Book Review: Confronting Animal Exploitation: Grassroots Essays on Liberation and Veganism, Kim Socha and Sarahjane Blum, eds. (2013)

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Abolitionist Vegan Voices from the Trenches of the Twin Cities

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: at my request, the publisher provided me with a free copy of this book for review.)

Born of a beautifully simple idea, Confronting Animal Exploitation: Grassroots Essays on Liberation and Veganism provides a platform for everyday, in-the-trenches animal activists to share their stories. More specifically, these author-activists all live in or around Minnesota’s Twin Cities and subscribe to the abolitionist vegan perspective (even if not all of the contributors label themselves as such). The result is a captivating, surprisingly diverse collection of essays that addresses myriad aspects of the animal liberation movement, from the obvious (welfare reform and “humane” meat; the problems with capitalist models of reform; the alienation of being a vegan in a non-vegan world) to connections seemingly obscure (animal-friendly themes in Stephen King’s oeuvre).

The essays in CAE are grouped into four themes: Theory for Praxis, Veganism in Action, Narratives of Change, and Moving Toward Revolution. Those already involved in the animal liberation movement will no doubt see a name or two that they recognize. Longtime activist Dallas Rising, for example, kicks off the anthology with an examination of why so many people actively choose to ignore the suffering of nonhuman animals (“Turning Our Heads: The ‘See No Evil’ Dilemma”). Perhaps the most frustrating roadblock encountered by activists, she attributes this willful ignorance to ethnocentrism, a fear of social ostracism, and the pain inherent in recognizing such traumas: we are at once perpetrators and victims of animal exploitation – an idea expertly grounded in Judith Herman’s classic text Trauma and Recovery. Rising’s second contribution – “Tales of an Animal Liberationist” – is at once inspiring and heartbreaking, and highlights the power of personal narratives in changing hearts and minds (and hopefully behavior as well).

In a community in which BBQ fundraisers and meat-based “Spay-ghetti and No Balls” dinners are the rule rather than the exception, vegans who work with companion animal rescue groups are no strangers to this disconnect. People who break their hearts and empty their bank accounts to save dogs and cats think nothing of selling the dead and dismembered bodies of cows and pigs to fund their efforts – and please their own palates. Melissa E. Masske makes a moving argument for sticking it out in such situations, both because animal rescue is a rewarding and effective form of direct action in and of itself – and to introduce “animal people” to the tenets of veganism (“Introducing Speciesism to the Rescue Community”).

(More below the fold…)

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral.*

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly. Amen.

– Aaron Freeman, “You want a physicist to speak at your funeral.” (via NPR)

(More below the fold…)

Got those red state blues.

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Blue Girl

More like “Green Girl, Red State.” CC image via DieselDemon on Flickr.
——————————

Perhaps the greatest downside to living in a rural area, and particularly a rural area in an already red state? Knowing that you’ve not a snowball’s chance in hell of electing a politician who even approximates your values and beliefs. “Approximates,” not “shares” – I hold enough unpopular opinions to know that I’ll never live to see a politician on the state or federal level with whom I see eye to on most issues, not even if I up and move to San Francisco. That said, I don’t expect to be outright insulted for my beliefs when contacting an elected representative, in a polite and respectful manner, about pending legislation.

What follows is an email exchange I had with my state House Representative, Glen Klippenstein (R-MO, 5th District), about Missouri House Bill 1860, our state’s answer to the increasing popularity of “ag gag” bills. (Check out Will Potter’s excellent coverage of this and other forms of activist repression at Green is the New Red.) I was responding to an action alert sent out by PETA; usually I edit form letters, both to personalize them and to scrub them of any speciesism (distressingly common in form letters from enviro groups), but at the state level I’m fairly certain that mine is the only copy my representatives will receive. (Though in retrospect, I really should have replaced the link to meat.org with a different resource. No matter how unfair and undeserved the reputation, referring to a website run by what’s widely regarded as a “radical extremist” group really isn’t the best choice. That and I’d rather not be associated with them in any way, shape, or form, thankyouverymuch.)

As a conservative Republican and cattle breeder (GlenKirk Farms “has sold cattle, semen, and embryos across America and worldwide” – so much for protecting the unborn!) who has served as chairman of the National Beef Promotion and Research Board, I wasn’t expecting a particularly sympathetic ear from Rep. Klippenstein. That said.

 
 

—–Original Message—–
From: Advocate [mailto:advocate@animalactivist.com] On Behalf Of Kelly Garbato
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2012 12:25 AM
To: Glen Klippenstein
Subject: Please Oppose H.B. 1860

Apr 19, 2012

Representative Glen Klippenstein
State Capitol, Room 410A
201 West Capitol Avenue
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Dear Representative Klippenstein,

I am writing as your constituent to urge you to oppose House Bill
(H.B.) 1860. This bill, which would make it a crime to photograph or record video or sound of a farm without the farm owner’s consent, is a clear attempt to prevent the public from learning about the routine cruelty that takes place on factory farms. If signed into law, it would infringe on citizens’ rights to expose cruelty to animals.

Past investigations of factory farms resulted in criminal convictions of farm managers and workers found beating, sexually abusing, stomping on, kicking, and throwing animals. To watch the video footage and see why it is so important that citizens retain their freedom to document crimes against animals on factory farms and relay the evidence to law-enforcement authorities, please visit Meat.org.

Please don’t let the farming industry hide behind closed doors: Oppose H.B. 1860.

Thank you for your attention and for all that you do for Missourians.

Sincerely,

Ms. Kelly Garbato
[Address removed]

 
 

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Glen.Klippenstein@house.mo.gov
Date: Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 9:24 AM
Subject: RE: Please Oppose H.B. 1860
To: kelly.garbato@gmail.com

Kelly,
To say that this legislation is a clear attempt to prevent the public from learning about the routine cruelty that takes place on factory farms, shows extraordinary contempt for the vast majority of honorable people that actually know the real story and feed you.

Thank you for your e-mail.

Glen
Rep. Glen Klippenstein
5th District

 
 
(More below the fold…)

Vegan Puppy Chow (for Humans Only!)

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

2012-01-12 - Puppy Chow - 0006

 

Up until last year – when I received a free sample of the stuff with a basket of vegan goodies from Sweet V Confections – I’d never heard of “puppy chow.” At the time, I thought it sounded gross. Looked gross, in fact. (I’m not joking when I say that I’m the fussiest eater you’ll ever meet, at least outside of the six- to eight-year-old age group. Hey, I’m working on it!) The baggy of white stuff sat in the fridge for nearly a year before I cracked it open. (And then, only after I’d finished most of the other junk food in the house.) Then I promptly devoured it all. Not that there was much of it, but still. PUPPY CHOW IS DELICIOUS, Y’ALL!

So much so that I made a batch all for my own bad self. I started with a rather simple recipe from PETA, which I altered slightly; the recommended 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar wasn’t nearly enough to coat all the squares, so I ended up using nearly twice as much. Also, the chocolate-peanut butter sauce required much more time in the microwave, especially near the end: the hotter the sauce, the more fluid – and the more fluid, the easier to mix with the rice cereal.

Anyway, it’s really good! Not as pretty as Sweet V’s specimen – really, I found it impossible to evenly coat all the rice squares, and ended up with a number of large globular chunks of chow – but still yummy. And that’s what counts, yes?

 

Vegan Puppy Chow (for Humans Only!)

(Based on this recipe from PETA.)

Makes 9 cups.

Ingredients

1 cup semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup vegan margarine
9 cups rice cereal squares
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions

1. Combine the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and vegan margarine in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave for one minute. Remove and stir; continue microwaving in 15-second increments, stirring in between, until the chocolate, peanut butter, and margarine are blended well. Add the vanilla and mix well. Then microwave the mixture for 15 to 60 seconds, so that the chocolate-pb sauce becomes hotter and more fluid.

2. Place the cereal squares in a large (preferable flat and shallow) container and pour in the chocolate mixture. Stir gently until all the squares are coated.

3. Add 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar to the container and seal with a lid. Shake gently until the sugar has coated all the squares. Add additional sugar and repeat if necessary.

4. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes, or until the chocolate hardens. Once solidified, store in the refrigerator.

Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 25: Vegan nomz & Bowl-a-thons!

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Vegan cookies are distributed

Vegan cookies are distributed at a Prop 8 rally in Riverside, CA, circa 2008.
CC image via Flickr user lierne.

For this edition of Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, let’s start with some shiny happy news for a change, shall we? Namely, cross-movement bridge-building with vegan nomz and bowl-a-thons!

(Take note, carnists and defensive omnivores: vegans are not, in point o’ facts, all single-minded activists who prioritize nonhuman over human animals. Also: we are quite capable of multitasking, thankyouverymuch.)

Vegan Protest Fuel: Feeding the protesters in Madison, WI

Vegan Protest Fuel is the first of two projects I’d like to share with y’all (and, if you happen to have a little extra scratch laying around, encourage you to contribute to). Started just last week in response to the ongoing protests in Wisconsin, the good folks at Vegan Protest Fuel deliver vegan food to peaceful protesters defending their rights – because “Everyone Needs to Eat.” Naturally, their first campaign is feeding “the tenacious heroes in Madison, WI, who are fighting to preserve their precious collective bargaining rights and for economic justice in their state against a radical conservative governor and assembly.” Over time, they hope to expand their program throughout the United States and, possibly, the world.

Powered by tofu: it’s not just a slogan on a tee, yo.

See also: Food Not Bombs, Food for Life Global, HIPPO, A Well-Fed World and Ample Harvest.

Team Vegan Vixens: Bowling for abortions in the National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon!

Team Vegan Vixens needs your support in the National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon! Held throughout the month of April,

The Bowl-a-Thon is a nationwide series of local events that allow community members (you!) to captain your own bowling team, participate in a kickass national event – and raise money to help women and girls pay for abortions they couldn’t otherwise afford.

Abortion Funds are local, grassroots groups that work tirelessly to help low-income and disadvantaged women who want an abortion and do not have enough money to pay for it. Abortion Funds help women pay for their abortions, help them buy bus or plane tickets, and even offer women a place to stay when they have to travel for an abortion. Abortion Funds make a difference in women’s lives…and you can join them!

With $236 raised so far, Team Vegan Vixens is currently the top fundraiser for the Chicago Abortion Fund, which ranks #8 overall. Help Team Vegan (Vixens!) represent by pledging your support. Or sign up to participate your own bad self!

Fuck yeah, pro-choice vegans.

(More below the fold…)

"PETA is about as feminist as it gets."

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Over the weekend, PETA’s Bruce Friedrich was the featured guest on ARZone’s weekly live guest chat. (You can find a full chat transcript here.) While the primary focus was on veganism and welfare reforms, a few participants dared question PETA’s feminist cred – specifically vis à vis its sexual objectification of women – with, ahem, interesting results. Case in point: Friedrich’s assertion that “PETA is about as feminist as it gets.”

My initial instinct, of course, was to pen a 10,000 word, line-by-line rebuttal of Friedrich’s statements, but just the thought damn near gave me an aneurysm. So not worth the stress! Instead, I decided to pop the vegan maraschino cherry on my Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo card.

The game? It’s on like Donkey Kong, bitches!*

Bingo Card (Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo 1) - Bruce Friedrich's AR Zone chat

Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo: Bruce Friedrich/ARZone Live Chat ed.
FYI: A plain-text version of this card, complete with links to refutations and debunkings, is available here.
——————————

SO CLOSE! We were SO CLOSE to scoring a big fat sexist bingo! Next time, maybe. Probably. Most definitely.

Anyway, let’s take a look at of some of the “feminist” nuggets Friedrich dropped during the chat. The “hits” are labeled with the appropriate square; the non-hits, to be incorporated into v.2!

Square B-1: “Sex sells.”

Regarding our use of sex in our campaigns:

[…]

2) Sex sells and isn’t offensive to most people. That’s the super-brief reply to that question.

Oh, the old “sex sells” cliché! Such a classic, that one.

99.9% of the time, when people say that “sex sells,” what they really mean is that women’s sexualized, dehumanized, objectified, dismembered, and all-around pornified bodies sell. Or, put more succinctly: “sexism sells.”

Speaking of GQ magazine’s recent Glee spread, Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency breaks down the difference between “erotic or sexual images, stories, and video of people engaging in healthy sexual lives and experiences” and “the patriarchal objectification and sexualization of womens’ bodies.” (Transcript here.)

The images in which PETA trades don’t commonly involve healthy depictions of female agency and sexuality, but rather women posed and performing for the male gaze; usually invisible or implied, but sometimes – as with PETA’s 2011 soft-core porno/Super Bowl ad, which is discussed in more detail later on in the chat – fully present, leering, sneering and degrading. Almost all of PETA’s naked women ads are suggestive of mainstream pornography, what with their emphasis on thin, white, conventionally attractive models, bent and contorted into submissive postures, vulnerable, vacant, and ready for a good fuckin’. Bonus points for faux lesbianism for het male enjoyment!

(More below the fold…)

Privileged White Vegetarian Bingo: Loud, Clueless & Proud

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Some of you may recall the animal rights bingo cards I made last year, namely: Defensive Omnivore Bingo II (inspired by Brian VanderVeen’s Defensive Omnivore Bingo, of course!), as well as the vegan-feminist Speciesist Feminist Bingo and Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo cards. (No? Well, here they are!) Around the same time, I started working on a card dealing with racism and classism in the animal advocacy movement: Privileged White Vegetarian Bingo. A year later, give or take, and I finally filled in the few remaining squares!

Unlike the other cards, I feel as though PWV Bingo requires more of an introduction – but every time I sit down and put fingers to keys, the words that appear on my computer screen seem trite, inadequate and lacking in eloquence. So rather than keep struggling along, instead I invite you to read this FAQ by Tim Wise, as well as “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack,” by Peggy McIntosh – the first few paragraphs of which I’ve excerpted below:

Through the work to bring materials from Women’s Studies into the rest of the curriculum, I have often noticed men’s unwillingness to grant that they are over-privileged, even though they may grant that women are disadvantaged. They may say they will work to improve women’s status, in the society, the university, or the curriculum, but they can’t or won’t support the idea of lessening men’s. Denials which amount to taboos surround the subject of advantages which men gain from women’s disadvantages. These denials protect male privilege from being fully acknowledged, lessened or ended.

Thinking through unacknowledged male privilege as a phenomenon, I realized that since hierarchies in our society are interlocking, there was most likely a phenomenon of white privilege which was similarly denied and protected. As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something which puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.

I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was ‘meant’ to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless backpack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks.

For me, filling in the 24 squares of the PWV Bingo card was an exercise similar to that performed by McIntosh – that is, recognizing the many ways in which my racial and ethnic makeup help me navigate the world of veganism and animal advocacy, unhindered and unmolested. Whereas – as a woman lacking in gender privilege – I was able to complete the two feminist-themed cards with relative ease, it took me – as a vegan benefiting from race and class privilege – months to finish the PWV Bingo card. In short, it’s much easier for me to identify sexism, misogyny and anti-feminism, since I’m marginalized by them; harder still to identify racism and classism (particularly less overt examples of each), since I’ve been taught to take white privilege for granted – to see right through it, as though it doesn’t even exist. An eye-opening task, and one I highly recommend – no matter the privilege in question: race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, gender identity, nationality, dis/ability…species, even. No, not even – especially.

Additionally, I should note that while I use the terms “racism” and “classism” in conjunction, this isn’t to suggest that they’re interchangeable. Related, yes – inasmuch as people of color are disproportionately represented among the poor and working-class, and a number of variables, structural and otherwise, work to perpetuate the status quo – but not the same. However, rather than make a card each for racism and classism, I decided to combine the two in one for simplicity’s sake. All forms of oppression are intertwined, and sometimes it can be next-to-impossible to separate all the tangled threads.

Also, I almost named this card “Cluelessly Privileged White Vegetarian Bingo” – since recognizing one’s privilege doesn’t automagically dispense with it – but decided against it, seeing as “Privileged White Vegetarian Bingo” is already quite the mouthful. I specifically chose not to call it “Racist Vegetarian Bingo,” as labeling one a “racist” tends to shut down civil, productive discourse in a way that “speciesist” (and even, to some extent, “sexist”) does not. Plus, racism isn’t an either/or proposition; as Wise explains, we’re all socialized and/or programmed to be racist – to think in terms of in group/out group membership – to some degree. The challenge, whether you choose to accept it, lies in using our oversized primate brains to overcome these outdated, retrogressive, lazy ways of thinking.

As with the previous cards, I’ve included a plain-text version of PWV Bingo after the jump. At the time of this writing, most of the squares contain links to refutations and debunkings; for those that don’t, I plan on either finding an appropriate response or writing my own in the (hopefully near) future – so check back often!*

In addition to the articles by Wise and McIntosh, I also highly recommend that you check out the resources linked to in the plain-text version of the card. Vegans of Color, The Vegan Ideal, The Food Empowerment Project, The Sistah Vegan Project, L.O.V.E. – all have been instrumental in challenging and shaping my views on race and class privilege (etc.), particularly in relation to the animal advocacy movement. Many of the squares were directly inspired by things read and seen on the pages of these blogs and websites.

Of course, PWV Bingo is equally applicable to vegans as well as vegetarians. Sad but true, people. Sad but true.

Privileged White Vegetarian Bingo

(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…)

randomness: dicks, donuts, girls, books, ice creams, pigs and pizzas!

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Fan Junk Shots - Ralphie 01

  • www.schlongs4seals.com is now open and ready for business!

    Currently, only the blog – where I’ve already logged more posts in August than I managed to write for this here blog in the entire month of July – is fully functional. I’m still working on the promised interactive photo gallery and discussion features, but hope to have these done soon. (To this end, WP-compatible software recommendations would be most appreciated!)

    That said, the template and static/informational pages are all finished and look, if I might say so myself, kickass. I found a template that mimics Facebook almost to a M (for misogyny, natch), so it’s almost like we never left. (And by “left” I mean “were kicked off.”)

    Additionally, I created a temporary set of photo pages to house all the “man meat” I’ve “processed” thus far: VAPETA PSAs, promotional materials, junk shots, celebrity cock shots, South Park avatars, brother campaigns, etc. Browse, bookmark and check back often, because there’s more in the pipes.

    If you’re still out there and, um, excited to participate (excited! get it!?), send me your package at schlongs4seals [at] gmail.com and I’ll be equally excited (tee hee) to feature it on the appropriate page.

    Also, if you visit the front page, you’ll see a little Facebook “like” button in the left-hand sidebar (right under the hot white torso wearing the hot red boxer briefs). Click it, won’t you? We need friends! And sharing! On Facebook!

    Fan Junk Shots - Baby Kelly 02

    I’ve been a connoisseur of men’s briefs since early childhood.
    Behold the rapturous glee on my chubby chipmunk cheeks!
    ——————————

    SeaL Shepherd may have succeeded in removing our page from Facebook, but he can hardly prevent us from sharing content in the form of links.

    Can’t stop the schlong, yo.

    (A note for the newbies and occasional readers: if all this cock talk has you flummoxed, go here for some background.)

  • Tofurky Pizza with Daiya Cheese has finally made its way to Kansas City!:

    2010-08-05 - Tofurky Pizza - 0003

    The Whole Foods in Overland Park, to be more specific. And now it’s in my freezer. Nom nom nom.

  • As if this isn’t already more awesomeness than the KC metro area can handle, Kansas City is now home to a brand-spanking-new vegan bakery. Gluten-free, to boot. And, if you live in the KC area, they deliver!

    Shane ordered a box of Golden Girls – the vegan feminist version of “real” Twinkies, if you will – for delivery to his office Monday.

    2010-08-02 - Golden Girls - 0010

    They are super-yummy – a little denser than Twinkies (according to Shane; I’ve never partaken), with a sponge- or angel food cake-like consistency. The creamy filling is the bestest, though methinks the cakes could use more. I say the same of Ronald’s Donuts and Newman’s O’s, so grain of salt.

    Egads. In all my excitement, I almost forgot to name drop. Brody’s Bakery is the name of the biz – hit ’em up on Facebook, and if you’re ever in the KC area, shop team vegan, mkay? Jasmin of Our Hen House also did a nice writeup on Brody’s this week; see Brody’s Bakery Bakes Up Compassion. (Color me jealous, btw.)

  • (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!

    —————–

    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!

    —————–

    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).
    ——————————

    —————–

    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!

    —————–

    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.”
    ——————————

    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.

    (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 22: Shegans, unite!

    Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

    Raising her sword to Grayskull, LOL She-Ra demands, “I Can Haz Equal Rights?” & as long as we’re taking requests, the lady would like a NOMy vegan meal, too. (She’s a Shegan, yo!)
    CC image via Brett L. on Flickr.
    ——————————

    The Boston Globe: Men leave their own mark on veganism and

    vegansaurus!: He-gan woman-haters club!

    Men + vegans = hegans. (Get it!?) Specifically, hegans are “men in their 40s and 50s embracing a restrictive lifestyle to look better, rectify a gluttonous past, or cheat death.” (Or, alternately, hegans are the latest faux-trend created by the newspaper industry in order to 1) hawk their wares and/or 2) avoid reporting on actual news. Be your own decider person.)

    Though I prefer the term “hegan” to its predecessor, “femivore” (which, as a word, makes zero sense), it’s still kind of bullshit: in describing this ‘new breed’ of manly vegan men, Pierce is setting up a false dichotomy that portrays ‘regular’ vegan dudes (and women, too) as effeminate, weak and sentimental (‘pussies, queers and commies,’ as hegans might say). Also: paint with a broad brush much? Veganism is a diverse movement, and any attempt to pigeonhole such a large segment of the population is misguided at best. (See above, re: creating news where there is none.)

    That said, I have a counter-proposal: shegan. More complex an equation than “women + vegans = shegans,” shegans as I envision them are feminist vegans of all sexes and genders (and/or feminist-allied vegan men, if you prefer) who reject sexism and misogyny as vehemently as they do speciesism. Dog knows we could use a little more sheganism, particularly since this is quickly shaping up to be the summer of the hegan douchebag.

    Vegan Feminist Agitator: The PETA Effect

    A lovely essay from Marla in which she manages to deconstruct the bulk of PETA’s campaigns in one fell swoop. To wit:

    The PETA Effect has come into existence because they have cynically decided to not only accept the terms dictated by the worst aspects of the mainstream world, but to be a part of it. Instead of questioning misogyny, they wallow in it. Instead of thoughtful, insightful analysis, they have women citing statistics while stripping on camera. Instead of rejecting the notion that we all need to be young, slim, and, more often than not, surgically enhanced to be attractive, they embrace it fully, and they also tell us that objectification for the “cause” is a worthy endeavor. They tell a nation already deeply battered by this message that if you are not young, slim and conventionally attractive, you are worthless and disgusting. What does this have to do with compassion to animals? How does this improve a battery chicken’s life? How does this make the skeptical public more receptive to questioning their values? It doesn’t.

    Seriously, go read the whole piece. I can wait.

    (More below the fold…)

    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…)

    PETA Doubles Down On the Misogyny

    Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

    PETA (Canadian Bacon)

    Woman and pig: PETA says that neither of us is meat.
    So kindly stop treating us ladies that way, mkay PETA?
    ——————————

    Okay, in all truth, the following ranks fairly low on the Misogo-meter, particularly where PETA’s concerned. But – catchy title, etc. Surely you understand.

    Anyhow, in reporting on the reaction to KFC’s newest “culinary” creation – the Double Down, i.e., a couple of slabs each of bacon and cheese, crammed between two pieces of fried chicken(s), and slathered in “The Colonel’s Sauce” – in the Twitterverse, PETA singled out two celebritweets.

    First up, Asher Roth, who writes: “Well, at least were making strides towards food quality and portion control – bravo colonel”

    All fine and good, yes? Nothing jaw-droppingly witty, but Asher Roth (um, who?) seems to capture the popular consensus re: a “sandwich” made entirely of animal products and containing a reported 32 grams of fat and 1380 mg of sodium. Namely: yuck! and wtf!.

    Next, PETA offers up a screenshot of Bow Wow’s KFC themed tweet: “I don’t know what’s more hideous, a girl with a hard fake booty with dimples in it or KFC’s new doubled down chicken sandwich.”

    Hyperbole aside (e.g., clearly an unattractive ass is not nearly as hideous as are the corpses of several animals, lathered in the secretions of many others, all cobbled together to form a gluttonous, heart attack-inducing foodstuff), I hope I don’t need 140 characters to explain to you what’s wrong with this quip. Mocking a woman’s physical appearance? Not cool. (48, bitches! 68 if you factor in a bit.ly link!)

    (More below the fold…)

    Ask not "Are Animal Lovers Sexist?," but "Can Animal Lovers Be Sexist?" (Answer: duh.)

    Sunday, March 21st, 2010

    lol kaylee - just needs a hammer

    Don’t fear, Ms. Kaylee is here! lol dog sez, “wonder beyatch – be hear 2 smash ur kyriarchy, mkay?” She brought her Wonder Woman undies, but she’ll need to borrow a hammer. You got a problem with that, human?
    ——————————

    Last November, I penned a brief letter to the editors of VegNews, in which I questioned Rory Freedman’s casual use of the term “fur hag” – “hag” being a sexist, ageist and lookist slur. (VegNews subscribers can read the exact quote in context in Freedman’s column, “Prison or Bust,” which appeared in the December 2009 issue.) Fast-forward several months; my letter was published, albeit with several edits, in the March+April 2010 issue.

    Not surprisingly – given the popularity of the term, as well as PETA’s “fur hag” campaigns – some readers disagreed with my comments, including Annie Hartnett of change.org’s newly-rebranded Animals blog. (Many thanks to Marji of Animal Place for bringing the post to my attention!) In Are Animal Lovers Sexist?, Hartnett argues that, ahem, attacking women for their femaleness is not sexist because most fur-wearers are women.

    While I have previously deconstructed the term “fur hag” – as well as the campaigns’ associated imagery – what follows is a line-by-line response to Hartnett’s piece. Rather than rehash points that I’ve made elsewhere, however, I’ll use this as an opportunity to build upon my previous argument. If you haven’t already, please go read last January’s On “fur hags” and “fucking bitches.” before continuing on; doubly so if you’re surfing on over here from change.org. (Also related, and referenced in passing below: ARA PSAs: Women, Men and Fur and ARA PSAs: Attack of the Killer Cosmetics.) (1)

    Before we begin, though, I’d like to reprint my letter, as Hartnett did not/would not do so, even upon request.

    Here is the original letter, in its entirety:

    As a vegan feminist, I’m increasingly disturbed by the number of animal advocates who are willing to engage in sexism (and other “isms”) in the course of their advocacy – “for the animals,” of course (as if women are not sentient beings as well). Take, for example, Rory Freedman’s use of the term “fur hag” to describe those who wear fur (“Prison or Bust,” December 2009 issue). “Hag” – a gendered slur that is synonymous with “witch” – literally means “an ugly old woman.” While fur-wearers may indeed be ugly on the inside, a person’s gender, age and physical appearance say nothing of her character. If Ms. Freedman – or any other animal advocate – feels the need to resort to insults, please keep them “ism”-free. “Jerk,” “loser,” “asshat”: all convey a point – without further marginalizing already-marginalized groups of animals, human or non.

    Kelly Garbato
    Kearney, MO 64060

    kelly.garbato [at] gmail.com
    http://www.easyvegan.info

    By the way, I wrote a lengthy piece on the term “fur hag” last year, wherein I expound upon the sexist, ageist and sizeist nature of the phrase in much greater detail than is possible in 250 words or less. Additionally, I employ PETA’s associated “fur hag” campaign imagery to further illustrate my point. You can read the post in its entirety at http://bit.ly/vl8sB

    Seriously, tho’, enough with the misogyny!

    (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 18: My Bloody Valentine

    Friday, February 26th, 2010

    A neon red-and-white sign declares: “My Bloody Valentine sells out.”
    CC image via Penningtron on Flickr.
    ——————————

    Vegansaurus!: What creepy chefs do to get laid

    Guest blogger Kristen looks at a Valentine’s Day article which highlights the foods that non-vegan chefs cook for their lovers. Surprise, surprise: many are animal-based, thus transforming the descriptions into an appalling spectacle of sex and death. The original article at Grub Street, for example, is decorated with a disgusting photo of scallops in an orange-and-green sauce/oil slick. Yuck.

    Suicide Food: Happy Valentine’s Day: a digression

    Just when you thought the butcher’s counter couldn’t get any more grotesque, behold: heart-shaped slabs of “meat”! I shit you not.

    The Pursuit of Harpyness: Be A Bitch: To the New York Times Public Editor

    In which Roman Polanski’s 13-year-old rape victim is likened to – wait for it – “quarry.” “Quarry” being another word for a hunted “game” animal.

    The link above is to a complaint letter (good!) written in response to a piece which ran in The New York Times (bad!); you can read the original piece in its entirety here: Polanski’s Visions of Victimhood by Dennis Lim.

    The Discerning Brute: Who Wears The Pants?

    Joshua Katcher dissects a trailer for the upcoming documentary “An Emasculating Truth” – brought to you by, ahem, Dockers – which, surprise, is chock full of sexism and speciesism. In particular, the men appearing in the film advocate violence towards animals as an expression of one’s masculinity. Katcher ties this overt encouragement of violence with Levi’s own history of environmental and labor violence towards its employees and their families, many of them poor women of color.

    (More below the fold…)

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

    Sunday, January 31st, 2010

    “IMG_1805”: Snout covered in milk, pink tongue flicking from her mouth, a young cow suckles her mother’s teat. CC image from destinyuk on Flickr.
    ——————————

    Julie Urbanik @ Humanimalia: “Hooters for Neuters”: Sexist or Transgressive Animal Advocacy Campaign?

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

    Mylène @ My Face Is On Fire: Fur and

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

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

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

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

    (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 15: BEEF!, Bitches & "Bruised Feelings"

    Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

    BEEF! For Men With Taste

    vegansaurus!: BEEF!: nicht für Frauen–unless your Mann gives it to you

    In which “beef” has its own magazine (and it’s a gentleman’s magazine, natch!): BEEF! for Men with Taste. Luckily, vegansaurus is all over that shit.

    Ida @ L.O.V.E.: Political Correctness, Political Expediency, and Veganism and

    Royce @ Vegans of Color: notes on “Veganism Overly Defined”

    Ida (taking a break from The Vegan Ideal to guest post at L.O.V.E.) and Royce respond to a guest post at Vegan Soapbox (Veganism Overly Defined) in which the author dismisses an intersectional approach to veganism and animal advocacy as “attach[ing] favorite causes” and “baggage” to “Veganism.” Likewise, vegans who object to human-based “isms” “get so involved in the bruised feelings of some humans that the plight of voiceless animals becomes a marginalized issue.” Emphasis on “bruised feelings.”

    Carol J. Adams: Remembering Mary Daly and

    jenna @ L.O.V.E.: Feminism and Animals: What You Won’t Find in the 101

    Mary Daly, a self-proclaimed “radical lesbian feminist,” recently passed away at the age of 81. While much has been written of Daly’s radfem theology, I didn’t realize that she was also an animal rights advocate and vegetarian until I read a memorial written for Daly by Carol Adams. Herself a former student of Daly’s, Adams’s obit is rather charming and provides a glimpse of what it must have been like to be a young adult attending college in the ’70s.

    Unfortunately, Daly was also something of a transphobe, perhaps most famously referring to trans people as “Frankensteinian.” On this point, jenna’s post at L.O.V.E is well worth a read; in it, she illustrates why, as advocates for justice, compassion and respect, it is ill-advised and hypocritical for vegans to leave any marginalized group, human or non, behind. (Also click through the many links jenna provides to The Vegan Ideal, where the intersection of ecofeminism and transphobia is discussed in much greater detail. That is, if you haven’t yet; I’ve included many of these posts in past link roundups.)

    (More below the fold…)

    On Queen Bees and Featherless Chickens

    Thursday, January 7th, 2010

    Update, 1/14/10:

    In the comments, Helen points out that all three animals – (pussy)cat, beaver and chicken (errr, rooster; read: cock) are euphemisms for female and male genitalia. I know, so obvious! How on earth did I miss it!? Especially when I caught the significance of the beaver! Clearly, I’ve been off my game lately.

    Anyhow, it’s my feeling that these gendered/speciesist slurs actually make the whole ad campaign that much more distasteful. While the targeting of men in addition to women might help to level the playing field, gender-wise (well, as much as it can be in a culture that disproportionately values women’s physical appearance and beauty – however it is defined – as opposed to men), we’re still faced with the exploitation and mockery of three nonhuman animals in order to sell…waxing products. Add to this the fact that the animals were specifically chosen for their correspondence to sexual slang, and…yeah. Ick, all around.

    —————

    One part “sexy meat,” one part zoo porn, with a little child sexploitation thrown in for good measure, these ads for Queen Bee Waxing are all kinds of creepy, no matter which way you slice ’em. (Not that I’m suggesting that you should slice them! They’re animals, not deli “meat”!)

    Queen Bee Waxing operates a Salon & Spa in Culver City, California. Its services include tanning, mani/pedis, facials, eyelash extensions (!), and all manner of body waxing: full leg, half leg, eyebrows, full arm, half arm, back, chest, underarms, lip, genitals, anus – wherever your body generates unsightly hair, the friendly “waxologists” of QB will be there, ripping it violently from its roots.

    One caveat: some forms of waxing will cost you extra if you’re a gross, hairy cave-dude. For reals! (Don’t you just love how they assume that all men are hairier than all women? In point o’ facts, my Italian ass just so happens to grow lusher body hair than my husband’s Irish one.)

    To illustrate just how childishly smooth QB can strip your bits, they’ve demonstrated their mad skills on unsuspecting animals! (Not for reals – I’m guessing/hoping that the animals below have suffered these indignities in a digital sense only.)

    From top to bottom, we have a cat, a beaver [insert obligatory joke re: women’s genitals here] and a chicken. Each of them stand stark naked, seemingly bewildered by their own baldness.

    Queen Bee Waxing - Cat

    (More below the fold…)