I am Someone with a voice. I am someone with an opinion and a view on things. I am someone who believes in liberation and equality. I am someome who stands for Something. I am someone, who stands up for it – for others – in order to stand out and make a change.
As a human, we strive to be loving and kind. We all want to feel love – which is of course defined by each individual itself – and we want to be shown respect and acceptance. We get what we give and if it’s not given back to us we stand up for it. We fight for it and fight for the rights of other humans or non-human animals. This is humane. This is humanity.
WHAT THIS BLOG POST IS ABOUT
In this blog post, I would like to explain you my perceptions of the word combination ‘Vegan Feminist’. How equivocal this important expression is, but still results in the same values: Veganism is a feminist issue. Equality for the female sex of humans and animals. Therefore I created a symbol (see below) to show how I see and feel the connection between Veganism and Feminism.
Here are some links in advance, which are essential for a proper understanding of this blog post:
- Find my little dictionary here, to know the exact definitions of words used in this blog post (bibliography included).
- Find my blog post on veganism here, to get a better understanding of where I’m personally coming from and get some helpful tips on changing to a vegan lifestyle.
To love, show compassion and be kind are values which should be taught to us by our parents or friends or simply our surrounding in our growing years until we are able to think for ourselves. It is also a humane instinct. We all grow and form our own opinion and view on values, social interactions and even ourselves – our love concerning our personality and body. We all develop a consciousness based on values concerning our fellow humans and our environment – as we grow -, which goes beyond what we were taught by a system, which is mainly based on materialism and capitalism and selfish values. We actually start caring. We start thinking and we start changing something. Well, most of us do.
GROWTH AND CHANGE
When I look back at when I was 20 years old, I had my certain values I was living by and I surely had an opinion on things, but what was missing? My strong will to change something. The opportunity to do so. The medium and the community to be part of a change for what I believed in was right and of course, I often (unknowingly and unconsciously) chose comfort over diving deeper and deeper into a topic, as my priorities were set differently and vegan was still a foreign word, not widely spread in our society (in Austria). Vegan options (not labeled on products at all) were rare and hard to find in supermarkets, 10 years ago. A lot was about myself and the problems of others I was able to relate to. I am now conscious of it, that I was figuring out different things at that time, which actually led to where I am today. Still figuring things out and learning so much about myself, but in relation to others and also based on good and grounded information, facts and my own values on how I want to live my life and how I would love this world to develop.
HOW THE WORLD WORKS
As I grow and learn certain things – ‘how the world works’ I am more and more shocked of inhumane methods, the respectless interpersonal dealings and how things are handled on a daily basis and how ‘normal’ they are to most, because we don’t question things. How unfair and unequally people and animals are treated by the patriarchy. We are still not living in a world with equal rights and sometimes it seems we are so far away from it. Women still have to fight for it, and vegans for the rights of the ‘voiceless’ – the animals – who can’t stand up and speak up for themselves. Fact is though, that these movements (veganism, feminism, civil rights movement, movement of non-binary sexes, and all other movements which strive for equality) are growing rapidly hand in hand, which I believe is a good sign of the common interest.
Always question everything! Talk about and discuss certain topics with others (also people you know have a different opinion), argue and stand up for something you think is right. Be open for different opinions and define (or maybe redefine) your own. We can only learn from each other – either agree or disagree.
WHAT DO FEMINISM AND VEGANISM HAVE IN COMMON?
Well, it is kind of obvious now. It’s Equality.
Definition of equality: ‘The state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities.’ (Oxford Dictionaries)
Feminism and Veganism are very important and fast-growing movements, passing on information of the different topics, which have not yet received enough respect and rights throughout our society yet.
Feminism is about equality and same rights for women as for men. It is about equal payments, job opportunities, free hygiene products and against sexual harassment. It aims at ending sexism, patriarchy, and misogyny. In some countries of the world, this movement is growing rapidly as some women are still not equally treated – sometimes with no voice, opinion, and rights at all. Feminism stands for all women across the globe and their freedom of speech.
Feminism is NOT against men, which it often is misunderstood. Men can also be feminists if they are as well for equal rights among all sexes: male, female and non-binary sexes.
Veganism is about equality and liberation of the animals. It stands for a kind and compassionate lifestyle and it aims at ending speciesism, animal suffering, and animal cruelty. It is about treating the animals just like you as an individual wants to be treated – with respect for our individuality and our lives.
The term ‘Vegan Feminist’ can be seen in two ways.
- It can be seen as two individual words with the same values and goals – equality that is.
- As one meaning ‘the rights of a female animal’, which is not in the slightest interest of the dairy industry and therefore the meat industry (watch this Erin Janus’ video on ‘Dairy Is Scary’). It’s the female animals (cows, chickens, pigs, dogs and all other animals) who are exploited and used for humans’ comfort, entertainment, wealth (f.e. breedings) and so-called ‘pleasures in taste’.
I would also point out, that there is no ‘female veganism‘ (I hope you’re not confused, but I find the order of the words quite important) because veganism focuses on all species and sexes of the animals. Vegan Feminism is an issue and matter of awareness especially concerning the exploitation and oppression of the female sex animals.
MY POINT OF VIEW…
and attitude to life in general is, that freedom, equality, and love begin on your plate. We all have a family, friends and we all want to live and live a happy cruelty-free life. Think about it and feel yourself and redefine your beliefs by saying the quote ‘Do as you would be done by!’ out loud and be honest to yourself if you define YOUR meaning of it.
Here are some useful links, if you’re interested in the overall topic
- A Privileged Vegan ‘Is Veganism A Feminist Issue?’ (YouTube)
- Carol J Adams ‘The Sexual Politics of Meat’ (haven’t read it yet, but already ordered it)
- Carol J Adams ‘Why Vegan-Feminist’
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