What do feminism and animal welfare issues have to do with each other? Is animal liberation connected to liberation for women? Speciesim and sexism are similar oppressions in that they are both dictated by the gender hierarchy and male privilege in our society. Power is measured by dominance in our society and men maintain the most power (patriarchy) by dominating those “less” than them ñ women and animals. Women and animals are dominated though objectification and consumption by (most) men. Animals are literally turned into objects - objects for entertainment, for experimentation, or as legs, wings, and breasts for food and then are literally consumed as a meal. Women are viewed as objects - objects of desire, for sexual gratification, for sexual reproduction, and objects of violence and then are metaphorically consumed by being used to fulfill the needs of society, more specifically the needs of (most) men. This objectification of women and animals is done in the media by feminizing animals and animalizing women. Animals are feminized in advertising to make them more enticing to consume and also to give the impression they want to be consumed. For example, a cartoon drawing of a pig standing on two legs, dressed in lingerie, and winking in an advertisement for spare ribs. Women are animalized to make them seem either very passive and easy to dominant and “consume” as with comparisons to hens and cows or advertisements may depict women “animalized” and in need of being tamed or wanting to be dominated such as being painted as a tiger or entwined with a snake. Most of the instances of the feminization of animals and the animalization of women have sexual undertones. There is an association of domination and control with sexuality. In fact, rape is a sexual act of domination, not sexual gratification. Therefore, the most extreme form of domination of women in our society is a sexual act. Female farm animals are valued exclusively for their reproductive “benefit” in their production of eggs, milk, calves for veal and beef. The control of animal bodies through the control of birth and sexual reproduction is the most extreme form of domination over animals. Violence and sexual violence against women and animals are becoming acceptable forms of gratification, entertainment, and advertising in our society. Since 98% of animals abused and killed in our world are for food, choosing a vegan diet is a feminist act as well as one of animal liberation. Looking beyond the human-species barrier, we can embrace being an animal, embrace our connections with non-human animals, and work towards equality for all. Choose to not participate in the exploitation and oppression of women and animals in every way that you can. Please take time to explore and consider your views, behaviors, and ways that you live your life and think about what you can do to improve your impact in the world. Resist and refuse to participate in patriarchy. We can all help to make the world a better place and the first place to start is with ourselves!!!!!
This short essay hardly touches the surface on the topic, please check out these other sources: Carol Adams, author - www.triroc.com/caroladams and her book The Sexual Politics of Meat, Marjorie Spiegel, author, The Dreaded Comparison, Feminists for Animal Rights — www.farinc.org, Boston Ecofeminist Action —www.geocities.com/bostonecofem, and an online interview on animal liberation and social justice: www.radio4all.net/.
For some vegan-posi baking, try out these sweet ass recipes:
Sweet Potato Casserole - 4 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes, 3 tbsp soy butter, 1/3 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp ground ginger or 1 tbsp grated ginger, 1 tsp salt, pinch of pepper, pinch of allspice, pinch of cinnamon. Beat or mix all of this together and pour into a greased casserole dish. Spread on a topping of 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, and pinch of cinnamon. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Monkey Bread - 1/2 cup margarine, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup chopped nuts, 1 tbsp cinnamon, 12 uncooked biscuits (you can make your own dough, buy frozen ones that are vegan, or buy the one type in the can that is vegan). Melt the margarine in a pan. Mix this in a bowl with the sugar, nuts and cinnamon. Use biscuits to roll into palm-sized balls, roll into the mixture, and place close together in a greased pan or dish. Drizzle the remaining mixture over the biscuits and bake at 375 for about 30 minutes. Let it cool for just a few minutes and turn it over onto a plate and enjoy!