A neon red-and-white sign declares: “My Bloody Valentine sells out.”
CC image via Penningtron on Flickr.
Guest blogger Kristen looks at a Valentine’s Day article which highlights the foods that non-vegan chefs cook for their lovers. Surprise, surprise: many are animal-based, thus transforming the descriptions into an appalling spectacle of sex and death. The original article at Grub Street, for example, is decorated with a disgusting photo of scallops in an orange-and-green sauce/oil slick. Yuck.
Just when you thought the butcher’s counter couldn’t get any more grotesque, behold: heart-shaped slabs of “meat”! I shit you not.
In which Roman Polanski’s 13-year-old rape victim is likened to – wait for it – “quarry.” “Quarry” being another word for a hunted “game” animal.
The link above is to a complaint letter (good!) written in response to a piece which ran in The New York Times (bad!); you can read the original piece in its entirety here: Polanski’s Visions of Victimhood by Dennis Lim.
Joshua Katcher dissects a trailer for the upcoming documentary “An Emasculating Truth” – brought to you by, ahem, Dockers – which, surprise, is chock full of sexism and speciesism. In particular, the men appearing in the film advocate violence towards animals as an expression of one’s masculinity. Katcher ties this overt encouragement of violence with Levi’s own history of environmental and labor violence towards its employees and their families, many of them poor women of color.
In her discussion of California-based Olivera Farms, Marji provides a cogent study of animal rights and veganism as issues of human rights and food justice; “The price of eggs goes beyond the cost of a dozen at the grocery store.” Ditto: “meat” and dairy. The true price of these – which includes untold animal suffering, environmental degradation, and poor human health and declining quality of life – is kept hidden from us, by our government at the behest of corporate interests. It’s time we wake up and stop subsidizing these cruelties, both at the cash register and in the voting booths. Go vegan. Vote Green.
Though Elaine and I generally disagree when it comes to PETA’s nude activism, I respect her opinion re: the intersections of feminism and veganism. Unlike PETA’s minion apologists, she’s actually taken the time to dissect, examine and analyze the issues involved, rather than defending PETA solely because the group (purports to) defend nonhuman animals.* Her guide to analyzing (PETA’s) nude campaigns is both useful and thought-provoking, if not entirely feasible on a post-by-post basis.
* Plus, she has a vagina and a BA in Women’s Studies! And I say (repeat) this with not a whit of sarcasm or mockery, as male privilege – much like white privilege – is very real, and not at all a laughing matter. (If you’ve no idea wtf I’m talking about, consider yourself lucky for missing Installment #3,625 of Twitter Wars.)
I report on an unexpected piece of televised vegetarian-feminist awesomeness, courtesy of a sixth-season rerun of CSI.
In its February newsletter, IHE interviews lauren Ornelas, founder of the Food Empowerment Project. Ornelas discusses the genesis of FEP, as well as some of the group’s current projects:
Being an all-volunteer organization, we’ve been spending a lot of time working on a new website and putting together a series of newsletters that aim to help people go vegan or stay vegan. The newsletters will provide information about industrial animal factories and their impacts on the animals, people and the environment, the importance of recognizing the plight of farm workers, and also other injustices related to food.
We’re also working on addressing the issue of food deserts, starting with Santa Clara County, where volunteers spent hours surveying grocery, liquor and convenience stores to determine the degree of availability of healthy foods in both low and high-income areas. Our goal is to eventually work with the local communities and the city government in order to eliminate what we know to be inequities in lower-income neighborhoods.
Saying Goodbye to Target: Women
Last month, Sarah Haskins announced her departure from Current’s Target: Women series. (No, it’s good news! She’ll soon be penning scripts for Amy Poehler and Natalie Portman!) In light of this development, I think it’s high time I share these two Target: Women videos that I’ve been sitting on for 6+ months.
The topics raised in each segment indirectly touch upon nonhuman animals, the natural world, and how women are linked to each. In the first, Haskins has a little fun with the return of “the cougar” – i.e., older women who “prey” on younger men. Cougars are “wild” (read: free-living), dangerous, “exotic” – and seductive! What does it say about our culture that unconventional women are likened to these beautiful-but-menacing predators?
Sarah Haskins in Target Women: The Cougar (May 28, 2009)
Watch out young men. The Cougar is on the prowl. No, not the mountain lion kind. The lady kind.
In “Your Garden,” Haskins pokes fun at the many (many!) euphemisms for “lady parts,” a large number of which involve nonhuman animals and nature (even nature itself is given a feminine face in the form of “Mother Nature”). Also skewered: advertisements for “feminine hygiene products” that play into this cutesy talk (because dog forbid we call a tampon a tampon or “Aunt Flo,” menstruation!).
Sarah Haskins in Target Women: Your Garden (April 17, 2009)
Afraid of using technical terms to describe your lady parts? Try these fresh, mountain scented natural metaphors.
FYI: all of the previous Target: Women episodes are available for viewing here.
When Bitchy Meets Eco-Feminist
In these posts, Brittany addresses the shameful history of transphobia and trans exclusion in feminist circles in general, and vegetarian-ecofeminist communities specifically. The series includes a (too-short, IMHO!) interview with trans activist Ida Hammer of The Vegan Ideal, whose posts on trans issues I’ve linked to on several occasions. There’s a lot to digest here, but I urge you to check it out, links and comments included.
Oppression is oppression, no matter the target; in our struggle for liberation, we can leave no one behind.
In a post that’s only intensified my spring fever, Brittany examines one side of the “veganism is a moral baseline” coin. While eating vegan is the single most important choice you can make at mealtime, food justice issues reach well beyond the cruelties and wastefulness of animal agriculture. Local, seasonal eating vs. global food swapping. Monoculture vs. diversity. Heirloom crops vs. genetically modified/standardized foodstuffs. DIY vs. industrialization. Politics, labor and free trade. So many issues; how to navigate them as both an animal and human rights advocate?
While PETA merits a brief mention, Brittany’s musings on Big AR instead gravitate towards cookies, vegetarian burgers, compromise and growth – and inevitably arrive at the conclusion that the revolution will not, in point o’ facts, be funded. (Speaking of Starfucks: What do we want? Vegan doughnuts at Dunkin’s! When do we want ‘em? 2011! That said, NOM. I’d have to try it, at least once.)
Via vegansaurus!, I learned of the NZCHAS, which is (in vegansaurus’s words) “doing some pretty groundbreaking shit.” The Center puts out an occasional (but lengthy) newsletter, and though I can’t find a subscription sign-up, you can view a list of past newsletters here.
To give you an idea of what’s featured in a typical NZCHAS newsletter, the November ’09 .pdf includes two book reviews (of A Kingdom for Animals – the History and Politics of the British Animal Rights Movement and Softening the Stony Heart of Eternity: Contributions to a Critical Theory for the Liberation of Animals); information on new associates, including select publications; and academic news and event information.
For what, you ask? The 9th Annual North American Conference for Critical Animal Studies, which will be held April 10, 2010 at SUNY Cortland in NY. Details and links at Lib Now!
Also at SUNY Cortland this April is the unveiling of the Anarchist Studies Initiative. If you happen to be in town for the aforementioned Critical Animal Studies conference, arrive a day early and take in double the radical awesomeness.
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