This shit white vegans call “speciesism,” where human beings are supposedly “privileged” as a species over animals, doesn’t exist and here’s a reason why: there are nearly three times as many animal shelters in the US as there are shelters for battered women and their children. And this isn’t a new phenomenon. It is far less political, controversial, and socially inflammatory to house animals than it is to house abused women, which should immediately demonstrate structural priorities and “privileges” when it comes to these two “species.”
When white vegans compare the consumption of certain animals to racism, they are drawing a figurative comparison between human beings (who “oppress” animals) and white people (who oppress POC). By that white logic, they are also drawing a figurative comparison between animals (“oppressed” by human beings) and POC (oppressed by white people). This means they are reproducing the same kind of racist arguments that equate white folks with human beings and POC with animals. Sitting on my privileged white ass eating a hamburger is not now and will never be the same as racism.
The cruelty, brutality, and abuse of factory farming is reprehensible. No one is denying that. But when white vegans compare eating meat to genocide, they ignore that this small privileged demographic (in comparison to the global population) is consuming excessive amounts of meat, which doesn’t even nearly constitute the same worldwide oppression and genocide POC experience. Claiming animals deserve the same civil/human rights as POC suggests that their experiences are identical, and once again equates people of color with animals.
Consider the racial and class privilege white vegans have when making these dietary decisions in the midst of numerous farmer’s markets, health food stores, or accessible concentrations of grocery stores period. Whether it’s the ability to afford organic produce or the individual free time to prepare vegan meals, privileged personal consumer choices are not a solution to the abuse of factory farming or the social inequalities of racial oppression. Vegans with white skin maintain considerable white privilege over human beings of color who contend with the institutional and environmental racism of being segregated into neighborhoods without grocery stores, farmer’s markets, or spare land for home vegetable gardens.
As a side note: refusal to wear animal products like skins, furs, and/or leather does not morally free white vegans from wearing clothing made by oppressed people of color in sweat shops—even if that clothing comes from a thrift store.
Vegans, and white folks in general, are not qualified to compare or equate racial oppression with other forms of oppression (real or invented), because we do not know what racial oppression is like from our own experience. When millions of domesticated animals eat better than millions of POC living in poverty, a white justice crusade of personal food politics on the behalves of “oppressed” animals becomes its own punchline. What’s next? Extraterrestrialism? Where aliens oppress human beings with the use of anal probes? Wow, wait a second… isn’t it mostly white rednecks who get anally probed? Did I just discover reverse racism in extraterrestrials? Alert the white liberal media, yall.
Right around the time I was sobbing because we were eating chicken for the 8th fucking night in a row, my mother was drinking hot tea and beer for dinner so her children could have most of the food
You want to fucking talk hunger? We can fucking talk hunger.
We can talk about the one time Mom gave me benadryl as soon as I got off the bus. I wasn’t sick, but there was no food in the house, so she just wanted me to sleep until I could get back to school and eat breakfast and lunch there.
Once when my brother was a baby, she gave him baby aspirin to buy her some time until she could buy more formula.
You ask her about any of these things she starts to fucking cry.
Eat lentils, eat McDonald’s, eat beef from a cow you slaughtered with your bare hands. I don’t give a fuck. But be grateful for every bite of food that passes your lips because there are millions who go hungry.
The more I think about the reasons people have for not being vegan, the more upset I get. I understand that some people cannot be vegan (though it isn’t even close to the numbers that defensive omnivores would have you believe) and I’ve gotten so tired of this discussion that the second anyone cries privilege, I just give them the benefit of the doubt. What really annoys me these days is that even if these people are actually incapable of being vegan, no one seems to want to discuss why, of all the minorities (and I use that term only in terms of representation) on which the burden could be placed, non-human animals are the ones who take the slack. What you’re saying is that some privilege is acceptable and some (particularly those that directly affect you) are not. It’s like, “Sorry, cow. Everyone’s got problems. I need to eat you and your family because that’s the way it is.” Human privilege is, in some ways, worse than any other kind of privilege. Mainly because humans seem to be the only ones who understand privilege and that in itself leads to the idea that we alone deserve ethical consideration. (So check your privilege before you assume I’m not checking mine.)
While that might make sense to some people, what I don’t understand is even if that is “the way it is”, why the fuck isn’t anyone doing anything about it? I see a lot of people concerned with privilege, hacking away at branches but never bothering to find the roots and it exposes them as frauds. Okay, you can’t be vegan because you’re below the poverty line and all you can afford is federally subsidized meat from fast food chains. Given the countless studies about health issues of non-vegan diets and given the fact that you “would totally go vegan if you could because [you] love the animals”, why the FUCK aren’t you doing anything about it? How many letters have you written to your representative? How many times have you actively participated in demonstrations against animal suffering? Why is it that despite being so concerned, just simply unable to help, most people lamenting about their inability to make the choice to go vegan haven’t done a single thing to make it better?
What people don’t seem to understand is that not supporting veganism where you can (through public voice and those times where you CAN make vegan choices) is ensuring that nothing changes. Logically, raising food to feed to food makes no sense and is a massive waste of resources and it should be no surprise that if federal subsidies were going to raising crops to eat instead of raising crops to feed to animals to eat, food would be a fraction of what it costs now. How about 5 cent veggie burgers? Wouldn’t that be a fuck ton better for the single mothers of three struggling to keep their families fed that everyone is so intent on fighting for? If you gave a fuck about anyone who can’t afford to feed their families, you should be advocating veganism at the top of your fucking lungs, not complaining that people are advocating veganism because of some idiotic notion that they don’t understand the concept of privilege.
As far as inability to go vegan because of health reasons, I am still unconvinced. Show me one (just one) case where a patient absolutely needed something only found in animals or they wouldn’t be able to function. Show me one. For those saying, “Yeah, I’d go vegan except I need so much more X to get as much Y as I get from Z”, see the previous paragraph. When the subsidies go to growing crops instead of wasting billions for hamburgers, you’ll get much more iron for much less money from dark, leafy greens and supplements than you’ll ever get from meat. Are you in a food desert? Grow your own food if you can. Don’t want to go to the grocery store twice a week? Go once a week and buy twice as much. Too expensive? START ADVOCATING VEGANISM, DUMB SHIT. Tell your government that you’re educated and you know what’s up and demand that they start selling you food that’s better for you and stop keeping people hungry with asinine systems of waste.
Yeah, there are a lot of legitimate problems that prevent some people from going vegan and they aren’t going to be solved until people stop making excuses and start putting some effort into making changes. Go vegan. If you can’t, start yelling and don’t stop until you can.
I hate capitalistic solutions to capitalistic problems. “YOU POOR PEOPLE AREN’T MAKING THE RIGHT CONSUMERIST CHOICES. IF YOU JUST VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLAR EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE”. Vomit.
tommyxvx: Have you ever been poor? Have you ever had to work multiple jobs to try to feed your family? Have you ever lived in a food desert? How much time did you have left over to go to demonstrations and write letters to your representatives? (Also seriously your tactics suck, if that’s what you’re doing to end animal suffering you’re not making any more of a difference than people doing nothing and you might as well save your energy.)
What people don’t seem to understand is that consumer choices won’t smash capitalism, and capitalism is at the root of why a lot of folks can’t afford a vegan diet, and why most animal suffering happens in the first place. What people don’t seem to understand that animal suffering is a necessary by-product of capitalism, and advocating for reformist animal welfare measures instead of attacking the root and bringing down the whole fucking system is ensuring that nothing changes.
How about community food sovereignty and no more class society? Wouldn’t that be a fuck ton better for the single mothers of three struggling to keep their families fed that everyone is so intent on fighting for? If you gave a fuck about anyone who can’t afford to feed their families, you should be smashing the shit out of capitalism, not playing oppression olympics and pretending that having human privilege somehow means you automatically also have the class privilege to have access to a vegan diet. Capitalism fucks over non-human animals and most humans, imagine that! Capitalism by nature puts people in positions where they have to fuck over other living beings to survive.
Are you in a food desert? Then I can almost guarantee you don’t have access to land that’s anywhere near safe enough to grow food on, and you probably don’t have the time or resources to grow a garden even if you have access to land that’s not completely contaminated with industrial pollutants. When the subsidies go to growing crops instead of wasting billions for hamburgers, capitalism will still exist and there will still be exploitation because there’s no such thing as exploitation-free capitalism, and yes that means animal and human exploitation - reconfiguring agriculture subsidies is a band-aid that doesn’t threaten capitalism. Too expensive? Make total destroy and don’t be an annoying elitist. The government isn’t “yours” and seriously you don’t have to have an “education” to recognize and resist exploitation.
Capitalist vegans / pro-state vegans annoy the shit out of me.
Commentary. I know I don’t have much of an excuse living in fucking Richmond, Virginia, but here’s this. For what it’s worth.
let me get a fuck yeah on that commentary.
I need preachy vegans to go sit down somewhere & stop pushing their food choices on others. No version of our food system is without oppression of animals. Or did you think all those migrant workers were getting health benefits, decent pay, & proper living conditions? Because they’re not. Eating ethically is great, but I’m not about to give up the food of my culture to please anyone else & I’m not going to pretend that eating animals is the worst thing we do as a society. I may be a cranky omnivore today.