Published by Veggies for Derby Womens Day 2015
“As women enjoy the gains we have made in the path to our own equality, we must continue to assert our own presence and recognize our uniquely personal stake in fighting for those who are still being silenced.” – How Sexism and Animal Cruelty Coexist by Theresa Noll
“Why vegan? We maintain that Nonhuman Animals represent a distinct at-risk social group. Fighting against human inequality makes no sense so long as we perpetuate the inequality of other animals. What we eat, what we wear, how we entertain ourselves, etc. is so often built on the oppression of Nonhuman Animals (which also oppresses vulnerable human groups). Speciesism, racism, sexism, disableism, heterosexism, classism, etc. are all rooted in the same source operating with similar ideologies and mechanisms” – Vegan Feminist Movement
“A noun is a person, place, or thing,” we obediently recite as children. What, then, are nonhuman animals? They aren’t people or places, so – convention tells us – they must be things. Current English usage is speciesist. It glorifies the human species and belittles all others. Just as sexist language demeans women and excludes them from full consideration, speciesist language demeans and excludes nonhuman animals. When we consign other animals to the category thing, we obscure their sentience, individuality and right to autonomy.” – On The Issues Magazine: A Magazine of Feminist, Progressive Thinking
An interesting read about the connections between Feminism and Animal Rights is, ‘The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory’ by Carol Adams. The award-winning book explores a relationship between patriarchal values and meat eating by interweaving the insights of feminism, vegetarianism, animal defense, and literary theory.
What’s Wrong With the Dairy Industry?
“After repeated cycles of forced impregnations, painful births, relentless milkings, and crushing bereavements, their spirit gives, their bodies wither, their milk dries up. At the age when, in nature, a female cow would barely enter adulthood, the life of a dairy cow is over. When her milk ‘production’ declines, she and her other ‘spent’ herd mates are trucked off to slaughter. Some are pregnant. All are still lactating. As they are shoved towards death, they drip milk onto the killing floor… All dairy operations, including Organic, exist solely by doing to millions of defenseless females the worst thing anyone can do to a mother.”
Most people can see the animal exploitation inherent in the meat industry, but the dairy industry isn’t immediately obvious. Dairy cows are portrayed as having an idyllic life but the reality is that cows (like all mammals) only produce milk for their young in response to giving birth. The animals are kept in a cycle of near constant pregnancy and lactation (meaning huge physical and metabolic stress, often leading to disease and exhaustion). Each cow also suffers the separation from their young, calling for each other desperately – something which has been studied and even the dairy industry themselves admit it causes emotional stress. Male calves are often unwanted ‘by-products’ of the dairy industry and are shot at only a few hours old.
Want to Ditch the Meat and Dairy?
Visit the following websites for more information:
Viva! – www.milkmyths.org.uk
Vegan Kit – www.vegankit.com
You can buy lots of alternatives to meat and dairy in supermarkets – many sell their own brand products and also other vegan brands. But for the most ethical option we recommend shopping at your local independent health food shop. In Derby we support the vegan shop Sound Bites on Morledge.
Vegan alternatives to milk
There are a great variety of milk alternatives that are widely available. Most people know about soya milk, but there is also oat, coconut, rice, hazelnut, almond and hemp!
Vegan alternatives to butter
There are soya, sunflower, olive and coconut blend spreads.
Vegan alternatives to cheese
There are all kinds of cheese substitutes – cheddar, edam, mozarella, parmesan, spreadable soft cheeses and meltable cheese for pizza. Some are soya based and some nut based.
Lots of dark chocolate is already vegan but there is also a wide range of vegan chocolate, with milk chocolate, white chocolate and every other variety under the sun.
There there are also vegan alternatives to dairy yoghurt, cream, ice cream, cakes, mayonnaise… anything you can think of really! What’s more, there are exciting new products all the time.
Feel free to Contact Veggies for any help or advice.