Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 16: Breast is Best (and Vegan!)

January 31st, 2010 11:43 am by Kelly Garbato

“IMG_1805”: Snout covered in milk, pink tongue flicking from her mouth, a young cow suckles her mother’s teat. CC image from destinyuk on Flickr.
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Julie Urbanik @ Humanimalia: “Hooters for Neuters”: Sexist or Transgressive Animal Advocacy Campaign?

In the inaugural issue of Humanimalia, Julie Urbanik explores animal advocacy campaigns that trade in gender-based stereotypes in order to promote compassion. These include “Hooters for Neuters” events held by, among others, Best Friends Animal Society (et tu, Best Friends!?); LA-based Friends for Animals’s “Pimp Your Pit”; NYC’s Rescue Ink; and, of course PETA. (PETA, PETA, PETA!) While I don’t necessarily agree with the author’s conclusions, it’s a thought-provoking analysis nonetheless.

Mylène @ My Face Is On Fire: Fur and

Gary Francione @ The Abolitionist Approach: The State of the Movement

In a much lengthier post about single-issue campaigns (namely, anti-fur campaigns), Mylène refers to Professor Francione’s recent critique of PETA’s racist/sexist State of the Union Undress video. Both posts are worth a read, so rather than quoting gratuitously, I’ll just copy the point to which I responded in Mylène’s piece:

But is the fur industry really any more worthy of such ire? As one advocate recently pointed out Twitter, for instance, ‘fur’ is skin and hair while ‘leather’ is skin. To obsess over people’s wearing of fur while turning a blind eye to others’ wearing of leather (which is much more common and involves so much more loss of life) seems odd and illogical. Furthermore, as Prof. Francione often points out when discussing anti-fur campaigns, considering that a large percentage of those who wear fur are women, fur becomes a convenient and sexist target. After all, when’s the last time you saw PeTA demonstrators bombard a leather-clad biker with paint-balls?

Pause and savor that image for a moment, if you will, before we move on to less savory stuff.

The Veg Blog: ABC’s dairy expose

I can’t at all stomach undercover investigations of animal exploitation – particularly that which occurs in the animal agriculture industry – so I’m extremely thankful for other AR bloggers who are quick to pick up the slack. Ryan writes about Mercy for Animal’s latest exposé, this one of Willet Dairy in Locke, New York. The video received wide play, including on ABC News’s World News Tonight and Nightline. Of particular interest to this link roundup is point #3, “The artificial insemination footage”:

It was only about two or three seconds long and it only aired on the Nightline version of the story, but I think the very brief shot they showed of a farmhand elbow deep, artificially inseminating a dairy cow could be the most important piece of footage. I think the majority of people still kid themselves with visions of happy bovines humping in meadows of green grass. I’m also pretty sure the sentiment that “well, the cows have to be milked” is still prevalent. This very short piece of footage, though, is like a slap in the face: no, these dairy cows are not naturally pregnant and happily giving their milk to us. We’re raping them, confining them, and then stealing the milk meant for their offspring, all so we can have our next hit of cheese.

I’m hoping that short bit of video replays in people’s minds when they sit down with a glass of milk or a bowl of ice cream.

In its summary of the abuses cataloged on video, MFA includes these all-too-common bullet points, as well:

Evidence gathered during the investigation reveals:

Cows with bloody open wounds, prolapsed uteruses, pus-filled infections, and swollen joints, apparently left to suffer without veterinary care […]

Newborn calves forcibly dragged away from their mothers by their legs, causing emotional distress to both mother and calf

Ryan, I’ll see you that bowl of Häagen-Dazs and raise you a blogger from Feministing.

Nadra Kareen @ The Race Card @ Bitch Media: From Adopting Haitian Kids to Giving Them Your Breast Milk

In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake – which orphaned many children and separated many more from their parents – baby food and formula is in short supply. Enter: breast milk. Some human breast milk banks have reportedly requested that lactating women donate their excess milk to this most worth of causes (see, for example, the Human Milk Banking Association of America). Unfortunately, there doesn’t (yet?) seem to be any infrastructure in place to transport and store it. Even so, there are plenty of babies in need of human breast milk locally, so donations will not go to waste. Bonus points: when given willingly, human breast milk is 100% vegan!

Meanwhile, from Bitch Media’s Biotic Woman:

Talking to Ruby Roth – A lovely interview with the author of That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals. While I love Ms. Roth’s feminist artwork, I’m still holding out for a barnyard-themed print from the book!

Strays and Breeders Edition – On classist/racist/sexist/speciesist douchebag – and Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina – Andre Bauer’s recent comments equating stray nonhuman animals with impoverished humans. (“My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply.”)

Finally, at Animal Rights & AntiOppression:

Racism 101 and the Animal Rights Movement – Deb offers a number of racism 101 resources for white animal activists. Says she:

Animal Rights is about fighting exploitation and oppression, which makes fighting racism part of our Animal Rights fight. Even if that means we’ve got to fight ourselves, some of the time.

I couldn’t agree more.

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