Feminist? Consider Veganism

For the sake of the length of this article, I will be doing a ‘series’ of why veganism helps support feminism hand in hand. This first article will be pertaining to the dairy industry and rape culture.

By definition, feminism is described as:

Arguably, to many people within the movement, Feminism is the ongoing fight to end injustice against people of minority groups on the main baises of intersectionality; sex, gender, sexuality, and, rightfully so, the oppression, discrimination, and marginalization of minority groups such as ethnic minorities, religious minorities, people with disabilities, etc. Many of the Feminists in the UWindsor community preach not only about equality, but about equity for all.

If this is the case, here is a question I ask: Why can this not apply to animals?

The Theory of Evolution has now exceeded popularity over Creationist Theory, meaning that many people believe that humans derived from animals at some point.  Science backs this up in many ways.

If this is a belief of someone, then it is safe to assume that humans qualify as ‘animals’, and anything which is not human is a ‘non-human animal’. It is evident to see animals that would qualify under the human label of LGBTQ+. For example, apple snails are hermaphrodites, giraffes engage in gay sex more often than ‘straight sex’, and Parrotfish are intersex. This would then be proof that being apart of the LGBTQ+ community is totally okay and natural, since humans are animals and non-human animals engage in this without issues.

Beyond this, feminists encourage the right of autonomy for issues such as abortion, sexual experiences, and the way one dresses their body. Exploitation of women in the media is prominent, and discouraged by feminists because it is objectifying. The policing of women’s bodies tells people how to be, and what is deemed “correct” in society. The same goes for what a person ‘should be like’, which would exclude and oppress marginalized groups including racial minorities, people of disabilities, etc.

What you may not know, is that for many female animals, they are treated horribly as well and oppressed in many ways BY humans, but have no voice to speak up for themselves.

For example, the dairy industry promotes rape culture. How?

As many people are unaware of, cows are only capable of producing milk when they are pregnant or nursing, just like humans. The milk is intended for their calves to nurse off of and gain strength, develop properly and healthily. Many people assume that humans just take some of the milk from these cows. Some people assume that cows breed so much, humans ‘must’ take some milk away to deter them from raising their calves. This isn’t true, cows only breed 2-4 times per lifetime, which is less than many humans do. Within the dairy industry, humans legitimately ‘jerk off’ bulls (male cows) and collect their semen in a big “turkey baster” type of machine. Later, they shove this very large machine into a female cow, who is closed into tight quarters. These cows often times have been branded if they act out. To “help feel” where the baster of semen is within the cow’s vagina, the people doing this will shove a gloved hand entirely into the anus of the cow, which is very painful for them and often times causes distress, the tearing of skin, and bleeding.  

Once the cow gives birth, her babies are immediately taken away. Often times, a cow will spend less than a week with her baby. This is distressing to the mother and the babies. The male babies are often sent to veal factories or leather markets, and the females are often sent to leather markets, kept within the dairy industry, or killed due to overpopulation.

After 3-5 years of enduring constantly forced pregnancies, living in disgusting quarters, and, in many cases, being beaten, the cow is then shipped away to be slaughtered.

With all of this mind, it is evident that these beautiful animals are stripped of their natural rights and freedoms concerning their bodies. They suffer in silence and are forced against their will to participate in acts which compromise their bodies, mental health, and life. Feminism is about advocating for all of those oppressed by intersectionalities; this should include animals, as they are oppressed every day.

I hope this article was somewhat informative. What you can do to end this oppression is to consider dairy free alternatives. For any questions or concerns, contact Windsor Animal Allies on Facebook and we will be more than happy to find you some alternatives.