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Just two more examples of animal rights protests that hurt women

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There’s a stigma attached to animal rights protests, and we seem to be perpetuating it time and time again; animal rights activists care more about animal rights than human rights. And to no ones surprise, woman are the subjects of abuse once again.

This weekend, two protests in two very different areas sparked online debate. In Charlotte, North Carolina, a PETA protest against fishing begged onlookers; “don’t let your kids become hookers.” In France, 296 Life France staged the chaining, branding, and murder of women to represent the standard treatment of cows. Both stirred commentary about whether we care more about animals than people (in both cases, women), as we continue our unabashed use of the glamorization of gender violence and hyper-sexualization of women to try to get a point across.

It’s easy to first turn away from the criticism as the coverage and commentary is sometimes sold as a non-vegan deflection of the issues. But the reality is that even those who already understand and reject the exploitation of animals should be turned off by the half naked, blood-soaked, and injured women who are being degraded in an attempt to call attention to animal use. Yes, even the women who agreed to be permanently scared by hot irons are accomplices to this gendered violence. The misogyny of equating game hunting to selling our bodies, and the sexualization of thriving, half-naked bodies disgracefully attempts to sell the message through sex and violence. When will we learn that it’s not okay to contribute to the exploitation of some, in our efforts to decrease the exploitation of others? While this isn’t new for corporate charities, it feels like some groups are dangerously playing follow the leader. 

Not only are the commentators and onlookers questioning our methods, they’re distracted enough by the theatrics to miss the buried intentions of ending animal use altogether. People are asking if animal rights activists care about the people instead of questioning if their own use of animals is wrong. With incredible human rights issues at the forefront of societies unraveling, our activism needs to be inclusive of all rights; human and non-human. It’s inappropriate to fight for equality for all, while simultaneously perpetrating imbalances in equality between genders, race, religion, etc. The vegans I know care more about human rights than non-vegans, but the loudest ones simply aren’t demonstrating that. 

Effective advocacy lies in vegan education, and teaching people how to go vegan. It’s in reminding people that choosing not to use animals is about being fair. But to really advocate for change that incorporates all life, we need to stop these backwards demonstrations and tactics that sacrifice a clear message for sensationalism. 

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0 Comments
  • I left this comment on the North Carolina article here:

    “…We’ll probably take a few hits for saying PETA’s going — er — overboard, but please understand that it’s likely the underlying motivation is this: We wish there could be as much visible activism, care and concern for humans, especially at a time when we seem to be tearing at our human fabric over politics, crime, religion, race, ethnicity….”

    All social injustices are interconnected and involve discrimination based on irrelevant criteria such as gender, skin colour or species. To say that the injustice toward one particular group is more significant than other, for example, that we should focus more on child hunger instead of racism or gender equality would be offensive to the victims of racism and domestic violence. We would never say that one particular injustice is more important than another – except when it comes to the animals.

    Animal rights and human rights are not mutually exclusive. We all need to eat a few times a day and make daily choices between eating vegan food and eating products of injustice, torture and death. We all wear clothes and make the same moral choices whenever we shop. In our leisure time we are faced with a choice between going to a concert and going to the zoo. Not harming others is a matter of basic moral decency that does not rob our time from pursuing whatever causes we feel passionate about.

    Being just toward animals does not only mean saying no to sport fishing, trophy hunting, fur, and other similar activities that others engage in. Being just means rejecting animal exploitation that most of us engage in daily and perceive it as normal: food. We all believe that harming animals for no good reason is morally wrong, yet we raise, torture and kill billions of farm animals and pull out trillions of sea animals from the oceans each year. All the top dietetic organisations around the world take the position that we do not need to eat animal products in order to be healthy. Animal agriculture is the number one cause of global warming, pollution, ocean dead zones, soil erosion, deforestation and species extinction. The only moral justification we have is that we like the taste. Being just means going vegan.

    PeTa is indeed going overboard – by taking both animal rights and human rights backward. No animal multi-billion charity corporation will ever tell you that you must go vegan in order to respect animal rights. They will never tell you that all injustices are interconnected; as long as we see women’s bodies as “meat”, we will see animals’ bodies as “food”. They will tell you what you want to hear. Sex sells. Forget the injustice of sexism and all the women who must invest an enormous amount of energy on a daily basis in order to minimise harassment.

  • I left this comment on the North Carolina article:

    “…We’ll probably take a few hits for saying PETA’s going — er — overboard, but please understand that it’s likely the underlying motivation is this: We wish there could be as much visible activism, care and concern for humans, especially at a time when we seem to be tearing at our human fabric over politics, crime, religion, race, ethnicity….”

    All social injustices are interconnected and involve discrimination based on irrelevant criteria such as gender, skin colour or species. To say that the injustice toward one particular group is more significant than other, for example, that we should focus more on child hunger instead of racism or gender equality would be offensive to the victims of racism and domestic violence. We would never say that one particular injustice is more important than another – except when it comes to the animals.

    Animal rights and human rights are not mutually exclusive. We all need to eat a few times a day and make daily choices between eating vegan food and eating products of injustice, torture and death. We all wear clothes and make the same moral choices whenever we shop. In our leisure time we are faced with a choice between going to a concert and going to the zoo. Not harming others is a matter of basic moral decency that does not rob our time from pursuing whatever causes we feel passionate about.

    Being just toward animals does not only mean saying no to sport fishing, trophy hunting, fur, and other similar activities that others engage in. Being just means rejecting animal exploitation that most of us engage in daily and perceive it as normal: food. We all believe that harming animals for no good reason is morally wrong, yet we raise, torture and kill billions of farm animals and pull out trillions of sea animals from the oceans each year. All the top dietetic organisations around the world take the position that we do not need to eat animal products in order to be healthy. Animal agriculture is the number one cause of global warming, pollution, ocean dead zones, soil erosion, deforestation and species extinction. The only moral justification we have is that we like the taste. Being just means going vegan.

    PeTa is indeed going overboard – by taking both animal rights and human rights backward. No animal multi-billion charity corporation will ever tell you that you must go vegan in order to respect animal rights. They will never tell you that all injustices are interconnected; as long as we see women’s bodies as “meat”, we will see animals’ bodies as “food”. They will tell you what you want to hear. Sex sells. Forget the injustice of sexism and all the women who must invest an enormous amount of energy on a daily basis in order to minimise harassment.

    • Gizmo

      Peroxide
      nerd
      f aggot

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