Vegetarianism & feminist food autonomy: Why I don’t care what you ate for dinner.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about food. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about my fairly recent decision to stop eating meat (I was pescetarian for about 2 years before also choosing not to eat seafood a couple of months ago). Because it’s recent change, a lot of people have asked me what motivated the decision. However, my answer always feels too complicated to adequately explain in casual conversation. Thankfully, that’s exactly when blogging comes so in handy! 

Firstly, here’s some reasons why being vegetarian works for me. I’m an animal person. I wholeheartedly believe that you can be an animal person and still eat meat but, lately, that just hasn’t worked for me. Not eating meat made sense for me philosophically and it didn’t disrupt my relationship to food or eating negatively so I thought, “why the hell not?” 

Secondly, in North America where so much meat is produced by factory farming, vegetarian diets* can be a way to build a more sustainable relationship with food and the environmentHowever, this is not to say that there aren’t plenty of ways to eat meat in a sustainable way and it’s important to consider that non-meat diets contain products which are the result of environmentally (and socially) harmful practice. (My decision to be vegetarian is similar to my decision to compost or take shorter showers. It’s just something I decided to incorporate in to my life as a way of reducing my negative impact on the planet.)

Being a vegetarian has also improved my relationship with food in general. Food shame is something we’re often taught to do to others and it’s definitely something women especially are taught to do to ourselves. Being a vegetarian hasn’t stopped me from food-shaming myself entirely (that kind of complicated unpacking of patriarchy is the sort of thing that requires a lifetime of work) but it has helped me to deflect some of my negative thinking. Instead of being concerned about calorie content, I can research what leafy greens have the most protein. Instead of searching a menu for the meal with the least amount of fat, I can ponder the many ways to replace meat with mushrooms. It’s not a perfect system. But, for the moment, it’s working and I’m having a lot more fun with food than I have in the past. 

Despite all of this, the most important pillar of my philosophy around vegetarianism is that I couldn’t care less whether or not you are.

This often confuses people and I can understand why because the vegetarians we’re used to seeing in the media are the kind of militant PETA-style anti-meat campaigners who tend to see discussions of diet through black and white lenses. Trust me, people who “diet preach” make me just as uncomfortable as the rest of you and most of the vegetarians I know are respectful folks who’ve just chosen to eat a certain way. Here’s three of the most significant reasons why my decision to eat or not eat meat has nothing to do with you and why your decision to eat or not eat meat is the least of my concerns.

1. Choosing a vegetarian or vegan diet is a privileged choice to make. Having the financial means to cut meat from a diet while still eating in a way that’s nutritious is challenging because fresh fruits and vegetables are often inaccessible and non-meat sources of protein like tofu and nuts are expensive. In 2012, Stats Canada determined that 13% of Canadian households are food insecure. On a collective level, ensuring people have enough to eat seems a hell of a lot more important than arguing about what we “should” or “shouldn’t” be eating. 

2. Food and eating are cultural phenomenon and, for a lot of people, meat is an important piece of cultural expression. Colonization, environmental degradation, and unsustainable practices of resource extraction have disrupted traditional ways of eating across the planet. In opposition to this, emphasizing culturally significant relationships to food can be essential components of decolonization. My friend Laura phrased this so well in her very poignant Facebook rant:

animal liberation activists screaming ‘it’s not food, it’s violence’ in front of my work on july first – a day which should be reserved for protests against the ongoing violent colonization of those indigenous to this land we call canada, who have sustained themselves by eating meat since time immemorial, who are only harmed by western animal rights movements, whose diets have been colonized and continue to be colonized, as with every aspect of their life and culture since contact. partake in vegetarianism/veganism if you want, stand up against animal abuse, fight against capitalist/corporate greed, eat ethical meat if you can afford it, do NOT lose sight of the privilege inherent in making any of those choices, and do not push your settler-colonial diet activism bullshit onto those whose land you stole.”

3. The way people (and especially women) are taught to relate to food is, to put it simply, fucked up and we really need to stop shaming each other about it. Food is a feminist issue. It’s a feminist issue in the ways that it intersects with class, culture, and colonization. But it’s also a feminist issue because judging you for eating meat is just as harmful as you judging me for eating dessert. From the very foundations of our relationships to food, eating, and each other, we need to see food-shame as any act that creates a hierarchy of diets. For many, feeling good about eating is hard enough – we don’t need to shame each other about what we’re eating too. 

To make a long story short, being a vegetarian makes me happy. However, what makes me even happier is emphasizing respect, compassion, and kindness when it comes to food and eating in general. So go ahead and order the ribs. I won’t judge you for eating them but I might make fun of the barbecue sauce on your nose… sorry.

*I use the word “diet” several times throughout this blog. To clarify, I’m using the word to just mean “the kind of food that someone eats” as opposed to it’s more colloquial reference to the restriction of food.

Image credits: (1) durangofoodnotbombs.wordpress.com; (2) spookyfemme.tumblr.com; (3) 4.bp.blogspot.com; (4) thickthreads.blogspot.ca

38 Comments on “Vegetarianism & feminist food autonomy: Why I don’t care what you ate for dinner.”

  • I have drafted a response on my own blog, because I had too much to say on this subject. I appreciate all your work and activism for feminist issues, but I believe there is more to this story. http://growing-as-a-family.blogspot.com/2014/08/veganism-non-human-animal-autonomy-why.html

  • Keira

    1. Choosing to eat meat is a privileged choice. You are a human in a human-dominated world. If you choose to eat meat, you choose to participate in the suffering of animals, who don’t have any choice in the matter whether they live or die. Also, in poorer countries meat is a luxury, and plant based foods are what most people can afford. Contrary to popular believe, you can also be vegan on a budget and get enough protein (canned beans are a big source).

    2. Being vegan is more sustainable than eating meat because less water and less crops are used to feed the animals. I thought you knew that since you said you went vegetarian for the environment. “Cultural expression” is not a good enough reason to continue supporting the slaughter of animals. Yes, some people have more privilege than others. But It’s a stereotype that only whites in rich society can be vegan. Every culture has dishes they can turn vegan.

    3. I’m all for not body shaming and food shaming in general. And yes, we do need to be more positive and loving with each other. But the reason people get food shamed for eating meat is because it indirectly affects the well being and life of that animal. It’s different than calling someone a fatty because they ate a piece of cake. They have a valid reason to be upset.

    I understand your point if being a tactful person is your goal. But the whole argument that we shouldn’t shame people for choosing to eat meat is based in privilege above animals.

    Complaining about angry ethical vegetarians as if they were wrong for pointing out others injustices is like pointing at every angry feminist and calling them a femi-natzi.
    You’re standing up for different groups of humans, but totally ignoring the animals who are suffering for you.

  • Lyssa

    I’ve really got to disagree with this- I understand your point about not screaming in people’s faces, but to say that it’s a purely personal choice is naive. The food that people eat has a massive impact on the environment and global food and water security, and vegetarianism is an extremely important method of reducing that impact. You throw around the colonial argument when 1) the diets of Indigenous Peoples the world over were colonized by meat-eating Europeans long before veg*ns came into the picture and 2) the traditional lifestyles (not just diets) of Indigenous Peoples are in a hell of a lot more danger from climate change, water shortages, deforestation, etc., all of which animal agriculture is a driving force. Further, about the cost: if the meat you’re buying is less expensive than non-organic seasonal vegetables, you’re probably better off cutting it out anyway. Further, you don’t have to buy “expensive” tofu and nuts- you can buy extremely inexpensive beans and lentils. Your point about not shaming people for what they eat doesn’t work either- there’s a big difference between pointing out that someone’s dinner was a result of immense cruelty and environmental degradation and telling someone that they don’t deserve the calories they’re consuming.

    And if you’re an animal person who eats meat, you’re doing it wrong. That would make you a selective animal person, or an animal person in the same sense that someone is an LGBTQ ally but continues to use offensive language because changing that would require effort.

  • furthermore, off Lyssa’s point: saying that bc it’s a cultural practice eating meat is okay is like saying cultures that stone women, pay them less, objectify them, etc, should not be judged. same “logic”.

  • Pragya

    Hey, all! Thanks for your comments! I’m not Caity, but I am a member of the F Word and would just like to put in my two cents.

    I started writing a fair bit, but then deleted… For now, I’d just like to direct folks to this post by chef Berlin Reed: http://ethicalbutcher.blogspot.ca/2012/02/where-mr-james-mcwilliams-got-it-wrong.html. I’m about to head out now, but I’d really like to write more soon and will.

    • Rachel Forbes

      This article does not actually answer any of the questions put forth above. The article is in itself still speciesist, and only succeeds in pointing out that much food (Monsanto, some human labor, etc) is unethical.i believe we can all agree with that. However, that is not the entire point.

    • Lyssa

      That article was painful to read. Throughout it, animals were blatantly objectified, designated as mere vessels for human consumption. His point that he can “count the number of animals he’s served” is totally irrelevant. The point is that he sees these sentient creatures as objects to be butchered and consumed. The fact that these animals are capable of experiencing pain and pleasure and didn’t consent to be a meal for humans does not matter to him. The problems with that mentality are self-evident.

      He has a point that there are problems with the food system in general, but just because veganism itself doesn’t fix every aspect of the food system doesn’t de-legitimize it. The point about the exploitation of workers on fruit and vegetable farms is fair, but he completely ignores the immense exploitation of slaughterhouse workers. Not to mention that in his points about Monsanto, he fails to mention that the demand for cereals, especially genetically-modified soy, would be much less without animal agriculture.

      • Pragya

        Actually, he does address all those points in his book, the Ethical Butcher. One of his arguments is that the entire food industry – INCLUDING vegan foods – objectifies the land and the animals that interact with it. He writes about how building relationships with local farmers is essential in de-centralizing the food industry and building relationships to food (and I mean small farmers that you can actually meet and whose land you can visit, not some factory that just gets to stamp “free range” on an egg because a chicken had a 4′ x 4′ space to roam around in). It’s essential to remember that mass food production is in and of itself a huge problem – vegetarian or not. It is not more sustainable or ethical to each a bunch of tofu, corn, lentils and beans — most of which are produced and then distributed in ways that completely disrupt our eco system. Different places in the world have different capacity for growing food. In some places, a sustainable diet does mean mostly vegetables. In others, it doesn’t.

  • Caity Goerke

    I just want to thank everyone for taking the time to read and respond to my post! I think it is okay, as feminists and activists, that we disagree with each other as long as we are respectful in the process.

    And thanks to Pragya for weighing in! The Berlin Reed post is an intelligently and thoughtfully written piece and I appreciated you sharing it :).

    I think what Reed has to say covers a lot of what I would say in response to some of your comments and, most importantly, I think his point that our WHOLE food system is built on exploitation of both animals AND humans is crucial. No truly accessible diet comes without a multitude of ethical issues imbedded in it that are important to consider. And, to reiterate, we must also remember that we are not all able to make the same choices when it comes to the food we eat.

    What I really did want to respond to was the feeling in a couple of posts that my words were shaming of animal-rights activists. Keira, I was particularly struck by your comment that my critique was parallel to the phrase “femi-nazi”. I want to clarify that when I used the phrase “militant PETA-style anti-meat campaigners” I am using this to describe the vegetarians we see in mainstream media. Mainstream media tends to portray many kinds of activists in this extreme way and I agree that there is a similarity between this and the portrayal of “femi-nazis.” However, this is not my own opinion of animal-rights activists or vegetarians. I have enormous respect for people who thoughtfully and respectfully advocate for a world that is supportive of all living things within it. I apologize if that was ever unclear.

    • Caity Goerke, despite your sentiment “I have enormous respect for people who thoughtfully and respectfully advocate for a world that is supportive of all living things within it. I apologize if that was ever unclear.” this was actually not the case in your blog. You made it very clear how you feel about activists/advocates that do not compromise their beliefs in order to attain greater social justice for all animals, humans included. Your piece was very divisive and abusive. It is unfortunate that you fail to see this. May I recommend the works of Carol J Adams that covers the intersectionality of oppressions. By your confession of being a vegetarian,one whom consumes dairy, is a being an accomplice in the misogynistic practice towards females, in this case, female cows whom are raped, abused, and have their children taken from them. Please extend your understanding of the subject before engaging in damaging critiques.

      • Pragya

        Personally, I didn’t see Caity’s comment so much a critique about people who don’t compromise their beliefs, as much as a critique of people who are judgemental asshats. *shrug*

        PS. I ate bacon today and lovvvved it.

        • Rocky

          Pragya, as I read through the comments thread, I generally appreciated what you had to say, despite disagreeing. That is why I was saddened to then reach this comment’s “PS.” What was the point in your writing this? You are responding to people who are politely engaging in a discussion (unlike many who respond to ethically and emotionally loaded articles) and you decided to chime in with something that did not add to the discussion at hand and that you had to know would simply upset the people you are engaging with. Lately, it seems that nearly all discussion of the ethics and implications of eating animals and their secretions returns to the tastiness of pig flesh. This is a way people who eat animals derail from the actual subject matter. I am disappointed you chose to go there.

          • Pragya

            That’s a fair point, Rocky. I didn’t think the comment that I replied to was a respectful one, which is why I went there. At the same time, I know you’re right – thanks for the call out.

    • Rachel Forbes

      If you care for an honest read on so called ethical animal farming please read this link: http://freefromharm.org/animal-products-and-ethics/a-comprehensive-analysis-of-the-humane-farming-myth/

      • Pragya

        Thanks for the link to the article, Rachel. I did read it and it’s actually really similar to a lot of what Berlin Reed has written about. The article I linked to earlier wasn’t referring to ethical farming in terms of a place just being free range – it’s about local, sustainable food practices, building relationships with our food and our land, including farmers.

        • Rachel Forbes

          Again, we all agree about the sustainable *food*practices being important. I am trying to point out that any animal consumption or enslavement is unethical. Though reed makes many important points about other food practices he fails to see that animals deserve their lives and liberties. The article keeps calling them food. How can one say everyone deserves full liberties. .. unless she is a woman? How can one say everyone deserves full liberties. .. unless she/he is an animal? As soon as you add the ‘unless’ you lose me with your way of thinking. That seems to be the key to this thread and the main problem with Reed’s work and Goerke’s post.

  • Pragya

    I agree with Caity when she writes about how eating practices are cultural. They absolutely are. It’s completely ridiculous to compare that argument with the argument that we shouldn’t care about stoning women because it’s a cultural practice. Stoning women is NOT an inherent part of any culture and only white supremacy will tell us otherwise. When it comes to men’s violence against women in “other countries,” the reason that the mainstream discourse around that is so problematic is because it places the blame on “other” cultures while ignoring the rampant violence against women in our own. We don’t “see” our daily behaviours as misogynist, and therefore look to the misogyny in “other” cultures instead. In a similar way, we may not “see” vegan practices as hurting animals, even though the amount of water it takes to grow soy and the fuel it takes to ship it absolutely does, as does canning beans and shipping lentils. Perhaps more importantly, food sovereignty is a really important issue here on Turtle Island, especially in what’s now called Canada – a huge part of colonization included (and continues to include) restricting what Indigenous peoples can eat and what food they can access. There’s a reason so many Indigenous folks, including Indigenous feminists, started the whole sealfie trend.

    Also, let’s not forget how many of our fruits and vegetables are picked by migrant workers, many of whom do not have status. They are exploited, just as the land is to grow mounds and mounds of fruit and veg. The whole system is the problem – not just meat.

    Thank you, Caity, for writing this post. I know it’s upset at least a few people, but I know that I, as a fat, brown woman whose food choices are constantly judged by folks riding high on their supposed morals, really appreciate it.

    • Pragya, your comment is flawed on various fronts which I’ll address here. As you dismiss the comparative argument for cultural practice including the stoning of women as not an inherent aspect of a culture, the consumption of animals is NOT an inherent part of any culture.The meat industry is a male based mysogynistic propaganda machine. To defend your attack on vegans, you raise two issues: the amount of water used to raise soy/grainand, migrant labour. Firstly, the majority of the worlds’ soy and grains are fed to livestock. The meat industry is THE most polluting industry and wastes the most water of any industry. Migrant labour has a large visible presence in the slaughterhouses. If you read the work of Carol J Adams, this will make it clear. Meat is the problem. It represents male, misogynistic views.

  • Kate M

    Loved your article, Caity. As a vegan I share your views and appreciate how you aim to educate others about the benefits of vegetarianism and plant based diets while being careful not to engage in sexist pactices of body or diet shaming. Keep up the great work! :)

    • Kate M, are you aware of the difference between vegan and vegetarian ? By your comment “educate others about the benefits of vegetarianism”, I assume you don’t.Vegan is a ethical, morally, and philosophical stance rejecting the exploitation of animals. This includes being against the use of leather, animal testing, animal ‘entertainment’ such as circuses, rodeos, zoos etc. Vegetarians only exclude the consumption of selected animal flesh. While vegetarians still consume dairy and wear leather etc, they are supporting and promoting the exploitation of animals and in the case of dairy, the systematic rape of cows.

      • Rachel Forbes

        the impression I get from this comment made by Kate is that perhaps she’s just talking about the health benefits of a vegan diet, and not about true veganism.

        • Quite possibly Rachel Forbes however, there is no such thing as a vegan diet. There is a plant based diet that people adopt while they may still wear leather etc. Vegan is more than diet, it is an ethical stance. Those unaware of the moral baseline of vegan make the mistake of confusing a plant based diet with a so called ‘vegan diet’.

          • Rachel Forbes

            I totally agree with you Sia.

    • Caity Goerke

      Rock on!! Thanks for the support Kate!! I appreciate it endlessly!

      • Caity Goerke, are you only responding to the supporters and not to the critics?

        • Caity Goerke

          Hi Sia. When I checked the comments thread last night I felt that what I had said in the post itself and what I had said in my earlier comment had covered everything I wanted to say. Additionally, both Laura and Pragya have brought up additional points and I didn’t think I needed to repeat anything they had said as they both expressed themselves so thoughtfully. At a certain point, it is clear that many of us disagree fundamentally about this topic and I don’t know if I see anything productive about repeating the same arguments over and over.

          I chose to respond to Kate and Adrienne because I didn’t want them to think their comments went unnoticed. I know Laura and Pragya both personally and so we have already expressed solidarity with each other. However, I felt that it was important to extend similar solidarity with Kate and Adrienne. Body and food shame can make us internalize so much guilt and negativity and I don’t want anyone who comments on this thread to come away carrying that with them. I extended my thanks to Kate and Adrienne as a way of counteracting that.

          I hope this makes sense to you!!

  • Adrienne

    Loved this piece Caity. I was vegetarian for three years and then continued to go red meat free and pro-sustainable & happy meat for what has been almost 4 years now (a diet that works best for me) and I have had my food choices questioned by everyone from family members to complete strangers! The subject is almost always approached by others as a challenge, as if by developing an ethics around my diet I am automatically made responsible for changing other people’s minds about their diet choices. I shouldn’t have to defend the choices I make around food, just as I shouldn’t have to defend any other choice I make that relates to my body and physical, mental, and cultural wellbeing.

    I strongly agree with you that food shaming needs to be brought back down to “my body my choice”.

    • Rocky

      There needs to be a clear distinction made between individual choices that affect solely oneself and choices that affect others. The former I have no right to know about or to comment on. The latter is a very different story: When your choices, dietary or otherwise, affect other individuals—as the choice to eat the bodies or secretions of other individuals certainly does—other people have the right to question those choices. The key word here is “choice,” which is entirely separate from decisions made out of necessity.

      I also want to make it perfectly clear to those reading this comment—in light of the reference to “happy meat” above and the spread of the “humane myth”—that unless you are eating an animal you stumbled upon who was already dead (e.g. “roadkill), you are eating the body of someone who had a drive to live. My feminism is deeply embedded in my veganism because I believe in bodily autonomy and that the right to it should extend beyond species lines. Killing another for your food is a clear violation of the right of others to their own bodies and their own lives. Again, I do not judge those who have no other choice but to harm others to survive. I recognize fully that my own existence within my society makes me complicit in countless harms I am unable to do much about. But when it is within our power to cause less harm and to “live and let live,” it is wrong not to.

    • Caity Goerke

      I’m so glad my post resonated with you Adrienne!! Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and words of support =)

  • Laura

    Thanks for your awesome comment, Pragya. I think you basically summed up everything I wanted to say in response to the comments on this post.

    I would like to add my own perspective, as an immigrant/settler to these lands (Musqueam, in Coast Salish Territories), and as a person who has struggled with finding a diet that gives me enough energy and is nourishing enough to maintain a healthy weight as I have an incredibly fast metabolism and often don’t process nutrients well enough. I have tried veganism, vegetarianism, pescetarianism – and now I mostly eat simple, non-processed foods (lots of meat, fish, and vegetables) because the other ways of eating were restricting me from feeling/being physically strong. I consulted naturopaths, nutritionists, doctors – it all came down to the fact that my body was asking me to eat more carefully, and to eat meat.

    I feel very conflicted about being a meat-eater, but I also know that my current eating habits have rendered me the healthiest that I have been, physically and mentally, in my entire life. I wish that there was a way for me to live, as people Indigenous to this land lived pre-Contact (and still do in the few places where settler-colonialism hasn’t completely erased traditional practices of hunting). Eating in this way would appropriately mourn and honour the animals that I would eat, animals that wouldn’t be mistreated, whose bodies would not be wasted. It is a dream of mine to live that way, similarly to how it is a dream of mine that colonized peoples can return to their normal, traditional ways and not be affected by the violent colonization of their lands and themselves anymore. I also dream of a world where women, where all people, are not violated, where they are not abused.

    I am conflicted about the fact that I eat meat because I know how far away from this method of living we are in our society – and it is something that I would love to change in my life, if I ever lived outside of cities I would seek out ways to be taught to honour animals better and learn how to hunt them. But to be honest, the way that we eat in the Western world is fucked up and unnatural, and (as Pragya says in her comment) it is not simply the meat/dairy industry that is this way – our fruits and vegetables are picked by migrant workers who are not granted status and are exploited.

    I have to say that I value the life of human beings, my own species, in a different way than I value the lives of animals. This has been called ‘speciesism,’ but I really disagree with that. There is something inherent and natural in feeling more emotionally tied to your own species, to the struggles of human beings. For me this has always been about women, who faced disproportionate amounts of violence in our capitalist, heteropatriarchal society. It is also about recognizing intersections of oppression, such as race, class, Indigeneity, able-bodiedness, sexuality, and gender identity.

    The state of the capitalist food industry is undeniably a disaster. Capitalism itself is undeniably a disaster. It functions off of the oppression of human bodies and animal bodies – these are facts. I really just cannot equate the sexual violence experienced by (predominantly) women in our society with the horrors of the meat industry. Both are horrors – this is a fact. But they are really not the same experience, just as every woman’s experience of sexual assault is entirely subjective, entirely her own. The systemic problem is the devaluation of women’s bodies, and the crime of sexual violence and rape is ultimately about maintaining power under a patriarchal, capitalist society. I think that the ways in which we exploit animals is a systemic problem of capitalist society as well – but it is not the same problem.

    Finally, I have to address something – the rant that Caity quoted in this blog post was written by me, and I stand by it. Many of the ways in which mainstream animal rights organizations organize is totally ineffective, perpetuates violence, and is downright awful. Many of the campaigns I see are triggering – for example, I witnessed a group of activists protesting a restaurant with a woman lying down on the ground, covered in blood. This is offensive, triggering for survivors, and completely inexcusable. Additionally, something I know from MANY of my friends who have been involved in animal rights all over Turtle Island, this is a community that is absolutely full of internal violence issues – from sexual violence to physical abuse – generally because it is a community full of cis/straight/white men – men who perpetuate traditional heteropatriarchal masculinity but claim a kind of ‘allyship’ because they care about animal ethics. This is probably because of PETA and the mainstream animal rights organizations who use women’s bodies in advertisements to recruit these kinds of men ‘for the cause.’ It is a huge issue, and it’s incredibly problematic, obviously. One of the men shouting “IT’S NOT FOOD, IT’S VIOLENCE’ on July 1st had recently raped a friend of mine within the feminist activist community. This kind of thing is always happening.

    I hope that this post made sense, and was clear. Also to be clear: I do not believe that all animal rights activists are awful people – in fact, a lot of our political views align, and I am not quick to assign ‘horrible’ to folks who are not perpetuating oppression/abuse. As long as the kind of organizing that they do is respectful and doesn’t perpetuate violence/violent communication/triggering images, and works VERY hard to DECOLONIZE its politics, I am very respectful of the folks who do this work. We have some differing perspectives, but I think a lot can be accomplished if healthy communication is had between our movements.

    • Pragya

      Thanks so much for the comments & the explanation of the hypocrisy, Laura!

  • Mike Temorcioglu

    Really great article Caity. I agree fully that what you want to involve in your diet needs to be your choice. I’ve eaten vegetarian, and vegan for short amounts of time. It wasn’t for me. Most of the responses are bringing up valid points, however for the more extreme points of view, maybe it’s a more constructive idea to have your own blog where you can post your ideas in a positive light, instead of ripping into another persons’ ideas. Apply the whole Pro-Peace > Anti-War theory here and take your ideas and do something positive with them instead of trying to tear down another person’s idea, with a different philosophy.

    I hope the article sparked good debates for you. In the end, I full on agree with “Despite all of this, the most important pillar of my philosophy around vegetarianism is that I couldn’t care less whether or not you are.” It’s a shame more people don’t feel the same way. I agree that the way some animals are treated in the production of food is wrong. I don’t agree that this is such a big issue compared to a lot of the other effed up things that happen, namely to humans, in the world.

    Overall, Caity, thank you for a good early morning read.

    (PS – Everyone, feel free to respond, quote things I’ve said, tell me that I’m horrible for eating meat, or my points are invalid… but I will probably never revisit to see what you have to say. Hopefully instead I’ll come across a blog of your own where you can convey your ideas in a constructive light!)

  • jo

    Lost a ton of respect for this blog…
    Veganism isn’t about diet it’s about liberation and compassion.

    Ps. There is no such thing as an ethical butcher.

  • anna

    I am Metis of the Cree, Ojibwe and Lakota First Nations, and French, Celtic and Dutch. Someone in this long thread of responses said that eating meat is not inherently a part of anyone’s culture. Well, that is simply incorrect, it is most undeniably a part of mine, and it is a huge part of my personal decolonization and reclaiming of my cultural heritage, which has been stolen from me by settler colonialism and genocide, which at least most, if not all, of the people in the above thread benefit from. I am animal, and I eat other animals, just like many, many animals in nature do. In my traditional teachings, that is a natural, and logical, cycle. I would prefer to only eat meat that is traditionally hunted, and where the entire body is used and honoured, and whenever that is possible, I do. Unfortunately, because of said settler colonialism, that is not regularly possible for me. Nature consumes itself. The meat/food industrial complex is f***ed up and so everything we eat is destructive and oppressive in some way, even if it’s grown in “our very own” (occupied/colonial) garden, unless we are Indigenous to the land we are occupying, and we are eating in a purely traditional way. I interpret what those of you who are settlers are saying from an Indigenous perspective, and when you try to tell me that my way is violent, I feel sorry for you.

  • Diana

    While others are oppressed, none are truly free.

  • The Laurax

    The problem with this, though, is that you are entirely seeing animals as “food”, rather than seeing them as being individuals with their own identities, their own goals and objectives, and their own rights.

    You seem to be concerned with everybody’s rights but theirs.

  • Melody

    This is just activist shaming.

    Why so militant? Why so angry? Be a good vegan and shut up. Check your ethics at the door because they threaten my meat privilege (dairy is liquid meat) and make me uncomfortable, and my discomfort with your simple disagreement is more important than the profound bodily violation and discomfort visited on other thinking, sentient beings with the exact same desire to live me.

    Just because I, as a human, look different than other animals and have more capacity (therefore entitlement?) to harm.

    Does line of rhetoric seem familiar to you, perhaps because it is exactly how feminists are treated by the dominant culture? No thank you. Unfollowing.

  • Neal Bedwell

    As I read through this thread I felt more and more inclined to comment on how hypocritical it seemed to me to hear feminists, given all the ethical ideology of feminism as supporting the liberation of the oppressed and controlled from exploitation of the powerful and violent, to then themselves suddenly become the controlling, powerful and violent exploiting those weaker then when it comes to individuals of other species.

    Non humans are subject to the patriarchy as well. A feminism which opposes the patriarchy’s violence to women on the one hand, but then condones (even participates in) violence to other victims of the patriarchy at the same time can only be seen as hypocritical.

    Men are violent to women. That is wrong, but women (and men) are violent to other members of the patriarchy (they kill and eat them in cases where they don’t need to for survival) and suddenly this is OK?
    I don’t see how feminism can justify such a contradiction.

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