Archive: May 2010

PETA promised me "10 Reasons Why [I] Should Go Naked for PETA"

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

…and all I got was this stupid email.

null

Gazing at her laptop, loldog is not amused. The caption on this deMotivational poster reads, “EMAIL: Taking all the fun out of attacking a real live mailman.” Image via I Has A Hot Dog! (FWIW, I was tempted to use a PETA-themed deMotivational poster, but couldn’t stomach the sexism and speciesism. They are, however, a good example of what PETA’s nude campaigns really accomplish, particularly among the male demographic advertisers so covet.)
——————————

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: PETA UK
Date: Wed, May 19, 2010 at 5:36 AM
Subject: 10 Reasons Why You Should Go Naked for PETA

Dear Friend,

PETA US launched its “Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign with the help of the popular rock band The Go-Go’s in 1991 in order to raise awareness of the millions of animals who are trapped, drowned, beaten and electrocuted for their fur. Since then, thousands of compassionate people have bared their bodies for PETA and its affiliates all over the world to help animals in need.

Now you can speak up for animals by participating in PETA campaigns in your area. Just send us an e-mail and attach your photo and contact details for a chance to take part and help save animals!

Animals always need more lovely ladies and gorgeous guys who can draw attention to our campaigns by dressing up as Lettuce Ladies, Broccoli Boys and Shower Guys/Girls and handing out vegetarian food at public events; by participating in our iconic protests; or by taking part in the many other eyebrow-and consciousness-raising events that we coordinate in order to promote animal rights!

Have a Flickr account? Check out some of the people who have volunteered for PETA’s and PETA’s affiliates’ demonstrations!

Ready to get started? Join the likes of Pamela Anderson, Alicia Silverstone and countless others by e-mailing us today and sending us a photo of yourself with your details. We’ll contact you the next time we need someone in your area to bare some skin to help save animals’ skins.

Please be sure to read our terms of submission before sending us your photo.

Sincerely,

PETA

############

[All emphases and links are PETA's.]

A few initial thoughts:

(More below the fold…)

Overheard at IBTP:

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Do the people who admire this kind of thing ever wonder why there’s no Men’s Auxiliary Assless Chaps For Peace March?

No, of course not.

(Commenter Occasional lurker, in reference to last month’s “Boobquake.” CC image via frankfarm on Flickr.)

Of course, this criticism is equally applicable to other pseudo-progressive causes, including roughly 84.9% of PETA’s campaigns.

See, e.g., I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur; I’d Rather Show My Buns Than Wear Fur; I’d Rather Go Topless Than Wear Fur (!); Be Comfortable In Your Own Skin; Ink, Not Mink; and Turn Over a New Leaf.

(More below the fold…)

Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 21: Campaign WIN/FAIL edition

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

MTV's Retro Hit Girl Poster

“MTV’s Retro Hit Girl Poster”: In a reimagining of J. Howard Miller’s iconic “We Can Do It!” poster, a purple-wigged Hit Girl flexes her bicep, gun in hand. The purple bubble emanating
from her head reads, “We Can Kick Ass!” Message brought to you by the Women’s Ass-Kicking Committee. (This photo has absolutely zilch to do with today’s post; rather, it just makes me smile. The warm and fuzzies, I sure needed ‘em after wading through not one, but two PETA campaigns. Maybe you will too?)
——————————

Okay, so there’s much, much more FAIL than WIN in this edition of Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, but seeing as I’m all about the power of positive thinking, half-full beer steins, and all that fluffy fun stuff (sike!), I had to lead with WIN. In the title, anyhow. Had you fooled, didn’t I?

The Discerning Brute: Rape of Africa in “A Bid to Save the Earth.”

So this is…interesting. In honor of Earth Day, Christie’s hosted an auction to benefit several environmental organizations. One of the art pieces – David LaChapelle’s “Rape of Africa” – is unsettling, to say the least. Click on over to the Discerning Brute to view the image (which is totally NSFW as it depicts, among other things, Naomi Campbell’s bare breast). Joshua Katcher’s interpretation of the photograph is worth a read as well, particularly as he links the exploitation of farmed animals to that of human women, to wit:

[S]itting beside Naomi Campbell are farm animals, which suggest the failure of programs like Oxfam and Heifer International as well as making the statement that, like domesticated farm animals, Naomi is a chattel.

WIN or FAIL? Well, I dig the piece, though it’s not exactly something I’d hang over the fireplace, if you know what I mean.

Catholic Vote - Earth Day 2010

Her Authority: Women’s Bodies Are… Pieces of Land?

In this Earth Day-themed ad, the anti-choice group CatholicVote.org links women (particularly mothers, o givers of life!) with the natural world by superimposing an image of the earth over the womb of a heavily pregnant woman. A cute (read: white, blond-haired, appropriately feminine, etc.) little girl rests her head against her mother’s belly; index finger pressed to her lips, she seems to be saying, “Shhh! My little sister is trying to sleep in there!”

With this imagery, CatholicVote.org is romanticizing two “homes,” if you will: that of the developing fetus (baby!), i.e., a womb which belongs to an adult human female; and planet earth, i.e., home to all of humanity (and a trillion other creatures, as well). Women are not individual beings with their own thoughts and desires, but rather pieces of land. And what do we humans do with land, the earth, and the natural world, class? That’s right – we conquer and dominate them! Nice.

Which makes the romanticization of each – women/mothers and the earth/nature – all that much more distasteful and disingenuous. Throw me on the bottom of the shitpile and tell me that I live on a pedestal, why don’t you?

(More below the fold…)

BP Oil "Spill": Animal Rescue, Disaster Relief, Action Alerts & Vegan Views

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Last updated 4/20/11 @ 11:00 AM CDT.


 
 
As with the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, I’ve decided to create a single blog post which will act as a sort of “hub” where I’ll post information, action alerts, newsletters, etc. related to the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Given that President Obama intends to push forward with previously announced plans to expand offshore drilling, there’s a special emphasis on action alerts that address fossil fuels and/or their place in proposed climate change legislation. Where appropriate, I’ve also included information on what you can do to help meet immediate disaster relief needs in the Gulf Coast region.
 
(More below the fold…)

Bitches, Zines & Lending Libraries – and Women, Food & Consumption (Oh my!)

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

2007-01-27 - Books! (and stuff) - 0013

Kaylee can’t decide between Jane Goodall’s The Chimpanzees of Gombe and Owen & Chiras’s Natural Resource Conservation, sixth ed. What’s a gal to do!? CC image via ME on Flickr.
——————————

Vegans, feminists and (especially) vegan feminists, listen up! Via Bitch Media and MP: An Online Feminist Journal come two shiny opportunities to contribute to feminist projects – and advocate for your nonhuman sisters at the same time!

First up: Bitch Media, which recently established a Community Lending Library in Portland. Currently boasting over 1,000 books, the project welcomes donations of feminist titles. Seeing as animal advocacy oftentimes dovetails with feminism, the Lending Library is a great way to get animal rights books into the hands of non-veg feminists. So if you’ve got a spare copy of The Sexual Politics of Meat or Sistah Vegan gathering dust on your bookshelf, why not donate it to this totally rad community project? (Those with BookMooch or similar accounts can also swap books to donate directly to the library…by which I mean “ship to,” as Bitch isn’t currently listed as a member/charity on BookMooch.)

But wait! There’s more! In its latest newsletter, Bitch announced that it would also like to build up its zine collection. Woman, feminist and/or vegan zinesters, read on for details on how to get a copy of your own zines (or your favorite zines) onto the shelves of Bitch. (Peace to All Creatures, anyone?)

Biblio-Bitches Rejoice! Zinesters Unite!

The Bitch Community Lending Library is open and ready for new and returning card holders to drop by. Open from 5-8pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Monday-Friday by appointment, you will have a chance to browse more than 1,000 titles of feminist literature, research and writing (and maybe even take a few home?). You can also take the time to meet Bitch’s library coordinator, Ashley McAllister, who has been hard at work adding new titles, filling the shelves and familiarizing herself with the subtleties of issuing cards.

One of the first things that Ashley wants to do in the library is start a collection of reader-donated zines. Bitch started its life as a zine and will always have a soft spot for the format, so we’re excited to honor self-publishing by creating a dedicated space for zines in our lending library. We’re adding a zine library to the 1,000-plus books already in our collection, and excited to share the breadth of self-published materials with our members.

If you’re either a zinemaker yourself or have a zine collection that you’re looking to either pare down or donate entirely, let us know! We’re looking for zines made by and for feminist thinkers, activists, and fans, though they don’t have to be “grrrl zines” per se. Whether your zines were Xeroxed back in 1992 or just last month, we’d love to have them. If you’ve got a large collection that you want to ship to us, please contact Ashley McAllister at ashley [at] b-word.org. Otherwise, just write “zine donation” on your envelope. And look for upcoming blog posts featuring zines that show up in our mailbox!

(More below the fold…)

"…the true nature of a pigeon shooter."

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

At a February 20, 2010 pigeon shoot at the infamous Philadelphia Gun Club, [...] a member of the Club viciously yelled at two female activists saying, “Go fuck yourself you rotten cunt!”

SHARK discovered that the assailant was Richard Shackleton and that he was town attorney for Long Beach Township, NJ. At the April 9th Long Beach Township committee meeting, we confronted him about what he had done.

What he said was shocking: “I’m happy to say that, what I said, I meant every word of it.”

When offered a chance to apologize he said, “Absolutely not.”

At this point, Shackleton had compounded upon his original insult by taking pride in hurting his victims. And again, during a television newscast, he refused to apologize for his vile comments.

Referring to his despicable use of the “c” word, Shackleton said: “I think that’s what she is and I think she deserved it.”

Quite possibly you’ve already heard about Richard Shackleton, a pigeon shooter and solicitor for Long Beach Township, New Jersey, who hurled gendered slurs at two female activists – and then, when confronted by SHARK members at a Long Beach Township committee meeting, refused to apologize for the comments? No? Then keep reading for SHARK’s ongoing reports on the situation, complete with links to recent media coverage and opportunities to take action.

(More below the fold…)

Tweeting Mother’s Day

Monday, May 10th, 2010

“Western Union — Happy Mother’s Day – 1942″; CC image via Beyond the Trail [Gary] on Flickr. Please click through to read the photo description!
——————————

In between hour-long calls home to Mom, vegan pizzas topped with Daiya AND Follow Your Heart cheese, gratuitous dog piles, and Boston Cream Pie-induced sugar comas, I spent a good part of yesterday tweeting Mother’s Day. Inspired by last August’s for-the-pigs #oink tweetfest, I compiled a list of facts, photos, blog posts and links that address animal exploitation (with an emphasis on femaleness, family and motherhood), which I shared on Twitter at intervals throughout the day yesterday. While I didn’t manage to use up all my pre-made tweets (I overslept and got a rather late start), I did log 84 tweets, almost all of them Mother’s Day-related. Better yet, because I wrote most of the tweets earlier in the week, I didn’t have to spent too much of the holiday online.

This was a somewhat impromptu action on my part; initially, I considered trying to recruit a few fellow animal advocates to help me out, but I quickly nixed the idea, thinking that most people would be otherwise occupied. Happily, I was not alone in my armchair activism yesterday; on both Twitter and Facebook (and not a few blogs), I saw a steady stream of tweets and status updates emphasizing the plight of nonhuman mothers. Here in the U.S., Father’s Day isn’t nearly as popular as its feminine counterpart, to be sure (a topic for a whole ‘nother feminist-minded post), but I think I’ll try something similar on June 20th. Should you, you know, care to join me. (*smiles*)

After the jump you’ll find all my Mother’s Day tweets. Together, they make an awfully compelling (but by no means exhaustive) argument in favor of a more inclusive vision of motherhood – and, by extension, sisterhood.

(More below the fold…)

Bittersweet Mother’s Day Kisses & Vegan Birthday Wishes

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

2007-08-30 - Peedee's 5th Birthday - 0033

This Mother’s Day, I think of Kaylee. Kaylee, the dear, sweet, mild-mannered, infinitely lovable old(er) lady we adopted three and a half years ago. Kaylee, my baby girl. One of three. Seven, if you consider those loved and lost.

This morning, as I cuddled Kaylee in bed, silently wishing her a happy Mother’s Day, I thought of her – and her own babies. In her Life Before Us, Kaylee was not spayed. Nor was she fed, housed, vetted, or otherwise cared for. Her body – large, mushy, misshapen – tells the tale of babies birthed, nursed, and…what? Oftentimes – and especially on days like these – I reflect upon this question. Where are Kaylee’s babies now?

2010-03-25 - Kaylee - 0006

What do they look like? Short, stocky, white and mushy like her, or…more like their father, wherever he may be? Do their butts wiggle like hers, in anticipation of a meal, a treat, or even just a bowl to lick? Do they experience the same insatiable hunger as their mother, whether for physical or emotional nourishment? Are their barks, so infrequently voiced, characterized by the same pained (at times bordering on hysterical), wookie-like roar of their mother? Perhaps, dog willing, their life circumstances have not fostered within them the same fears that drive their mother.

Have the humans they encountered on their life’s path shown them the kindness and compassion that Kaylee has known from us – or have Kaylee’s babies only seen the cruelty and neglect that marked her own Life Before Us?

(More below the fold…)

Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 20: Forgotten Mothers, Disappeared Daughters

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

It has been many a week since last I posted a link roundup, ’tis true; and, while I’ve managed to hoard a literal ton of ‘em (okay, not really), rather than dump them all on you at once, all haphazard-like, today I present a short-and-sweet, family-themed mini-link roundup in honor of Mother’s Day.

Liberation BC - Cow Ribbon Campaign eCard

One of several Mother’s Day eCards from Liberation BC. Grab your own here.
——————————

Liberation BC: The Cow Ribbon Campaign and

Striking at the Roots: Campaign Raises Awareness About Forgotten Mothers

As with many mainstream holidays (Thanksgiving, Easter, Earth Day – I’m looking at you!), Mother’s Day can be rather bittersweet for animal advocates. While it’s nice to set a day aside for loving and pampering and honoring your mom (which is something that most of us should be doing 365 days of the year, I might add), the holiday celebrations and rhetoric are predictably anthropocentric, ignoring and erasing the experiences of the billions of nonhuman mothers across the globe – many of whom are enslaved, exploited, raped and killed for the very fact of their “miraculous” ability to give life to the next generation. Some miracle, right?

Enter Glenn Gaetz and Joanne Chang of the Vancouver-based animal advocacy organization Liberation BC. This April, the group launched The Cow Ribbon Campaign. Modeled after similar awareness ribbon campaigns, the Cow Ribbon Campaign uses black and white spotted ribbons to draw awareness to the estimated nine million “dairy” cows imprisoned in North American dairy operations in 2010 alone – and, by extension, the billions of additional female farmed animals whose reproductive systems are hijacked for human wants and convenience.

Normally, I’m not a huge fan of awareness ribbons – who on earth can possibly remember what all those colors mean!? “awareness,” meh – what a meaningless term.; etc. – but the Cow Ribbons are rather distinct and unique, and make for a great conversation starter. Plus, their meaning is immediately obvious: what Westerner doesn’t associate black and white spots with cows – and cows with animal agriculture?

The ribbons are available for a minimum donation of $5 – and, while it’s a little late in the game to order them for Mother’s Day delivery, another great thing about the Cow Ribbons is that you can wear them any day, or every day; the ribbon retains its significance throughout the year. In the meantime, though, Lib BC has plenty of geeky goodness that you can use to spread the word: avatars for Twitter and FB, eCards for Mom, fliers for your friendly neighborhood billboards.

This Sunday, encourage others to remember mothers of all species.

(More below the fold…)