Why Intersectional Feminism is Automatically Vegan

Not your mom, not your milk

Let me just get this out of the way: I am NOT a typical feminist. To me, feminism has kept its ties with its first-wave in America, focusing on the political equality of middle-to-upper class white women beginning in the 19th century. That’s cute and all, but what about the rest of us?? There’s definitely more than one type of woman who needs peer support and equality, then why not include all of them? And that’s where intersectional feminism comes in! The term was established by American professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, defining it as “The view that women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity…Examples of this include race, gender, class, ability, and ethnicity.” 

Although I focus closely on womanism, which is feminism for women of color (mostly Black) and all abilities, intersectional feminism is a great way to understand the challenges of all types of women (and men, too) regardless of our biases. And when I mean ALL types of women, I’m talkin’ ’bout the non-human ones also. Not following me? Well, plainly, I feel that intersectionality amongst females shouldn’t have to be reserved only to humans, especially since it supposedly accepts all ladies despite their differences. Just like denying a disabled woman her rights is ableist, assuming a cow doesn’t have rights is speciesist and should be against the “code” of acknowledging all female issues.

Think about it, all animals have genders just like we do; we are not unique in that. So it only seems fair to recognize and challenge the human-made exploitation of female animals in the intersectional feminist movement. Like how dairy cows are raped repeatedly for impregnation so people can have a glass of milk, how hens are forced to lay close to 300 eggs a year when they would only do so about 10-15 times in nature, or how sows are locked in tiny cages where they can’t turn around with their only purpose being to breed more piglets for slaughter. The list goes on and on, just so we can blindly consume their body parts and secretions. Vegans can’t be the only ones who think this is a huge social error!

And of course male animals probably perform behaviors in nature that seem unfair to their female counterparts, but we have no say in that because those actions are most likely instinctual. We can’t control what animals do in nature amongst themselves, yet we do have control over how we treat them and use them solely for profit. I won’t assume that intersectional feminists will pick up this cause and that the world will go vegan, but I am hopeful that people will see the injustice in the animal agriculture industry (amongst other industries) and will match their morals to their actions.

To wrap it up, it is quite hypocritical for feminists of all kinds to consume animal products, especially if they’re educated about the exploitation of female farm/fur animals. I totally get it if it never crosses one’s mind due to lack of education, but no true practicing intersectional feminist would take this injustice lightly. Don’t forget about the males though! Males, human or non-human, face issues that are similarly daunting, so we can’t leave them out in our message of equality. Regardless of the labels we identify with, we all know that we should treat others with compassion, respect, and love; so it’s time we align that notion with everything we do.

Is Pet Ownership Vegan??

Pets

I can’t speak for other vegheads, but I have never truly been an animal lover. That sounds like a terrible thing to say, but I have always either been scared of them or felt like I was hurting them when I pet them haha. So it’s easy to say that I’ve remained disconnected from domesticated animals, however, that did not tarnish my respect and secret adoration of them. I’ve always found them super cute and snuggly though their living situation with humans made me feel uncomfortable deep down; I just thought it was because I was an apathetic bitch, but being vegan for a while has made sense of those odd feelings…

I just recently figured out that I see domesticated animals as slaves like I do with farmed ones. It took me a minute to come to terms with these thoughts, just because I thought dogs and cats and hamsters needed humans to survive as if they have never sought to be in the wild. But with my new knowledge on dog breeding for entertainment’s sake and their behaviors in the wild, I made the connection that most pets would probably rather explore in nature than to be locked up in a house.

Of course there are situations where these animals are rescued from horrible living conditions, physical abuse, vivisection, or just haven’t been taught how to live solo in the woods, and I can totally understand that. Regardless of my opinion, there are times that call for domesticated animals to be sheltered and I can never dispute that; but I’m talkin bout people who own pets solely to have a plaything. I guess that’s all well and good if someone is truly lonely but no animal should be bred for the purpose of entertaining a human; that’s almost as lame as holding animals captive in zoos or aquariums.

Nowadays when I see a person walking their dog on a leash or getting upset when it doesn’t obey a command, I cringe a little because I feel like it would rather run free without having to follow weird rules. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very impressive when a dog sits on command, but I would be pissed off if someone told my ass to sit down! I would rebel like any other creature though they don’t have much of a choice. And although I can’t relate since I’m not a dog or a cat, I just think it’s really important to put myself in their place to see how I would feel because why not? They’re sentient beings like I am so they deserve sympathy where it’s needed.

So is owning a pet vegan? I mean, I guess it depends on the situation. If someone adopts a domesticated animal for completely selfless purposes, then I don’t see much of a problem. If someone wants one because they’re cute and cuddly, then holy shit…not cool. The issue with that is the speciesism that is so prevalent in our society; it’s as if we see animals as objects or machines rather than lifeforms like us. It’s unfair to use them for our benefit (be it food, entertainment, fashion, etc.), especially when we would complain if we had their exact experience. No one wants to be caged, commanded at, skinned, leashed, raped, tortured, or eaten, so why is it fine and dandy when we do it to our non-human counterparts? Trick question, it’s not. So I advise anyone to re-evaluate why they have their pet(s) and remember that they deserve freedom as much as you do.

My Calming Journey to Sirsasana (with Back-bend)

As we all know (or at least hopefully), yoga is not just about the physical; it is the union of the mind, body, and spirit. It’s just as much of a meditation session as it is an exercise, so asanas (poses) like these create small mental shifts with every achievement of them. I didn’t complete this task because headstands are cool as hell, but because I knew I would overcome a mental roadblock along the journey to it.

For me, this pose represents my new-found ability to sort through troubling thoughts and unwanted emotions. The headstand itself pushed me to achieve this mental clarity and the back-bend allowed me to be flexible during the mindset change. In the past I would give into neurotic and irrational thoughts, always trying to make a solution to every problem I faced, but I realized that not every problem has a solution that’s in my control. Also that problems are only problems based on my outlook on life: I can see them as negative and wallow in my pain or see them as positive and know these struggles will help me grow; and there’s NOTHING negative about growth!

So, thanks to my practice on this asana, I have been more aware of my monkey mind and choose to not allow it to take control of my emotions. I am calm, I live presently, and my mind is tranquil.

How to Go Vegan in 3 Obvious Steps (Overnight Transition on a Low-Budget)

Vegan for Everything

For those who are ready to make the big switch, this will be a total cinch! But to those who aren’t interested, I feel that information like this would be of use anyways because you never know what words will strike a chord…

It didn’t take much for me to want to transition to veganism exactly three years ago. I was already on a basic bitch health kick and would do anything to feel better and get in shape, and the more research I did, the more I found that animal products were possibly the cause of my chronic ailments (like constipation, acne, borderline insomnia, etc.) and decided to cut back on my intake severely. Then, something inside told me to watch a slaughterhouse video to truly see where my “food” was coming from and after that, I went vegan and never looked back! Notice how I describe myself as a vegan and not “plant-based.” When one transitions to a plant-based diet, they are dropping most of the animal products they usually eat (sometimes except for honey) but don’t extend that notion to other parts of their lives; primarily for health reasons. This means they probably still wear fur or leather, do not find animal cruelty as an ethical issue, and will sparingly eat animal byproducts as a treat. Uncool.

Vegans, on the other hand, take animal abuse super fuckin seriously…and I mean that as a good thing haha. They recognize animal suffering as a social error and don’t support businesses that exploit this issue. This means not consuming animal products or its exploitatives of any kind, including food, fashion, makeup, hunting, zoos, aquariums, vivisection, breeding, and a lot more. In my biases, I recognize that I praise veganism and those who live by it, but that does not mean that I think we are superior. Although the lifestyle does alleviate health problems, animal abuse, and planetary destruction, it does not change my philosophy that all animals (and humans too, duh!) are cosmically equal.

Now that I’m done blabbing, lets get down to the nitty gritty! In order to transition to a vegan lifestyle, one would have to:

  1. Get educated.  The reason why most people don’t succeed at living vegan is because of their lack of education before tackling it. It’s too important to do your own research about this serious problem and come to your own conclusions. Of course vegan propaganda exists, where facts and statistics are exaggerated to get people to quit their sick fix; but the more research you do, the more you will notice a consistency in the numbers. Also, the easiest way to learn more about this topic would be to watch the Holy Trinity of Veg Movies: Forks Over Knives, Earthlings, and Cowspiracy; which can all be found on YouTube and/or Netflix. You can also throw in Gary Yourofsky’s “Best Speech Ever” on YouTube if you dare! These awesome films will give you in-depth looks into the health, ethical, and environmental problems that animal agriculture causes; and they’re well-written to the max, too.
  2. Give up the junk.  After thorough research, hopefully you understand the issue at-hand and decide to swap all your animal products with plant ones. This means buying meat, dairy, and egg alternatives instead of using your dollar to support a corrupt industry. But don’t fret, animal alternatives are just as tasty and affordable as the usual stuff! At a typical grocery store, boneless chicken breasts costs about $3.27/lb while tofu is an average of $2-2.50/lb; and if you wanted to be mega healthy, dried beans are around $1.39/lb. Tofurkey sausages, Daiya cheeses, and Beyond Meat chicken strips ring in at about $4-5 max at your local supermarket, but you can also get your proteins in its whole form with beans, plain tofu, and tempeh (and they’re cheaper!). Commercial grocery stores hold inexpensive vegan and accidentally-vegan items also. This step also includes refusing to purchase anything that exploits animals, like animal-tested makeup; fur, leather, down, or silk; going to circuses or zoos; or supporting speciesism in any way. If you just so happen to have an actual leather jacket or makeup from a cruelty-supportive company laying around, it’s up to you whether or not you want to give it away since you were unaware before you bought it; but just remember that it used to be someone’s skin or that someone was harmed in the making of said product, which is freakin horrifying and sad.
  3. Walk the walk.  Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to make this an actual lifestyle! All you need to do is live the first two steps in its entirety, which sounds like an ordeal but it’s definitely not if you give a shit. It may seem like you’re “reducing” your life to constantly checking  ingredients of simple foods, bitching at meat-eaters, and being burdened by the lack of support you get in a non-vegan world, but that is completely NOT true. Think about what you’d be gaining: a clear conscience, better karma, better health, social awareness, more compassion toward your fellow human, some corporate detachment, respect toward all animals, reduced environmental impact, and, hopefully, a new cause! So don’t be a Negative Nancy and think about your sacrifices, just be happy that no one was sacrificed so that you may be comfortable; there’s no better feeling than that. Now go get your veg on!

If I’m missing anything or you need any help, don’t hesitate to holla at me! I’d be delighted to vegify you 🙂