Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

what do parahumans have to do with gender? December 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Royce @ 3:32 am

Crossposted at Gender Agenda
Parahumans only vaguely exist at this point. They remain embryo’s grown, destroyed, and harvested for stem cells. Some how a scientist mixing human dna with animal dna is not the ethical conundrum that growing a 100% homo sapiens embryo for harvest is.

Have you heard of H.R. 5910? It was introduced by Christopher Smith (R) of NJ to the House on April 24, 2008. It never passed the House. It is also known as the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act of 2008. An identical bill was introduced into the Senate this year. Bobby Jindal has signed passed an act that prohibits the creation of such hybrids in the state of Louisiana with a 10, 000 dollar fine or 10 years in jail.



Intersectionality December 24, 2009

Imagine that your community has been devastated by an un/natural disaster, like Hurricane Katrina. Imagine that where you live is at great risk for being devastated again. Imagine that you know wealthier, whiter parts of town are better protected from future disasters. Imagine that there are two toxic landfills near where you live, unfairly reopened without due process. Now imagine that you also are trying to farm vegetables and fruits on a plot of land in a city despite all of these things that stand in the way.

Right then, not everyone has to imagine that.


where’s the line? the body? December 23, 2009

What if special lines aren’t definite? If legally only humans get recognized as persons at what point do we decide who gets counted as human? It seems so self evident, but a lot of things seem self-evident at first. I don’t think that the body is a reliable site for placing beings into humanity or animality.



Don’t Use Classism and Anti-Sex Worker Rhetoric to Protest Fur

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 3:05 pm
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Fur is for beautiful animals & scary hookers, claims an incredibly fucked-up post at the Vegan Shoe Lady. She cites a Guardian article where Ingrid Newkirk is quoted as saying, “Fur has lost all its cachet. It’s yesterday. I see prostitutes in Atlantic City wearing fur.”

The Vegan Shoe Lady then takes this idea & runs with it, suggesting that if we see a woman wearing fur in public, we should make loud comments like, “She’s probably a hooker. Tacky coat, lower-class manners – no one respectable presents themselves that way.”

Her other suggestion, should you see a person wearing fur standing outside holding coffee, is to drop change into their cup, implying that they look like a homeless person. She offers this caveat: “Please treat actual homeless people with respect – they are human beings, and many of them have untreated mental illnesses. More than 80% of young homeless people are forced to leave home, often due to abuse. True compassion extends to disadvantaged people, too, so be nice.”

True compassion extends to disadvantaged people but apparently not sex workers. Or people at the lower end of the class system. Why should we play into the prejudices of certain segments of the fur-wearing population? The post points out that wealthy fur-wearers probably don’t care about environmental or animal rights issues, which I imagine is true. But I refuse to believe that perpetuating stereotypes, prejudice, & shame is the way forward either.


what if plants have secret lives? December 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Royce @ 6:30 pm
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There was a NYT article, online yesterday, in the paper today (I think), entitled: Sorry Vegans, Brussels Sprouts Want to Live Too. An intellectually lazy title and any parts about veganism are superfluous, because really this is an article about how plants respond to stimuli, and protect themselves from being eaten. You know, high school bio if your teacher could have bothered to make plants more interesting.



absolutely vegan, absolutely anthrocentric? December 21, 2009

This is my attempt to share some thoughts I’ve shared with my housemate and friend, R.

Ant & Aphids


Veganism is the refusal to consume animals, or their byproducts. It is a simplified definition, and veganism is far more complex than just one simple sentence. But when I, and most people, explain what veganism is we generally use some variation of that sentence. Veganism is usually seen as an absolute— you either are a vegan or you are not.

Anthrocentrism is the belief that humans are, and/or should be, the center (of the world, the cosmos, culture, society, etc). This definition is also simplified.

As an ethical vegan I refuse to consume animal products to diminish the number of animals that suffer and die. My focus is on ending the suffering of animals.

And perhaps you were expecting an “and” at the end of that sentence.

“…and to end their use by human beings,” I should say.

But I’ll return to use in a moment.



These “Herbivores” May Still Eat Animals

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 2:52 pm
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It’s pretty easy to find examples of media in the West that tie meat-eating to manliness. Connected to this, NPR reports that in Japan, men who are taking on traditionally feminine traits are known as “herbivores.”

Described as “a quiet army of sweet young men with floppy hair and skinny jeans,” they may prefer “sewing, baking and crocheting clothes for [their] stuffed animals,” as does the protagonist of one TV show said to be popular among herbivores.

Though the story features a Sweets Club, for men who like desserts, nothing else about diet is mentioned. The mere idea of non-standard masculinity is enough to brand you as a wimpy leaf-eater, it seems — nothing in this story indicates that the men are, in fact, herbivoric in diet.

The story also demonstrates how manliness — or lack of — is tied to capitalism, economic productivity, & presumably providing for the family (& lustily creating one, of course): “But there are fears about the financial and social impact of herbivores. Their low levels of spending and lack of interest in sex invoke two of Japan’s biggest problems: its lackluster economy and declining birthrate.”

So if “herbivores” are men acting in un-manly ways, what about women acting in non-womanly ways? They’re carnivores: “economically empowered working Japanese women who know what they want.”

(Hat tip to Absolutely Fobulous for the link.)