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Intersections

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Recommended Reading: Intersections
 
 
About

Oh, Intersections! If ever there was a topic I could spend hours ranting about, intersectionality is it.

Intersections has it all!: Feminism! Animal liberation! Anti-racism! LGBTQ rights! Civil rights, civil liberties, human rights! The omnipresent kyriarchy! The Mighty Blametariat (TM), even! It’s where they all collide in one ugly (and occasionally inspiring) implosion.

Simply put, intersectionality is “a theory which seeks to examine the ways in which various socially and culturally constructed categories interact on multiple levels to manifest themselves as inequality in society. Intersectionality holds that the classical models of oppression within society, such as those based on race/ethnicity, gender, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, class, species or disability do not act independently of one another; instead, these forms of oppression interrelate creating a system of oppression that reflects the ‘intersection’ of multiple forms of discrimination.”

“Intersecting” or “parallel” oppressions are instances in which the exploitation of two or more marginalized groups intertwine with or mirror one another. While many social justice movements recognize that an oppression suffered by one group of marginalized humans may intersect with or parallel an oppression suffered by another group of marginalized humans, few carry this analysis to its logical conclusion – namely, that the various ways in which humans oppress and exploit non-human animals can be similarly compared to and interact with oppressions suffered by humans.

Examples of intersecting or parallel oppressions vis-à-vis humans’ use and abuse of animals, both human and non, include gender roles which excuse (or even demand) cruelty in men, whether directed at women, children or non-human animals; similarities between (human) genocide and slavery and the industrialized exploitation of non-human animals; advertisements that reduce women to “meat” or other edible animal products and, conversely, sexualize dead and dismembered animal corpses, i.e., “meat”; and the role of the patriarchy / kyriarchy / megatheocorporatocracy in the oppression of women, children, people of color, members of the poor and working classes, non-human animals and the environment.

The bulk of this reading list is comprised of resources that directly address animal and/or environmental exploitation issues, however, listed separately at the end are a few books that specifically focus on the oppression of certain groups of humans. This is useful to the discussion, because in order to compare the suffering of non-human animals to that of humans, one must fully understand the issues involved in both sides of the equation. Thus, if you want to compare and contrast the exploitation of females’ reproductive systems across species borders, knowledge of industrialized factory farming and the ongoing struggle for women’s reproductive rights is essential.

That, and it’s the right thing to do: No one is free while others are oppressed.

As with the “Anthrozoology” list, “Intersections” is as comprehensive and exhaustive as I can make it. Also check out the “Animal Abuse” reading list, as there is some crossover between the two subjects.

If I overlooked a resource, I want to know! As always, I welcome your comments, suggestions and feedback. The comments section on this page is open, so leave ‘em if you got ‘em!

** Please note that, while I have included works by ecofeminist theorists and activists (including Carol Adams), I do not endorse these authors’ transphobic and anti-sex worker views. Nor do I self-identify as an ecofeminist or agree with the totality of the writing referenced below. However, I still find some value in Adams’ (et al.’s) work, as long as one approaches it with a critical, informed and anti-oppressive mind.

To this end, I highly recommend that readers educate themselves about the history of transphobia and anti-sex worker sentiment (as well as racism and white privilege) in the eco/feminist movement(s). In regards to ecofeminism, transphobia and sex work, many resources are freely available online; see, for example, this list of posts I’ve collected on delicious (tag: ecofeminism). Racism in the feminist movement has received a greater deal of attention; e.g., Google “womanism,” “black feminism,” or “racism in the feminist movement” for a nice primer. Additionally, some of the books listed under “Human Rights” (below) address the intersections of sex/gender and race/ethnicity. **
 

Resist! Always Against The Oppressor...

RESIST! against the new racist capitalist patriarchy
just as bad as the old racist capitalist patriarchy.
Always against the oppressor. Never without the oppressed.
——————————

 
 
Non-human Animals & the Environment

Books

Adams, Carol J. 1995. Neither Man Nor Beast: Feminism and the Defense of Animals. New York, New York: Continuum.

Adams, Carol J. 1999. The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory. New York, New York: Continuum. (Please also read trans activist Ida Hammer’s thoughts on this feminist classic. Transphobia has no place in ecofeminism and other like-mined, “progressive” movements.)

Adams, Carol J. 2004. The Pornography of Meat. New York, New York: Continuum.

Adams, Carol J., ed. 1994. Ecofeminism and the Sacred. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: The Continuum International Publishing Group.

Adams, Carol J. and Josephine Donovan, eds. 1995. Animals and Women: Feminist Theoretical Explorations. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press.

Afua, Queen. 2001. Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit. One World/Ballantine.

Agyeman, Julian, Robert D. Bullard and Bob Evans, eds. 2003. Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World (Urban and Industrial Environments). Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

Arluke, Arnold and Clinton R. Sanders. 1996. Regarding Animals (Animals, Culture and Society). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Temple University Press.

Beirne, Piers and Nigel South, eds. 2007. Issues in Green Criminology: Confronting Harms Against Environments, Other Animals and Humanity. Willan Pub.

Berry, Ryan. 2004. Hitler: Neither Vegetarian Nor Animal Lover. Brooklyn, New York: Pythagorean Books.

Best, Steven and Anthony J. Nocella II, eds. 2004. Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?: Reflections on the Liberation of Animals. Brooklyn, New York: Lantern Books.

Best, Steven and Anthony J. Nocella II, eds. 2006. Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defense of the Earth. Oakland, California: AK Press.

Biehl, Janet. 1997. The Politics of Social Ecology: Libertarian Municipalism. Toronto: Black Rose Books.

Biehl, Janet. 1999. Rethinking Ecofeminist Politics. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press.

Birke, Lynda. 1994. Feminism, Animals and Science: The Naming of the Shrew. Open University Press.

Bookchin, Murray. 1990. Remaking Society: Pathways to a Green Future. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press.

Bookchin, Murray. 2004. Post-Scarcity Anarchism. Oakland, California: AK Press.

Bookchin, Murray. 2005. The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy. Oakland, California: AK Press.

Bookchin, Murray. 2007. Social Ecology and Communalism. Oakland, California: AK Press.

Bookchin, Murray. 2007. Free Cities: Communalism and the Left. London: Pluto Press.

Bullard, Robert D. 1997. Unequal Protection: Environmental Justice and Communities of Color. Sierra Club Books.

Bullard, Robert D. 1999. Confronting Environmental Racism: Voices From the Grassroots. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press.

Bullard, Robert D. 2005. The Quest for Environmental Justice: Human Rights and the Politics of Pollution. Sierra Club Books.

Bullard, Robert D. and Beverly Wright. 2009. Race, Place, and Environmental Justice After Hurricane Katrina. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.

Chen, Ching-In, Jai Dulani and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, eds. 2011. The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press.

Collard, Andree and Joyce Contucci. 1989. Rape of the Wild: Man’s Violence Against Animals and the Earth. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.

Davis, Kara and Wendy Lee, eds. 2013. Defiant Daughters: 21 Women on Art, Activism, Animals, and the Sexual Politics of Meat. Lantern Books.

Davis, Karen. 2005. The Holocaust & the Henmaid’s Tale: A Case for Comparing Atrocities. Brooklyn, New York: Lantern Books.

Diamond, Irene. 1997. Fertile Ground: Women, Earth, and the Limits of Control. Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press.

Diamond, Irene and Gloria Orenstein, eds. 1990. Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism. Sierra Club Books.

Donovan, Josephine and Carol J. Adams, eds. 2000. Beyond Animal Rights: A Feminist Caring Ethic for the Treatment of Animals. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: The Continuum International Publishing Group.

Donovan, Josephine and Carol J. Adams, eds. 2007. The Feminist Care Tradition in Animal Ethics. New York, New York: Columbia University Press.

Dunayer, Joan. 2001. Animal Equality: Language and Liberation. Derwood, Maryland: Ryce Publishing.

Eisnitz, Gail A. 1997. Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books.

Fiddes, Nick. 1992. Meat: A Natural Symbol. New York, New York: Routledge.

Gaarder, Emily. 2011. Women and the Animal Rights Movement. Piscataway, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

Griffin, Susan. 2000. Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her. Sierra Club Books.

Haraway, Donna J. 1990. Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science. New York, New York: Routledge.

Harper, A. Breeze. 2009. Cyber-Territories of Whiteness: Language, “Colorblind” Utopias, and “Sistah Vegan” Consciousness. Available through Lulu. http://sistahvegan.wordpress.com

Harper, A. Breeze. 2009. Vegans by Racial/Ethnic Identification in the USA: Online Survey Results by Gender and Race/Ethnicity. Available through Lulu. http://sistahvegan.wordpress.com

Harper, Amie Breeze, ed. 2010. Sistah Vegan! Food, Identity, Health and Society: Black Female Vegans Speak. Brooklyn, New York: Lantern Books. http://web.mac.com/sistahvegan98/iWeb/research/Sistah_Vegan.html

Hodgson, Dorothy L. 2001. Rethinking Pastoralism in Africa: Gender, Culture and the Myth of the Patriarchal Pastoralist. James Currey Publishers.

Housel, Rebecca, J. Jeremy Wisnewski and William Irwin, eds. 2009. Twilight and Philosophy: Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality (The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series). Wiley.

Jahme, Carole. 2001. Beauty and the Beasts: Woman, Ape and Evolution. New York, New York: Soho Press.

Kalechofsky, Roberta. 2003. Animal Suffering and the Holocaust: The Problem with Comparisons. Marblehead, Massachusetts: Micah Publications.

Kemmerer, Lisa A. 2011. Sister Species: Women, Animals and Social Justice. Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press.

Kheel, Marti. 2007. Nature Ethics: An Ecofeminist Perspective (Studies in Social, Political, & Legal Philosophy). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Lansbury, Coral. 1985. The Old Brown Dog: Women, Workers, and Vivisection in Edwardian England. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press.

Leonard, Kerri and Christopher Greenslate. 2010. On a Dollar a Day: One Couple’s Unlikely Adventures in Eating in America. New York, New York: Hyperion.

Lerner, Gerda. 1987. The Creation of Patriarchy (Women & History). Oxford University Press.

Luke, Brian. 2007. Brutal: Manhood and the Exploitation of Animals. Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press.

Mason, Jim. 1997. An Unnatural Order: Why We Are Destroying the Planet and Each Other. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: The Continuum International Publishing Group.

McQuirter, Tracye Lynn. 2010. By Any Greens Necessary: A Revolutionary Guide for Black Women Who Want to Eat Great, Get Healthy, Lose Weight, and Look Phat. Lawrence Hill Books.

Merchant, Carolyn. 1990. The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution. HarperOne.

Merchant, Carolyn. 1995. Earthcare: Women and the Environment. New York, New York: Routledge.

Mellor, Mary. 1997. Feminism and Ecology. Polity Press.

Mies, Maria and Vandana Shiva. 1993. Ecofeminism. London: Zed Books.

Miller, Frederic P., Agnes F. Vandome and John McBrewster (eds.). 2009. Ecofeminism: Ecofeminism, Environmentalism, Feminism, Deep ecology, Oppression, Woman, Natural environment, Intersectionality, Sexism, Racism, Speciesism, Social inequality. Alphascript Publishing.

Nibert, David. 2002. Animal Rights/Human Rights. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Nocella II, Anthony J., Judy K.C. Bentley, and Janet M. Duncan (eds.). 2012. Earth, Animal, and Disability Liberation: The Rise of the Eco-Ability Movement. Peter Lang Publishing.

Norwood, Vera. 1993. Made From This Earth: American Women and Nature (Gender and American Culture). Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press.

Opie, Frederick Douglass. 2008. Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History). Columbia University Press.

Patterson, Charles. 2002. Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust. Brooklyn, New York: Lantern Books.

Paxton George, Kathryn. 2000. Animal, Vegetable, or Woman?: A Feminist Critique of Ethical Vegetarianism. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press.

Plumwood, Val. 1994. Feminism and the Mastery of Nature (Opening Out). Routledge.

Roberts, Ian and Phil Edwards. 2010. The Energy Glut: Climate Change and the Politics of Fatness. London: Zed Books.

Ruether, Rosemary Radford. 1995. Gaia and God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing. HarperOne.

Ruether, Rosemary Radford. 1995. New Woman, New Earth: Sexist Ideologies and Human Liberation. Beacon Press.

Ruether, Rosemary Radford. 2005. Integrating Ecofeminism, Globalization, and World Religions (Nature’s Meanings). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Sax, Boria. 2002. Animals in the Third Reich: Pets, Scapegoats, and the Holocaust. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: The Continuum International Publishing Group.

Scharff, Virginia J. 2003. Seeing Nature Through Gender (Development of Western Resources). Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas.

Schiebinger, Londa. 2004. Nature’s Body: Gender in the Making of Modern Science. Piscataway, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

Shiva, Vandana. 1989. Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development. London: Zed Books.

Shiva, Vandana. 2005. Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press.

Silliman, Jael and Ynestra King, eds. 1999. Dangerous Intersections: Feminist Perspectives on Population, Environment, and Development. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press.

Sims, Margot. 1982. On the Necessity of Bestializing the Human Female. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press.

Spiegel, Marjorie. 1997. The Dreaded Comparison: Human and Animal Slavery. Mirror Books/I.D.E.A.

Stein, Rachel, ed. 2004. New Perspectives on Environmental Justice: Gender, Sexuality, and Activism. Piscataway, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

Stuart, Tristram. 2009. Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal. New York, New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Torres, Bob. 2007. Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights. Oakland, California: AK Press.

Warren, Karen J. 2000. Ecofeminist Philosophy. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Warren, Karen J., ed. 1997. Ecofeminism: Women, Culture, Nature. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.

Williams-Forson, Psyche A. 2006. Building Houses out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, and Power. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press.

Wise, Steven M. 2009. An American Trilogy: Death, Slavery, and Dominion on the Banks of the Cape Fear River. New York, New York: Da Capo Press.

Witt, Doris. 2004. Black Hunger: Soul Food And America. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

 
 
Human Rights

Books

Bales, Kevin. 2004. Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.

Bhattacharjee, Anannya and Jael Silliman, eds. 2002. Policing the National Body: Race, Gender and Criminalization in the United States. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press.

Buchwald, Emilie, Pamela Fletcher and Martha Roth, eds. 2005. Transforming a Rape Culture. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Milkweed Editions.

Chesler, Phyllis. 2005. Women and Madness: Revised and Updated. Palgrave Macmillan.

Collins, Patricia Hill. 2005. Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism. New York, New York: Routledge.

Ehrenreich, Barbara. 1998. Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War. Owl Books.

Ehrenreich, Barbara and Deirdre English. 2005. For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts Advice to Women. Anchor.

Enloe, Cynthia. 2007. Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Ewen, Elizabeth and Stuart Ewen. 2006. Typecasting: On The Arts And Sciences Of Human Inequality. New York, New York: Seven Stories Press.

Goldberg, Michelle. 2009. The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World. The Penguin Press HC.

Helfand, Judy and Laurie Lippin. 2001. Understanding Whiteness/Unraveling Racism. Thomson Learning.

Jensen, Robert. 2005. The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege. San Francisco, California: City Lights Publishers.

Leary, Joy Degruy. 2005. Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing. Uptone Press.

Lifton, Robert Jay. 2000. The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide. New York, New York: Basic Books.

McKelvey, Tara. 2006. One of the Guys: Women as Aggressors and Torturers. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press.

Mitchell, Beverly E. 2009. Plantations and Death Camp: Religion, Ideology, and Human Dignity. Fortress Press.

Page, Cristina. 2006. How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America: Freedom, Politics and the War on Sex. New York, New York: Basic Books.

Publications International, Ltd. 2000. The Holocaust Chronicle: A History in Words and Pictures. Chicago, Illinois: Publications International, Ltd.
(You can also view the book’s website here.)

Roberts, Dorothy. 1998. Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty. Vintage.

Sidanius, Jim and Felicia Pratto. 2001. Social Dominance: An Intergroup Theory of Social Hierarchy and Oppression. New York, New York: Cambridge University Press.

Silverstein, Helena. 2009. Girls on the Stand: How Courts Fail Pregnant Minors. New York, New York: New York University Press.

Smith, Andrea. 2005. Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press.

Solinger, Rickie. 2007. Pregnancy and Power: A Short History of Reproductive Politics in America. New York, New York: New York University Press.

Washington, Harriet A. 2008. Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present. New York: Anchor.

 
 
 
 
 
Last updated 3/28/13
 

Book Review: A Vegan Ethic: Embracing a Life of Compassion Toward All, Mark Hawthorne (2016)

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

A Concise and Compelling Introduction to Veganism and Intersectionality

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: Changemakers Books sent me a free book in exchange for an honest review. I also downloaded an electronic ARC through NetGalley.)

If, as the animal rights movement argues, there is no moral distinction between human and nonhuman animals—if animal rights are human rights—then it makes sense that we should be working for the liberation of all species.

In introducing the topic of intersectionality, pattrice [jones] asked the audience, “What is 6 times 7?” A few people yelled out, “42!” pattrice said, “OK, everybody imagine 42. Now, what is the 6 and what is the 7? You can’t say, can you? No, because the 42 is the product of the 6 and the 7 in interaction with one another.”

I think it’s safe to say that for most Black people in the United States, a polar bear on a melting ice floe is not the face of climate change—it’s Katrina.

“Compassion is a verb.”

Despite what 30+ years of PETA campaigns would have you believe, ethical veganism is not inherently incompatible with human rights. In fact, many of us vegans believe (passionately!) that the opposite is true, thanks to the concept of intersectionality.

First introduced by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, intersectionality is the idea that different forms of oppression don’t exist in a vacuum, but rather interact with one another. For example, Crenshaw coined the term to explain the myriad ways that racism and sexism interact, thus acknowledging that the oppression experienced by black women (“misogynoir”) is unique from and arguably more complicated than that experienced by black men or white women. The concept has since expanded to include all marginalized groups: women; people of color; immigrants; LGBTQ folks; those living with a physical or mental disability; sex workers; religious minorities; children and the elderly; the impoverished; and nonhuman animals.

While the animal rights movement has been a little too slow (imho) to incorporate the idea of intersectionality into its activism (see, e.g., PETA’s many problematic campaigns, not to mention their vociferous defenders), more and more vegans are expanding their circle of compassion to include human animals. In his third book, A Vegan Ethic: Embracing a Life of Compassion Toward All, Mark Hawthorne makes a concise yet compelling case for intersectionality and inclusivity. His argument is actually quite simple: “If veganism is about doing your best to not harm any sentient life, we must logically extend that circle of compassion to human animals as well.” What more is there to say?

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Book Review: Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture–and What We Can Do about It, Kate Harding (2015)

Friday, August 28th, 2015

An Insightful, Sometimes-Snarky, Surprisingly Readable Interrogation of Rape Culture

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through Edelweiss. Obvious trigger warning for rape.)

I’ve been a fan of Kate Harding’s ever since her days blogging at Shakespeare’s Sister (now Shakesville). I think I first caught wind of her latest project, Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture–and What We Can Do about It, more than a year ago, and have spent the interim occasionally checking the book’s Amazon listing, where the publication date seemed to creep further and further away. And it’s no wonder: every month brings with it a new development in the national conversation about rape and rape culture.

As Harding explains in the Author’s Note:

When I sold the proposal for this book in 2012, I foolishly agreed to finish the manuscript in six months, because my agent, editor, and I agreed that rape culture was having a moment, as it were. News of the Steubenville, Ohio, gang rape case was picking up steam, and the memory of Missouri Representative Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” gaffe was fresh in all our minds. Sexual violence was suddenly a popular topic, but – based on national conversations about rape in the 1970s and 1990s that started strong and dissipated quickly – we feared that if we waited too long, this book might be released to a public that was already over it.

The bad news is that it took me way longer than six months to finish the manuscript. The good news – amazingly, wonderful, really sort of mind-blowing news actually – is that years later, Americans are still walking seriously about rape and rape culture.

Asking for It is a welcome addition to the conversation: smart, witty, and surprisingly enjoyable. Well, not enjoyable, exactly – that’s not quite right – but Harding’s sometimes-snarky tone and penchant for calling bullshit as needed make for a slightly less depressing read.

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2015 Dive Into Diversity & LGBT Reading Challenges: June Roundup

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

This month’s Dive Into Diversity & LGBT Reading Challenge roundup comes with the usual disclaimer: In several instances, I’m not 100% certain that the book’s diverse enough to be included in the challenge (for example, how to judge a book of short stories? Is one or two diverse tales out of a dozen or more acceptable?) – so I’ve included a brief note about each book’s qualifications at the end of the post, so you can judge for yourself.

Pro tip: these notes may contain spoilers.

 

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Book Review: Vegan’s Daily Companion, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (2011)

Friday, May 8th, 2015

“…vegan is what I was meant to be.”

four out of five stars

My hope is that we can navigate through this world and our lives with the grace and integrity of those who need our protection. May we have the sense of humor and liveliness of the goats; may we have the maternal instincts and protective nature of the hens and the sassiness of the roosters. May we have the gentleness and strength of the cattle, and the wisdom, humility, and serenity of the donkeys. May we appreciate the need for community as do the sheep and choose our companions as carefully as do the rabbits. May we have the faithfulness and commitment to family as the geese, and adaptability and affability of the ducks. May we have the intelligence, loyalty, and affection of the pigs and the inquisitiveness, sensitivity, and playfulness of the turkeys.

My hope is that we learn from the animals what it is we need to become better people.

With no fewer than four cookbooks under her belt – The 30-Day Vegan Challenge, The Vegan Table, Color Me Vegan, and The Joy of Vegan Baking, which is destined to become a classic – many of you may know Colleen Patrick-Goudreau as an accomplished vegan chef. But she’s also got a master’s degree in English Literature, which she puts to use as a writer and public speaker, educating the public about compassionate living and animal rights. Her exploration of the intersections between human and animal exploitation, both on the Food for Thought podcast and various short videos released on YouTube, are among my favorites.

In Vegan’s Daily Companion, the self-described Joyful Vegan brings all her talents and avenues of interest together to create a book as unique as it is informative. Part cookbook, part self-help book, part pop culture guide, Vegan’s Daily Companion offers 365 days of inspiration, knowledge, and celebration to vegans, both new and experienced. From Monday through Sunday (with the weekends sharing a recipe), each day you’ll find a short discussion or series of tips, each tailored to a specific theme:

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tweets for 2014-09-30

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Book Review: Sever, Lauren DeStefano (2013)

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

Cicely saves the day!

four out of five stars

Trigger alerts for discussion of rape, violence, and drug use.

Having managed to escape Vaughn’s mansion for the second time in as many books – this time, through a botched, drug-fueled suicide attempt – Sever finds Rhine Ellery recovering in a Florida hospital room, surrounded by her (soon-to-be ex-) husband Linden, sister (-wife) Cicely, and their young son Bowen. Though Linden’s feelings for his estranged wife are complicated and oftentimes contentious, he refuses to relinquish Rhine for use in his father’s experiments. Instead, Linden “gives” Rhine her freedom and agrees to help her in her quest to find her missing twin brother, Rowan, now a pro-naturalist “anarchist” who’s taken to bombing research labs. (Scare quotes because the term “anarchist” is bandied about without further explanation.) Along the way, Rhine and her companions discover more than they bargained for, including answers to many of the questions raised in The Chemical Garden trilogy. In the face of unthinkable tragedy – and not insignificant triumphs – the survivors also find home, family, and hope amongst one another.

I hesitate to say much more about the plot, since it’s filled with unexpected twists, turns, and intersections (some of them admittedly improbable). Suffice it to say that those who enjoyed the previous two books in the trilogy – Wither and Fever – will not be disappointed. In fact, if you thought of Fever as mere “filler,” most likely Sever will prove a pleasant surprise. Fast-paced and full of suspense, Sever will have you glued to the couch (Kindle?). DeStefano’s prose is, as always, lovely, poetic, and brimming with detail. A number of old favorites – including those you just love to hate – reappear: Vaughn, Madame Soleski, Jared, Lilac, and (yes) Gabriel (though his face time is blessedly limited). We also meet Linden’s uncle Reed, an eccentric and delightful recluse who was banished from the mansion after Vaughn’s experiments nearly killed Linden in childhood, and travel to Hawaii which, contrary to the American government’s claims, does indeed still exist.

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tweets for 2012-11-02

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

furkid friday: dogs and books (and books about dogs)

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Today we have an extra-special furkid friday/Shout Out two-fer! (Dogs and books, books and dogs; throw in pizza and netflix, and that’s all you really need in life, amirite folks?) I even redesigned the old Colbert Report SHOUT OUT! graphic for the occasion!

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Animated gifs, they’re all the rage. Alas, I was lazy and in a hurry and only used four frames for this one, so it’s a bit choppy. But still, animated Stephen! Times two!

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The props go to Columbia University Press, which kindly sent me a copy of Creaturely Poetics: Animality and Vulnerability in Literature and Film by Anat Pick, a senior lecturer in film and program leader for film and video: theory and practice at the University of East London. From the book’s back cover:

Exploring the “logic of flesh” and the use of the body to mark species identity, Anat Pick reimagines a poetics that begins with the vulnerability of bodies, not the omnipotence of thought. Pick proposes a “creaturely” approach based on the shared embodiedness of humans and animals and a postsecular perspective on human-animal relations. She turns to literature, film, and other cultural texts, challenging the familiar inventory of the human: consciousness, language, morality, and dignity. Elaborating on such themes as witnessing, commemoration, and collective memory, Pick identifies the animal within all humans, emphasizing the corporeal and its issues of power and freedom. Through her poetics of the creaturely, powerlessness is the point at which aesthetic and ethical thinking must begin.

This looks like an interesting read for those concerned with how portrayals of nonhumans in pop culture – literature, film, television – both reflect and inform societal attitudes and ethics towards our fellow sentient beings. (In other words, me!) If you’d like to learn more, check out the book’s listing on Columbia University Press.

I tried my best to snap a photo of Peedee and/or O-Ren with Creaturely Poetics – mock reading it, or some such other cutesy silliness – but neither was feeling very cooperative. (Too hot!)

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That’s okay, though; truth be told, I wasn’t trying that hard anyway. (TOO HOT! Seriously, have I mentioned how hot it’s been lately? We’re looking at a week of 90 degree weather with 70%+ humidity. Ick!)

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Tweeting Mother’s Day (Again!)

Monday, May 9th, 2011

A vegan vanilla cupcake topped with vanilla buttercream and
shredded coconut. Staked in the middle is a cute, pink and yellow sign
wishing the nom-er a Happy Mother’s Day!
CC image via flickr user mishl982.
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In honor of Mother’s Day, I spent much of yesterday tweeting about veganism, motherhood, and the exploitation of female bodies in animal industries (with an obvious emphasis on agriculture). In fact, those of you who follow me on twitter probably saw your feeds flooded by my steady stream of tweets! (Sorry for that, y’all!) In comparison to last year, I planned ahead this time: the day prior, I queued up a bunch of tweets using Hoot Suite, so that they’d begin posting while I was still snuggled up, all warm and cozy in bed (under a dog pile several layers deep, no doubt). Once I awoke and was reassured that it was working correctly, I scheduled the rest of the day, with a tweet going out every five or ten minutes until nearly 11PM. Way easier and more consistent than doing it by hand throughout the day! (Also, possibly less obnoxious, though only slightly so.)

After the jump you’ll find a digest of all of yesterday’s tweets (minus the ones for which I used twitter’s built-in RT feature. For some silly reason, those don’t make it into the list. Sigh.) If you compare this to last year’s round-up – which I totally don’t expect anyone to do! – you’ll find that I recycled many of 2010’s tweets, but also added quite a few new ones as well. This is partially due to laziness on my end, I admit. But also, when I went over last year’s list, I had a hard time trimming it down: so many of the posts, articles, photos, pamphlets, etc. were that compelling. I hope you agree!

I’m already working on a list of resources for Father’s Day (June 19) so if you have a blog, post, idea or theme you’d like to suggest, I’m all eyes!

Smooch!

“Smooch!: Both Tommy (left) and Freedom (right) were rescued from slaughter. Tommy is an Angus, raised for meat consumption. Freedom is a male Jersey, a dairy breed. Male dairy calves are unwanted and sent to auction and raised for veal or backyard slaughter. Now both live at Animal Place and obviously Freedom loves Tommy!”
CC image via Marji Beach on flickr.
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(More below the fold…)

Bingo Cards

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Bingo Cards
 
 
Since my bingo cards have started to see some link love, I’ve decided to gather them all on one dedicated page, all pretty-like and sans commentary, for your game-playing pleasure. Each card is hosted on Flickr, so please click through for a larger, high-res version. For those who cannot view the images, I’ve also added a plain-text version of each card, some of which include links to debunkings or refutations of the silly sayings contained within. (I plan on adding links regularly, so check back for updates, mkay?)

With the exception of the original Defensive Omnivore Bingo card, all of the cards shown below were created and are shared by moi under a Creative Commons license. Feel free to download, link, embed, FB, tweet, blog, and otherwise share.
 
 
Defensive Omnivore Bingo

Defensive Omnivore Bingo

 

DEFENSIVE OMNIVORE BINGO
“If God didn’t want us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?” Begins to wax sentimental over some variety of meat that they could never give up. Asks where you get your protein. Brings up PETA. “I didn’t climb to the top of the food chain to eat plants.”
Explains how they tried vegetarianism once and it didn’t work out. Argues that humans are different than other animals, and therefore eating them is morally justified. Argues that humans are no different than other animals, and therefore eating them…Lions eat zebras, right? Asks what would happen to the cows if we didn’t eat them. Feigns concern. Expresses concern for plant suffering.
Preaches to you about how preachy vegans are. Wonders how we’d grow enough food to feed us all if everyone went vegetarian overnight. Bingo! Asks why you care more about animals than human beings. Describes some highly unlikely hypothetical scenario in which you’d be forced to eat meat to survive.
Points out that some object you own contains some infinitesimal amount of animal product. “Do you eat fish?” Tells you all about the vegan somewhere who once did something wrong. Concludes all vegans are hypocrites. Mentions canine teeth. “Vegetarian: Indian word for ‘bad hunter'”
Describes the happy farm animal they once saw somewhere. Expresses a completely unrelated concern for starving children somewhere. Something irrelevant about cavemen. Wonders why you don’t make better use of all that time you waste not eating animals. Describes a vegan they once knew who suffered from some random ailment. Concludes it was caused by lack of meat.

 
Defensive Omnivore Bingo was conceived by Brian VanderVeen (aka Hoveringdog) and posted on the original PPK forums (all I have is the broken link, sorry!). You can find an artsier version here. Just for reference, I initially blogged about the card here.
 
 
Defensive Omnivore Bingo II

Defensive Omnivore Bingo 2

 

DEFENSIVE OMNIVORE BINGO II
“If humans didn’t milk cows, their udders would explode.” Threatens to eat two animals for every one you save. Then calls you an asshole. Changes the subject to abortion. Claims that all/most vegans are skinny / pale / sickly / malnourished / on death’s doorstep. Claims that all/most vegans are fat / ugly / miserable / unfuckable / on death’s doorstep.
Animal rights = trucking licenses for dogs, monkeys who vote, etc. Insists that vegans cause more deaths than omni’s. Repeats the word “collateral” ad nauseam. “Hitler was a vegetarian.” For green cred, points to diet of local / organic/ free range / ‘sustainable’ / grass-fed beef. Also: fish. Dismisses veganism as “elitist.”
“A vegan? Is that like a gay vegetarian?” Proudly describes his lacto-ovo-vegetarian-before-6 diet. Thinks this makes you BFFs. Free square: People Eating Tasty Animals (nyuck, nyuck!) Says that animals are treated better than humans. Points to rich aunt’s Pekingese. “We protect farm animals from starvation / disease / predation. They owe us.”
“You city slickers are all the same. Have you ever even visited a farm!?” Mysteriously develops a soy allergy. Equates meat with masculinity: “salad is for girls and sissy boys.” Describes veganism as a religion / fundamentalist religion / cult. Wonders whether you expect Bushmen / Eskimos / vampires to eat Tofu Pups.
HONEY! Swears that vegans are always cold. Has never heard of sweaters. Uses every part of the animal, “just like the Natives.” May also be 1/9th Chickasaw. “PETA’s Vice President has diabetes and injects herself with insulin.” Insists that veganism is a type of eating disorder.

 

Defensive Omnivore Bingo II is CC Kelly Garbato, 2009 and is shared under the following Creative Commons license: Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works; originally blogged here.

 
 
Speciesist Feminist Bingo

Speciesist Feminist Bingo

 

SPECIESIST FEMINIST BINGO
Purchases a purebred dog from a breeder. Can’t find a rescue dog to her liking. Approvingly quotes Carol Adams while scarfing down a BLT. Always uses “no-harm wool” in her subversive, patriarchy-smashing craft projects! Is incensed by Whoopi Goldberg’s defense of Roman Polanski; Michael Vick, not so much. Claims that pregnant women need meat. Is not expecting / is childfree.
Treats her mom to a plate of five-star veal on Mother’s Day. Purchases a purebred dog from a breeder. Can’t be bothered to search Petfinder. Equates the butchering of animals with unconventional sex. “Bill Maher is a vegetarian.” Recycles traditional justifications for sexism (etc.) in defense of speciesism.
Eagerly engages in rape apologism when the victims are nonhuman animals. Refers to retrogressive menfolk as “sexist pigs.” Free square: An attractive lady with a hamburger for a head. Claims veganism will divert time / attention / energy away from her feminist activism. Denies that exploitation in animal agriculture is gendered; “we eat males, too.”
Dismisses veganism as “oppressive” b/c it requires further “sacrifices” from women. Does not blame the kyriarchy. Considers veganism an eating disorder. Thinks you’re a misogynist for even suggesting it! Thinks animal exploitation is empowering for women and girls; a real opportunity / achievement! Invokes own marginalized status to excuse her marginalization of animals.
Appropriates animal suffering to make a feminist point. Angrily accuses vegans who compare the suffering of women and animals of being misogynists. Reclaims “bitch” for women – but not for actual bitches. Secretly wants to revoke your feminist card. PETA!,
PETA!,
PETA!
.

 
Speciesist Feminist Bingo is CC Kelly Garbato, 2009 and is shared under the following Creative Commons license: Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works; originally blogged here.

 
 
Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo

Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo

 

ANTI-FEMINIST VEGETARIAN BINGO
“Sex sells.” Uses “rape” to describe a situation wherein a sexual assault did not occur. Likens fat vegans to mythical creatures such as unicorns and compassionate conservatives. Is ‘pro-life’ – for everyone. “You’re just fat / ugly / jealous / humorless / can’t get a date / in need of a good lay.”
Idolizes the Suicide Girls – for their compassion and kindness, of course. Volunteers to leaflet the funeral of a murdered abortion provider. Mocks a woman’s body, when it’s her actions that are ugly. Points to the outrage elicited by an offensive campaign as evidence of its success. Is an active member of the PETA2 Street Team.
“Breasts, not animal tests!” Makes violence against women look sexy. Free square: PETA’s Kimberley Hefner “Uncle Sam” ad “PETA objectifies / sexualizes / exploits men, too!” Responds to criticism w/: Why can’t we all just get along?; We’re on the same side here.; etc.
Thinks campaigns involving female nudity are “original” and “creative.” Asks vegans, “Why do you hate animals?” Dismisses angry women as “mentally ill,” “hysterical,” “in need of professional help.” Launches into an impromptu rant about that “she-devil” Sarah Palin. Accuses vegan feminists of trying to control / oppress / veil other women.
Uses the oppression of animals to excuse the marginalization of humans. Employs the words bitch, cow, pig, dog, etc. as insults. Denies they’re sexist and speciesist. Blogs at ecorazzi. Appropriates women’s history; has only a passing knowledge of / interest in the issue(s). Considers Skinny Bitch an animal rights classic.

 
Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo is CC Kelly Garbato, 2009 and is shared under the following Creative Commons license: Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works; originally blogged here.
 
 
Privileged White Vegetarian Bingo

Privileged White Vegetarian Bingo

 

PRIVILEGED WHITE VEGETARIAN BINGO
Dons a white sheet and hood in protest of the AKC. Is more vocal about the consumption of cats & dogs than that of cows & pigs. “Morrissey is dreamy!” Believes all vegans should attend public demos and leaflet college campuses. Holds a fur drive for the homelessnot to clothe people, but to reduce fur’s cachet.
Advocates ‘mainstreaming’ the movement so as not to ‘scare off’ others. Conflates Western beauty standards with physical health. Bemoans the political repression of activists; supports racial profiling. “Factory farming is genocide!” Thinks a ‘food desert’ is a new method of cultivating crops in the sand.
Thinks AR advertising on the U.S.-Mexico border wall is a nifty idea! “New vegans must replace all their leather shoes and jackets immediately.” Free square: An anti-fur ad from PETA, featuring Senegalese musician Mola – naked and wearing black animal stripes – imprisoned in a cage. Asks POC communities, “Why don’t you join us?” vs. “How can we help you?” “Why must you be so divisive?!?”
Would rather shame than empower. Describes non-Western foods and cultures as ‘exotic,’ ‘strange,’ & ‘unusual.’ Protests fur; owns blood diamonds. “Keep your identity politics out of my Veganism!” Condemns all of Japan for the country’s ‘scientific’ whaling program.
“PETA is inclusive/diverse; it featured a black woman in its 2010 SOTU Undress!” Engages in breedism; supports BSL. Celebrates Thankslivingw/out acknowledging the holiday’s colonialist & racist roots. Denounces non-Western forms of animal exploitation as ‘uncivilized’ & ‘barbaric.’ MICHAEL VICK!

 
Privileged White Vegetarian Bingo is CC Kelly Garbato, 2011 and is shared under the following Creative Commons license: Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works; originally blogged here.

 
 
 
 
 
Last updated 2/22/11
 

Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs (Karen Davis, 2009): A vegan feminist book review, with recipes!

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Bizarro - Thanksgiving-Christmas

Two holiday-themed Bizarro strips.
In the first, a group of turkeys looks on in horror and disgust as a farmer, clad in the requisite red flannel, hauls two of their terrified brethren from the barn, seemingly for slaughter. Two turkeys in the foreground discuss this all-too-predictable turn of events: “This is all about ‘thanks.’ Next month, the massacre starts all over again in the name of ‘peace on Earth.'”
The second strip shows a turkey angel visiting with a reindeer, who looks a little mopey despite the festive bells slung around his neck. The wizened turkey advises, “I’m just saying, WATCH YOUR BACK. I was a holiday icon too, & look what happened to me.
Images copyright Dan Piraro.
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I realize that a review of an animal rights book isn’t wholly in keeping with the theme of veganmofo; so, to compensate, I’ve included a number of yummy, egg- and bird-free recipes at the bottom of this post. Hopefully this will help drive home that point that the atrocities described in Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs are 1000% unnecessary while also placating the veganmofo goddesses! (No smiting of my person, mkay? Nevermind that I also have a blog named Smite Me!)

Out of respect for my fellow mofo’ers, I’ve purposefully omitted any visual representations of animal exploitation from this post, so you can scroll through without worry.

Or, if you’d rather not read the review, you can jump straight to the recipes!

Book Review: Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An inside look at the modern poultry industry by Karen Davis (1996; revised 2009)

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review from the publisher.)

[FYI: you can download a pdf copy of the first edition here. Also, by way of disclaimer, I received a free review copy of this book from the the publisher, The Book Publishing Company. As in, nearly a year ago. Slow, who me?]

Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs by Karen Davis (2009)

In the United States, nearly 10 billion chickens are slaughtered every year; worldwide, the number is 40 billion and growing, as agribiz continues to export America’s extremely unhealthy, meat-laden diet – as well as its industrialized method of animal “farming” – to developing nations. At any given time, 5 billion hens “live” in battery cages on American “farms,” so that their bodies may be exploited for eggs. Because male chicks are an unwanted byproduct of this system, 250 million of them are discarded – suffocated, gassed, ground up or merely thrown out, alive – annually.

While chickens – hens, roosters and chicks; mothers, fathers and children – represent the single most exploited species of farmed animals, they receive perhaps the least consideration. More chickens are enslaved and slaughtered per year than cows, pigs, sheeps and goats combined – and yet, along with cold-blooded mammals such as reptiles, chickens and other birds are not even considered “animals” under the U.S. Animal Welfare Act. (Granted, animals farmed for food and fiber are also not covered under the AWA, but this is perhaps small consolation, as they still fall under the rubric of “animals.”) Perhaps it’s their “alien” faces, what with rigid beaks where expressive mouths “should” be, but humans seem to have more trouble empathizing with chickens and birds than other farmed animal species, such as pigs and cows (who, of course, receive less consideration than “pet” species, such as dogs and cats).

In the intro to Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs, Karen Davis – founder and director of United Poultry Concerns (UPC) – reports that, when she first became involved in advocating on behalf of chickens in the late 1980s, these beautiful and abused creatures were largely overlooked in animal welfare and rights campaigns:

I was told by some that people weren’t “ready” for chickens. This proved to be false. The point, in any case, was to make people ready.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of folks like Davis, chickens are now central to the vegan and anti-factory farming movements. Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs – first published in 1996 and revised in 2009 – provides an accessible and compressive, if horrifying and hard-to-read, overview of industrialized chicken egg and “meat” production. (Something similar is sorely needed for fishes and other “seafood,” who seem to be the chickens and birds of this decade. But I digress.)

What with a 19-page reference list and copious quotations culled from industry publications and decades-old news clippings, Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs is meticulously researched and brimming with information. I’d hoped to include a list of talking points or key facts, but the sheer breadth and detail makes this nearly impossible. (That, and I’m not exactly about brevity, as regular readers well know!) Instead, let’s take this summary chapter by chapter, shall we?

(More below the fold…)

The Return of "Frugal Vegans…" & delicious-ness, Hoarded

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

2010-09-17 - Lunch With Ken (Meesh's Cam) - 0035

During last year’s VeganMoFo, I launched a new series about how to live frugally as a vegan. The idea was to both offer helpful tips for those vegans looking to save money, while also providing a counterpoint to the idea that veganism is necessarily expensive. Loosely titled “Frugal Vegans…,” the series unfortunately fizzled and died with October, in part because I don’t do a whole lot of food blogging outside of VeganMoFo. But hey, look on the bright side! VeganMoFo is back, baby! And with it, “Frugal Vegans…”

As a sort of refresher course, here are the topics we covered last year:

(I also have an entire category dedicated to frugality, though it’s mostly comprised of the posts listed above.)

Today’s tip is short and sweet: hoard your deliciousness. By which I mean…well, go see for yourself: http://www.delicious.com/easyvegan/recipe

easyvegan's delicious tags (recipes)

Now look. I’m all in favor of supporting one’s favorite vegan cookbook authors and chefs (especially those who are also vocal advocates for oppressed animals, both human and non!). And you can and should support them by purchasing (and promoting) their cookbooks (and blogs, podcasts, appearances, etc.) when possible. But not everyone can afford to buy a new book every week, month or even year. Libraries rock – and, imho, borrowing cookbooks from the library, thus increasing demand for these titles, counts as support – but not everyone has ready access to a library or library services.

Luckily, there are plenty of recipes and ideas to be had for free online, as is amply evidenced by VeganMoFo. (Speaking of which, have you seen the tragically awesome RSS feed bundles yet? You will never leave the house again!) Just search for “vegan recipes” (over 4 million hits on Google!) – or hop on over to my blogroll of vegan foodies for a more whittled down version – to get started.

But how to keep track of all this vegan nom? delicious to the rescue! With delicious you can bookmark, tag, sort, share and comment on your favorite links.

(More below the fold…)

Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 24: Three months o’ links!

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Considering I haven’t posted a link roundup in more than three months, this one actually isn’t all that long. What can I say; I’ve used what little free blogging time I’ve had to prepare for the upcoming Vegan MoFo madness. Speaking of which, brand spanking new graphics and an up-to-date press release are now available. Go grab some and spread the word! 400 participants and counting – let’s make it 500, kay? Come November 1st, you can follow the fun on Twitter (VeganMoFo, #veganmofo), the (new!) PPK forums, and Vegan MoFo Headquarters International. See y’all then.

Joel Burns tells gay teens “it gets better”;

Stephanie @ Animal Rights & AntiOppression: “You Coming Out or What?”; and

The Bullies Suck T-shirt

In the wake of a spate of suicides, committed by gay teenagers who were each the target of homophobic bullying, the LGBTQ community and its allies celebrated National Coming Out Day on October 11. Together, these events have focused attention on movements to prevent bullying – particularly those aimed at LGBTQ (or perceived LGBTQ) youths – including the It Gets Better Project and The Trevor Project. The former invites members and allies of the LGBTQ community to upload encouraging videos to its website, the message being that “it gets better”; the latter operates a hotline for LGBTQ youths and young adults in crisis, and also provides resources to parents and educators.

As part of this anti- anti-gay backlash, a number of celebrities and public figures have shared their own experiences publicly – including Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns, whose heartbreaking speech went viral and was aired in full on various media outlets, including CNN (where I first saw it). I’ve embedded the video above; even though it’s rather long, clocking in at almost 13 minutes, I urge you to watch the whole thing. It will bring you to tears.

And, while you’re already a sobby, snotty mess, head on over to AR&AO, where Stephanie shares her own “coming out” story. These issues – homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, and the like – are relevant to animal rights activism simply because so many activists belong to marginalized groups; nonhumans are not the only animals exploited and mistreated en masse, for no reason other than the simple fact of their birth. All oppression is bad oppression, and all forms of oppression harm individual activists, as well as social movements and the beings for whom we advocate. These are not “special interests,” to be addressed only after the “important” work is done; these are our interests, to be tackled in concert with other “isms.”

To this end, Ari Solomon of A Scent of Scandal, Josh Hooten of The Herbivore Clothing Company and Jennifer Martin of Ink Brigade created a line of t-shirts to show solidarity with the victims of anti-LGBTQ bullying. Called “Bullies Suck,” the tees are available for purchase through Herbivore (just $20, with kids’ sizes, to boot!); all proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project.

(More below the fold…)

Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 23: lolz the douche away

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

lol batman - get that dood-elle

lol batman – get that dood-elle!” – Running through the streets of Gotham, a cheesy, live-action, retro ’60s Batman and Robin try desperately to apprehend a certain sexist blogger before he can unleash any further douchebaggery upon the women of Blogville. “HOLY FUCKING PATRONIZING SEXISM,” goes the refrain of this lol batman.
TV still via the internets; quote via Stephanie; and photoshopping via moi.
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Though I haven’t been posting much ’round these parts lately

[and have all but abandoned ship over at AR&AO, for which I apologize to Stephanie & Co. profusely, and pledge to do better once things calm down here at Casa del Garbato-Brady, otherwise known as the Garden of Vegan, a title which I swear I will one day have posted at our driveway’s front gate, threats of TP and eggs be damned]

rest assured that I’ve been busy, busy, busy, namely: working on several projects – including developing a website for my fledgling business

[Remember my – by which I mean Shane’s – pizza press idea of last October? We are totally doing it! Slowly but surely, anyway. Our website isn’t quite ready yet, so if you’d like to follow our progress, like us on Facebook, mkay?];

revamping another

[POP! goes The Vegan., whose database of vegan reviews should really be on the front page, with the blog in an ancillary position, seeing as the database is the main f’in attraction. What I was thinking by reversing their positions, I know not.];

and launching yet another brand-spankin’ new website

[Schlong4Seals! OMG, just reflecting on all the man-sausages and dick jokes waiting in the wings is enough to bring a smile to my normally frowny face. (I almost always look annoyed, even when I’m not; it’s must be the humorless feminist in me, I guess.) I was a little incensed when the Fraternal Order of Facebook killed my SCHLONGS4SEALS group, but in retrospect, I think they did me a solid. A solid I shall return by plastering FB with links to all my super-awesome crotch shots and “seven ways to save the seals using only your cock” posts! Oh, I cannot wait. *Channeling the spirit of Will Ferrell*]

– the height of insanity, since clearly I already have more blogs than I can keep track of. Silly, silly rabbit.

Oh, and the zazzle store! A few designs for which I still need to create. Yeah, let’s save that for later, shall we?

Anyhow, on to issue #23 of “Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs.” On accounta me being in a mad hurry tonight, I’ve forgone most of my normal commentary in lieu of excerpts. That’s okay, though; I’ve got a great batch of links to share with y’all, so best to let the individual bloggers speak for themselves.

Browse, share, enjoy – and then blame and smash. Go!

lol-psycat - narcissus

lol-psycat – narcissus” – Apropos of the dood-elle mentioned above, “narcissistic cat is his own screensavr.” (For those who can’t view the image, a black cat lounges atop a computer monitor, which currently displays a photo of…a black cat!) Not super-relevant to the rest of the post, but I felt like I needed a break between my semi-coherent ramblings above and the über-awesome link roundup below. Anal, who me?
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INCITE! Blog: Why Misogynists Make Great Informants: How Gender Violence on the Left Enables State Violence in Radical Movements

To save our movements, we need to come to terms with the connections between gender violence, male privilege, and the strategies that informants (and people who just act like them) use to destabilize radical movements. Time and again heterosexual men in radical movements have been allowed to assert their privilege and subordinate others. Despite all that we say to the contrary, the fact is that radical social movements and organizations in the United States have refused to seriously address gender violence as a threat to the survival of our struggles. We’ve treated misogyny, homophobia, and heterosexism as lesser evils—secondary issues—that will eventually take care of themselves or fade into the background once the “real” issues—racism, the police, class inequality, U.S. wars of aggression—are resolved.

(Hat tip, Jenna at L.O.V.E.)

Vegan Feminist Agitator: Exploitation + Objectification = Conklin Farms. (In other words, business as usual.)

The process through which we make peace with the inherent injustice of how we treat non-humans occurs because of objectification, the largely unconscious fragmentation system through which sentient beings are turned into objects. It is easier for the mind to integrate the misuse of objects than the abuse of living beings. Through this process, individuation collapses: all cows, all hens become a single entity to be turned into product. Those who are in power have their interests interpreted as a natural right rather a personal desire. When our interests require the subjugation of another, objectification makes the acquiring of what we want that much easier.

Digging Through the Dirt: Promotion of Veal on Columbus Day Adds to Insult

Because we think of ourselves as exceptional, we view “the other” as inferior. Descendents of native peoples and of African slaves are still regarded as inferior in this country, in general. And animals are treated as such, too. They exist for our purposes; they have no value except that which we bestow upon them, usually in the form of dollars. It’s all about what we can get from them — their flesh, their milk, their eggs — just as it was for Columbus. What could he get from the native peoples?

(More below the fold…)

Show us your tits! (For the animals, of course.) [Believe it or not, this isn’t another post about PETA. Not directly, anyhow.]

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Update, 8/3/10: http://www.schlongs4seals.com is live! I’m still working on the interactive photo gallery and discussion features, but the blog is functional (and has already logged more posts in August than I was able to write here in all of July) and all of the other pages are done. Also, I’ve uploaded all my schlong-related artwork to a set of photo pages as a temporary solution whilst I hunt the internets for a shiny piece of WP-compatible photo gallery software.

Leads for said software would be both awesome and appreciated!

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Update, 7/14/10: www.schlongs4seals.com is now mine. Muahahahaha! (At the time of this writing, the domain just redirects back to this post, but still: Muahahahaha!) Stay tuned for details!

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Update, 7/13/10: I just received a notice that Facebook deleted my SCHLONGS4SEALS page because:

You created a Page that has violated our Terms of Use. A Facebook Page is a distinct presence used solely for business or promotional purposes. Among other things, Pages that are hateful, threatening, or obscene are not allowed. We also take down Pages that attack an individual or group, or that are set up by an unauthorized individual. If your Page was removed for any of the above reasons, it will not be reinstated. Continued misuse of Facebook’s features could result in the permanent loss of your account.

So, just to recap: serious requests for women to send in their tit shots “for the animals” = a-okay; satirical requests for men to send in their crotch shots “for the animals” = hateful, threatening and/or obscene. Facebook, I do believe you hate women!

Anyhow, I’m currently weighing my options, which look rather slim at the moment. I could try setting up a similar page, but then I risk having my account disabled – a hassle which just isn’t worth it. Flickr might prove more welcoming to a SCHLONGS4SEALS group – I mean, hey, it’s home to entire groups dedicated to sexually harassing upskirt photos (!) – and indeed, the faux PSAs I created are all safe and sound in their own lil’ Flickr collection. But, you know, different social media sites, yada yada yada. My final and grandest idea is to go Thatchers out and launch an entire SCHLONGS4SEALS spoof website. Which sounds great, but OMG I so do not have the free time!

So, we shall see. In the meantime, if you’re on FB and find this whole affair as despicable as do I, why not hop on over to that *other* page and report it for similarly violating FB’s TOS? Seeing as most of us are either women or have friends who are women, might I suggest choosing “targets me or a friend” from the drop-down menu, as this continued objectification of women most certainly constitutes “an attack on an individual or group.” Please and thank you.

Support the Seals, Show Us Your Tits (Screenshot 05)

A screenshot, taken on 6/26/10, of the “Support For The Seals!” Facebook page. The image shows a fan photo – which has since been deleted – submitted to the page by Petra Simkova, in which the wearer of a pair of white undies (men’s briefs?) is flashing what JK Rowling would oh-so-demurely call a “rude gesture” at the camera. In other words, what we have here is an exaggerated crotch shot and a middle finger – all in all, an adequate summary of my feelings towards Facebook and Michael McDade (aka SeaL Shepherd).
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Update, 7/3/10: If you’d like to participate, but don’t have a Facebook account, not to worry! Just send me your package @ easyvegan [at] gmail.com and I’ll upload it as an admin. You can choose to remain anonymous OR be credited (with a link back to your blog or site), whichever you prefer!

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A bottom-less Pamela Anderson strikes a flirty pose as she models PETA’s ‘Save the Seals’ tee. The shirt is all-white save for a black sketch of a fuzzy-wuzzy seal on its front. The ad’s copy reads, “What do I have in common with Barack Obama, Vladmir Putin and the Dalai Lama? We all oppose the massacre of baby seals. It’s time to end Canada’s shameful slaughter.” And, in red and gray text: “Pamela Anderson for PeTA” and “SAVETHESEALS / END CANADA’S SEAL SLAUGHTER.”
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Over the weekend, I was browsing a few friends’ Facebook feeds when I happened upon Support For The Seals!. Purportedly, the page aims to “raise awareness” about seal hunting in Newfoundland – by (wait for it!) encouraging female fans to post photos of their tits:

Boobs for seals…did he just write that? Yes he did. Show your “support” for the seals!

1) Suggest to 100 friends! (link above)

2) More friends = more boobs = more support for the seals!

Much thanks to these brave ladies! Get your mammos!

Now, if I wasn’t already suffering from blog fatigue, I might offer a coherent vegan/feminist critique of this so-called “campaign” (scare quotes because it reads more like a Girls Gone Wild casting/sexploitation call); and, knowing me, this essay would clock in at no less than 2,000 words. Probably it would contain a good deal of salty language, and not a few references to “the kyriarchy” and “intersectionality.”

For example, I might begin my rant with a brief analysis of the “post your bra color for breast cancer” Facebook campaign on which Support For The Seals! is based, arguing that it:

1) trivialized breast cancer by making it all about the boobies (instead of, you know, life or fucking death);

2) excluded some actual breast cancer survivors from participating (i.e., those who have undergone double mastectomies have little need for bras; insensitive much?);

3) played into cultural memes which reduce women to body parts (What, no “boxers or briefs” campaign for testicular cancer? No, that would be silly!); and

4) did little to actually raise awareness of the issues surrounding breast cancer (Dietary and environmental risk factors, anyone? Time to drop the I word, methinks!), thus transforming the well-intentioned but misguided effort into a day of titillation for Facebook’s (heterosexual, sexist) male members.

I might also argue that Support For The Seals! is infinitely worse than the aforementioned breast cancer campaign, as a) it involves actual photos of actual women’s actual breasts, whereas b) the link between the objectified body part and the cause it’s supposed to further is much, much more tenuous (nonexistent, you might say).

I might point out that, practically speaking, this page does little more than provide a bunch of internet pervs with additional wanking material (as if they’ve a need for more, amiright ladies?); certainly, it does nothing to actually “raise awareness” about Canadian seals and the many threats they face, nor does it provide concrete assistance (material support, monetary donations, volunteer pledges, etc.) to those working to end seal hunting.

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Reclaiming the F Word: The New Feminist Movement (A Review – of the Book, Not the Movement)

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

At first glance, this book review might seem a bit out of place on an animal rights blog (even one written by a vegan feminist), but grumble not!: Animal advocacy does make a cameo near the end.

Reclaiming the F Word (2010)

“I’ll be a post-feminist in the post-patriarchy.”

The book cover for Reclaiming the F Word: The New Feminist Movement depicts a “We Can Do It!”-style tough woman, complete with kerchiefed head, rolled sleeves and flexed bicep. The cover’s background is shaded a subtle gray, and most of the text is white – save for the “F” in “F Word” (which is neon green) and “The New Feminist Movement” (vibrant purple).
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Feminism 2010, 101 (or, “I’ll be a post-feminist in the post-patriarchy.”)

five out of five stars

Spurred by the disconnect between the mainstream media’s treatment of feminism (depending on the source, feminism is: dead; outdated; a fad that’s passed; bad for your health; an utter failure; and/or proven so successful that it’s outlived its usefulness) and the “vibrant feminist movement” that they bear daily witness to, UK-based feminists Catherine Redfern and Kristin Aune decided to investigate and document the “new feminist movement.” Redfern – founder of The F-Word, a website dedicated to issues of contemporary UK feminism – and Aune – a sociology professor who teaches courses on feminism, gender and religion – surveyed 1,265 UK feminists in order to assess their thoughts on sexism and feminism and compare these to the demands made by their “second-wave” foremothers.* The results appear in the soon-to-be-published Reclaiming the F Word: The New Feminist Movement (July 6, 2010), along with a cogent introduction to the “third-wave” feminist movement. (The survey results are also available at http://www.reclaimingthefword.net.)

Redfern and Aune open the discussion by identifying the seven demands made by feminists meeting at Oxford’s Ruskin College annually throughout the 1970s:

1. Equal pay now

2. Equal education and job opportunities

3. Free contraception and abortion on demand

4. Free 24-hour nurseries

5. Financial and legal independence

6. An end to all discrimination against lesbians; assertion of a woman’s right to define her own sexuality

7. Freedom from intimidation by threat or use of violence or sexual coercion, regardless of marital status; and an end to all laws, assumptions and institutions which perpetuate male dominance and men’s aggression towards women.

While feminists have made significant progress on many of these issues, clearly there’s still much work to be done. For example, while legislation regarding rape and sexual assault has improved in both the UK and the US, women (particularly women of color, women with disabilities, trans women, children, etc.) are still physically and sexually victimized in great numbers – both by male perpetrators, and again by a culture fraught with rape apologism and a largely uncompassionate judicial system. Thus, it should come as no great surprise that contemporary feminists voice similar concerns some forty years later.

Based on the responses they received, as well as their own knowledge of current feminist activism and writing, Redfern and Aune group the interests of the “new feminist movement” into seven themes, in homage to the Ruskin College feminists’ seven stated demands:

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Meet Jasper, Sasha, Filipe, Teddy, Amigo and Pancho…and the Farm Animal Adoption Network!

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Back in March, Farm Sanctuary came to the rescue of six calves who were left to starve at a farm in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Some were left tethered to a tractor, while others were found locked in a garage; all were abandoned by their “owner.”* Most likely castoffs of the dairy industry, the calves were weak, frail and sickly and required immediate medical care:

After learning about the suffering calves, Farm Sanctuary immediately launched a rescue effort, and staff drove to pick up the calves halfway between the Pennsylvania farm and our New York Shelter. The calves we greeted were a terrible sight. Their eyes were sunken in from severe dehydration, and they were pale, coughing and extremely weak. They were fighting life-threatening infections, and most were unable to stand on their own. Four of the calves weighed less than they would have at birth, and their prognosis looked grim. Medical care was urgently needed to stabilize the calves, so our rescue team rushed them to the Cornell University Hospital for Animals for critical emergency care.

The following weeks were filled with constant care and anxious waiting as these sickly calves struggled to become well. But slowly, their fragile, battered bodies began to heal, and, in time, each came home from the hospital.

Though their lives began in violence and suffering, these babies are now safe, valued and loved. And in need of a forever home!: Farm Sanctuary is currently looking for one or more individuals to adopt dear Jasper, Sasha, Filipe, Teddy, Amigo and Pancho – as well as Vito and Clancy, two young Holstein steers who managed to escape from their captors before finding Farm Sanctuary. Thanks to Farm Sanctuary (as well as the Hillside SPCA and an anonymous tipster), these someones now have names whereas only numbers hinted at their unique, individual identities before. They are so much more than cogs in a capitalist machine, or producers of milk and flesh. They are sons, brothers, friends.

If you are willing and able to adopt any of these sweethearts (all of whom must be rehomed in pairs), you can find contact information and addition details here.

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Dear Anna Lappé,

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Diet for a Hot Planet (pp 206-207)

Pages 206 and 207 of Anna Lappé’s latest book, Diet for a Hot Planet (Bloomsbury, March 2010). Principle #2 in her “Seven Principles of a Climate-Friendly Diet” is “Put Plants on Your Plate.” So far, so good, yes? Not so fast! Under “Resources for Principle 2,” Lappé lists the following bullet points: “Viva veggies”; “Support real meat and dairy farmers”; and “Go for grass fed [beef].” Epic Animal, Vegetable, Mineral FAIL.
(Click through to enbiggen the image, the most offensive parts of which I have helpfully marked up with my trusty red Photoshop pen.)
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Nonhuman animals (“meat” and “beef”) and their secretions (“milk”) are not plants, mkay? Unlike, say, pinto beans or watermelon, “beef” has a family and friends; can think, feel and suffer; and screams bloody fucking murder when you cut into its her live flesh. While it’s true that I’ve become all too accustomed to raw, shameless speciesism from environmentalists –

– for example, I just finished reading Eaarth, which was penned by the same stubborn “green” omnivore who penned the intro to your own latest stubbornly non-vegan “green” tome, in which he mentioned vegetarianism but twice (and veganism, not at all), despite a discussion of animal agriculture’s sizable contribution to climate change, i.e., the very focus of his book

– your recommendation to adopt a plant-heavy diet by consuming animals and animal by-products is beyond mind-boggling; it’s at once factually incorrect and completely lacking in compassion. (Cows as cantaloupes? Hello, objectification!)

I mean, really – how do you expect me to take the rest of your Diet for a Hot Planet seriously after such a fundamental gaffe?

Signed,

x A vegan-feminist environmentalist

P.S. There is no such thing as “humane meat.” An unnecessary and involuntary death is, by definition, inhumane.

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Reclaiming the F-Word, Expanding the V-Word

Friday, June 11th, 2010

I can’t see the point in women being equal to men if men are not equal to each other. *

Yes!

And also:

I can’t see the point in nonhuman animals being equal to humans if humans are not equal to each other.

Think about it.

Redtape Shoes and Apparels - Fishtank

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