Being vegan is easy. Are there social pressures that encourage you to continue to eat, wear, and use animal products? Of course there are. But in a patriarchal, racist, homophobic, and ableist society, there are social pressures to participate and engage in sexism, racism, homophobia, and ableism. At some point, you have to decide who you are and what matters morally to you. And once you decide that you regard victimizing vulnerable nonhumans is not morally acceptable, it is easy to go and stay vegan
Ethical veganism results in a profound revolution within the individual; a complete rejection of the paradigm of oppression and violence that she has been taught from childhood to accept as the natural order. It changes her life and the lives of those with whom she shares this vision of nonviolence. Ethical veganism is anything but passive; on the contrary, it is the active refusal to cooperate with injustice
We should always be clear that animal exploitation is wrong because it involves speciesism. And speciesism is wrong because, like racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-semitism, classism, and all other forms of human discrimination, speciesism involves violence inflicted on members of the moral community where that infliction of violence cannot be morally justified. But that means that those of us who oppose speciesism necessarily oppose discrimination against humans. It makes no sense to say that speciesism is wrong because it is like racism (or any other form of discrimination) but that we do not have a position about racism. We do. We should be opposed to it and we should always be clear about that.
I am opposed to animal welfare campaigns for two reasons. First, if animal use cannot be morally justified, then we ought to be clear about that, and advocate for no use. Although rape and child molestation are ubiquitous, we do not have campaigns for “humane” rape or “humane” child molestation. We condemn it all. We should do the same with respect to animal exploitation. Second, animal welfare reform does not provide significant protection for animal interests. Animals are chattel property; they are economic commodities. Given this status and the reality of markets, the level of protection provided by animal welfare will generally be limited to what promotes efficient exploitation. That is, we will protect animal interests to the extent that it provides an economic benefit.
So it is always preferable to discuss the matter of veganism in a non-judgemental way. Remember that to most people, eating flesh or dairy and using animal products such as leather, wool, and silk, is as normal as breathing air or drinking water. A person who consumes dairy or uses animal products is not necessarily or usually what a recent and unpopular American president labelled an evil doer.
If we take the position that an assessment that veganism is morally preferable to vegetarianism is not possible because we are all “on our own journey,” then moral assessment becomes completely impossible or is speciesist. It is impossible because if we are all “on our own journey,” then there is nothing to say to the racist, sexist, anti-semite, homophobe, etc. If we say that those forms of discrimination are morally bad, but, with respect to animals, we are all “on our own journey” and we cannot make moral assessments about, for instance, dairy consumption, then we are simply being speciesist and not applying the same moral analysis to nonhumans that we apply to the human context.
The notion that we should promote “happy” or “humane” exploitation as “baby steps” ignores that welfare reforms do not result in providing significantly greater protection for animal interests; in fact, most of the time, animal welfare reforms do nothing more than make animal exploitation more economically productive by focusing on practices, such as gestation crates, the electrical stunning of chickens, or veal crates, that are economically inefficient in any event. Welfare reforms make animal exploitation more profitable by eliminating practices that are economically vulnerable. For the most part, those changes would happen anyway and in the absence of animal welfare campaigns precisely because they do rectify inefficiencies in the production process. And welfare reforms make the public more comfortable about animal exploitation. The “happy” meat/animal products movement is clear proof of that. We would never advocate for “humane” or happy” human slavery, rape, genocide, etc. So, if we believe that animals matter morally and that they have an interest not only in not suffering but in continuing to exist, we should not be putting our time and energy into advocating for “humane” or “happy” animal exploitation.
There are some animal advocates who say that to maintain that veganism is the moral baseline is objectionable because it is “judgmental,” or constitutes a judgment that veganism is morally preferable to vegetarianism and a condemnation that vegetarians (or other consumers of animal products) are “bad” people. Yes to the first part; no to the second. There is no coherent distinction between flesh and other animal products. They are all the same and we cannot justify consuming any of them. To say that you do not eat flesh but that you eat dairy or eggs or whatever, or that you don’t wear fur but you wear leather or wool, is like saying that you eat the meat from spotted cows but not from brown cows; it makers no sense whatsoever. The supposed “line” between meat and everything else is just a fantasy–an arbitrary distinction that is made to enable some exploitation to be segmented off and regarded as “better” or as morally acceptable. This is not a condemnation of vegetarians who are not vegans; it is, however, a plea to those people to recognize their actions do not conform with a moral principle that they claim to accept and that all animal products are the result of imposing suffering and death on sentient beings. It is not a matter of judging individuals; it is, however, a matter of judging practices and institutions. And that is a necessary component of ethical living.
We should never present flesh as somehow morally distinguishable from dairy. To the extent it is morally wrong to eat flesh, it is as morally wrong — and possibly more morally wrong — to consume dairy
If we are ever going to see a paradigm shift, we have to be clear about how we want the present paradigm to shift.We must be clear that veganism is the unequivocal baseline of anything that deserves to be called an “animal rights” movement. If “animal rights” means anything, it means that we cannot morally justify any animal exploitation; we cannot justify creating animals as human resources, however “humane” that treatment may be.We must stop thinking that people will find veganism “daunting” and that we have to promote something less than veganism. If we explain the moral ideas and the arguments in favor of veganism clearly, people will understand. They may not all go vegan immediately; in fact, most won’t. But we should always be clear about the moral baseline. If someone wants to do less as an incremental matter, let that be her/his decision, and not something that we advise to do. The baseline should always be clear. We should never be promoting “happy” or “humane” exploitation as morally acceptable.
(...) ha! what is hope? a butterfly in a boxof demons, and nothing escapes the darkuntainted, a mockery of politics and greedstamped with treason and dipped inmyths and force-fed brainwashinggoing off after a time for the grandmassacre of faith, humanity, and still we search, scorched feetfor life but find only fake plastic treessatirical, ludicrous, and ironic
Now is not the time for bigots and racists. No time for sexists and homophobes. Now, more than ever, is the time for ARTISTS. It’s time for us to rise above and to create. To show humanity. To spread hope. We must prevent society from destroying itself, from losing its way. Now is the time for love.
Most men fear getting laughed at or humiliated by a romantic prospect while most women fear rape and death.
To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation—is that good for the world?
Through love, tribes have been intermixing colors to reveal a new rainbow world. And as more time passes, this racial and cultural blending will make it harder for humans to side with one race, nation or religion over another.
Antisemitism is unique among religious hatreds. It is a racist conspiracy theory fashioned for the needs of messianic and brutal rulers, as dictators from the Tsars to the Islamists via the Nazis have shown. Many other alleged religious 'hatreds' are not hatreds in the true sense. If I criticise Islamic, Orthodox Jewish or Catholic attitudes towards women, for instance, and I'm accused of being a bigot, I shrug and say it is not bigoted to oppose bigotry.
In the 1970s, while researching in the Library of Congress, I found an obscure history of religious architecture that assumed a fact as if it were common knowledge: the traditional design of most patriarchal buildings of worship imitates the female body. Thus, there is an outer and inner entrance, labia majora and labia minora; a central vaginal aisle toward the altar; two curved ovarian structures on either side; and then in the sacred center, the altar or womb, where the miracle takes place - where males gives birth.Though this comparison was new to to me, it struck home like a rock down a well. Of course, I thought. The central ceremony of patriarchal religions is one in which men take over the yoni-power of creation by giving birth symbolically. No wonder male religious leaders so often say that humans were born in sin - because we were born to female creatures. Only by obeying the rules of the patriarchy can we be reborn through men. No wonder priests and ministers in skirts sprinkle imitation birth fluid over our heads, give us new names, and promise rebirth into everlasting life. No wonder the male priesthood tries to keep women away from the altar, just as women are kept away from control of our own powers of reproduction. Symbolic or real, it's all devoted to controlling the power that resides in the female body.
There will be great reason to suspect the Men of jealousy; and it cannot be rash to say, that their only reason for locking up from us all the avenues of knowledge, is the fear of our excelling them in it. (...) Had we the same advantages of study allowed us which the Men have, there is no room to doubt but we should at least keep pace with them in the sciences, and every useful knowledge. It can only then be a mean dastardly jealousy in them to exclude us from those advantages, in which we have so natural a right to emulate them.
If you consider a woman less pure after you’ve touched hermaybe you should take a looks at your hands.
When you've grown up mis-educated, surrounded by fear and hate, unaware of your privilege, lies can sound like the truth.
Neglect of women is the major cause for the society’s downfall. The man and the woman are the two wheels of the society. If either one becomes defective, the society cannot make progress. There will be hope for the well-being of the entire world only if the humans, men and women alike, stop deeming the women as some kind of inferior creatures. We, the responsible citizens of the world can build a better future for the entire species, only by improving the condition of the women.
I know you're competent and your thesis advisor knows you're competent. The question in our minds is are you really serious about what you're doing?This was said to a young woman who had already spent five years and over $10,000 getting to that point in her Ph.D. program.
Honestly, I hate when in books, the guys changes the girl's life. Like, no. The girl needs to change her own life.
Personally, I believe if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I'd rather use film cameras and vinyl records and cathode ray tubes than any sort of the digital technology available. Look around! The streets are full of people who would rather have their eyes on their cell phones than on the world around them! Scientists are researching technology to erase specific memories from people! Our thrown-away digital technology is showing up overseas in huge piles of toxic heavy metals and plastic! And yet there are still people who keep wanting technology and the future to keep going. They dream of flying cars, or humanoid robots, of populated cities on Mars. But do we really NEED this stuff? Maybe before we try to keep turning our world into an episode of The Jetsons, we should focus more on the problems that are surprisingly being overlooked now more than ever. Before we design another stupid cell phone or build a flying car, let's put a stop to racism, to sexism, to homophobia, to war. Let's stop buying all our American products from sweat shops overseas and let's end poverty in third-world countries. Let's let film photography never go obsolete, let's let print books continue to be printed. Let's stop domestic violence and child abuse and prostitution and this world's heavy reliance on prescription drugs. Let's stop terrorism, let's stop animal cruelty, let's stop overpopulation and urbanization, let's stop the manufacture of nuclear weapons......I mean come on, we have all these problems to solve, but digital tech enthusiasts are more concerned that we don't have flying cars or robotic maids yet? That's pathetic.
This is a woman who didn’t want her viewpoints challenged, nor to see the views of the half of the world that comprises men. Her assumption is that all male authors are sexist and that their books distort the views of women....that’s bigoted and despicable: the form of feminism that sees men as the enemy from the outset, and seeks to reinforce that prejudice by reading only books that keep her in her safe space.....The future, in both life and books, is men and women together, with a mutual understanding that can come only from learning about each other’s thoughts. [About Caitlin Moran's sexist statement that girls shouldn't read any books written by men.]
When you meet someone, and you find that they are prejudiced against your kind, it might be your chance, not to confirm, but to be the one to finally change their mind.
I later became more interested in equal rights for women in the work place because of what was happening at IBM. One of the women at Remington Rand had previously been a system service girl for IBM during the war. After a system was installed, a system service girl would go out and show the users how it worked. She was the liaison between the users and the computer company. She was married and had been fired to make room for a returning veteran. When the war ended, IBM rehired all of its former employees who had left to join the military, then fired all of the married women with jobs that could be filled by men.
They say they give their women more freedom, but there's still the impression that the freedom was theirs to 'give' in the first place.
As a young woman, when she had been beautiful and had worn her hair short and her clothes loose to conceal that fact, she had known all the signs of men and read them well enough that she had been successfully robbed only three times and raped once; but none of those had burned from her the hunger for empty spaces, strange cities, new oceans.
To be an American is to be accosted by bigotry and enmity for the rights that you were told to appreciate.
One understands then why woman has no sexual parts, properly speaking. It is because she is herself a sexual part - a sexual part of man, to cumbersome for him to carry around permanently and therefore deposited outside himself for most of the time and taken up when needed. Moreover the quality that distinguishes man from animals is this very power of equipping himself at any moment with an instrument, tool or arm that he needs, but that he can get rid of straight away, whereas the lobster has to drag his two pincers about with him everywhere. And just as mans hand is a sort of grappling hook that enables him to grasp a hammer, sword or fountain pen according to his needs, so his sex is the sort of grappling hook of the sexual parts rather than the sexual part itslef.
Some men are so indoctrinated that they sincerely believe that other than cooking and cleaning the only thing that a woman can do better than them is being a woman.
What are you so angry about? my mother had asked me the last time I had gone home to visit.Why aren't you more angry, I had wanted to ask her. But I couldn't talk to my mother that way. She understood that I did not want to live her life, to work as a waitress, until my toes curled in and my feet hurt all the time, to marry a man who would beat my children and treat me as if I had no right to object to object to anything he chose to do. She didn't want that life for me either. She wanted me happy and successful, to live unafraid among people who loved me, and to do things she had never been able to do and tell her all about them.So I told her, about the shelter, the magazine, readings and discussion groups. I told her about trying to write stories, though I hesitated to send send her all that I wrote. And there were far too many times when I would sit down to write my mama and stare at the paper unable to puzzle out how to explain how urgent and unimportant it was to change how women's lives were shaped. Not only that we should be paid equal money for equally difficult work, but that we should genuinely begin to think about what word we might choose to undertake, how we might live our daily lives. Why should I have to marry at all? Or explain myself if I chose to love a woman? Why could I not spend my hours writing stories instead of raising children or keeping house or working some deadly boring job just to cover the rent of an apartments where I was not safe anyway.
During the 1992 election I concluded as early as my first visit to New Hampshire that Bill Clinton was hateful in his behavior to women, pathological as a liar, and deeply suspect when it came to money in politics. I have never had to take any of that back, whereas if you look up what most of my profession was then writing about the beefy, unscrupulous 'New Democrat,' you will be astonished at the quantity of sheer saccharine and drool. Anyway, I kept on about it even after most Republicans had consulted the opinion polls and decided it was a losing proposition, and if you look up the transcript of the eventual Senate trial of the president—only the second impeachment hearing in American history—you will see that the last order of business is a request (voted down) by the Senate majority leader to call Carol and me as witnesses. So I can dare to say that at least I saw it through.