Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 3

June 24th, 2009 8:59 pm by Kelly Garbato

I’ve been feeling kind of crappy since Friday, so I all I have to offer is this link roundup. Happy reading…or not.
 


 
Kelly Garbato @ Animal Rights @ Change.org: Egypt’s Pigs: Beaten, Stoned, and Burned Alive (Part 1) and Religious Discrimination and the Killing of Egypt’s Pigs (Part 2)

In my second round of guest posts at change.org, I look at the recent pig culls in Egypt, and explain how the mass killings may have less to do with concerns over the swine flu than with religious discrimination directed at the country’s Coptic Christians – as well as “their” pigs.

I, Bonobo: Guess who’s really at the bottom of the shitpile? and

Vegan Soapbox: Why Women Should Care About Animals

Bonobobabe and Eccentric Vegan both respond to a recent piece that appeared in the community section of Feministing. Not surprisingly, the author asserted that animal rights and feminism are unrelated movements, such that the animal rights movement has nothing to contribute to feminism and vice versa. Thus, it’s perfectly acceptable for good liberal progressive feminists to eat meat, wear fur and shit on animal advocates when they complain. I’m taking liberties, of course, but you get the idea.

Bonobobabe’s reply, in particular, is a must-read. I skimmed it over several times, trying to boil it down to an excerpt or two to illustrate her argument, but it’s all awesome. This about sums it up, though:

So, while I think it’s fine for a woman who calls herself a feminist to put her time and energy towards women-centered things, I also feel that if a feminist is supposed to be sensitive to class and race issues, that she should also be sensitive to speciesist issues. It’s not OK to say that you are better than an animal. Besides, hierarchies are the invention of men. Being a speciesist, even if one is a feminist, is playing by men’s rules. You’re better than that.

Hat tip to Stephanie for this one.

Bob Herbert @ the New York Times: State of Shame

Op-ed columnist Bob Herbert laments the plight of New York foie gras “feeders” – who, like most agricultural laborers, struggle at hard, underpaid, undervalued and oppressive work:

Each feeder, for example, is responsible for feeding 200 to 300 (or more) ducks — individually — three times a day. The feeder holds a duck between his or her knees, inserts a tube down the duck’s throat, and uses a motorized funnel to force the feed into the bird. Then on to the next duck, hour after hour, day after day, week after week.

The routine is brutal and not very sanitary. Each feeding takes about four hours and once the birds are assigned a feeder, no one else can be substituted during the 22-day force-feeding period that leads up to the slaughter. Substituting a feeder would upset the ducks, according to the owners of Hudson Valley Foie Gras, which operates the farm.

Not only do the feeders get no days off during that long stretch, and no overtime for any of the long hours, but they get very little time even to sleep each day. The feeding schedule for the ducks must be rigidly observed.

Unfortunately, Herbert has little sympathy for the ducks themselves, even getting a few slight digs in at animal advocates who dare to concern themselves with trivial matters like animal welfare when, zomg, what about the peoples!?

To wit:

Animal-rights advocates have made a big deal about the way the ducks are force-fed to produce the enormously swollen livers from which the foie gras is made. But I’ve been looking at the plight of the underpaid, overworked and often gruesomely exploited farmworkers who feed and otherwise care for the ducks. Their lives are hard.

As unpleasant a task as continuously force-feeding an animal must be, surely it’s worse for the animals on the receiving end of the violence, no?

Listen up, Bob Herbert. Compassion isn’t a finite pie; there’s plenty to go around. Can’t we care about both the human and non-human animals being harmed by destructive animal agricultural practices? Doesn’t concerning ourselves with even the “lowliest” of animals make us better human beings? How does mocking the most victimized beings help anyone, hmmm?

ecorazzi: Anthony Bourdain On Gwyneth Paltrow: “That One Bitch Who Refuses To Eat Ham”

Shock of all shockers, Anthony Bourdain calls Gwyneth Paltrow a “bitch” in the course of slamming her so-called vegetarianism.

While on a panel with fellow foodie Mario Batali at Seattle’s Paramount theater last weekend, Bourdain poked fun at Batali’s PBS series Spain… On the Road Again; which featured the chef and Paltrow on a culinary tour of Spain. “Why would you go to Spain with the one bitch who refuses to eat ham?”

Normally, this is where I’d point out the link between one type of oppression (Bourdain’s speciesism) and another (Bourdain’s misogyny), but ecorazzi’s comments section is filled with plenty of pro-animal misogyny as well. To paraphrase the second comment down: “I wouldn’t call Gwyneth Paltrow a bitch, but she’s a bitch.”

Seriously, people, can we fucking stop bashing women in the name of protecting animals? It’s no better than when feminists bash animals in the name of protecting women. Tit for tat.

And, hello! – In addition to being a gendered slur, “bitch” is a speciesist slur as well.

Cara @ Feministe: GOP Activist Compares Michelle Obama to a Gorilla and

Like a Whisper: Remember When the NY Post Said “A Monkey is Just a Monkey”?

In an unfortunate (and sadly, entirely predictable) parallel to how her husband was similarly smeared by Sean Delonas and the New York Post earlier this year, GOP activist Rusty dePass (R-South Carolina) likened an escaped “zoo” gorilla to Michelle Obama – or rather, one of her ancestors. Cara at Feministe and Professor Susurro at Like a Whisper have more.

MSNBC: Same-sex behavior nearly universal in animals

In yet another follow up to my Green Porno post, a literature review recently published Trends in Ecology and Evolution reveals that virtually every animal species engages in same-sex or homosexual behavior, for a variety of reasons:

[M]ale fruit flies sometimes court other male flies, but this behavior is due to a missing gene that gives the flies the ability to distinguish between sexes, said Bailey, a co-author of the review. “That is very different from male bottlenose dolphins, who engage in same-sex interactions to facilitate group bonding, or female Laysan Albatross that can remain pair-bonded for life,” he added.

Coming soon to a church near you: Pray the Gay Away – All primates now welcome!

Flick: Sow and bruised piglet Kawartha Aug 11.

The photo caption continues: Sow was punched in face by workers to forcibly remove piglet after photo taken.

Hat tip, Liberation BC on Twitter.

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