life and death, which involves animals eating other animals eating other animals. I found Lierre Keith’s book “The Vegetarian Myth” quite enlightening on this topic.

  7. Bushfire

    I can ill afford it, but it pleases my bitter soul that Rat Bastard Harper has to give free money to educate girls.

    Well, that’ll be the only good thing Harper does. However, I doubt he’ll allow foreign aid money to be spent helping women get abortions any time soon, on accounta’ his firm beliefs that women should not have bodily sovereignty.

    Fuck him. And fuck PETA. I don’t know who’s donating to PETA either. The last time I heard anyone speak positively about PETA was when I was 15.

  8. AlienNumber

    Sorry about that weird blockquote indented thing, I don’t know why it does that.

  9. Jessie

    Plus, mixing up porn with images of suffering is just outright sick. Bloody hell. (I smell another dude)

    No, just someone who types fast and didn’t really think that over. Yes, I agree porn is suffering; hence my earlier comment that you can’t fight abuse with abuse.

    What I meant was that mixing up images of animal suffering with pornography (women suffering, being exploited) isn’t going to do a damn thing for anyone.

    Also, I never said everyone should go vegan.

  10. Jessie

    Gah, the first sentence in the above post should be a quote. Sorry.

  11. Lidon

    @ AlienNumber: Keith made some really good points in that book, but she also claims that you can’t possibly be healthy without eating meat which is ridiculous.

  12. AlienNumber

    Sorry Jessie, the point about veganism was a separate one.

    (Such as this one)- I don’t remember Keith making that specific point, but I do remember the very interesting table in which she compared the digestive system of humans with that of dogs and with that of sheep. She concluded we are much more like dogs then sheep in our digestive system and digestive needs. But then somebody in the other post wrote that dogs can be vegetarian and healthy and now I am quite confused.

    The larger point though I thought was that we humans need protein to survive and thrive and the most efficient way – for our health and for the planet – was to get it from animals.

  13. Jezebella

    AlienNumber, what do you suppose people are feeding all of those meat animals? I’m no rancher, but I’m prett sure it’s vegan food. Yeah: wheat, corn, milo, etc. And lo! It turns out that it takes many more pounds of vegan food to produce a pound of beef than – well – one pound. Cattle ranching isn’t exactly the best thing that ever happened to the rain forest, or any other ecosystem, for that matter.

    In any event, what’s *really* turning the planet into a human-unfriendly desert is, it turns out, HUMANS. We can slow down the process by eating the vegan food instead of using it to grow more vegan cattle to eat.

  14. AlienNumber

    Jezebella, I know. This is why we should not feed these cattle grains but let them eat grass, which is what they like to do anyway. Industrial farming is absolutely grotesque to say the least and nobody (especially Lierre Keith) is advocating for it. Her book is great by the way, very smart to say the least. It’s written from a radical feminist perspective too.

    Saying that it’s efficient to get protein from animals does not mean that we need to eat tons of meat. Americans – and their overweight catnip-addicted cats – eat way too much meat as it is. It’s truly disgusting.

  15. sjaustin

    What is this about pit bulls? Dog aggressive != human aggressive. Fighting dogs are actually bred to be non human aggressive so that the handlers can put their hands in the ring without getting hurt. Most fighting dogs will make good pets, as long as they’re in households without other dogs. In some cases they can even be retrained to get along with other dogs.

    There’s nothing wrong with pit bulls; it’s the assholes who train them to be aggressive who are the problem.

  16. Lidon

    I don’t remember Keith making that specific point, but I do remember the very interesting table in which she compared the digestive system of humans with that of dogs and with that of sheep.

    I saw an interview with Keith on a YouTube video and I can’t quote her exactly right now, but she said something along the lines of meat being necessary for humans. I do consume dairy and eggs but I don’t eat meat. I can’t speak for anyone else but I know what works for me, and I’m just sick to death of people saying what I’m supposed to be doing with my body when I already know damn well what works for my body.

    I don’t know how similar our digestive systems are to dogs and sheep, but we are omnivores so as a result, we have a pretty wide variety of things that we’re able to eat.

  17. janna

    Celebrities donate to PeTA. It’s Hollywood’s main pre-approved animal organization. That means that it doesn’t matter how many of the rest of us they offend. PeTA knows who has all the power in the USA. Yay democracy.

  18. Saurs

    (Folk asking about skeptifem / nails’s comments about pitbulls may want to visit her blog, where she addresses the topic in more detail.)

  19. AlienNumber

    Not to get pedantic, but dairy and eggs are animal products. Where do you think they come from, in America? (Answer: unless you’re the kind that has lots of money to buy them from the local ethical farm, your dairy and eggs come from very horribly tortured cows and chickens. Even the “certified organic” kind.)

    A purely vegan diet is unhealthy without the supplements: it will make the human very weakly and sick in other ways too. Not telling anybody what to do with their bodies, but it’s important to have the correct information out there in order to make an informed decision.

    And if all humans were vegan + supplements, we’d require an even larger investment in large-scale agriculture and we’d destroy the planet in the process. Topsoil is already at an all-time low, many animal species already extinct because we pushed them off in our monocrop-fields and desert making.

    Plus, one needs to eat A Whole Lot of Food to even feel full as a vegan. It’s simply not an efficient way to feed oneself, in terms of time, money and energy expenditure. That’s all. It’s science, take it or leave it. (Would you feed your newborn baby a vegan diet? Why not?)

    Finally, do we want to spend all of our time on Savage Death Island thinking about food? Because that’s what happens when your nutritional needs are not fulfilled, you just think about food all the time.

    Speaking of pie, I’m going to shut it now.

  20. Lidon

    Not to get pedantic, but dairy and eggs are animal products. Where do you think they come from, in America? (Answer: unless you’re the kind that has lots of money to buy them from the local ethical farm, your dairy and eggs come from very horribly tortured cows and chickens. Even the “certified organic” kind.)

    I’m assuming this was directed at me so, I said absolutely nothing to imply otherwise. I was specifically addressing Keith’s claim that ALL PEOPLE NEED TO EAT MEAT. I don’t know that *all* of the dairy cows, etc. are tortured, but I already know that many, many of them are. So yeah, got that. But thanks!

    Since I’m sick to fucking death of reading vegans vs. vegetarians vs. meat eaters all lecturing each other about what they should and shouldn’t do (I’ve seen it on here before, sad to say) I’m done commenting on this thread, and probably reading it too. I shall live to blame another day.

  21. minervaK

    Americans – and their overweight catnip-addicted cats – eat way too much meat as it is. It’s truly disgusting.

    Damn it, what the fuck is up with the cat hate around here lately? I feel like I’m living in the dark ages or some shit.

  22. Trude

    Think it’s time to dig out my old “PeTA, where only women are treated like meat” t-shirt. I’m sure it’s here somewhere.

  23. stacey

    Finally, do we want to spend all of our time on Savage Death Island thinking about food?

    Actually, I wouldn’t mind, as in, “What yummy thing can I have for lunch? Then dinner? I hope Jill remembered to put out the prawn trap. Perhaps I’ll harvest some organic lettuce for the salads…”

  24. Rambler

    Peta can never succeed, because all their campaigns are targeted towards the male audience. Women are over 50% of the world’s population (although the invisible class), so do Peta really want to fail?

  25. V.F

    @AlienNumber: Please don’t call vegans weak because we don’t eat animal products, that sounds exactly like something a man would say (those idiots that think of themselves as ‘manly’ men just because they can eat a steak make me fucking sick). I am healthy, I don’t take any supplements, compete in half marathons and weight lift without any problems. It seems you have a somewhat misinformed view of veganism, perhaps you should read more than one book about it and preferably one that isn’t biased (no condescending tone intended).

    Fuck PETA though, you’re hardly going to stop the exploitation of animals through the exploitation of women, they are indeed Knobs.

  26. speedbudget

    I think that everyone can do their bit, as they see fit. (I’m a poet!) For example, if you can afford to and you want to eat meat, you could go to your local farmer or to your farmer’s market to find a farmer willing to sell you cuts of meat from his free-grazed cows or pigs or whatever tickles your fancy. That way you know the animal is treated humanely and fed correctly (those big industrial feeding lots actually feed cows to other cows. I don’t know about you, but feeding a cow meat just doesn’t seem right, given the cow is an herbivore). I buy eggs from the lady down the street who keeps chickens in her yard. They are well cared for and free range.

    I think it’s about being a responsible consumer (if you can afford to) and trying not to give your money to ANY company that has bad practices.

    As for the arguments for or against veganism, I would never tell a vegetarian they should eat meat, just as I would expect a vegetarian to respect my choices and needs. Certainly a conversation can be had, and everyone can learn and take what they learn and apply it as they see fit.

    PS – Fuck PETA.

  27. Greenconsciousness

    @ Jezabella

    Thank you – I am so tired of explaining the obvious to people who are justifying their own bad habits and do not really care about facts. You did it nicely. Besides the fact of the amount of non-organic grains raised to stock the feedlots,there are also the antibiotics and methane into the atmosphere from the manure lagoons.

    Do the anti-vegans writing here know that in most states that cow shit is untreated and sprayed directly on crops? Everything about the flesh trade is disgusting. Veganism is the way out. You can substitute organic tofu and other soy products for flesh and get the protein you need, so do it. Buy organic soy and do your part. Organic soy does not ruin the soil. Google vegan recipes – start with Chef Chloe at: http://chefchloe.com/entrees/harvest-stuffed-portobello-mushrooms.html. Check out her cupcakes – she won the cupcake wars over non vegans.

    Being a vegan requires that you learn to cook. Also you have to learn about nutrition. You can simplify that headache by cooking tofu in stir frys and just frying it in olive oil. But you have to find fresh tofu and that is hard. You can start by asking questions on the many vegan websites instead of foolishly condemning the next stage of evolution on this planet. Although vegan eating is relevant, it is not the subject of this post.

    The subject of this post is harder. It is about how our organizations are bought and co-opted by global commercial interests and how those values are affecting mass culture. This has also happened to the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife in a different way. It is important to understand the process and find a way to resist it as we are now living in an oligarchy.

  28. Soporificat

    “The subject of this post is harder. It is about how our organizations are bought and co-opted by global commercial interests and how those values are affecting mass culture”

    However, this doesn’t apply to the PETA situation. PETA has been like this from the start, and it is a result of a bullying and contemptuous attitude towards others on the part of their leadership. Patriarchal values are drunk in by everybody starting from the moment of birth. Some drink more deeply and vigorously from this poisoned cup. Some of those people can be found amongst the PETA leadership. The patriarchal culture of dominating others, even just in discourse, even for a righteous cause, always leads to injustice.

  29. Sarah

    From a purely marketing/advertising perspective as well, the whole thing is way off-target. Why isn’t PETA marketing to women? All their marketing is aimed at men who are unlikely to give two shits about human-animal welfare, let alone non-human-animal welfare. WTFH, PETA. I used to adore you in middle school, but nooo I had to grow up and open my eyes. Blugh.

  30. Jill

    Yo, I’m the one who said “go vegan.” It was not a demand, lecture, or edict. I merely state my own position. That it happens to be the right one is just coincidence, ha. I assume that everyone reading this has already heard all the arguments, and knows whether or not there’s a special place in hell* for she who would support the meat industrial complex, and has made her decision, whatever it is, while in full possession of the facts.

    Although — sorry Greenconsciousness — nobody wants to hear sanctimonious vegans going on about tofu. And I say that as a sanctimonious vegan. The health benefits of all unfermented soy products (tofu, soy milk, anything containing hydrolized soy powder) are questionable; they contain an acid that blocks absorption of calcium and other nutrients and can cause vitamin D deficiency. Unfermented soy has been linked to thyroid problems. Breast cancer patients can’t eat tofu because the isoflavones raise estrogen levels. There’s a lot more bad stuff, too. Google it!

    _________

    *A figure of speech, of course; unfortunately there is no actual cosmic retribution for eating an Oscar Meyer Wiener. Heck, something will eventually kill even the vegetarians.

  31. IrishUp

    From the linked op-ed by Newkirk within the Jezebella piece
    “Yes, Peta could restrict its activities to scientific work, but how often do you read of that in the papers?”

    I think this tells everything you need to know about what PETA’s real agenda is, and why they are so willing to put women so far below rats, cats, dogs, and boys.

    On the topic of meat/non-meat diet choices, it’s the system that really needs changing (stating the obvious). Any individual choice may be laudable, but unless you’re living totally off grid in a homestead somewhere, diet choices are distinctions without material difference. On the production side industrial production is an engergy inefficient disaster. I recall an example in Rifkin’s “Entropy” that a 130kcal english muffin costs >1000kcal to produce; a ratio that is patently unsustainable (that was in the late ’70s, I don’t imagine it’s much better now). On the distribution side, the inequalities in access and the full control of the distribution grid by corporations should give anyone the heebie-jeebies. That vegan/vegitarian/locavore/happy critter diets reflect privilege in the US is no fucking accident. IBTP

  32. ew_nc

    PETA sucks most mightily. So do debates between vegan/vegetarians and meat eaters. It’s not like you’re ever going to convince each other of your point of view, so why bother? If I had a dollar for every one of these debates I’ve sat through I’d have a lot of money to not donate to PETA.

  33. j

    Jill, I hope I misread your latest post, and that you are not saying that women who eat meat go to hell. It’s extremely problematic to shame women for what they eat.

    Greetings from a ex-vegan with eating disorders

  34. Jill

    Sez IrishUp:

    Any individual choice may be laudable, but unless you’re living totally off grid in a homestead somewhere, diet choices are distinctions without material difference.

    So true. Thanks for bringin’ the perspective. And it’s not just with diet, either; many of these green/PC lifestyle choices are drops in the ocean or even have the opposite of intended consequences. I read somewhere, for example, that driving an old gas-guzzler from the early 70′s actually uses fewer resources overall than what are used merely to manufacture a new hybrid. Don’t know if it’s true, but it sounds plausible enough.

  35. Citizen Taqueau

    From a purely marketing/advertising perspective as well, the whole thing is way off-target. Why isn’t PETA marketing to women?

    I’m pretty sure they are marketing to women. Images of empornulated women are there not merely to titillate male viewers, they are there also to mentally distract and intimidate women. Advertising is about creating anxiety in the oppressed while playing to the narcissism of the privileged.

  36. Bushfire

    I was a vegetarian for five years. I now eat some meat but not a lot. There are some people who know all the facts, but need to continue to eat meat because their bodies demand it. No one on this thread has mentioned the compromise for people who need meat- just eat less of it. One serving of meat per day is plenty. You don’t need bacon for breakfast, chicken for lunch, and steak for dinner. A person can eat about 6 servings of meat per week and still be a meat eater, but still eating a lot less than the average American diet. Reduce, reduce, reduce.

  37. Liz

    Newkirk: just the world’s most clueless jerk, or actual FBI infiltrator? I can’t decide!

  38. Jill

    Sez j:

    Jill, I hope I misread your latest post, and that you are not saying that women who eat meat go to hell. It’s extremely problematic to shame women for what they eat.

    Greetings from a ex-vegan with eating disorders.

    No, j, I’m saying that it is unethical to support the factory meat industry. The part about going to hell was a joke, because hell is a figment and I like to mock it.

    In fact, because of the crapulence of patriarchy-induced eating disorders, I advocate eating whatever and how much the fuck you want. But because of the gross cruelty and injustice of the factory meat industry, I also advocate being humane about it.

    But like IrishUp said, these little personal choices don’t amount to a hillobeans in this crazy world. So in the end it’s largely an emotional decision.

  39. Greenconsciousness

    @Jill

    But soy DOES contain protein which is the thing that causes meat cravings if not satisfied which is why I go on about it. Because the meat eaters continually talk about cravings and needing meat. There is nothing sanctimonious about responding to the continual refrain of need from meat eaters. If they get enough protein it will eliminate their food cravings. If you think they will do better with protein smoothies then explain how that works and let people choose. Or explain how many times I have to read those arguments before I can respond without being called names by you?

    And all this drop in the bucket, unintended consequences arguments fail to credit that when there are mass personal changes there are significant institutional changes that follow. As Aug 26th rolls around, it would benefit the patriarchs greatly to know that feminist feel personal change is meaningless.

    Yes of course there are mistakes and false starts but to remain in a bad situation and continue to hurt the innocent is no answer.

  40. Greenconsciousness

    @ Jill

    Plus I don’t believe you really are without hope for change or that nothing makes any difference because you feed the starving deer.

  41. AlienNumber

    And all this drop in the bucket, unintended consequences arguments fail to credit that when there are mass personal changes there are significant institutional changes that follow. As Aug 26th rolls around, it would benefit the patriarchs greatly to know that feminist feel personal change is meaningless.

    Except you got it backwards. Mass personal changes don’t happen without institutional change. Good luck knocking on individual doors persuading masses of people to change their own personal habits. For mass change you need access to the institutions of power, such as media and the Big Food decision-making chambers.
    On a separate note, I thought this was a space for radical commentary, not pro-liberal/pro-individualistic awareness-raising bs.

  42. ravenfeathers

    glad to see that PETA continues to suck.

    also, i had no earthly idea that my twenty year vegan diet with no supplements was sure to kill me. i feel pretty damn fine. it must just take some time to catch up with me. (it behooves us to cut out speaking in broad generalizations about other peoples’ damn diet choices.)

  43. Soporificat

    What AlienNumber said. Also, can we get back to feminism?

    Please, nobody make the comment that animal rights should be a part of feminism because it’s the patriarchy that oppresses animals. True though that might be, if we go by that criteria, then feminist are yet again responsible for caring about and taking care of EVERYBODY who is oppressed. Can we take care of ourselves first? Ya know, like putting on the oxygen mask first before we put it on our child? In the end it’s actually more effective for everyone.

  44. yttik

    “I read somewhere, for example, that driving an old gas-guzzler from the early 70’s actually uses fewer resources overall..”

    Thank you, Jill. It becomes tiresome when environmental issues become moralized, so the people with brand new SUV’s and 15 of those 35 dollar stainless steel water bottles rolling around on the floor, drive around with “Go Vegan” bumper stickers sneering their superiority down at the rest of us. Or the women who must hand wash the cloth diapers, because it’s always the women doing the labor, and rinse the recycling, and feel guilty for using disposable tampons because everybody knows it is women and their dirty ways that are totally responsible for all that is wrong with the planet. Yeah, it pisses me off watching “Her” walk home packing groceries in “Her” reusable bags while “He” drives around claiming to be a great environmentalist. Why is he so great? Because his wife spends her evenings in the basement crushing his beer cans and sorting his garbage so “He” can feel morally superior about how “We” are saving the planet. What are we saving the planet from? Women and their dirt, apparently.

    Go vegan. Seriously. I raise chickens in my back yard and eat some fish I’ve caught, but other than that meat is not a part of my diet. But as a former fruit picker try to keep in mind that saying, going vegan simply means you care more about animals than the illegals who labored 16 hours a day for pennies so you could have your organic tofu neatly packaged in the grocery store for 1.79.

    There are no “right” choices in the patriarchy.

  45. Lurker Lyn

    The only thing PETA seems to raise awareness of is how to do femininity, whether by enpornulating yourself, caring about fuzzy critters or restricting what you put in your body under someone else’s orders.

    (apologies if this appears twice, my browser crashed)

  46. Jill

    Greenconsciousness, I’m sorry to have given offense. My remarks were meant as something along the lines of good-natured ribbing, which I meant to express by calling myself the same “name” I called you, but obviously I failed to sufficiently convey the intended tone.

    I think we are on the same side.

    But personal change is meaningless, when performed in isolation, if the intent is to bring about a mondo cultural paradigm shift. I’m just saying that, though revolution may indeed begin at home, it is never finished there.

  47. Ottawa Gardener

    A long time ago when recyling was the new thing, I had a friend who told me it was near pointless because it was a drop in the bucket. This may be true and when one adds up the energy points, it almost certainly makes more sense to just stop making so much stuff altogether, however, there is an important symbolism involved with small environmental action. Admittedly, initially, people may feel that because they buy those PLASTIC use-more-than-once-bags and additional plastic bags for their garbage cans, as now they don’t have grocery bags to use, that they are saving the environment so they don’t do more. But, over the years, these symbolic actions seem to be seeping deeper. Ultimately, the big energy suck is making crap to feed the always hungry Ouroboros of industry. Unforuntately, this particular circle/cycle is shrinking as resource can’t meet up with demand.

    Perhaps that is a digression but I don’t think it’s necessarily wise to disregard the initial chipping away at the giant mountain of environmental devastation. Afterall, it’s got to start somewhere.

    P.S. I’m all for big changes too.

  48. nails

    I don’t know anyone who thinks lifestyle choices are the only tactic to use. I also do not think that personal choices are meaningless because the other available options aren’t perfect. When discussing pornography with others, I almost always get the “well people were exploited to make my shoes and coffee, too, should I stop wearing clothes?” response. I tell em that porn is a luxury item, and no one really needs it. If meat is a luxury for you then quit it. There is no reason to buy something more problematic when there is something less problematic available.

  49. Greenconsciousness

    @Jill

    Thank you – I was just about to go on a big self pity trip. WHAAA I am sooo alone. Thanks for responding.

  50. Jill

    Sez Ottawa Gardener:

    But, over the years, these symbolic actions seem to be seeping deeper.

    I hope you’re right. But sometimes it seems like recycling is just a band-aid, that people really believe that collecting those water plastic bottles and driving a Prius somehow cancels out excessive post-industrial energy consumption/waste. Shit, if half the population of North America drove a Prius, it wouldn’t make a dent in the pollution wafting out of China.

    What this has to do with PETA I cannot say. I’ve derailed my own topic!

  51. Greenconsciousness

    @Alien Number

    I made institutional change. So don’t make assumptions. I was an Alinsky trained feminist organizer in the 70s and 80s. I don’t need to play “more radical than you” games. Any organizer will tell you that institutional change comes only after a series of actions which change mass consciousness AND BEHAVIOR.

    Or maybe you think politicians give us rights out of the goodness of their hearts. Institutional change is hard to come by and comes only after significant changes in the culture. Even FDR was motivated by the social threat of red revolution during the depression. In my lifetime only Lyndon Johnson acted for the poor out of his own values. Nothing is given to us.

    First you change consciousness, then behavior, then institutions, then systems. There are no shortcuts in a democracy.

  52. AlienNumber

    What this has to do with PETA I cannot say. I’ve derailed my own topic!

    PETA is that boring. There is only that much we can say about them. They are so boring! Punctuated by mega-offensive imagery type boring, but still, boring. There, I said it.

    I love you, Jill!

    Greenconsciousness, you are obviously the more radical of the 2 of us (I mean this nonsarcastically and also I thank you for your work).

    But there is no democracy in this “democracy.” There is only a small group of dedicated women who will make history, through various methods, mostly direct force aimed at power though. That’s all that ever was that’s all that ever will be. And then the masses change, if they change at all. [I don't think I'm being cynical, just a realist.]

    Oh, and there’s a little hurricane up here in Boston. A hurricane in Boston! Guess who I blame.

  53. Greenconsciousness

    Alien Number

    You are correct about democracy but yet in the US we got and get what we deserve. Direct force or direct action? Or both? Something is coming and it is because there has been a change in consciousness. It seems as if we are all holding our breath looking for a vehicle.

    Safe Passage through the storm to you.

  54. minervaK

    I’m saying that it is unethical to support the factory meat industry. The part about going to hell was a joke, because hell is a figment and I like to mock it.

    In fact, because of the crapulence of patriarchy-induced eating disorders, I advocate eating whatever and how much the fuck you want. But because of the gross cruelty and injustice of the factory meat industry, I also advocate being humane about it.

    But like IrishUp said, these little personal choices don’t amount to a hillobeans in this crazy world. So in the end it’s largely an emotional decision.

    Damn it, Twisty. Marry me. It will be bigamy (or will it? *looks up etymology of ‘bigamy’*), but I DON’T CARE.

  55. Jessie

    All internet discussions where PeTA is brought up will be derailed somehow. It’s like some sort of unwritten law of the internet.

    This is, at least, one of the few discussions regarding PeTA where no one has brought up any of those Centre for Consumer Freedom anti-PeTA sites. Hurray!!

    Also, anyone who wants to be vegan but doesn’t want to consume tons of soy should try almond milk. I think it’s tastier than regular milk.

  56. Puffin

    What Bushfire said!

    If what PeTA’s “Go Vegan” campaign hopes to accomplish is fewer animals raised and killed for food, I think they’d have the most success by suggesting people simply eat LESS meat and dairy. If it’s framed as either/or, most meat-eaters and octo-lavo vegetarians will shut down any consideration of the space between.

    Going entirely vegan is too extreme for most people but a reasonable campaign toward reducing consumption of animal products would have broader appeal and would, I would think, lead to a larger reduction in overall demand for animal-based foods. I know this isn’t PETA’s m.o. – they seem resigned to being as ineffectual as possible at actually helping animals so long as they remain edgy and polarizing.

    Does anyone else get a very Fred Phelps vibe from Ingrid Newkirk? Like him, she seems to believe that more alienating and despised she and her organization is, the more righteous they are. I read an article about him years ago where the author cited a mental illness, some form of megalomania, that describes irrational zealotry like this, where the zealots feel legitimate only when others hate them.

  57. Anne

    From a glance at the comments at the Toronto Sun piece, it looks like at least half of the outraged are dudes bristling at the negative insinuations this site might make about their porn fandom, which surely wasn’t PETA’s intention.
    They’re all defensive about women in porn being there by choice dammit!

  58. TwissB

    To soporificat: Keep talking.

  59. lawbitch

    Just for the record,family members have a ranch and the cows eat hay.

  60. A Ginva

    @ Aliennumber:
    On a different note, going vegan is really not the solution. Making enough vegan food to keep the population and – some – animals alive means that industrial agriculture with its soil-destroying monocrops will take over the world

    Actually it’s the opposite. In order to feed one cow for instance, that would give enough food for about 10 people, it would require a surface of arable land that could feed around 30 people. Animal farming industries are highly pollutive, water and land draining. If there weren’t so many animals to feed for farming, humans would have enough land to grow all the vegetables and plants they wanted.

  61. AlienNumber

    A Ginva, with all due respect, cows eat grass and they are supposed to eat grass. Not grain. If this simple fact is taken into consideration then all that fancy math up there falls apart.

    Also, we have this little problem of diminishing topsoil that needs to be taken into consideration before we optimistically proclaim that we’d have all the food we want. And then there’s the problem of just food distribution. And then of course there’s the problem of overpopulation (which only means that women don’t have control over their reproduction).

    I really need to shut up now on this thread. But not before really encouraging people to read Lierre Keith’s book The Vegetarian Myth. At least to get some facts.

  62. Mujerylegs

    Late to the party, but I second (or fourth) speedbudget, AlienNumber, and Bushfire. For SOME people, a vegan diet is not healthy. Shopping with conscience/brainz doesn’t mean taking on uniform dietary restrictions for non-uniform bodies.

    Conservation-wise (and thus ethically), the tired old vegan/vegetarian/meat eating debate misses the point. Agribusiness is increasingly energy INefficient.

    From http://www.harpers.org/archive/2004/02/0079915
    “Ever since we ran out of arable land, food is oil. Every single calorie we eat is backed by at least a calorie of oil, more like ten. In 1940 the average farm in the United States produced 2.3 calories of food energy for every calorie of fossil energy it used. By 1974 (the last year in which anyone looked closely at this issue), that ratio was 1:1.”

  63. Anne

    As someone who lived a good part of her life in Nebraska, I’d rather live next to a chick pea farm than a cattle farm any day. Cows are charming critters, but they can really mess up your water table. Seems like we should be able to at least convert that waste to fuel diesel vehicles with it.

  64. Soporificat

    @TwissB

    “To soporificat: Keep talking.”

    Aaww, thanks, TwissB. That warmed me right up to my toes with happiness. I have a mild case of Raynaud’s syndrome, so that really means something!

  65. Greenconsciousness

    @ TwissB and Soporificat

    Interconnected Oppression
    http://caroljadams.com/interconnectedoppressions.html

  66. teekay

    @ew_nc

    Debates between individuals rarely culminate with one convincing the other of the legitimacy of their respective arguments; that’s why it’s always important to keep your audience in mind when these debates occur. Being put on the spot for my meat-eating generally made me defensive and stubborn, however, reading the discussion on this blog around vego-related issues for a couple of years (along with reading Carol Adams and Val Plumwood, and watching how my vegetarian friends lived and ate) eventually led to my transition to vegetarianism. Even if it feels like you’re banging your head against a brick wall, debates are often important because you never know who’s listening or reading them.

  67. Triste

    I dunno, I just had a dinner with lamb and chicken and shit, but even I have to admit that probably we as a society should be eating less meat. Dunno that the whole society should be vegan, but at the very least it’d be better for us to all eat less of that shit.

    I dunno. This sounds terrible, but cutting down on meat is one of those ideas I keep playing with but then keep putting off because I’m just too fucking exhausted of all the nonsense in the universe to spend the mental energy to bother changing my lifestyle in that manner. Like, I am aware that eating no meat/less meat is better for the environment/my body/everything, but I just cannot bring myself to give a fuck. I’m tired of thinking about things all the fucking time. I just want to mindlessly consume something, and whatever crap the food-industrial complex decides to shove at me is so the heinous bullshit I secretly crave.

    You know, good on you guys who are doing your veggie thang, though.

  68. Triste

    In other news, did I really just start two paragraphs with “I dunno”? Fuck’s sake.

  69. veganrampage

    Eating factory farmed meat is completely environmentally
    indefensible.

    Ingrid Newkirk hates women. I mean HATES. She hates people and she hates animals. I met her eye ball to eye ball. She only tolerates young men if she has a use for them, and only if they are good looking or else is a complete star fucker.
    PETA also has a gas chamber, handy for killing cats and dogs, even those left in their care with A GIFT as in with a will as in an inheritance- even those wretched critters with cash get gassed.

    A much more betterer, and nicier animal lady person is Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals. I met her at a circus protest years ago,(elephants) and more importantly FOA’s helped me neuter and spay many a negligent asshole’s cat through their low cost coupon program before I became the dysfunctional poverty stricken wreck who can barely tippy tap type this comment.

  70. Soporificat

    @Greenconsciousness

    All oppression is interconnected. It all flows from the same impulses, and so, not surprisingly, takes very similar forms.

    The problem I have is when feminists get derailed by people exhorting them to look after all the other oppressed people/animals/whatever. Our energies get scattered and diluted (and, let’s not forget all the other care-taking that we are expected to do), and historically all those other causes haven’t returned the favor. I say again, we need to put on our oxygen masks first, then we can attend to the others (if we want to).

    Feminism is about women’s rights. Period.

  71. Kristine

    First off, fuck PETA, and every celebrity who supports them.

    Now that we got that out of the way, it should be obvious to everyone here that all oppressions are interconnected, because DUH! All oppression is based on a world-wide paradigm of dominance and submission, silly! So I think we can all agree that treating animals like shit makes our society shitty, and we should really cut it the fuck out.

    But I would just like to point out that if you have enough money, status, and time to choose whether or not to be a vegan, you are exercising privilege. I’m not blaming anybody here, because it is impossible to breathe in this world without exercising privilege of some kind, even when supporting a good cause. For that, I blame the patriarchy.

    Still, speaking as someone who once tried to go vegan and failed because of a minimum wage salary and borderline eating disorder (both of which created a severe need for whatever food I could get my hands on), I would really appreciate it if we could stop framing this issue as a matter of personal choice alone. Some of us don’t have that choice. Instead, it might be more beneficial to redirect the thread to the topic of industrialization and globalization, which is what started the whole “greedy consumption of more animals than we can afford to care for” thing in the first place. Perhaps it isn’t eating meat that’s the problem, but rather the crushing demand for more and more cheap meat produced in factories that degrade and exploit every living human and animal involved in their workings. It’s not farming that’s destroying the land, it’s MASS farming. Capitalism and greed, overpopulation, and at the root of it all, money (and the power that comes with it.)

    Or maybe I’m just blowing smoke out of my ignorant ass. I don’t have much more to contribute to this thread right now, so i’ll leave it to the more experienced blamers to decide.

    P.S.- Seriously gals, fuck PETA.

  72. Kristine

    Actually, Soporificat, now that I’ve read your comment, I’m with you. Lets stick to clarity of purpose.

    Forget all that other noise. Let’s talk about porn.

  73. sonia

    ugh, totally. the thing that sucks the MOST about PETA is that while they give a shit about animals, they’re so embittered that they take their anger out with these snide little ad campaigns with an undertone of “we do right by animals, so we can totally be misogynist, racist, etc”

    they definitely hate all humans, not just women. but it’s still massively offensive.

  74. sonia

    And also, I want to echo Kristine- vegetarianism, like feminism, is totally a 1st world, mid to upper class privilege. yes, it’s the best option, but because it’s so intrinsic to patriarchy- like pornification and feminization, it’s hard to sidestep it totally unless you have better than average resources, live in the US or another paradise, or just a level of commitment that requires no other emotional challenges. it is elitist, not because it should be- animal rights are totally important and animal cruelty is horrible- but because of how incorporated it is with patriarchy.

  75. Anya

    Dear Twisty,

    I have a question that is not directly related to this post but as far as I can tell there is no way to contact you except by commenting on a post. Anyway, since I have come to consider you to be the Number One Expert on Everything, I am curious about your thoughts on this dilemma:

    I recently adopted a cat, Jolene, who is a few pounds overweight. This doesn’t bother me aesthetically, but I do worry about how it could affect her health. So I put her on a diet (as recommended by her vet, not just some arbitrary starvation-diet I contrived of on my own). Now she asks for food all the time and pathetically licks her empty bowl. As the entity who has complete control over her food, is it cruel and oppressive for me to deny her the right to eat whenever and however she wants? I mean, as an adult human with financial resources, I exercise the right to make “bad choices” about my diet all the time, so why shouldn’t she? In the same way that parents are “supposed to” control what their children eat, so are pet-owners because it’s in the pet’s best interest. Is this ethical? Or should the pet/child be allowed to decide for herself what is in her own best interest? In other words, am I a horrible dominating oppressor for sanctimoniously ignoring Jolene’s pleas for food?

    Jeez, that was not very concise. I hope you can make sense of that. You also probably have better things to do than be my Ethical Advisor, so if you would prefer to eat a taco rather than address my inane rambling, Jolene totally supports you in that endeavor.

    Thanks,

    Anya

    P.S. Another thing I wanted to run by you: This might be either stating the obvious, or just craziness, but do you think the social stigma against small penises is just an extension of misogyny? Since dicks are considered the essential symbol of masculinity, then the smaller the dick, the more feminine it is. And since femininity is reviled by patriarchy, then small dicks are as well. Ultimately I don’t really care about what society thinks about dicks, since, whether large or small, they are usually up to no good. I think I just answered my own question.

  76. Greenconsciousness

    @ Alien Nation

    The Vegetarian Myth is destroyed by a scientist here:
    http://www.amazon.com/review/R3M4LC3USB5H3S?ie=UTF8&ref_=cm_cr_rdp_perm

  77. Drushka

    “I read somewhere, for example, that driving an old gas-guzzler from the early 70’s actually uses fewer resources overall than what are used merely to manufacture a new hybrid. Don’t know if it’s true, but it sounds plausible enough.”

    Yes! Embedded energy! It’s all true, but I’m too lazy to Google-fu for you (I’m a poet and I didn’t realize it). But then you’re counting drops in a bucket–of course the U.S. military and Wal*mart could stop slopping in their respective gallons. But hey. Compact fluorescents, man.

    And please, for the love of dogs, consider actually reading Lierre Keith’s book before ripping at it. According to the internet, its take-home message is “factory farming is GREAT!” and that is absurd. Come on–it’s a recently published book by a radical feminist. If you can’t bear to read hers, surely Rick Perry will soon release a campaign book for our collective crosshairs.

  78. minervaK

    Wait. Did Sonia just say that vegetarianism is a tool of the patriarchy? Because I’ll put down my taco to argue with that.

  79. K.C.

    The only way this could POSSIBLY work would be for PETA to track every sick-ass perv down and force them to lick up an oil spill or donate half their paychecks to shelters (Both kinds). Sadly, PETA doesn’t have the chutzpah.

  80. Treefinger

    AlienNumber: “an understanding and appreciation of the cycle of life and death, which involves animals eating other animals eating other animals.”

    What’s with the obsession with accepting the idea of upholding the survival instinct above all else? And you we really need to “appreciate” a system that inherently causes suffering just because social measures won’t change it? Am I the only person that didn’t miss the post on VHEMT?

  81. Rain

    Late to the party, and echoing what many of you have stated already, but all forms of oppression is interconnected.
    There’s a TED talk somewhere about that guy(can’T remember the name) who started the eco-friendly palm-oil detergent company, who said that everyone said he was wasting his money, that no one would buy his products, but when it started selling like hotcakes other companies followed suit, which ended up in destruction of the Indonesian rain forest for mass palm tree farming, which is leading to continuous destruction of Orangatang(sp?) habitat.
    Even if you think you are doing something good for the earth, as long as you’re part of the capitalist/consumerist cycle, the entire concept of personal choice seems, well, irrelevant at best. So the only thing you can do is to make choices that gives you less stress on your conscience. Otherwise, the only other option I can think of is for us humans to commit mass suicide to save the planet.
    We all know where the blame lies.

  82. Gertrude Strine

    First hand – ie non-internet – knowledge follows.
    PETA funds the sustained challenge to the decidedly abusive Australian Wool Growers Association.
    It (PETA) was the only organisation with enough funds and celebrity cachet to keep the routine torture of mulesing – which google if you can stand descriptions of lamb slashing – front of the news cycle, and in the courts, enough to produce permanent improvement to sheep husbandry in Australia. The Australian Wool Growers Association “negotiated” its way out of its last encounter in the courts with PETA because it had played its last piece of complacent lying and had been out-advertised and out-astroturfed by PETA. The effort has been a sustained 10 year-plus one. On a very rough estimate, as many as 50 million lambs will be born this spring in Australia and for the first time some of them may be given local anaesthetic before the slashing. Only PETA’s funds have got this very small advance up and running. No other animal welfare organisation has the capital to have done so.
    The forces of Capital, given best expression in the boards of old lying rich and drunk men, may only be brought right to the line by forces as cashed-up as them. The Australian Wool Growers Association is afraid of PETA.

    That PETA operates out in the Capital arena makes me sick.
    That it’s been the only organisation with enough clout to enable me to work with sheep farmers this year as a lamb handler instead of outside their fences as an observer makes me less sick than in previous years.
    I fancy that the pron may be a revenue-raising thing. The founder of PETA is as rich as Croesus and like all the rich and famous is insulated from the world by minders with agendas. She appears to sway with their advice in the wind. She does however direct funds effectively and does support many other animal welfare groups besides the Animals Australia anti-mulesing campaign.
    All my heart wishes the patriarchy was already history.
    Nothing that the host has written is wrong.

    Disclaimer: I am associated with Animals Angels. I don’t belong to PETA but I have contributed to their mulesing campaign indirectly via Animals Australia.

  83. V.F

    I would not agree that veganism is incorporated in patriarchy, from the reactions I receive from most people I would say it hates veganism. Many vegans boycott large corporations, factory farming and all forms of exploitation and are then made out by patriarchy as people who believe they have some kind of superiority over others (how ironic), in any attempt to detract from their arguments. Also, considering that veganism has actually been practiced for millennia in areas of South and South East Asia, it’s hardly a new Western privileged fad (well the sweets and cakes part is, but not basic nutrition).

    One of the main reasons I had for going fully vegan rather than just vegetarian, aside from the massive resources and land taken up for large scale dairy farming, is that it’s the FEMALE animals that are exploited, abused and tortured, sound familiar?

    I understand if people want to eat meat and that most people (apart from some sick fucks I have had the displeasure of encountering online) want to cause the least amount of pain, suffering and damage to animals and the environment when making this choice. However, I believe where there is a meat industry there will always be exploitation and a need for large scale production, so I choose to be as little a part of that as I can possibly be. Veganism is in no way perfect but it seems, to me at least, to be better than the alternatives.

    Sorry to go on about this apparently tired argument, but I felt it needed some defence from some comments left. PETA still sucks.

  84. laxsoppa

    sonia—”And also, I want to echo Kristine- vegetarianism, like feminism, is totally a 1st world, mid to upper class privilege.”

    Of course this is discounting the fact that billions of people outside the 1st world ARE vegetarians (India, anyone?). Is it because they didn’t necessarily choose their vegetarianism?

  85. crickets

    As a species we try to assert authority over everything on the planet, often (we all see the evidence every day) fucking it up horribly. Eating meat is another way of saying “I don’t give a damn”, because it means you think your life is more important than that of the animal you are chowing down on. That’s what it comes down to for me – why should I kill in order to survive if I don’t have to? Yes, animals eat one another in the wild, but as a person you are able to think about something and make a choice, and that makes all the difference. I suppose this choice is a luxury, but if i’m in a position to make choices about my diet, then why the hell not. That said, the patriarchy does not make opting out of a cruel diet easy, and it’s clear that we all have different priorities in our lives. Maybe what I’ve written so far gives the wrong impression, but i wouldn’t look down on people who eat meat, certainly not fellow women who eat meat because fuck knows we all have a lot to deal with anyway. I agree with Jill in that diet, environmentalism etc tends to boil down to emotional/personal choices – because the patriarchy makes every fucking thing into a lifestyle choice, which is just vomit worthy – how can i project my image through my diet, today I’m a vegan which makes me a post-pink anarchist which totally goes with this outfit. Puke. However, there’s a lot to be said for attempting to take the cruelty out of your life in all its forms (sticking up for human as well as animal rights in consumer choices).

    As for people who are vegetarian through choice – who live in wealthy, western countries – i’ll bet a darn sight more of us are women than men. I bet there are more female vegetarians and vegans through choice in the world than men because, as usual, men are the ones doing most of the fucking up and turning a blind eye to cruel practices, women are the ones trying to get those cruel practices out of their lives and, as others have pointed out, look after everybody at the same time.

  86. crickets

    post-pink anarchist? i quite like that mistake, but it was meant to be post-punk! I wonder what a post-pink anarchist does.

  87. Jill

    Sez Kristine:

    Still, speaking as someone who once tried to go vegan and failed because of a minimum wage salary and borderline eating disorder (both of which created a severe need for whatever food I could get my hands on), I would really appreciate it if we could stop framing this issue as a matter of personal choice alone. Some of us don’t have that choice. Instead, it might be more beneficial to redirect the thread to the topic of industrialization and globalization, which is what started the whole “greedy consumption of more animals than we can afford to care for” thing in the first place.

    Nice blaming, girlfriend. You opine wisely, and I applaud this call to reason. Animal oppression is a clear result of megatheocorporatocratic dominion.

    To address a point brought up by someone else, feminism may be about “women, period,” but a feminist, like any human being, can certainly have facets. An interest in animal welfare is not inconsistent with an interest in women’s liberation. We are all victims of the same oppression.

  88. Jill

    Gertrude, nobody is happier than I am to hear that PETA has actually done something decent enough to be measurable by a patriarchy blamer.

    It’s still kind of a bummer about the porn, though.

  89. allhellsloose

    Since when did equating FGM with the removal of pig’s testicles become acceptable? Who is allowing this advert to even see the light of fecken day? AGGHHHHHHHHHH! Incoming.

    I agree that animal rights are necessary but not off the back of my feminist skin. Go equate the removal of piglet’s testicles with, say, circumscism, or better still portray it for what it is. I read the latest comment by skeptifem over at RATM and she’s right about the dirtiness associated with objectification. The more PETA objectify the more terrifying the images it will have to produce. I mean what next? An image of a woman enduring double anal against a bull having three or four swords in it; tag line she can only last 18 minutes with this but the bull has to endure hours of torture?

    Oh and what Kristine said.

  90. allhellsloose

    I don’t eat factory made meat. So, having only a meagre amount to buy meat at my disposal, I eat flesh rarely but it has to be free range. I enjoy it all the more.

    Damn you PeTA. I worked this out all by myself; using my little laydee brain.

  91. Greenconsciousness

    First of all, Happy Women’s Rights Day to all. A great way to celebrate is to watch, “Iron Jawed Angels” which is available at most video stores. It is the film about the inner organizational workings and relationships of the women who secured the 19th amendment and gave us the vote. It is a REALLY good film.

    Second, why I believe animal rights is a feminist issue. As a feminist I relate to the female in every species. The way cows are treated, their motherhood utterly degraded, their children sold at 8 weeks for veal so the man can sell their breast milk. I feel that. In WI you must drive between the veal cages on one side of the road and the mothers who have lost their babies on the in the barn on the other side of the road. They are calling, screaming to one another, calling, calling. It is as if driving through hell. I feel for those mothers and children from my own life as a woman.

  92. j

    Food which is not vegan but not factory meat, either:
    Fish, free range chickens and egg, meat from wild animals, honey, milk products and meat from grass-fed animals. Just wanted to point out (like others also have) that you don’t have to either an evil factory farm-supporter who eat tons of that stuff daily or a vegan who eats no animal products whatsoever. There are alternatives in between.

  93. Soporificat

    That is a really horrifying image, Greenconsciousness, and I, too, am angry about the animal suffering which we humans create. I, too, am a mother deeply bonded to my female offspring, and so have an empathetic understanding of what it would be like to have her ripped from me. Actually, I’m choking up right now as a type. Factory farming is truly nightmarish.

    However, that still doesn’t make it a feminist issue. You know, many feminists are very compassionate people, with, as Jill commented above, various facets. But, the fact that an individual feminist cares about, say, animal abuse, or racism, or environmental degradation, etc…, even if they care about those issue because of their own experiences living life in the body of a female, that still doesn’t make those problems ones for the feminist movement to solve.

  94. sonia

    no, that’s not at all what I said. go back and read it, hon. you’re just picking a fight.

  95. sonia

    in fact, I’m unsure how you missed the part where I said meat was so heavily intertwined with patriarchy that vegetarianism is a privilege.

    what are you on?

  96. sonia

    and yes, Indians are vegetarians because it’s part of their patriarchal religion. it’s the only 3rd world country, except some areas of Southeast Asia, that’s like that. most 3rd world countries it’s very hard to eat vegetarian. have you traveled at all?

  97. sonia

    I should stop commenting here. there are 2 people who think for themselves, and the same batch of idiots who can’t see outside their one line of thinking…always.

    radical feminism is supposed to expand your mind, not be a defense for your own limitations.

    I don’t know why your blog attracts that, Jill. you are so smart.

  98. Lovepug

    Not to derail the discussion, but what does your average Blamer on the street think of anti-pornography initiatives generated by Christian groups?

    I’m trying to get rid of some old stuff, and went on to the Salvation Army website to peruse their donation information. I happened to see that one of their missions is an anti-pornography program. I didn’t delve into it, but it got me to wondering what other feminists might think. My first reaction was, “Whoa, the words Anti-pornography on the Internet! What a shock.” But as I got to thinking about it, it may not be all that great since it’s being done by a Christian group. They have different motivations for being anti-porn.

    Anyway, thoughts?

  99. allhellsloose

    Christian groups and other religious groups are anti porn because they view sex as a sin, only for procreation and for no other pleasure than for the man to have an orgasm. It is visibly misogynist. That doesn’t mean that they don’t turn a blind eye to men going to prostitutes, adultery (within their proscribed institution of marriage), or child abuse.

    If we were to measure, in terms of yards, how far women have come in so called liberation from this view, then I would say that funfems are about 10 yards from it and radfems are in the stratosphere.

    Yes, we are that far removed.

  100. V.F

    @sonia: Well yes may be you should stop seeing as you think you are the greatest source of knowledge and everyone else is below you. I don’t see what these ‘limitations’ are for everyone else except for the fact that we aren’t all you. Also who the fuck still uses the terms ’1st’ and ’3rd’ world any more, have YOU travelled at all? I bet the people you refer to living in those ’3rd’ world countries would object to the term. Yes I am a vegan but I still think all women commenting on here, regardless of their personal lifestyle choices, make fucking great points in whatever they’re talking about, but if you really think everyone bar you is a idiot then just don’t bother turning up and start your own blog if you haven’t already.

  101. allhellsloose

    Sex being always PIV/Pronging.

  102. Greenconsciousness

    Soporificat

    and because the babies are alway sucking, searching for their mother’s breasts to feed, some farm boys stick their p—s in the calf’s mouth and comes in their mouths. And I heard that from laughing farm boys. See what I mean?

  103. No Sugarcoating

    @Greenconsciousness

    What. the. fuck. That is the most heinous thing I’ve heard in….at least a week. Only a dude could do this. Only a dude…

  104. allhellsloose

    Dudes will fuck toilet anything. They are the only ‘humans’ on the planet. Anything else is game.

  105. yttik

    Yes, but Green, I am from the camp that believes that animal mistreatment comes from the oppression of women. That’s why we call it animal “husbandry.” Our abuse of animals stems from the way we treat our own kind, half the human race. If we ever figure out how to create a culture that empathizes with women, we’ll create a culture that empathizes with animals. The opposite is not true. My fear is that if we invest all our energy into animal rights, we’ll have a culture where sacred cows can walk the streets but women are still expected to throw themselves on funeral pyres when their husbands die.

    Those farm boys didn’t learn how to do that from cows, they learned how to do it from our culture that encourages them to treat women that way. Those calves are simply substitute women.

  106. Bushfire

    Not to derail the discussion, but what does your average Blamer on the street think of anti-pornography initiatives generated by Christian groups?

    Christians groups like that are full of shit. They’re against porn, yes, but they would also be against pictures of people having consensual sex after the revolution. Feminists are not against sex, we’re against oppression and violence. Christans are ok with oppression and violence but not okay with sex. I wouldn’t support any initiative started by a group like that.

  107. Bushfire

    I should stop commenting here. there are 2 people who think for themselves, and the same batch of idiots who can’t see outside their one line of thinking…always.

    radical feminism is supposed to expand your mind, not be a defense for your own limitations.

    Actually, all the commenters on here regularly expand my mind. Funny, though, this post from you did not.

    Is it lonely up there on your pedestal?

  108. ivyleaves

    Find truly free-range eggs:
    http://www.cornucopia.org/organic-egg-scorecard/

    The first time I went there, I was very depressed to find out that the eggs I was happily buying were just a brand with a fake cover for a massive factory farm that sells under several brand names. I used to it to make a better, but more expensive, choice. It is a privilege to be able to afford to do that, at least for now.

    If I were vegan I still expect that tons of my choices would, with research, turn out to be based upon the exploitation of animals and humans, just as my choices of other non-food items are as well. Even the top farms shown on that website might be very lovely for the chickens and hell on the farm hands. IBTP

  109. Jessie

    I do agree that, quite frequently, Christian and feminist objections to pornography are very different.

    I attended church in my youth and noticed that the primary objections to pornography were more focussed on its negative effects on men, rather than its negative effects on women. Additionally, it was condemmed because using it would anger the great patriarch in the sky. I was about 15-21 when I started to notice this.

    At church, porn was presented as a problem because men would get addicted to it, it would lead the men away from God and it would cause men to sin. Yep, it was the ages old view of women as evil temptresses that lead the men astray. Sometimes the negative effects on women were brought up, but not frequently.

    I always agreed with the objection to pornography, but thought that the negative effects on women (including the women depicted in pornographic materials) should have been emphasized. I thought porn was negative since the porn industry is based on the degradation, abuse and objectification of women, and porn reinforces the whole idea that women should be submissive to men and that they exist to please men. This leads to men thinking it’s fine to coerce women into having sex.

    Actually, a similar thing seemed to apply to the modest dress code that women were encouraged to adhere to. If women had clothes that might make men think they are attractive sexually, we will distract the men, lead them to have sexy thoughts, and make them sin. I was thinking maybe the men should just wear blindfolds?

    Of course, women were encouraged to still look feminine without looking too attractive. What a fine line that was! It’s one that I think society as a whole enforces: look too attractive and you’re a slut, but look too unattractive and you’re a dumpy prude. Really, screw that shit.

    In this church, it was taboo for a woman to wear pants and you’d really get the stink eye if you wore them. Again with the enforced femininity! The emphasis on women’s appearance bugged me, the budding feminist, as did the fact that women were prohibited from all leadership positions, except in the women’s and children’s organization in the church. Men could lead men, women and children, but women could never lead men.

    This is the Mormon church in case anyone’s wondering. I haven’t been in about twelve years and ditched religion when I realized it was all man-made and very complicit in the oppression of women.

    I did have a look at the Salvation Army’s anti-porn and prostitution stuff. It actually does make note of its terrible effects on women, including the protituted women themselves. However, the first thing I saw was that it porn distorts God’s plan.

  110. Greenconsciousness

    yttik

    I very much agree with you but still it is all connected to me at root. I don’t have to quit being a vegan to be a feminist. They are just all the same to me –everything is a feminist political decision, especially what I put in my mouth and who gets my money. “The female” is a caste to me across all man made boundaries. When I understood that my feminism became consistent and all encompassing.

  111. minervaK

    Sonia — Your comment:

    vegetarianism, like feminism, is totally a 1st world, mid to upper class privilege. yes, it’s the best option, but because it’s so intrinsic to patriarchy- like pornification and feminization, it’s hard to sidestep it totally unless you have better than average resources, live in the US or another paradise, or just a level of commitment that requires no other emotional challenges. it is elitist, not because it should be- animal rights are totally important and animal cruelty is horrible- but because of how incorporated it is with patriarchy.

    It’s difficult for me to tell what you’re saying here, which is why I asked the question. Not trying to pick a fight. Trying to clarify. Condescesion not necessary.

    Thanks — MK

  112. minervaK

    If, indeed (Sonia), you are arguing that vegetarianism is a privilege intrinsically tied up with Patriarchy, I would point out that the poor and oppressed peoples of the world almost uniformly depend on non-meat resources for nutrition. Not because it’s fashionable, but because animals are too expensive (both in the market sense and in the consumption of resources sense) to eat. I *think* what you were trying to say was that meat-eating, not vegetarianism, is tied up with Patriarchy, but I don’t want to put words in your mouth.

  113. Sarah C

    Would like to make the point that there are parts of the world where it would be impossible to raise any crop, but you could keep goats (or hardier breeds of cattle, think the Maasai people of Kenya surviving on blood and milk), and that for people with marginal diets, the extra protein and iron and vitamin B from even a small intake of meat is vital.

    As others have already said, globalised and industrialised farming are the biggest problem here, this isn’t about meat-eating vs veganism, it’s about sustainable vs non-sustainable; a vegan diet that’s flown in from around the world isn’t better than, say, someone with a small-holding who keeps their own chickens and traps wild rabbits.

    Saying that, having a small-holding is a privilege. Also, having the time and money and education to give yourself a healthy vegan diet is a privilege. As Germain Greer put it in her chapter on food in The Whole Woman (I’m writing from memory here, so if someone actually has the quote, great!), most women would be in raptures if they could just give their children three meals a day.

  114. magriff

    Spot-on blaming, Sarah C.

  115. Tigs

    So, a lot of what I’m hearing here is that there is a lot of agreement that none of what we do as individuals matters, except perhaps aesthetically.

    Please tell me my reading skills have degraded because I’m working too much.

    Nothing happens just on the basis of individual action, but without individual action there also ain’t nothing.
    Can’t we get some dialectical thinking up in here?

  116. Sarah C

    Tigs: “Nothing happens just on the basis of individual action, but without individual action there also ain’t nothing.
    Can’t we get some dialectical thinking up in here?”

    Individual action is necessary but not sufficient for enacting change.

    Also, it is easy to get bogged down in the ‘righteousness’ of ones individual, isolated, consumer choices.

  117. Tigs

    Indeed, it was a reading comprehension issue–I’ve been working reaaaaal hard.

    “personal change is meaningless, when performed in isolation, if the intent is to bring about a mondo cultural paradigm shift. I’m just saying that, though revolution may indeed begin at home, it is never finished there.”

    This is the dialectical thinking for which I was looking.

  118. yttik

    Yes, Sarah C, good points.

    Perhaps some of emotion about veganism comes from women always being deprived of food. Who always gets the biggest piece of meat?

    Women get it from all sides, we’re either not worthy of sharing the meat because it has to go to the more important men, or else we shouldn’t have any because we’re responsible for factory farming and cruelty to animals. Add to this the fashion industry that seems to want us all to be starving to death, and food itself becomes a huge feminist issue. Other people telling women what to eat than becomes loaded with emotion. Ultimately I think many of us are aware of the fact that there is resentment that we are allowed to eat anything at all. Who is dying of hunger the most in the world? Women and children.

    I read a statistic that said in the US 72% of people who don’t eat meat are women. I don’t if that’s still current or accurate, but it sounds about right.

  119. Kristine

    “Not to derail the discussion, but what does your average Blamer on the street think of anti-pornography initiatives generated by Christian groups?”

    I think it’s hypocritical. The difference between Christian puritanism and pornography is exactly the same as the difference between selling to private buyers and selling to the public. In pornography, women are things (vagina’s) to be bought, sold, used and exploited by the general public. In the virginity till marriage ideology, women are things (uterus’s) to be bought, sold, used and exploited by a single man – the private buyer. Both are on the same continuum of woman=sex hatred. Both are anti-woman, therefore both are anti-sex. They just go about it in different ways.

  120. Cootie Twoshoes

    Greenconsciousness, I dig how you braid together animal rights and feminism.

    I just want to throw in my voice as another long-time, strong and healthy vegan (a laborer and athlete fueled by plants!). I don’t judge anyone for eating meat. Of course, I would prefer it if more people ate less of it, but I would never belittle someone because of their diet, especially other blamers.

    And, for the record, plant-based protein is exceedingly easy to find and is often less expensive and more efficiently used by the body than meat. Legumes, pseudograins, nuts, and seeds are chock full. Not that this has anything to do with the OP. I guess it peeves me when the occasional meat-eater ignorantly tells me I can’t be getting enough protein.

  121. Soporificat

    Wow, Kristine! That is a such a clear analysis. Love it!

  122. Linda

    Don’t those xtian groups get that pornography actually upholds their misogynist ideology regarding women being dirty, evil, sub-human fuckbots? Radical feminists once tried to challenge porn by aligning themselves with xtian groups and it didn’t work, it just earned us the prude label.

  123. keira

    Fuck PETA. (Actually, there’s a very sceney anarcho-feminist zine with that title somewhere on the internet).

    @Gertrude I’m glad to hear PETA spent some of the cash they receive from dudes who like to belittle women publicly on an actual animal right issue. That said, I can’t help but assume that this was just a happy accident – PETA had to get involved with something real eventually, or face loosing their own source of funding and power (punters), not to mention their never ending source of free exploitable female bodies.

    As to who supports PETA, I don’t know who donates money to them, but I know who donates their bodies. Every damn year at the vegan and animal rights events in my home town the same woman gets her kit off for them. Not in a cage or next to a poster about animal cruelty, just in general, to convince others to donate. Funfem with an exhibitionist streak who enjoys the headpats. I hope she does enjoy them, and I hope she doesn’t regret it later, I don’t blame her. But if you’re wondering who supports them, its women like her – oppressed women doing what they can to comply, who’ve found porny-compliance to be the path that works best for them.

    IBTP

  124. stacey

    I’ve just spent a lovely evening with a couple of friends who are visiting from the Arctic. I mentioned this debate to them, and after they stopped laughing, they told me the interesting fact that beluga and bowhead meat is almost invariably found in the vegetable section. Why? Because it’s chock-fulla vitamin C and D.

    What an absolutely magical world we live in. A population that lives in an area with a four-month growing season has a food source that provides them with essential vitamins year-round. I’m vegetarian, but I think that’s hella-cool.

  125. stacey

    Oh, and fuck PETA.

  126. AlienNumber

    minervak says “Not because it’s fashionable, but because animals are too expensive (both in the market sense and in the consumption of resources sense) to eat.”

    Too bad sonia got all bummed out (keep posting sonia, please) to answer that — but I actually grew up in a village in a 3rd world country (surprise!) and the funny thing is that we ate a lot of meat and eggs and milk and cheese. And so did everybody else. The difference is that people there are SANE and they know that cows eat grass and that keeping chicken in tiny cages does not a happy chicken make. I’m also lucky enough to have traveled quite a bit and the more *civilized a place gets the more away the animals are kept from the humans. If anything, the poor of the world really live with and understand the animals.

    Anyway, people in this 1st world are completely deprived of what it means to understand nature. It’s horrifying. Which is why I want to take it back to Lierre Keith’s book, because she actually, for a 1st world person, seems to understand where food actually comes from.

    sonia, don’t stop commenting here (but try to keep your cool if you can, as exasperating as it is to read stuff like “poor people are vegetarians.” It is exasperating that anybody would believe that and try to spread it like it’s the gospel, but you know who to blame).

  127. AlienNumber

    Obviously it’s really difficult for me to shut up on this topic, but this silly anecdote will support one of yttik’s many excellent points.

    My grandmother, who had no income to speak of, raised chickens. Every so often we’d kill a chicken and cook it. My grandfather – the fattest of us all – ate the ‘best’ parts of the chicken and most of it too. The children got to eat the heart, the liver and, my all time favorite, the gizzard. My grandmother, more often than not didn’t get anything, except maybe the chicken fingers or maybe the throat. Even the cats and the dog, and the other chicken (freaky animals, chicken!) got a little bit of the chicken (the intestines).

    I always thought it was odd that the fattest person in the family got to eat most of the chicken. And that my grandmother, who was also the thinnest, ate the least of it. Little did I know that thinking about and being bothered by these things early on would turn me into a radical feminist.

    One day I’ll make a comic about all this and the people of the 1st world will all be enlightened.

    p.s. gizzard is still one of my favorite things to chew on, but it’s so hard to find gizzard in this country, unless I go to Super 88. But they only sell bags of 50 gizzards there. Which is overkill, even for a gizzard connoisseur such as myself. IBTP.

  128. minervaK

    OK, hang on. I do see what you (Aliennumber) mean about differences in access to vegan food in different regions of the world. You are more correct than I was; single dietary traditions don’t apply to the entire planet. The Spouse, whose origins are Finnish, still remembers his grandfather urging him to “eat red meat or you’ll die on the tundra.” Probably not a completely accurate translation, but you get the idea. And I completely forgot about the Inuit, who survive on whales and seals, pretty much exclusively.

    I actually sort of see (what I believe) Sonia’s point (was) — the kind of veganism practiced in the U.S., the kind that depends on all the kinda crap you see at Whole Foods, et. al., *is* a sort of high-class privilege. That $12 a pound organic Tibetan tofu has probably killed a couple dozen underpaid brown workers somewhere, either directly or indirectly, yet its comsumers feel oh so virtuous. People like that make me wanna hurl.

    There is another sort of vegetarianism, that I always think of as Chinese in origin, because I learned it from one of my mother’s Chinese boyfriends back in the 80s. He was always stunned and amazed at the fact that Americans would sit down and eat this huge slab of meat, with these paltry little servings of veg on the side. When he cooked, the meat was always used like a condiment — just to flavor the veg and rice, with the veg and rice being the main part of the dish, and the meat less than — oh, an eighth, at most. That always struck me as a gastronomic ideology worth following.

  129. minervaK

    “Comsumers.” Heh.

  130. Lovepug

    @kiera: I’m glad you brought that up. When I had my run in with PETA a few years ago – where they made my daughter hysterical with their movie screen sized shock poster of bloodied animals in a public park, and when I asked them to move their sign so she couldn’t see it, they screamed at me and called me a bitch in front of my daughter who was 6 at the time – I do recall that it was all white women mostly in their early twenties probably. The one woman hefting the sign and apparently orchestrating things was likely older. Everyone else, including the one who threw down with me, was young and female. Don’t know what to make of that. Maybe the same rationalizations that lead one to believe that the ends justify the means also lead one to believe that porn is empowerful. Must be the same brain phenomenon.

  131. K

    Okay, 1. There is no scientific basis for “ALL OF THE ANIMALS ARE LESS SENTIENT THAN HUMANS” myth, and 2. Food intake is not directly proportional to fatness. I would have thought that more blamers would be more critical of these bits of patriarchal propaganda.

  132. pheenobarbidoll

    There are many a poor neighborhood in the US that have no access to real grocery stores and some that have grocery stores that contain NO vegetables at all. Not fresh, not frozen, not even canned. A carrot is a luxury, much less an entire diet of veggies. Many Indian Reservations have no access to veggies, unless you grow your own. Which is difficult, because Indians were moved purposely to land that is shit for crop growing. (and restricted to farming…neat little genocide trick, that)

    The ” vegetarianism is for the privileged” IS gospel for a great number of people in the US. Most people just forget they exist though, so I can see where it gets designated as a myth.

  133. minervaK

    The ”vegetarianism is for the privileged” IS gospel for a great number of people in the US. Most people just forget they exist though, so I can see where it gets designated as a myth.

    It depends on how you define vegetarianism. For example, those stores that don’t sell fresh fruit and veg don’t sell fresh meat either — or if they do, it’s outrageously expensive. The most cheaply available food in the U.S. (thanks to corn & wheat subsidies) is carbohydrates — it’s possible to be economically excluded from eating meat AND fresh fruit and veg and still qualify as “vegetarian” in a way that would horrify the hybrid-driving, organic hemp-wearing population.

  134. Bushfire

    That $12 a pound organic Tibetan tofu has probably killed a couple dozen underpaid brown workers somewhere, either directly or indirectly, yet its comsumers feel oh so virtuous.

    Could someone please enlighten me? I have no idea how tofu can kill people.

  135. The Embezzling Bedazzler

    @Jessie

    If only this were a thread on the fuckedupedness of Mormonism! Of course, ’tis not, and I don’t want to threadjack.

    Peta sucks, water is wet, shit stinks. Wonders never cease.

  136. cin17

    Eating meat is another way of saying “I don’t give a damn”, because it means you think your life is more important than that of the animal you are chowing down on. That’s what it comes down to for me – why should I kill in order to survive if I don’t have to?

    crickets, although I quoted you, please don’t take it personally. Your quote captures the aspect of the vegan/vegetarian mindset that I’ve never understood. Unless one starves oneself, one must always feed off once living things. “Eating flesh” is often spoken with disdain by non-meat eaters, and yet they eat the flesh of fruit and vegetables which, for me at least, is ultimately the same as any other flesh. If I choose to abstain animal flesh, for me the ethical conclusion would be to avoid consuming anything that was once alive, or taken from its mother vine/tree. As I understand it, one can survive for about a month and a half on water alone, so I choose to embrace my omnivore animal self. And yet I don’t eat pork because pigs are self aware and it doesn’t bother me (too much) that people find this quite amusing. It makes sense to me. It really doesn’t need to make sense to anyone else. (My comment is not meant as anti anyone’s diet choices and if it comes across that way then I failed miserably at using my words.)

    But PETA and the porn/torture revenue raising, that’s despicable and IMO unforgivable. And I had never heard about their euthanasia campaign. UFB.

  137. Former Blamer

    Late to the party here as usual, but thanks Alien Number, pheenobarbiedoll (I love your posts, all of them) and yttik.

    Veganism is the new puritanism. It’s a way for people to show off their moral superiority and gain status by conspicuously denying themselves food, and control others by shaming them about what they eat. It’s a way of assuaging postcapitalist anxiety. The guilt they feel about living in a wasteful society that is drowning in its own junk can be displaced onto those who don’t eat the same way. It’s scapegoating, basically. It’s religion without a God, but with a devil, which is the most important component of religion, anyway.

    It’s hard to have discussions with vegans who don’t believe there are human beings out there who need to consume animal products to survive. Sorry, but some of us need insulin and can’t synthesize our own vitamin B12. We’re not making that up. It does not preclude the desire to see animals treated as well as possible, just acknowledges the reality that for us to live, something else has to die.

    Not to mention that veganism is species-ist. Plants are living creatures too. Why does killing only matter if the creature is “sentient”?

  138. shopstewardess

    Vegetarianism which doesn’t involve killing plants is called fructarianism or fruitarianism: only the seeds/fuits/nuts of a plant are eaten and the rest of the plant is left alive. But as the hapless occasional occupier of a mostly wild garden, I’m not clear how any food plants can productively be grown without killing the non-edible plants which one’s plot is almost certainly more suited to growing. So I suspect that even fructarianism has to be murderously classist (genusist? speciesist?).

    For those who insist that their life choice is a logical philosophy of non-harm, the only viable answer is voluntary human extinction. If Peta argued for that, they might also conclude that their abuse of women is not a step on the way to their nirvana.

  139. Yeny

    Former Blamer- ‘Why does Killing only matter if the creature is ‘sentient’?

    You answered your own question, don’t you think? Sentience involves an ability to feel pain. I’m no vegan, yet I still think causing uneccessary pain/suffering to any creature that is able to feel pain/suffering is morally reprehensible.
    I accept that there are people for whom certain animal products may be a neccessity, but many people will not even attempt living a vegan lifestyle before deciding that it is an unhealthy way of living.
    Frankly, I find the need to put down vegans for choosing to apply a morality to what they -and, as a result, what we- eat as the same kind of push-back that rad feminists receive for daring to say that maybe our bedrooms aren’t patriarchy exempt.

    It makes things uncomfortable for most people to think we might be doing something wrong (or at least upholding an extremely problematic status quo) when we eat in addition to when we f*ck.

  140. stacey

    Could someone please enlighten me? I have no idea how tofu can kill people.

    By being forced to eat it in the form of veggie sausages, according to my son.

  141. amrit

    Former Blamer: “Veganism is the new puritanism. It’s a way for people to show off their moral superiority and gain status by conspicuously denying themselves food, and control others by shaming them about what they eat. It’s a way of assuaging postcapitalist anxiety. The guilt they feel about living in a wasteful society that is drowning in its own junk can be displaced onto those who don’t eat the same way. It’s scapegoating, basically. It’s religion without a God, but with a devil, which is the most important component of religion, anyway.”

    Too funny. Especially, the post-capitalist anxiety part. Are we really post-capitalist?

    I’m not sure someone’s choice of not eating animal products, assuming they have the luxury of other options, is really puritanical. In fact, it may be morally superior to make food choices that are really less cruel to animals, less toxic to the ecology, and in contravention to the food/industrial complex. I’m not sure how speaking out in favor of a plant-based diet oppresses anyone. I suspect it might even challenge the P., who benefits off the toxic waste it produces and sells as “food.” In case you are feeling shamed, I am not vegan, either, but I suspect I am heading that way for many reasons.

  142. Greenconsciousness

    A reality check:

    Organic tofu is $22.00 (twenty-two dollars) for a case of twelve tubs – each tub is one pound. One tub cost less than 2 dollars. A bag of potato chips costs $3.00 (three dollars). Why not be self righteous about how many brown men are killed per bag of potato chips?

    These are silly arguments based on old “lefter than thou” rhetoric. Sexists tried to discredit the position of feminists by saying it was only white middle class women. But everyone benefited-that is the reality.

    You are not in the third world. You can afford computers. You can move off your comfort zone and stop adding to the cruelty and pollution done to animals in your name by US agri business. I am not talking to the Inuits in Alaska or to a chicken butcher in Mexico. I am talking to you, citizens, in your circumstances and you should answer from that place. PETA’s corruption does not excuse you from being a moral person nor does it even negate their positions or policy.

    It is an opposition tactic to stop the good by destroying the messenger but we cannot let that happen. We will not abandon the truth just because PETA preaches it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrvWWzfvJAs&feature=player_embedded

  143. Greenconsciousness

    pheenobarbidoll

    http://www.foodpolitics.com/2011/07/mrs-obamas-food-access-initiatives-retailers-say-yes/

    http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2011/07/first-lady-to-announce-project-to.html

    Some do not just use the darkness as an excuse but instead try to bring the light.

  144. nails

    “Veganism is the new puritanism. It’s a way for people to show off their moral superiority and gain status by conspicuously denying themselves food, and control others by shaming them about what they eat. It’s a way of assuaging postcapitalist anxiety.”

    I don’t know how eating food B instead of food A is denying myself food. I am eating plenty, thanks. I don’t go out of my way to tell anyone what to do or look down on other people for eating meat.

    I am getting so damn sick of the terms “shaming” and “silencing” being used in place of the word “debate” or “argue”. I just might make a post about it soon, because it is ridiculous and really makes a mockery of when those things actually happen. What kind of bullshit is this? Am I supposed to shut up if my opinions make someone uncomfortable about their choices? It isn’t my job to be everyone’s mom and make everyone feel good about what they chose to do. When I don’t feel good about what I have done I try to do better in the future. How other people deal with it is their business, and I don’t expect people to change their minds just because I did.

  145. nails

    “I actually sort of see (what I believe) Sonia’s point (was) — the kind of veganism practiced in the U.S., the kind that depends on all the kinda crap you see at Whole Foods, et. al., *is* a sort of high-class privilege. That $12 a pound organic Tibetan tofu has probably killed a couple dozen underpaid brown workers somewhere, either directly or indirectly, yet its comsumers feel oh so virtuous. People like that make me wanna hurl. ”

    What products at whole foods are you taking issue with, exactly? My sister worked there for years. Part of why shit is so expensive there is that they actually pay their workers a decent wage. Shouldn’t people who can afford to support that do it? Not necessarily via whole foods specifically, but markets that charge what food is actually worth are a good way to support living wages (you know, the thing that makes it possible for people to have a choice in what they eat). I also do not understand why you think vegans in america don’t eat the kinds of foods that vegans in other parts of the world do.

    There isn’t any rule that says that meat and cheese has to be subsidized so that they are the most affordable foods. The system is set up that way to make specific people a lot of money. People who choose not to buy those things (because they can) can drive down the cost of healthier foods. Demand increases, then supply, then prices drop eventually. Then there are places that have farmers markets that are accessible via public transportation, like they have here in utah, which are worth supporting. I am not saying that this is the only activism that people should do surrounding food availability or animal rights, what I am saying is that we all have to eat food and so it is a good idea to try and make it count for something *if possible*. Why wouldn’t you? Does saying this imply that people who can’t should anyway, or that they should feel bad because they can’t? Of course not. I find this line of discussion so bizarre on IBTP where most blamers are perfectly capable of understanding why women (who can) should perhaps not engage in things like the beauty mandate because of the positive change that can result, but don’t hate women who can’t avoid it. It is the same question about personal choice, it is just about food instead of beauty.

    Also, this discussion seems to be completely lacking any indication that the meat industry is a huge contributor to global warming. Who does climate change affect the most?

    I mean jesus, being able to stick solar panels on your house is a god damned privilege too, but I rarely see people saying so in a way that implies that the privileged should keep on using coal instead, or that people who think solar panels are a good thing are just puritanical judgmental assholes for noticing something that helps practically with an enormous problem.

  146. V.F

    Oh Wow I can’t believe someone actually got the “but you kills plants don’t you” argument out, pathetic.

    Greenconciousness, you totally rock and I wholeheartedly agree with you. Not that your excellent post will make a difference, as those opposed to a plant based diet don’t seem to be that interested in what anyone else has to say and just keep spouting the same old crap about what vegans think (how they know this about all vegans is beyond me). Apparently we’re elitist and unaware of the fact that veganism has many flaws, just ignorantly lording it over everyone else…even though EVERY SINGLE PERSON who has commented from a vegan/vegetarian perspective has said they would NOT condemn people for what they eat, and that yes WE KNOW that a vegan diet just cannot be ideal for anyone, but like you said Greenconciousness, if you can do it why the hell not?!

    And for fucks sake, read other people’s posts before commenting about the same crap over and over when many have already replied to all of your accusations.

  147. Greenconsciousness

    Thanks to V. F. and Cootie Twoshoes!

  148. Greenconsciousness

    Nails – thanks for the Global Warming stuff – I posted on it today –let’s hope New York is reading here.

  149. Comrade PhysioProf

    Eating a purely plant diet still implicates the killing and eating of vast numbers of animals. First, growing vegetables involves killing pests, including insects and rodents. Second, when you eat plants, you are eating large numbers of insects, mites, and nematodes.

  150. AlienNumber

    Just in case anyone was wondering, since I stumbled into riches (my life in the 1st world) I have been mostly vegetarian. Mostly because I absolutely cannot eat meat that comes from tortured animals (screw my nostalgic love of gizzard). As Jill said “So in the end [what you eat]’s largely an emotional decision.”

    What we really need to do in this country is end Big Agro subsidies, because as much as nails is right about how demand and supply works, right now the people with their little individual “choices” don’t really have a voice strong enough to topple the demand. We need to tinker with the supply side. [If we do that successfully though it may mean the end of an endless supply of bananas in temperate climates.] Revolution!

  151. Jezebella

    Criminy, how many times have we reached “Defensive Omnivore Bingo” in this thread already?

    Herewith, a link to defensive omnivore bingo, posted on my blog a few months back after yet another round of “plants are alive! vegans are preachy! we have canine teeth!”

    http://yoredux.blogspot.com/2011/06/dear-omnivores.html

  152. yttik

    The actual moral issue is big agriculture, not meat versus veggies, but people were wondering how producing tofu or potato chips can kill people. There are many different ways that people who provide us with veggies and tofu are exploited, injured, and killed, but one real problem is the exposure to pesticides. As children we used to run behind the DDT trucks and play in the spray. Many of my friends have either passed away or now suffer serious health problems. Hopefully as we push for more and more organic products we will also start to put more value on the people who put in all that labor, because we sure don’t right now. They’re completely invisible.

    I used tofu as an example because I once got to make it, from planting the beans, to picking, to making the milk, to tofu, all an incredibly labor intensive process that takes months, from seed to curd. And the end of this process somebody hands you two bucks for this block of curd. Two bucks!! That’s like paying you 10 cents a day for your labor. A block of tofu should rightfully cost about 27 bucks. I kid you not. There are people damn near killing themselves, living in dire poverty, just so we can all have our two dollar tofu. Somebody went without medical care, without shoes, without an education, sometimes without even food or shelter, just so I can have my cheap tofu, my coffee, my green beans.

    I think you’re wonderful Green, but what offends me is things like this, “..PETA’s corruption does not excuse you from being a moral person..” Why must women always assume the other one is being immoral in her choices? Women are some of the most moral people I know. Whether you eat meat or don’t eat meat, women are pretty darn good at seeing the complexity of the moral issues all around them.

  153. Kristine

    Thank you, yttik. That’s what I was trying to say.

    There’s nothing a person can do in this country without hurting others, no matter how kind their intentions and beliefs. The patriarchy is inescapable. It makes me sick.

  154. Bushfire

    “I used tofu as an example because I once got to make it, from planting the beans, to picking, to making the milk, to tofu, all an incredibly labor intensive process that takes months, from seed to curd. And the end of this process somebody hands you two bucks for this block of curd. Two bucks!! That’s like paying you 10 cents a day for your labor. A block of tofu should rightfully cost about 27 bucks. I kid you not. There are people damn near killing themselves, living in dire poverty, just so we can all have our two dollar tofu. Somebody went without medical care, without shoes, without an education, sometimes without even food or shelter, just so I can have my cheap tofu, my coffee, my green beans”

    I didn’t know. I’ve never given any thought to the making of tofu. Does anyone know of a good book on this?

  155. Greenconsciousness

    Bushfire – again
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrvWWzfvJAs&feature=player_embedded

    I do not want to offend you Yttik. In that comment above I was thinking moral by whatever you know to be moral. But now that you focus on it, I must say yes. I think it is immoral to eat flesh if you don’t have to do it. And yes, none of us, including me, are perfectly moral in every way, every day.

    I became a vegetarian forty years ago after a dream – i just never ate animal again – but it took me many many many years and study before I became a vegan, just five years ago. Cheese is addictive — it has cow morphine in it — who knew? These things are hard to do because we are not alway conscious of why we are doing them.

    All these arguments (eating plants is still killing etc)are refuted up there by someone who said, try to do the least harm. That is what I mean by moral – that you TRY to do the least harm, the least cruelty, as best you can.

    If you think women make moral decisions more than others read Phyllis Chesler’s “Women’s Inhumanity to Women”. You probably have read it. I bet you have. Women are preyed on a lot; they are victimized and oppressed and some have organized and fought that oppression. But there are other women. None of us have special claims to morality. There are tons of women who are like the one in the fur coat who said, I just don’t care. There are others who are so deep into defensiveness that they just cannot see their own greed. And then there are those like us here.

    So we just keep talking, hoping to know our self and others a little better. But I do not want to offend — I just want to say honestly what I believe.

  156. Bushfire

    I watched the video you posted, Greenconsciousness. At that place it doesn’t seem that labor intensive- they have a lot of machinery to help them. Do you know how much it costs for a box of tofu from there? It seems to me that tofu made in North America is not oppressing people.

    I’m not trying to argue, just trying to understand.

  157. AlienNumber

    Well, Greenconsciousness, only a MRA would recommend a book called “Women’s Inhumanity to Women,” lest we forget that women are evil too! That we eat cow morphine! That we own 1% of all property!

    Plus, Alan Dershowitz wrote a glowing review of that book. So, no thanks!

    p.s. cows are domesticated animals. They – when not in the throes of the evil food-industrial-complex – like being milked. It is also necessary for their survival that they be milked. Cheese is made from milk.
    - the soil is alive and it will simply not survive another hundred years of industrial agriculture. I just don’t think a lot of people really understand how food – vegan or not – is made and transported. It is immoral to turn our planet into a desert. There is no right individual choice at this point because most of the food one buys, whether to support a vegan or an omnivorous diet, comes from the industrial-agriculture complex. So cut the sanctimonious pseudo-religious sanctimoniousness. And for goodness’ sake, eat something!
    p.p.p.s. talk to any nutritionist and she will tell you that veganism and vegetarianism are highly correlated with eating disorders (and what’s even more highly correlated with eating disorders: being a vegan/vegetarian AND running marathons). IBTP.

  158. Someone Else

    I’m so happy to know that even when the Revolution comes, the Food Police will still be here, fully trained, examining my choices. This time it won’t be to save me from the Death Fat, no, it will be save my SOUL from Bad Choices.

    Oh, where oh where would I be without the Well Meaning And It’s For Your Own Good Anyway Food Police?

  159. Sierra Nevada

    Finally went vegan a short time ago. I am feeling better than I have in years and the money cost is no more than I was spending before. The time cost is a bit more, as my food routines are all in an uproar, but I think that will settle down after a few months.

    Now that I have done it, I do feel like a chump for waiting so long and for defending my old choices by judging vegans as kooks and sanctimonious pricks. Turns out I was wrong, and although I am late to the party, late is better than never.

  160. Gennie

    If you wanna have friends, do not ever, EVER, say that you are vegan or feminist (or feminist vegan – what a creepy human creature you are, you food police, you joykiller, you plant molester, you ascetic nonsexy prude frustrated spinster dumbshell!). I’m angry, yesterday i spent time with my girlfriends, and i wanted to talk about Peta. OMG, i am a loner now, after we had discussion about why a cabbage is not a cow – i’m so pissed. But they agreed, that Peta is wrong.

  161. j

    Former Blamer: You have a good point!
    When I was a vegan, I saw meat as Evil. A sandwich was completely contaminated if it had been in contact with a slice of ham. So was a frying pan, or a human. This type of thinking is quite common amongst the vegans I have known.

    When I told my wonderful feminist friend that I wasn’t vegan anymore, she looked at me with disgust and hasn’t wanted to meet me since then.

    This food issue creates a split between women and I wish with all my heart that everyone still could work together on feminist issues even if we eat differently.

  162. V.F

    @AlienNumber: ‘It is necessary for their survival that they be milked’, I just have to say what an utter load of rubbish that is. Cows have pregnancy forced upon them multiple times during their lives, they are given hormones to increase the milk the produce to unnatural levels and the calf is immediately taken away once born so as not to deplete any of the milk. I once believed that without being milked the cows udders would explode, or something equally silly. However, they’re mammals, like us, they don’t produce milk unless pregnant and so are made to be in that condition their whole lives until they’re eventually sold off as cheap meant (not ‘Happy’ or ‘humane’ meat). Is that the kind of lifestyle you would support for women? Do you think it is necessary for women’s survival that they be milked? Since you’re on this blog, I don’t think you would.

    I agree with you that vegetarianism/veganism are linked to eating disorders, but mainly to disguise them. It’s much easier to excuse oneself from eating out, or eating with others at all, if you hide behind being vegi. However, don’t assume that all people who are vegi have an eating disorder, it’s reductionist and very patronising. I always get the ‘But you don’t look like a vegan’, simply because I’m far from emaciated. I struggled with bulimia throughout my teens and it wasn’t until I went vegetarian, then quickly vegan, that I learned to appreciate food and my body.

    I have felt more disapproval here for not eating meat than I feel the Vegetarians/vegans have given out. I accept and respect your personal food choices, difficult as that may be, so maybe do the same?

    @j, I agree that this should not create a split between women, it’s tragic that it does. And, to my great surprise, no where have I noticed it more so than on here.

  163. shopstewardess

    Happily, I’ve had a just in time recollection of commenting policy before pressing the blame button on my own food anecdote. I’ll count it as a plus against my numerous previous offences.

  164. MezzoPiana

    The ‘wah! food police!’ and ‘let me eat what I want without being challenged or you are OPPRESSING me’ comments are missing the point, whether deliberately or not. Reducing the complexity of sentient individuals to the level of ‘my food, nom nom’ IS the problem. It is not ‘what’ you eat that I find ethically objectionable, but ‘who’. Were it not affecting a ‘who’ – with feelings, emotions, wants, needs, ability to physically and mentally suffer etc. etc. I wouldn’t give a damn. The point is that I think a cow (or her mammary secretions) shouldn’t be seen as simply ‘food’ at all – instead, she is a creature whom I see as having the right NOT to be treated as an expendable abusable commodity. There are few people who haven’t had a favourite pet whose personality and individuality was as plain as day and who they would never dream of treating the way our ‘food’ animals are (routinely) treated – imagine keeping your cat/dog for her entire life in a farrowing crate, for example, or ripping out her teeth, or branding her, or cutting off her tail (or/and his testicles) all without anaesthetic?! Or how about crammed tightly into a tiny wire box with five other cats, for a whole miserable and excruciatingly painful life inside a stinking shed with no sunlight or fresh air? If you did so you would, rightly, be prosecuted and punished for ‘animal cruelty’ – which is a despicable societal double standard if ever there was one. It is frankly disingenuous not to admit that what you are defending as some kind of inalienable ‘right’ is nothing more than the product of subjugation, confinement, torture and slaughter of innocents who surely, given the choice, would opt out. Pardon me but I just can’t accept that anyone has such a right! And I’m sick of all the propaganda that keeps everyone toeing the line. The pernicious and laughable notion that cows/chickens ‘give’ us milk/eggs, for example – is there anything creepier than framing our exploitation this way?! And all the red herrings about tofu production killing brown workers are ignoring the important point: that, even though this may well happen somewhere in the world just as we know it does with our clothes, computers, etc. etc. , it is at the very least POSSIBLE to produce such food without this harm since the product’s existence does not hinge on the abuse being comitted! Whereas meat/milk/eggs can never ever be separated from abuse and harm – y’know, being a direct product of it an’ all.

    It is simply incredible to me that there are people who cannot see who is really being oppressed here. It isn’t you, just because vegans might dare to suggest – and fairly tentatively, at that! – that you try to consider some part of your current diet no longer as ‘food’ but as the abused and exploited beings that they undeniably are. Now, if you DON’T think animals should be included in our moral consideration, fine. Say so, for crying out loud, and then shurrup! It would make far more sense and be a far more effective argument shutdown than wailing ‘but what about meeeee I really need/want it’ when what we are talking about is literally abuse, torture, and a pretty horrific death. This one really isn’t about you, folks, sorry. If you are so defensive about your ‘food choices’ (rather than flat out saying you honestly don’t give a damn about non-human animals because their lives don’t matter) then you protest, methinks, way too much. I always notice something very interesting on this issue, and there is no animal-eating apologist I’ve ever come across who doesn’t commit it: people never say things like ‘It is right and good and honourable that humans use animals for our own gains’. Nope. They just insist that ‘it isn’t wrong’. Which is pretty telling, in my opinion.

  165. buttercup

    I’m curious what you all think of the hypothesis that humans grew big brains because they started eating meat.

    There are many sites that go into this but I’m just going to post just one to avoid being stuck in moderation.

    http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2008/04/eating-meat-led-to-smaller-stomachs-bigger-brains/

    There was also a study about chimps that demonstrated the ones who ate meat, or more meat, were smarter. Possibly in Nat Geo. I remember reading it in print, though.

  166. Ottawa Gardener

    Not sure if this was addressed as I have less time than usual today to read all the comments so if it was then I apologize, mostly because it was probably written more eloquently then I am about to do it.

    I have heard that the objection to meat is big-agri and that is certainly my objection along with habitat destruction and the poor use of arable land that could be used more effeciently if we insist on using it that is. However, my limited understanding of the history of vegetarianism, and by extension veganism, is multifaceted. For some it was a health choice, others it was a moral preference for life ‘like-us’/with a face/brain and for still others it was religious/cultural. At some point, it was not just that animals were freed from life outside of husbandry but that they freed from specific agricultural practices making some meat more moral than other. Therefore creeping in from the edges was talk about hunted wild food (of non threatened, food approved animals) or humanly raised food as being okay. In parallal are also trends toward organically produced vegetables not just for human health reasons and eating less meat overall again because of Earth health reasons. And, on occasion, a concern for those in countries where any food is even more difficult to access reliably.

    In general, with the more tenuous grasp of religion (in Canada at any rate) health has become a moral high ground that people can strive for. Inside of this is the natural (as in all-natural) movement invoking various food fetishes including those who would die if they did not eat eggs every day, those who eskew all cooked food, those that think wheat is poison and more. Connected with the previously mentioned striving for health as a sign of goodness, it can make for some sanctimonous folk.

    P.S. This is not meant as a diatribe just as a widening of the topic. To declare my stripes, I’m a card carrying member of Canadian Organic Farmers and a homesteader who has always eaten meat, some of it killed by myself since I was about eight. I love vegan and vegetarian food, do not have any issue with it as a choice, and have great compassion and concern for the planet including its film of interconnected life of which we all belong.

  167. TwissB

    @j: “This food issue creates a split between women and I wish with all my heart that everyone still could work together on feminist issues even if we eat differently”

    Feminism’s self-imposed task of making fundamental change to end men’s domination over women is both invigorating and discouraging. The issues that are said to cause splits between women are either the kind that sort out the resisters from the collaborators or, as in the present instance, a welcome retreat into wrangling over subjects that have little or no connection with deconstructing and defeating systems of sexism. Identifying PeTA’s popularity as based on its self-righteous demeaning and exploitive treatment of women says it all. As others have expressed so eloquently here, it’s time to stop indulging in this diversion and get back to the real business of this blog.

  168. stacey

    @re. meat-eating braininess:

    (Not criticizing the original poster, just observing at large)

    Something that strikes me, despite not following the link because I’m terminally lazy, is that if one accepts that human brains are bigger because our early ancestors started eating meat, then it would follow that all meat-eaters must have benefitted from increased meat consumption… and therefore, why can’t I talk to my cat? Why are meat-eating primates not heading up their own companies? I am suspicious.

  169. yttik

    Sometimes when people eat meat by hunting, fishing, farming, it has lead to better treatment of the animals. Specifically I’m thinking of the salmon restoration work that is being done around here. Salmon has been a staple of people’s diets for so long, also a resource, and a way to earn a living. Building dams, farm fishing, blocking streams and rivers, development, has all harmed the salmon. All the ways salmon benefit the environment, including people, is pretty astounding. There are trees that cannot grow without the salmon traveling upstream, spawning, dying, and providing nutrients for the plants. One of the trees that grows in this environment is the Pacific Yew which has produced a cancer fighting drug.

    So ultimately the goal is to be better connected to our food sources, not because we’re guilt ridden and ashamed of our choices, but because the world is ripe with all these gifts that really benefit humans, and when we ignore and disrespect the natural order of things, we start feeding the cows meat and giving ourselves things like mad cow disease. So cruelty to cows becomes cruelty to humans.

    Healthy, happy, chickens make healthy eggs. If you know you’re going to be eating this product, it would be insane to lock them in little cages, feed them crap, and mistreat them, but that’s exactly what happens in industrial farming. People can no longer make the connection between happy chickens and healthy eggs.

  170. pheenobarbidoll

    GreenC-
    “Some do not just use the darkness as an excuse but instead try to bring the light.”

    I’ll be sure to run out and tell people living in shacks with dirt floors, who are busy trying to keep the electricity on that they should stop using ” the only grocery store is 50 miles away and has no healthy food” as an excuse.

    I’m sure they’ll stop supplementing their food by hunting, and get right on growing crops in a land that has no water (and they have no irrigation or money to install it) and was never meant for crops.

    Because God knows, white America’s feelings on how Indians should eat is fucking paramount. And hey, Mrs. Obama signed off on it, so we can all now pretend it’s not an extension of racism and colonization still at work!

  171. pheenobarbidoll

    “A bag of potato chips costs $3.00 (three dollars).”

    Name brand, maybe. For some of us, we can’t afford that either so we buy store brand which is 1.88 at Walmart, plus coupons bring that down to 88 cents.

  172. pheenobarbidoll

    “You are not in the third world. You can afford computers. You can move off your comfort zone and stop adding to the cruelty and pollution done to animals in your name by US agri business. I am not talking to the Inuits in Alaska or to a chicken butcher in Mexico. I am talking to you, citizens, in your circumstances and you should answer from that place.”

    Wow. Because 3rd world conditions don’t exist in this country, evidently.

    And you don’t know my circumstances, or anyone else’s for that matter. Spending an extra dollar or two on food means I might not get rent paid. Or my kid might not get all the school supplies she needs. You may not be, but I’m on a tight, strict budget. I cannot afford many of the healthier, more moral choices even if I wanted to. Comfort zone? WHAT comfort zone? Living paycheck to paycheck leaves NO comfort zone, asshole.

  173. Comrade PhysioProf

    I’m curious what you all think of the hypothesis that humans grew big brains because they started eating meat.

    It is untestable evolutionary speculation. In other words, it is self-serving bullshitte.

  174. Liz

    @greenconsciousness

    “I am not talking to the Inuits in Alaska or to a chicken butcher in Mexico”

    How do you know who is reading this blog? Are you assuming that little brown primitives don’t have computers or internet?

    Perhaps you could preface your posts to let those of us not included in the group you presume to be addressing that we need not read.

    And for the record, the plural of Inuit is Inuit.

    @AlienNumber, I had a very similar experience to your chicken-eating experience as a child and gizzard was/is my favourite part. My Grandmother also ate the bone marrow, and taught me to do so as well. Ironically, the marrow and internal organs have more nutritional value than the white meat my grandfather filled his wide gullet with. He died twenty years before my grandmother, perhaps in part because there was only enough money for him to be a self-indulgent consumer while the rest of us made do with what was left over.

    As minervaK says, northern people, no matter what colour they come in can do very well on seal and whale meat. When people have been on/in an area of land for for hundreds or thousands of years, it is because that land provides an adequate spectrum of nutrition for humans to survive. When you get closer to the poles where there’s next to no growing season, the balance is more tenuous and more animal-dependent. Seals are incredible animals. Not only are they bright, adaptable, opportunistic and beautiful, their meat is the only meat that can provide a full-spectrum of nutrition. You can live on seal meat alone and not eventually die of malnutrition the way you will with caribou for example. That is part of the reason that Inuit say that the seal has medicine. The oil also has powerful healing properties.

    Respect for life and killing/eating animals are not necessarily mutually exclusive. As has been stated in this thread, something always must die for something else to live.

    Killing is too often conflated with pain and suffering in animals. Personally, I would rather be a seal who dies quickly from a bullet or a blow to the head than a cow forced onto a truck and transported to a slaughterhouse, whether I was grass-fed or factory raised. The last moments before death for many animals, even pets who are taken to the vet to be humanely put down, are often very stressful.

    For me, the most ideal/ethical animal protein to eat, is from an animal who has had no cognizance of threat in the moments before it’s death.

  175. Liz

    Sorry, that should have read
    “Perhaps you could preface your posts to let those of us not included in the group you presume to be addressing know that we need not read.”

  176. Greenconsciousness

    @ Bushfire
    The price of fresh USA made tofu depends on how and where you buy it. Here, I drive to Madison about 30 minutes to buy it by the case at a co-op and then it is 22 dollars for a case of 12 tubs. if you buy it one tub at a time, it will cost a little more.

    I would like to see US grants made to buy the equipment and pay the trainers, so tofu could be made by decent people in every state in the union (green joObamaama- you remember those green jobs we never received because BO had to save wall st).

    Right now Monsanto makes most tofu as it has bought out all the other manufacturers including white wave and wesoy, all the old hippie manufacturers.

    I wish Simple Soyman could franchise its work so we could take back our food production from the oligarchs and provide employment for our own communities in every state. Plus, then I could move around the country and still get decent tofu.

  177. Greenconsciousness

    Sorry

    Dean Foods is not Monsanto and it owns White Wave — I conflate the two because they have the same values and behavior

    http://www.cornucopia.org/silk-whitewavedean-foods/

  178. cin17

    All this talk of vegan food is making me crave seitan. It’s the only thing besides chocolate cake that I crave so intensely that my mouth literally begins to water.

  179. otoc

    I only eat stray cats I catch and shoot myself.

  180. yttik

    “I only eat stray cats I catch and shoot myself.”

    Bill Frist(R)used to do that. He was once room mates with David Wu(D). Wu would go rape women, Frist would hunt stray cats. Later we elected these two men, because we believed they were the most qualified to represent the values of our respective parties.

    Yes Green, I’ve read Phyllis Chesler’s “Women’s Inhumanity to Women” and her other books. I think she has some good insights, but until we start electing female cat killers and female rapists, I’m going to have to insist that women as a group tend to make better moral choices. The whole concept of masculinity relies on teaching boys not to empathize with anything or anyone. No empathy, not much morality. Women should get something out of all this guilt and shame that is dumped on us. I demand we take hold of the morality card.

  181. Bushfire

    @Greenconsciousness I’ve never bought 12 tubs at a time before! Jeez, I only buy one tub once in a while. Next time I buy it I’ll check out where it was made.

  182. Greenconsciousness

    yttick

    I agree with you as much as I agree with myself.

  183. Jezebella

    I’ll never understand why conversations about veg*ism always end up with some kind of tofu argument. One does not have to eat tofu if one does not eat meat. Conversely, omnivores frequently eat tofu. [see: Japanese cuisine, Chinese cuisine, et al.] It’s as though tofu stands in for a distasteful American lifestyle for some people, and that is absurd, considering how many millions (billions?) of people eat tofu every day.

    Furthermore, the ethics of meat-eating come down to this, at least in my opinion: I believe vegan is the most ethical lifestyle choice for most people on the planet, but it is also inaccessible for many people, including many Americans, many of whom live in food deserts in both rural and urban areas. An equitable distribution of resources would result in all people having the option to choose ethical foodways. Food is very much a feminist issue, for reasons I need not enumerate to advanced blamers. Am *I* a perfectly ethical eater? Heavens, no. Given the current state of food production where I live, the most I can do is aspire to ethical eating. It’s all any of us can do, but it’s also something radical feminists should be aspiring to.

  184. pheenobarbidoll

    Tofu tastes like shit, that’s the extent of my opinion on it. (and yes, I’ve had it many different ways. Still tastes like shit) What I get sick of hearing is privileged asses informing me what food costs, as if I don’t have a fucking pair of eyes in my head and can’t do simple math. It’s also annoying to see how many people have no clue what people who DO live in 3rd world poverty actually have available. And then there’s the fact that my own people had a pretty good damn thing going food wise, until unwanted genocidal maniacs showed up and decided what we should eat. Haven’t shut the fuck up yet about it either, be it veggies OR meat. As a non white person speaking only for my non fucking white self, I’m god damn sick and tired of honkies telling me what I should eat, how to be a moral eater and telling me anything in general about animal welfare when the fact is, my culture has a far better track record on that particular subject. And ANY time honkie ideas on food have been forced onto people of my persuasion, it’s given us more health issues than you could shake a stick at. So stuff the morality crap and stuff the food police act. Been there done that, and we have the diabetes to prove it. Police other honkies til you drop. But leave me the hell out of it.

    Wa do.

  185. Lovepug

    WWJD?

    http://www.cafepress.com/trekunitedstore.28004578#

  186. Phledge

    Word, Pheenobarbidoll. Blaming other women (when we should be blaming the P) for what they have to do to survive, what they choose of equally insufficient choices, or what they can afford: that’s the P’s way of splitting us up.

  187. Tei Tetua

    PETA wants to grab people’s attention, and they are totally amoral about how they achieve it. The existence of this thread proves that they are successful.

    Have they got a bunch of people flaming each other about animal cruelty? Yes they have. Job done!

  188. Kristine

    Oh my stars, you’re right. This post was supposed to be about PETA’s involvement in the Global Accords Governing the Fair Use Of Women, and instead the thread turned into a veggie vs. meaty fight! Those sneaky-ass sons of deadbeat dads!

    I’m officially done with this post.

  189. pheenobarbidoll

    “Have they got a bunch of people flaming each other about animal cruelty?”

    PETA doesn’t get all the credit for that. Assy privilege owns a big chunk of it.

  190. yttik

    I hear you, Pheeno. Privilege bites, especially when there is no acknowledgement of the people who have been doing it right for centuries, like people living off the land and respecting it because they know that’s where their sustenance comes from. Along comes environmentalists, vegans, and they act like they’ve just invented something new! Then they show up with all this morality and self righteousness, lecturing people about ethical choices, and it’s just like pouring salt on a wound.

    At the start of this discussion somebody connected the PETA porn to women needing to sacrifice for the greater good. That’s the part I’m tired of, whether we’re the ones being asked to eat rice cakes and tofu, or to have sex to end the war, or to star in porn to save the animals. It’s way past time for women to realize that we are the greater good. We’re half the human race. Heal us, you heal everything else. The Earth is our mother, right? As long as it’s okay to rape your mother, we’re going to go right on raping the Earth and hurting everything else on it.

  191. AlienNumber

    @AlienNumber: ‘It is necessary for their survival that they be milked’, I just have to say what an utter load of rubbish that is. Cows have pregnancy forced upon them multiple times during their lives, they are given hormones to increase the milk the produce to unnatural levels and the calf is immediately taken away once born so as not to deplete any of the milk. I once believed that without being milked the cows udders would explode, or something equally silly. However, they’re mammals, like us, they don’t produce milk unless pregnant and so are made to be in that condition their whole lives until they’re eventually sold off as cheap meant (not ‘Happy’ or ‘humane’ meat). Is that the kind of lifestyle you would support for women? Do you think it is necessary for women’s survival that they be milked? Since you’re on this blog, I don’t think you would.

    Not a cow expert by any means, but hormone overload + torture is what they (may) do to cows in this country of profit-obsessed capitalist psychopaths. This is NOT what they do to cows in (the parts I’m personally familiar with in) rural Eastern Europe, where the DOMESTICATED cows are part of the family. No hormones (hell, those things are expensive), no taking away of the calf, no forced mating, and quite a lot of personal care and attention. And COWS ARE NOT HUMAN FEMALES for fucks’ sake. And yes: if not properly milked, the cows are in pain and are at really high risk of getting infections in their udders (this is what happens after thousands of years of domestication – the domesticated animals develop traits pleasing to their human domesticators, such as more-or-less continuous milk production, milk which can feed both its calf and the humans).

    My personal grandmother’s cow lived a quite comfortable 17+ years. She even answered to her name, in that cow-way of hers. And she’d call to us (in the morning and evening when it was time for her to get milked) if we were late. We all were sad when she died of old age. [Did I mention that taking care of a cow is really hard work and it's usually the females of the family who do it?]

    See this is what I meant by 1st world alienation from the animals + propaganda from PETA. You get all kinds of self-righteous folk equating animals with human females and then there’s lobe blowing all over the place.

    Thanks for reading. I promise I’m done with sharing stories about animals from the farm. That’s Jill’s domain after all.

    (pheenobarbidoll, you’re amazing).

  192. sjaustin

    Cows have pregnancy forced upon them multiple times during their lives, they are given hormones to increase the milk the produce to unnatural levels and the calf is immediately taken away once born so as not to deplete any of the milk.

    If human women weren’t coerced into breeding, the population wouldn’t be so ridiculously huge, and it might be possible to get everyone fed without destroying the environment and treating animals and laborers inhumanely. Producing enormous amounts of food, regardless of what’s being produced, uses land and resources. It causes pollution of various sorts and harms wildlife in various ways even if there are no domesticated animals being harmed.

  193. AlienNumber

    Right, sjaustin. The liberation of human females is the number 1 priority if one cares about the environment.

    PETA doesn’t understand that at all or else that’d quit this porn and prostitution business immediately. Porn and prostitution are antithetically opposed to women’s liberation, so they are antithetically opposed to the environment.

  194. laxsoppa

    sonia—”and yes, Indians are vegetarians because it’s part of their patriarchal religion. it’s the only 3rd world country, except some areas of Southeast Asia, that’s like that. most 3rd world countries it’s very hard to eat vegetarian. have you traveled at all?”

    Thanks for your perspective, although I have to say pretty much everybody else opened the subject up except for you who accuse pretty much everybody else of not thinking for themselves.

    And since you’re asking, no, I haven’t travelled, because I HAVEN’T GOT THE FUCKING MONEY. No thanks for the condescending tone. The global tavel industry is very much a tool of colonialist branch of the patriarchy and I have no interest in wielding my privilege that way even if I had the funds, but that’s for another thread to dissect.

    pheenobarbidoll—”As a non white person speaking only for my non fucking white self, I’m god damn sick and tired of honkies telling me what I should eat, how to be a moral eater and telling me anything in general about animal welfare when the fact is, my culture has a far better track record on that particular subject. And ANY time honkie ideas on food have been forced onto people of my persuasion, it’s given us more health issues than you could shake a stick at. So stuff the morality crap and stuff the food police act. Been there done that, and we have the diabetes to prove it.”

    Out of curiousity, what’s your culture/nation/tribe of origin? I get this same shit, and being from the nothern reindeer-herding types of people it just bores the living hell out of me. Chicken was a fucking luxury when I grew up, and frankly it should have stayed that way. We got better food right here, and a human population that could still be locally sustainable, but for some reason it’s cheaper or easier to buy imported pork than it is to get local foodstuffs.

    Maybe it’s the easy part that’s the problem, but then doing away with the easy just means more work at home, usually for the womenfolk.

  195. pheenobarbidoll

    “Along comes environmentalists, vegans, and they act like they’ve just invented something new! Then they show up with all this morality and self righteousness, lecturing people about ethical choices, and it’s just like pouring salt on a wound.”

    This. And I generally bite back my brutally honest response, believe it or not. But not now.

    That farmers market? Yeah, sitting on stolen land. Those organic, locally grown crops? Stolen land. That building where your tofu is made? Stolen fucking land. And just hazard a guess as to how that wonderful, fertile land got prepared to be farmed in the first place? Slaves.

    And they think they fucking invented ethical eating. And that they ARE ethically eating. Not even close, sister. Not even close.

  196. K.A.

    I wouldn’t even characterize your response as “brutally” honest, Pheeno.

    +1

    Nailed it.

  197. minervaK

    Organic tofu is $22.00 (twenty-two dollars) for a case of twelve tubs – each tub is one pound. One tub cost less than 2 dollars. A bag of potato chips costs $3.00 (three dollars). Why not be self righteous about how many brown men are killed per bag of potato chips?

    Look, dammit, I’m not arguing about economics here, or about brown men (I said brown PEOPLE). What I’m saying is that all food — meat, vegetables, fruit, grains, ANYTHING — involves destruction/death. There IS NO MORAL HIGH GROUND where food is concerned, especially within the context of patriarchy, where we all live. Either we directly kill an animal and eat its flesh, or we destroy habitat to grow food, or we deny other animals food so that we get it, or some other configuration of killing/abuse. The point is that we exist in a reality where death is a constant, and there is no way out of that. We could live on wood chips and water and still be participants.

    YES, there are fine distinctions to be argued, like how much direct killing we cause with our dietary behaviors, what type of killing we condone with our dietary behaviors, heirarchies of what is OK to kill and what’s not OK to kill, etc., but they are all value judgments based on putting one life form’s needs above another’s. Some subjugated farmer (brown, purple, plaid) in a third world country is growing that organic tofu for the hybrid-driving set; is his suffering less worthy than the steer they refuse to slaugher for steaks? At some point, we all make that call, whether we like it or not, and whether we are aware of it or not.

    Not all vegetarians/vegans are moral supremacists. However, the ones who are (and I speak AS A GODDAMN VEGETARIAN) give me a royal fucking pain, due to all of the above. End of rant.

    And now, some really top-shelf blaming, to cleanse the mental palate:

    http://tigerbeatdown.com/2011/08/29/chronicles-of-mansplaining-professor-feminism-and-the-deleted-comments-of-doom/

  198. minervaK

    I forgot the most important thing: everybody, everywhere, has the absolute, unassailable right to eat anything, and as much or as little of that anything, as they can get their hands on. This is simple bodily sovereignty. A belief in the right to control other people’s behavior (which includes how/what they eat) is the absolute cornerstone of Patriarchy. Can I get an Amen.

  199. minervaK

    Also, I love you all.

  200. redpeachmoon

    Can I vent for a moment? On television, right now, is a ‘documentary’ called “A Good Man” about an Australian farmer and his quadraplegic, speechless wife, their children,(he feeds and rapes her). They (he) is opening a brothel (a rape-shack), and this is all being represented with a sympathetic view.

    Absofuckinglutely sickening.

  201. redpeachmoon

    Oh, and there’s animal (sheep) killing too.

  202. Jessie

    @ redpeachmoon: I just read a summary of that film. It makes it sound like the brothel-owner is making a huge sacrifice, as if he’s the one who is being raped.

    God, even the poster shows the couple, with an anonymous prostituted woman in the background, where you can’t even see her face.

  203. TwissB

    Jill Psmith – You need to come back at once and set this mighty feminist engine back on its track. A huge dump of contentious foodstuffs on the line has caused a major derailment.

  204. sjaustin

    minervaK, you get a hearty “AMEN” from me. The P keeps trying to tell women what they should or shouldn’t be eating. I hate to see us doing it to one another, regardless of the justifications.

  205. Camille

    Twisty,

    A guy I know said to me the other day, “If girls didn’t have legs, they would slide around on their vaginas like snails. Women are just snails with legs.”

    Comments to this? I was utterly speechless.

  206. Jezebella

    Camille, that guy needs to be hoofed in the junk, and then never spoken to again.

    minervak, as to this: “I forgot the most important thing: everybody, everywhere, has the absolute, unassailable right to eat anything, and as much or as little of that anything, as they can get their hands on. This is simple bodily sovereignty.”

    I guess animals don’t have any rights at all, then, if what I want, what I really, really want, is to eat veal and foie gras day in and day out. Fuck the animals, yeah? I GOT BODILY SOVEREIGNTY AND THEY DON’T. My rights end where yours start, don’t they? So why does my right to eat veal (not that I do, but let’s just say I do), why does that outweigh the rights of that calf? Are we so much better than animals that we have the right to torture them any way we see fit?

    I think not. People do what they have to in order to survive, sure, but the human notion that we have the right to absolute dominion over animals because they are inferior beings sounds an awful lot like patriarchy to me.

  207. tinfoil hattie

    Do animals have “rights”?

    Discuss.

  208. otoc

    “I forgot the most important thing: everybody, everywhere, has the absolute, unassailable right to eat anything, and as much or as little of that anything, as they can get their hands on. This is simple bodily sovereignty.”

    I agree with this, which is why I think any animal, including human animals, should be legally allowed to hunt and eat each other. It would also be very helpful for global warming.

  209. amrit

    Nice one, otoc.

    Saved me from having to take on the “unassailable” rights argument, once again.

    Maybe Swift had a point; let’s just eat the poor.

    http://art-bin.com/art/omodest.html

  210. pheenobarbidoll

    Yes, because having bodily autonomy that extends to food means all women everywhere will immediately go out and kill baby animals and other humans. We’re untrustworthy like that. If we didn’t have the moral food police shaming us over food, we’d be fat pigs killing everything in sight and shoving it in our mouths. Sorta like how we get abortions penciled in after manicures. We’re just willy nilly flighty inhumane women, after all. If men can’t be around to treat us like irresponsible babies, it’s nice to know certain women are volunteering for the job.

  211. pheenobarbidoll

    And since some women feel competent enough to decide what I should be eating, feel free to come to my house, buy the food you want me to eat, cook it, feed it to me and make sure you use the toilet paper with the Iroquois Rights on the package when you wipe my ass for me.

  212. yttik

    It’s kind of human and arrogant for us to debate animal rights, because rights are something people bestow on each other. You can’t bestow rights on something unless you have dominion over it. If you’re opposed to people having dominion over animals, than the whole concept of bestowing rights upon them is faulty.

    Whatever your belief system, there’s this process and design that’s been going on for millions of years. Many native people and even many poor rural people learned that their survival was directly connected to respecting and honoring this natural system. You learn to not mistreat animals, not because you’ve gone and assigned them “rights,” but because it’s bad for you.

  213. otoc

    pheenobarbidoll, I am not arguing about your diet at all. I did not mention it. Or any woman’s. I am not attempting to convince anyone of how they should or should not eat. I am pointing out a flawed argument, or that we all have limits we may not realize (we do not eat pets, we do not eat people — what are the reasons for this? are these reasons as sound as we think they are?). I did not implore you or anyone to become a veg*n or anything else. Please do not accuse me of things I am not doing.

  214. pheenobarbidoll

    The idea women may eat what they want has absolutely jack and shit to do with eating/hunting people. That’s the same slippery slope crap homophobes use with ” if we let anyone marry, then people will marry animals!!”

    You don’t have to implore anyone, your “which is why I think any animal, including human animals, should be legally allowed to hunt and eat each other” says it all. In other words, your counter argument is just as flawed.

  215. otoc

    Now I’m a homophobe as well as a woman-shamer. What a bunch of bullshit. I guess that’s the last time I try dry humor on the internet.

    People have no idea how much shit girls and women have to take from people for not making everyone else comfortable and going along with eating meat they don’t want to to make everyone else happy. No idea. I have visceral memories as a girl/young woman of choking down sausage and egg casserole and turkey sandwiches and chicken breasts with bloody veins in them because other people might get upset if I didn’t eat what they made or what they were eating, all the while trying not to get sick or throwing half of it away. I don’t like meat, never have, and I do not need anyone speculating or shaming about how my veg*nism is just a cover for an eating disorder and I’m doing it in some anti-feminist capacity. People get to choose what to eat, but just don’t make a stupid argument about it on the internet or someone might make fun of it. OH THE SHAME. THE HORROR. WHY DO I HATE WOMEN SO.

    This:

    “I forgot the most important thing: everybody, everywhere, has the absolute, unassailable right to eat anything, and as much or as little of that anything, as they can get their hands on. This is simple bodily sovereignty.”

    Is different from:

    “Women may/should eat what they want.”

  216. tangle

    Thank you, otoc.

  217. pheenobarbidoll

    Now I’m a homophobe as well as a woman-shamer.”

    Yep, I called you a homophobe as opposed to, oh, pointing out how your slippery slope Soylent Green scenario was just as flawed as the” omg they’ll be marrying cows soon!”.

    This

    “Women may/should eat what they want.”

    is different from

    “which is why I think any animal, including human animals, should be legally allowed to hunt and eat each other.”

    Unless you seriously believe she was including people in that. If not, WTF was the point of bringing cannibalism into it?

    Oh yes. It was an attempt to make her argument sound like an anything goes scenario.

  218. otoc

    pheenobarbidoll, as I said before, I was pointing out the limits that we humans have decided, semi-collectively to place on what types of meat are and are not acceptable to eat. These limits may or may not make sense and it is my right to question that, and even make fun of how arbitrary it can be. I do not believe that minervaK was saying anyone should eat human meat, but she phrased herself into a corner. It happens, she’ll live, we’ll all be OK. Unless… minervaK are you too upset to speak for yourself here? Do you need me to stop posting?

  219. stacey

    IBTP for harshing my mellow.

  220. Bushfire

    This conversation makes me want to drink margaritas.

  221. tinfoil hattie

    Bushfire, I’ll pour.

  222. Yeny

    pheenobarbidoll- I find it pretty insulting that you’ve set up this false dichotomy between honkies who are pushing their veganism on oppressed minorities who know better. I’m not white, my whole family are South American and my parents were immigrants. I am the only person in the family who doesn’t eat meat (although I do sometimes eat seafood). I feel pretty disgusted by the way my caring about animal suffering is either entirely ignored by your set up, or mocked relentlessly by my family members. Giving a shit about other beings that you know can feel pain is something I consider to be an expression of something which, although not uniquely human, we should certainly celebrate in us: compassion.
    Of course, even the most worthy social movements can be high-jacked by racist asshats; feminism is an obvious example, yet here we all are.

    I don’t think we’re on different sides of the equation at all, I just dislike the simplistic way you’ve set out the debate, where people like me don’t seem to exist. I find Greenconsciousness’s posts really obnoxious and offensive(and kinda preachy), but I know (and this is from personal experience) that her posts DO NOT represent what all vegans/vegetarians are like, or even what *most* vegans/vegetarians are like (well, not the brown ones like me).

  223. pheenobarbidoll

    Then possibly Yenny, I’m not talking about you. Hmm? I’ve been pretty specific about *who* I have a problem with and exactly why. If you haven’t done that, then don’t fit yourself into their group. And these certain sects of people I’m talking about (and no not just here on this blog) have, point of fact, appropriated the ever loving shit out of MY cultures dietary customs/practices/beliefs and turned it into a New Age Look What We White Enlighten Folks Have Invented. Even though it’s not original and certainly wasn’t an honky invention. They’ve also done with our religious beliefs, not just eating habits or treatment of food from animals. Hell, even our own concept of human rights is slapped onto toilet paper and marketed. Fucking toilet paper for gods sake.

    So don’t sit there and tell me that it’s a false dichotomy when I see it and am subjected to it rather frequently. And if I’m not mentioning you or people who share your beliefs, it’s because you’re not lecturing me on ethical fucking eating without knowing 1 damn thing about my life OR how or what I eat. That’s what you’re being left out of. Are you telling me you WANT to be included in the list of privileged assholes that piss me off?

  224. pheenobarbidoll

    “but I know (and this is from personal experience) that her posts DO NOT represent what all vegans/vegetarians are like, or even what *most* vegans/vegetarians are like (well, not the brown ones like me).”

    And I know that too. Which I why I specifically talked about the ones that are. Those who are not (like you)don’t have to worry that I (at least, can’t speak for everyone else) don’t assume all vegan/vegetarians are all pompous, arrogant asshats. But there are a few who have decided they’re the ethical food police. Those are the ones I can’t stomach. Everyone else? Live and let live, eat meat don’t eat meat it’s none of my business.

  225. Yeny

    My name is spelt Yeny, not Yenny. It’s a pet peeve of mine when people spell my name wrong, it’s only four letters after all.
    “Along comes environmentalists, vegans, and they act like they’ve just invented something new! Then they show up with all this morality and self righteousness, lecturing people about ethical choices, and it’s just like pouring salt on a wound.”
    You quoted this in one of your posts- and maybe I’m reading your posts all wrong (which is, of course, always a real possibility and maybe I shouldn’t even be directing my greivances at you, but rather the person who wrote it, however I’ve barely slept and I can’t find the original post) but I feel that either my existence is being ignored, or I’m being lumped in with ‘environmentalist and vegans’ who think they have invented something new. Worst of all is that it reads like caring for animal rights (and the environment) is part of the problem- rather than the imperialist attitudes that accompany it. All I’m saying, is that, just like in feminism, racism is a big fucking problem, but when I call out the racism I try not to make it seem like I’m taking issue with the fight for the liberation of women from oppression. Now if you also have a problem with the cause of animal rights on its ideological merits, then that’s a different thing, but it reads to me like it’s all getting tangled up together with the way privileged white people behave, and that’s where my objection lies. Again, I could be reading it all wrong, since I’ve barely slept recently, like I said, but I don’t really disagree with you, I just don’t appreciate being either erased or lumped in with dickheads because I care about animal rights.

  226. Gayle

    Sadly, this thread went from PETA sucks to vegans and vegetarians suck pretty quickly.

    One positive note for all you plant based diet types: high powered men are joining the movement in droves, which means vegetarianism will become mainstream in a matter of moments. Once elite men decide something is A-OK,(translation: no longer girly!) the rest of the country follows!

  227. Gayle

    ““which is why I think any animal, including human animals, should be legally allowed to hunt and eat each other.”

    Unless you seriously believe she was including people in that. If not, WTF was the point of bringing cannibalism into it?”

    The point may have been that people are animals, too.

  228. Shelby

    Change the channel, Marge

  229. minervaK

    No, what I said was: there IS NO MORAL HIGH GROUND where food is concerned, but don’t let me interrupt y’all fighting for it anyway.

  230. sjaustin

    No, what I said was: there IS NO MORAL HIGH GROUND where food is concerned, but don’t let me interrupt y’all fighting for it anyway

    Right. If we insist that everyone eat 100% ethical harm-free food, everyone is going to starve to death. It’s all on a continuum of destruction. Fundamentally, there’s no difference among “You shouldn’t eat veal” or “you shouldn’t eat meat at all” or “you shouldn’t eat dairy” or “you shouldn’t eat produce that’s been treated with pesticides” or “you shouldn’t eat produce that people are breaking their backs to harvest.” Where do we draw the line and say that at that point it’s okay to tell people what to put in their mouths? How do we decide who gets to decide where that line is?

  231. AlienNumber

    MinervaK, there is a moral high ground where food is concerned. Cut the libertarianisms.

    For example, you wouldn’t feed your newborn baby a vegan diet. You just wouldn’t. And if you knew me and loved your own life, you really wouldn’t try to feed me tofu.

    p.s. where is the blog mistress?? I miss her.

  232. Nolabelfits

    Alot of people feed their newborns soy formula and the infants thrive just fine. By the way, is breast milk considered vegan?

  233. Triste

    I don’t really want to derail this too much more than it already is, but I feel like a lot of the hostility in this thread is a little bit unfair given how completely impossible it is for women to ever do anything right when it comes to eating. I would venture to guess that most of us have spent our entire lives being constantly barraged with the message that we are eating incorrectly. We’re eating too much fatty shit! We’re eating too many sweets! We’re eating too much weak lady food, like vegetables, and we’re forcing men to have to eat the emasculating food we make! We’re too fat, we’re too skinny, we aren’t eating enough yogurt, we’re enjoying our food too much, we aren’t being sufficiently environmentally conscious, we’re being snobs because we are being environmentally conscious.

    What I mean to say is, we should be cutting ourselves a break. To use an extremely gratuitous example because I am tired and can’t think of a better one: you don’t go into a room full of Jewish Holocaust survivors and start talking about how Judaism is a patriarchal crock of shit. It’s true, since all religions are patriarchal crocks of shit, but it’s fucked up to rub that in the faces of a bunch of traumatized people, especially if you are speaking from a position of privilege. Similarly, as many women here are traumatized (that isn’t really the right word for what I mean but I hope you can grok my basic point) by constant food-shaming and body-shaming, it’s frankly kind of harsh to rush in and start in with the whole “You have no excuse for not eating vegan!” shpiel. Even if you are well-meaning, even if it is objectively better for the environment.

    That said, I don’t really see what excuse dudes of sufficient means have for not going vegan or at least vegetarian, besides vegetables shriveling their enormous balls or something. If you are a dude with cash to spare, you might want to, you know, think about that.

  234. Barbara P

    Is breast milk for an infant is vegan? I don’t know, but for my kids, it was at least “free range”.

  235. buttercup

    “many women here are traumatized (that isn’t really the right word for what I mean but I hope you can grok my basic point) by constant food-shaming and body-shaming,”

    Triste, Traumatized is exactly the right word.

  236. amrit

    Triste: “To use an extremely gratuitous example because I am tired and can’t think of a better one: you don’t go into a room full of Jewish Holocaust survivors and start talking about how Judaism is a patriarchal crock of shit.”

    Triste: People do that all the time. Take my word for it. Just look on the web at all the Holocaust deniers and all the white supremacists, which by the way, you are starting to resemble when you gratuitously use Jews and Judaism as a weak metaphor for your other arguments. The argument about food is significant on it’s own. It does not require comparisons to the Holocaust in order to have gravity. It has not a thing to do with Hitler or THE JEWS.

    The discourse is about food is loaded, but what has impressed me most about this thread has been how when women disagree with each other, when they voice an opinion about food and it’s meaning, other women respond as though that is a violation. An opinion, even one that claims a moral basis, is not the same as oppressing someone’s “unassailable” right to eat whatever they can. If we feel traumatized by the food opinions held by other women, if we feel judged, maybe it is because we are being judged, and really, so what?

  237. Ottawa Gardener

    Sometimes and I say this with great respect for all, when these topics explode, it is a good time to become deeply self-reflective because we’ve hit something that hurts.

    However, I am interested in the difficult intellectual and actual exercise of our uneasy but inseparable relationship with the Earth. Maybe in another post.

  238. Ottawa Gardener

    Sometimes and I say this with great respect for all, when these topics explode, it is a good time to become deeply self-reflective because we’ve hit something that hurts.

    However, I am interested in the difficult intellectual and actual exercise of our uneasy but inseparable relationship with the Earth. Maybe in another post.

  239. Gertrude Strine

    Calling Godwin’s, and with relief.
    Will the 3 or more dudes kindly raise their hands?
    Trust, however, the blametariat to insert a Hitler reference so idiosyncratically; the obvious one for a vegetarian/animal loving thread didn’t get a guernsey.

  240. amrit

    Ottawa Gardener: “However, I am interested in the difficult intellectual and actual exercise of our uneasy but inseparable relationship with the Earth.”

    Thanks for this. It explains for me, in part, why the whole discourse around food is so loaded. Maybe there is no real way to achieve a morally unambiguous position about food. At least, not one that I have identified.

  241. pheenobarbidoll

    “My name is spelt Yeny, not Yenny. It’s a pet peeve of mine when people spell my name wrong, it’s only four letters after all.”

    Sorry, I have dental issues going on and that post was written after a pain pill. Your name wasn’t the only thing wrong in it.

    “You quoted this in one of your posts- and maybe I’m reading your posts all wrong ”

    And the quote I was responding to was responding to MY post about specific people who have privilege

    “What I get sick of hearing is privileged asses informing me what food costs, as if I don’t have a fucking pair of eyes in my head and can’t do simple math…..”

    I go on about these specific types of people.

    “but it reads to me like it’s all getting tangled up together with the way privileged white people behave,”

    It is often in conjunction with how privileged white people behave. The New Age types who come to Indian dances and Drum circles, wearing shit they don’t even know the meaning of, driving expensive hybrid cars and tsking about meat being sold, the wealthy white people who think it’s trendy to move to the country and grow their own little organic garden and then call themselves farmers, the volunteers who bring their cast offs to Reservations and then lecture the Indians on what foods they should be eating and then pat themselves on the back for helping those poor, dirty ignorant Indians as if they’ve done them a good deed….the list goes on and on. And it includes some here who assume because healthier food is available or cheaper where they live that it’s that way everywhere and it’s simply a matter of choice. Or that they’re ethical and everyone else is being lazy or purposely stubborn, when they’re not as ethical as they think given that in reality, their little co-op is sitting in the middle of Native Indian territory where WE used to be able to feed ourselves, until we were slaughtered for that land. The farmland growing veggies is where we used to hunt. Entire people’s were wiped out for that fertile farmland and the descendants of the survivors are sitting on dead soil with no way to access the food from that very land now used to grow other people’s ethical corn.

    That? That chaps my ass 7 ways from Sunday. You talk about being ignored, that’s exactly what I’m bringing up. That more ethical than meat tofu is cultivated in soil that is not yours. It was stolen. Taken. And the very people it was taken from don’t get 1 benefit. Not 1. Same goes with the green beans, corn, tomatoes, cauliflower, beets, potatoes, lettuce etc etc etc. But that little fact is being ignored in favor of shaming people over supposedly non ethical food choices.

  242. pheenobarbidoll

    “I just don’t appreciate being either erased or lumped in with dickheads because I care about animal rights.”

    *I* care about animal rights. But my post isn’t about people who care about animal rights, it’s about people who ignore just how and where their “ethical” food comes from.

    If right this second all hunting/killing/eating animals stopped and everyone magically became vegans, they’d still be getting their food from stolen land. And the people it was stolen from are eating fried bologna and calling it a luxury.

  243. stacey

    I’m interested in the breast milk issue. I would say it’s not vegan, in that it is a (human-)animal byproduct. My breast milk was further sub-categorized as pesco-vegetarian-derived, if we’re being precise about it.

    Stolen land food reminds me of another thing the patriarchy stole from native Americans: churro sheep. The Navaho, especially, made their famous blankets from churro sheep obtained from Spaniards through raids or trade. When natives were decimated and placed on reserves with shitty land, they were also given shitty sheep after their churros were appropriated. The blankets (and the population) were never the same.

  244. Discombobulated

    This particular conversation, which does not change very much each time it happens, illustrates the untenable situation that the relentless onward march of patriarchy, or the domination/dominion of all life–all of matter, really–helped along by increasingly sophisticated and devastating technology, has placed humankind in.

    The systematic and uncaring use and destruction of living beings, the cruelty, the enjoyment of torture and extreme suffering, the indifference to the suffering of other living beings, the sideways smirking condoning and approval of this indifference, this active cruelty, the hopelessness, the lack of alternatives, the inability to escape, illustrates in huge glowing colors the nightmare that we are in.

    It is unendurable. The animals placed into this relentless grinding system cannot endure it, are not meant to endure it, and die. The people in these systems cannot endure it–the end result is always the same: aggression, abuse, grief, neglect, hatred, violence, domination, apathy, indifference, hopelessness, terror, rage, sickness, agony, death. The land cannot endure it.

    It is not just mass food production but the uncaring and unthinking system behind it, the engine of it, that makes this nightmare possible. Horrific mistreatment of animals is a symptom of the overall sickness that is in every corner of our lives, affects every aspect of our lives, informs every action of our lives. The commodification of every facet of existence, the grotesque conquest of anyone and anything that is inconvenient or unprofitable or does not confer power, gives signal evidence to this unavoidable, unendurable, inviolable fact: The patriarchy is everywhere, there is no escape from it, it sickens everything it touches, it will continue to do so, and humankind will not allow it to stop.

    And this is the resulting nightmare. We are locked into it. The repercussions echo through everything we do. This comment is, of course, a cry from the heart. When I think of the full scale of this unlivable situation, I am rendered almost comatose. It’s a crushing weight. It’s unbearable.

  245. AlienNumber

    Triste, did you just almost prove Elk Law wrong, by bringing in you know what topic? Wow. Shame. Alternatively, are you a dude?
    (a mild attempt at one or two jokes)

    “However, I am interested in the difficult intellectual and actual exercise of our uneasy but inseparable relationship with the Earth. Maybe in another post.”

    This is it! There is so much uncomfortableness re: the fact that we are mortal, and animals, and made of flesh, and living on planet Earth, sharing it with a bunch of other mortal beings.

    There I go again blabbing about Lierre’s book, but the brilliance of it lies less in the science and argument (which is brilliant) and more in the coming-of-age part. She expresses, very lyrically, a mature bittersweet acceptance of the fact that we are mortal and can’t escape the cycle of life and death, the essential what’s-the-word-I’m-looking-for of la condition tacqueu, as they say around these parts.

  246. AlienNumber

    Discombobulated, that was beautiful. And sad.

  247. tinfoil hattie

    I’d say breast milk is vegan, if nobody is pumping a lactating woman’s breasts and/or forcing her to feed some other species.

  248. MezzoPiana

    Discombobulated, I love you. I’d say that’s a pretty damn perfect summing up.

  249. AlienNumber

    Human milk is an animal product, so by definition it is not vegan.

    (I’d never feed a baby a vegan/soy diet, unless it was a male baby and I was in the mood for a dark experiment.

    Really, that was dark humor. Not even male babies deserve that kind of treatment.)

  250. ivyleaves

    Well, I fed my son a lot of soy because he loved it, formula and later on tofu sweets. I breastfed him, but he completely refused milk, so it had to be soy when I wasn’t available. I personally can’t stand most soy products, and only tolerate the others.

    Discombobulated – you expressed it very well, but one thing puzzled me: “and humankind will not allow it to stop.” I think that is suggesting that if humankind just stopped trying, patriarchy would go away of its own accord. I think a more active verb is called for, because patriarchy is so unconscious that without conscious, pointed effort, it will never end.

  251. AlienNumber

    A certain country that I personally know about, (under)fed its population with a heavy diet of soy – and little animal product, because there wasn’t much – and the population lost 2.5 inches in average height in less than two generations. North Korea, also on a soy/vegan/starvation diet is entering the World Book of Records for some of the tiniest people on the planet. It may be the stress, it may be the diet, it may be that soy – used to be used to make glue industrially -, but there is quite a bit of evidence that soy is not good for us.

  252. Nolabelfits

    There is also quite a bit of evidence that animal products are not good for us. Not that I’m espousing soy or soy products myself, but anything in excess is going to cause problems. Its clear AlienNumber that you believe animal products are absolutely essential to a healthy human diet yet plenty of healthy vegans would argue othewise.

    I’m just a bit tired of all this self-righteousness on both sides of the fence. Eat whatever diet works for you in whatever circumstances you find yourself. I would imagine its just as offensive to Vegans to be told they are weak and undernourished as it is to meat eaters to be told they are ruining the planet and oppressing animals. I know plenty of parents with infants who could eat nothing but soy formula because they were allergic to formula made from cow’s milk. To imply that they are starving their babies is pretty offensive to me and I’m not even in that situation.

  253. stacey

    stop stop stop stop stop stop

  254. Marcie

    Women are and always have been pressed into pregnancy by the patriachy and breast milk is a byproduct of pregnancy.

    So of course breast milk can never be considered vegan.

  255. AlienNumber

    Okay. Let’s agree that life will just kill us all, eventually.

  256. veganrampage

    Anya!

    I hope you read this.

    Having made the mistake of letting Johhny Cat fill his fat belly to his heart’s desire, I then nursed him through a terrible two and half month long death, ending in a death screech of agony and terror. No exaggeration for dramatic effect here. Never get over it.
    Goddess damn that vet to Catholic hell!

    Please don’t over feed your cat. It causes liver failure.
    And permanent heart break!

    Put your cat on a food reduction schedule very gradually. They notice less, but they still notice.
    As caretaker, I won’t and can’t do that to anybody else,and I can’t live through it again either.

    Good luck, and best to you and your clowder.

  257. Jonathan

    So it sounds like PETA’s goal is to change the order of the current caste system in the US, where women are below men but (currently, mostly) above animals.

    PETA must reason that the dudes won’t be so nervous if animals are between them and women in the societal hierarchy.

  1. What I’m Reading Lately: A RadFem Round-up « No Excuses/No Mercy

    [...] This post over at I Blame the Patriarchy is particularly poignant to me due to my history of general concern over animal welfare and also how the welfare of female people seems to be of little concern to most, especially animal rights activists. PETA is heinous. [...]

  2. a quickie on PETA « The Praise of Folly

    [...] refer you for a succinct version to I Blame the Patriarchy: Ditwuss Award de la semaine: PETA (2011-08-24) Share this:ShareLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. broadly speaking [...]

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