I’m having a hard time taking seriously this Alternet article, “Here’s Why Our Food Systems Are a Central Feminist Issue.” In it, Melissa Kravitz (who, for the record, likes steak just fine) explores the intersection of veganism and feminism.
That intersection exists and is rather heavily trafficked — imagine lots of Priuses and Subarus with “Coexist” and “Dog Mom” stickers, some really smug bicyclists; there’s a store selling crystals and “self-care” products on one corner …”
“For some feminists, especially those who might identify as ecofeminists, veganism is inextricably linked to feminism,” explains Deborah Cohan, associate professor of sociology at University of South Carolina-Beaufort. “From this perspective, the oppression of women is tied to other forms of oppression, particularly the abuse of the environment and non-human animals.”
The seminal thinking in this area was done by Carol Adams in her “landmark” 1990 book, The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory (“A real page-turner.” — Ann Smith, author of The Fun Feminist. “I laughed, I cried, I felt like a man again” — Renée Richards.)
In that thrill-a-minute magnum opus, “Adams makes the case that eating an animal for food involves first seeing the animal as an object” Cohen says. “ … akin to how women are also objectified, sexualized, animalized, degraded, hurt and sometimes killed.”
So “Feminists who are vegan generally regard their decisions around food to be a certain kind of protest and resistance to all forms of violence and cruelty.” Which is why they’re famous for their devil-may-care breeziness.
So feminism is related to animal rights. But more than that — feminism extends to animals. Oh, I don’t mean that cows are braiding their armpit hair and demanding taxpayer-funded contraceptives. I mean that some of the women who do those things see animals through their feminist lens. “In a food system so detached from its origins—very few Americans raise or slaughter their own meat—it’s easy to forget these gender disparities in the way that we have been trained to prefer eating female animals over males,” Kravitz writes.
Cows and other female livestock provide milk and red meat; female chickens lay eggs and are typically sold by parts in American supermarkets; sows (female pigs) are commonly turned into bacon [mmmm, bacon] and pork chops, while males, boars, are used for breeding. Bull meat, rooster meat and flesh of other male animals are rarely seen on Western menus, making the argument that our food system treats female and male animals unequally, letting the males lives to continue their lineage while the female are killed, split apart and sold to consume.
Of course, that’s because in most cases, the females make the best eatin’. And who’s doing the eatin’? Dudes. Of course.
REACH PRO-LIFE PEOPLE WORLDWIDE! Advertise with LifeNews to reach hundreds of thousands of pro-life readers every week. Contact us today.
“American men eat 57 percent more meat than American women,” Kravitz notes. Why? Cuz ‘Merica. And also because a study “published in the journal Appetite, showed that vegetarian men are thought to be 35 percent less masculine than their meat-eating peers.” (Bet there was federal funding behind that research — only the government would spend money to verify that when people imagine vegetarian men, they see Pajama Boy.)
But of course, that won’t hold true for long. Kravitz tells us that “Millennials are adapting plant-based diets at a faster pace than other generations, and more millennials identify as feminists than in any other generation, so the two movements continue to grow as people adopt more conscientious ideologies and lifestyles.”