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

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

Mylène @ My Face Is On Fire: Fur and

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

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

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

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

(More below the fold…)

Ruby Roth brings the cuteness.

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

Update, 5/19/09:

Stephanie (of the Animal Rights blog at Change.org) also wrote about That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals, and the importance of children’s books in fostering compassion in the next generation. Check it out – as a former nanny, her thoughts on this are quite relevant. (Me, I don’t even have so much as a niece or nephew, and haven’t really been around a young’un for twenty years or so!)

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A few days ago – possibly while browsing Vegan Dad’s archives in search of yummy vegan recipes – I stumbled upon a link to That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals: A Site About Vegans, Vegetarians, and all Living Things. Populated by whimsical drawings of chickens, pigs, cows, dolphins and bugs, and aimed at the naturally animal-loving training wheels set, TWWDEA, is so ridiculously cute that it kind of makes me want to be a kid again.

Better yet, the website’s actually a supplement to an upcoming children’s book by author/artist/teacher Ruby Roth (who herself is a bundle of vegan cuteness) called That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals: A Site About Vegans, Vegetarians, and all Living Things.

That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals takes a candid, compassionate look at the plight of animals on factory farms, using gorgeous artwork and lively text to introduce vegetarianism and veganism to early readers.

An endearing cast of animals is shown both in their natural state—rooting around, bonding, nuzzling, cuddling, grooming one another, and charming each other with their family instincts and rituals—and in the sad conditions of the factory farm. The book also addresses the effect eating animals has on our environment, rainforests, and endangered species. At the end, a section entitled “What Else Can We Do?” suggests ways children can learn more about the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.

The boldest step yet in children’s literature, this heartfelt, informative book offers a key resource to inspire parents and children to talk about a timely, increasingly important subject.

Ms. Roth explains the genesis and gist of the book in this video, also available on the site:

The book is geared towards kids aged 4 to 10, and has received endorsements from an impressive and lengthy list of advocates and activists, including Jane Goodall (herself quite the children’s writer/educator), Alicia Silverstone, John Robbins, Ed Begley, Jr., Ingrid Newkirk and Rory Freedman.

You can view more of Ms. Roth’s artwork on her Flickr stream, where she shares some super-sweet bumper sticker style drawings. They’re all adorable, but I especially love this one:

Probably due in no small part to my recent thoughts on animal agriculture and its effects on the parent/child bond, which is as strong (if not more so) in many non-human animal species as it is in homo sapiens.

(More below the fold…)