I’ll start with the good: I’ve seen quite a bit more folks defining themselves as vegans and feminists simultaneously these days. I read about the links between veganism and feminism on blogs, watch presentations about it at conferences, and meet more and more feminist vegans every day. Oh joy!
Now here’s the bad: A lot of feminists still hate vegans. We’re elitist. We care more about animals than women.
This isn’t an either/or choice, folks. Really, I can respect both animals and women. It’s not hard.
A key feminist tenant is that there is no hierarchy of oppression. No one manifestation of oppression is worse than another. Sexism is not worse than racism. Racism is not worse that heterosexism. Heterosexism is not worse than classism. And on and on.
Everything is worse than speciesism. I mean, we’re talking about animals. Animals! What the heck is speciesism anyway? Animals can’t be oppressed!
Ah, but friend, they can. For one thing, humans are animals. For another, non human food animals are sexualized, feminized, controlled , and violated just as women are. Indeed, the treatment of animals in modern agriculture not only replicates misogynistic treatment of women, but reinforces it.
Do you know how milk is produced? The fact that the dairy industry uses a device called a rape rack should cause you some pause.
The fact is, sexism feeds speciesism and speceisism feeds sexism. To argue that the mistreatment of animals does not matter is akin to arguing that the mistreatment of women the world over does not matter. They are both ways of marginalizing the “other”. To deny specisism is to replicate a hierarchy of oppression, a hierarchy of worth.
To argue that it’s okay to kill and eat other animals because our species is better is to demonstrate a sense of entitlement completely incompatible with feminism.
So vegan-hating feminist, go ahead and roll your eyes. Snort, mock me, whatever. My feminism and my veganism are inseparable. No amount of bullying will change that.
Oh, and feminist-hating vegans, your time will come too.Animals, Connectionist Perspectives, Humans