A View from Utopia

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Please check out my new essay published on The Flaming Vegan website.

….I look back in time and see a world I seldom imagine. I was raised to believe in goodness and kindness but what my history teacher taught me really distraught me. I opened my electronic history book and contemplated how lucky I was to be born now and not a hundred years ago. I look at how the Earth is now thriving again with awe and love and try to remember that it wasn’t always so….

http://www.theflamingvegan.com/view-post/THE-VIEW-FROM-UTOPIA

Photo courtesy of http://www.Pixabay.com

© The Flaming Vegan and VeganEmpowerment.com – March 2014 – All Rights Reserved. Printing by permission only.

CONDITIONING, HISTORY & SCIENCE: Breaking Free to better Advocate for Non-Humans and Humans

March 2nd, 2014

The Animal Advocacy Museum presents a talk by Veronique N. Perrot, World Peace Diet Facilitator, Holistic Vegan Coach and Certified in Plant-Based Nutrition, on the power of our society to condition us and how we can break free and help others get free by recognizing the signs of our own conditioning.

Part 1 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij0IRH0molw

Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM7pB9M6980

Part 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgOGeyn-3bE

LINK BETWEEN VIOLENCE TO ANIMALS AND HUMANS: A Deeper Look

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« One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture an animal and get away with it. » Anthropologist Margaret Mead

One of the most often ignored links in our society is between the violence to animals and the violence to humans. The general tendency is to ignore the violence to animals committed by serial killers and other criminals which is really an important failure, yet not a surprising one, on the part of the shallow mainstream media. However, law enforcement agencies like the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigations) have learned to profile possible serial killers based on their past abuses of other animals. More and more coordinating is being done between animal protection agencies and law enforcement to recognize the signs of potential abuse to animals and humans.

As the New York Times reported in 2010: « …Many U.S. communities now cross-train social-service and animal-control agencies in how to recognize signs of animal abuse as possible indicators of other abusive behaviors. In Illinois and several other states, new laws mandate that veterinarians notify the police if their suspicions are aroused by the condition of the animals they treat. The state of California recently added Humane Society and animal-control officers to the list of professionals bound by law to report suspected child abuse and is now considering a bill in the State Legislature that would list animal abusers on the same type of online registry as sex offenders and arsonists. »

It is obviously progress. However, the abuse of the family « pet » is in itself a symptom of a greater issue, that is, it doesn’t address the real underlying problem of our violent society.

To understand the reasons behind the violence to animals and then humans, one has to look at the way our society raises children, particularly boys, to become competitive, aggressive, « strong ». They are taught to repress their natural compassion and instead cultivate domination habits. From childhood, they are fed foods of violence like animal flesh and animal secretions. In order to become men, they can’t show emotions, they can’t care for animals, they have to dominate women, etc… Is it any wonder then that the majority of the violence in the world is committed by men and boys? Will Tuttle analyzed this very well in The World Peace Diet. We are de-facto raising potential psychopaths.

Preventing kids from torturing animals is not just about telling them that it is wrong. It starts with completely changing the lifestyle they are accustomed to. If a child hurts another animal, you can almost be certain that he may have a very bad family environment (violent parents for instance) and of course lots of animal « foods » in his diet. Animal flesh is linked to masculine aggression and domination. Because these children feel a sense of oppression, they vent their frustration and their anger on those who are more vulnerable than they are: the family dog. It is recognized that they become violent themselves to the family pets in order to have some control over their own powerlessness in seeing the animal being abused, going as far as sometimes killing the animal themselves.

And as an article from the American Anti-Vivisection Society concludes: « Those caught in such a vicious abuse-reactive cycle will not only continue to expose the animals they love to suffering merely to prove that they themselves can no longer be hurt, but they are also given to testing the boundaries of their own desensitization through various acts of self-mutilation. In short, such children can only achieve a sense of safety and empowerment by inflicting pain and suffering on themselves and others. » A vicious circle is therefore established and even harder to change.

There are even kids who torture animals out of boredom. But is it any surprising when they eat the dismembered body parts of violently slaughtered animals since almost the time they were born? If they think nothing of eating slaughtered animals (as we taught them), why are we acting surprised as a society if they don’t care about dogs and cats?

Women and girls also inject the food of the cultural programming of death but they are taught to be more passive and subservient. We live in a patriarchal world which, as Carol Adams documented so well in The Sexual Politics of Meat, teaches women that they are still here to pleasure men and do what men want. The tendency of women is in fact to protect companion animals in the home and to suffer at the hands of men in order for the animal not to get hurt. A lot of them are afraid to leave an abusive husband because of the risk of retaliation to their companion animal and, by extension, their children.

As Carol Adams notes in The Sexual Politics of Meat: « Batterers, rapists, serial killers, and child sexual abusers have victimized animals. They do so for a variety of reasons: marital rapists may use a companion animal to intimidate, coerce, control, or violate a woman. Serial killers often initiate violence first against animals. The male students who killed their classmates in various communities in the 1990s often were hunters or known to have killed animals. Child sexual abusers often use threats and/or violence against companion animals to achieve compliance from their victims. Batterers harm or kill a companion animal as a warning to their partners that she could be next; as a way of further separating her from meaningful relationships; to demonstrates his power and her powerlessness. »

That is a of course a result of the patriarchal mindset which seeks to repress inner compassion and hides the link between our culture of oppression of other animals and oppression of women.

What are the solutions? This is not a easy answer as this mindset is so pervasive in our society. We must educate people to recognize the links between the violence of our food system, the psychological and spiritual injuries we create in our children and how serial killers and other criminals emerge in our society. For most people, the idea of torturing a dog is abhorrent, and rightly so. But no one really calls into question the idea that we torture billions of cows, chickens, pigs, ducks, goats, etc… every year, in the United States alone. No one seems to connect the dots of the violence in our lifestyles.

The law is starting to seriously address the links between the violence to other animals and the violence to humans and early intervention may prevent more brutality. Arresting people who commit horrible crimes on other animals and humans serves the only purpose of preventing them from doing it again. All of this is progress but it does not provide healing or may always prevent the next serial killer from appearing and make national news. By participating in what Dr. Will Tuttle calls « the daily rituals of violence », we are all in fact serial killers. Anyone of us could suddenly snap and end up on a killing rampage. Most serial killers are also using legal anti-depressants and therefore snap more easily. These legal drugs make it easier for their buried tendencies created since birth by society to just emerge and take them over.

Hitlers are not born, they are made. Violence is not our real nature, it is taught. We are not born with killer instincts, society molds us. The patriarchal mindset teaches violence and competition and therefore creates violent men (and women). Science in fact is starting to agree with this and even now shows the neurological damage in violent children. But science also shows that being compassionate to them increases their empathy. So there is essentially one tool which can restore the damage our society has done to children and that is to treat them with love. It is possible to repair the neurological damage inflicted on them instead of just punishing them or doing old fashioned psychological counseling. The power of meditation is also a tool of transformation which can help adults in rehabilitation as showed in the excellent documentary The Dhamma Brothers which followed a group of prisoners in a high security prison. We also have the example of the hunter who nurses a calf back to health in an episode of « 30 days ». It is not merely « light and love fluff » anymore as some people sometimes believe. The brain is in fact malleable and can be re-taught empathy. Science has caught up with spirituality.

Veganism is obviously the most important aspect of repairing psychological damage and prevent further violence. It allows us to bring back the qualities we were born with. They are not gone, they are just buried deep inside us. Obviously, for the Hitlers of the world, we can’t expect much changes. Some may be too far removed from their true selves that I don’t hold much hope for them. If more and more of us build a strong force for positive change, this, however, may help reduce the general violence we see currently but we need to seriously understand that showing anger and lack of empathy to others reduces the chances of them ever changing. Science now proves that.

By teaching our children (and adults) to be compassionate Vegans and in touch with their true natures, we can then prevent the next serial killers. We may not change people who are too far gone down the road of self-destruction, but we can bring about a new generation of visionaries who can help heal the world. Only then will we see a break in the link between violence to other animals and humans.

Sources:

– The Animal-Cruelty Syndrome – New York Times online http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/13/magazine/13dogfighting-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

– Carol J. Adams « The Sexual Politics of Meat ».

– The Animal Abuse-Human Violence Connection – PAWS People Helping Animals http://www.paws.org/human-violence-connection.html

– The World Peace Diet by Dr. Will Tuttle has an extensive chapter on how children, particularly boys are raised in our society.

– The Dhamma Brothers is a wonderful documentary on High Security prisoners trying meditation for a months and talking about their own inner transformation. Highly recommended and watchable on Netflix.

© Copyright February 2014 – All Rights Reserved. Printing only by permission.

Photo courtesy http://www.Pixabay.com

The Vegan Solution to the Politics of Breast Cancer

Please check out my new article published on The Flaming Vegan website today called The Vegan Solution to the Politics of Breast Cancer.

http://www.theflamingvegan.com/view-post/THE-VEGAN-SOLUTION-TO-THE-POLITICS-OF-BREAST-CANCER

Update 12/4/2013: Further evidence confirms the problem of mammograms. Check out this article on Dr. McDougall’s newsletter.

http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2013nl/nov/welch.htm

DEFIANT DAUGHTERS: A (personal) review

Having always loved Carol Adam’s « The Sexual Politics of Meat », I plunged very eagerly into this book by women who have been influenced by her and this started a fascinating journey into the personal experiences of these women of varied backgrounds.

My own feminism started after being physically assaulted in the early 90s. Until that point, I was playing into the game of what women were supposed to be according to men: desirable objects. I didn’t realize that I had become this dismembered being, wanted for certain attributes. I had fooled myself into believing that seduction led to empowerment and finally realized that this was the opposite. I was just playing into a game set up for thousands of years by men. Carol Adams’ book opened my eyes to the truth.

My food disorders also started around that time. After so many years, and a lot of self-therapy and regular therapy, I mostly found peace and I, particularly, found Veganism which I used as a tool of healing and reconciliation with myself. I am far from where I want to be, but my healing is continuing and it allows me to help others, humans and non-humans as I am able to. This book is God-sent with its true stories or women searching for themselves in a male dominated society which still calls the shots on what women are supposed to be.

From the get go, I was struck by the power of the stories presented by each author in this book. So much sincerity can hardly let someone leave the book feeling nothing. But what really grabbed me was the sense of being among soul sisters, regardless of their various background or journeys.

In each woman’s story, I saw part of myself. Having grown up in France where we have a large Muslim community in which I mingled a bit, I could relate to Ruby Hamad’s story.

Having gone through my own alcohol, cigarettes and food addictions as well as body image problems, Kim Socha’s story touched me deeply.

Jennifer Grubb’s story about breastfeeding her child reminded me of what other women I have known have confronted in a society which considers breasts as sexual and not nurturing. I personally never had or wanted children but, as a woman, this was still personal.

Colleen Martell’s struggle with being a vegetarian outside of home reminded me of my own and how I isolated myself and will only go eat with Vegans in Vegan places and can’t tolerate the non-Vegan world anymore. How do we create balance when we still are a minority that is still ridiculed by the majority? How do we deal with the disconnectedness of other people even when they are presented with the truth? These issues I have struggled with since I went Vegan in 2006 and Colleen’s story rang true to me.

Sunaura Taylor’s view of animals as disabled beings is something I had never thought off but made total sense. They are bred to become disabled and then dismembered victims. She also makes a wonderful point about the use of some words and reminded me of the importance I place on words and language in general in my own advocacy. That is something so often ignored in the animal rights and Vegan movement.

Carolyn Mullin’s story of her Mexican heritage fascinated me as, having Mexican neighbors does not obviously make me knowledgeable about Mexican culture, particularly when it comes to women and the difficulty in finding women role-models who are not domestic workers or house makers. I had no idea for instance that so many women had been enslaved during the Mexican Revolution. This was a (sad) revelation. I was also fascinated by the calendar girls’ history and it’s white domination underlying. And the biggest surprise was for me to learn that Jack London had tried to get Ringling Brothers to stop using animals in the circus. Carolyn’s vast knowledge of museums put me back in touch with my love of antiquity and visiting museums as a kid. However, I never wanted to see a museum of natural history for the gruesome displays of « preserved » animal bodies. The animal advocacy movement constantly revisits old themes.

Dallas Rising’s story of her rape by a weirdo from a Star Trek convention was strangely reminiscent of my own sexual assault by a weirdo who was a Star Trek maniac and wore a lot of Star Trek uniforms (please note that I am still a Star Trek fan in spite of it). I love Dallas’ work with Midwest Vegan Radio (and miss the podcast). Her comments about the so-called « happy meat » movement and what some welfare animal organizations spoke deeply to my abolitionist liberationist position and how I relate to the movement in general. This particular paragraph resonated deeply with me: « I worried for years that it was my fault because my rape didn’t look like that. But it was still rape and it was still wrong and it still left me traumatized and wounded. Hearing people advocate for cage-free eggs or asking people to go vegetarian instead of vegan when they know the violence inherent in the dairy and egg industries is, to me, exactly like hearing that my rape doesn’t count. I wasn’t violated to the degree that they feel is sufficient to be worth speaking out against. »

Finally, Jasmin Singer’s story is one I was excited to read as I am a big fan of Our Hen House and the wonderful work she and Mariann Sullivan do to raise awareness of animal issues and feminism. Jasmin’s story talked to me on various levels. I was bullied in school by both boys and other girls. I remember one spilling a red liquid on my bed without me noticing so that my clothes would be smeared in red to look like I was menstruating and being later humiliated in public because I had failed to notice it. I remember being madly in love with this 16 year old guy until I found out he was using me for a bet with his friends and being crushed for month. A few years later, I was assaulted by a « friend » of mine in my parents’ home and he ran out the door leaving me completely lost and terrified. I hated men so much that I turned to lesbianism for a few years and even had a couple of girlfriends. The difference with Jasmin is that I was always bi-sexual and never ended up rejecting men. By the way, I am not implying that lesbianism is a result of rape but that it was to me a way of healing and finding who I was. Jasmin beautifully makes the connection between the rapes of mother cows on the « rape racks » (which is an industry term) and women’s own experience with assault. « I recalled watching the footage of factory farming, of cows screaming, and I thought of the many times I would leave rehearsal from a play that focused on rape, and get some ice cream on the way home – a « food » that was the byproduct of, in essence, rape ». I couldn’t say it better.

And I could go on and on about all the wonderful stories in this book. Whether their stories related to mine is irrelevant in the end. We are all sisters and we all face the same ugly patriarchy and all its difficulties thrown at us as women.

I am so grateful for this anthology and the beautiful stories from everyone of these women who are not only remarkable human beings but incredible animal advocates and Vegans (and near Vegans).

Carol Adams’ books shaped most of my own writing to this day. If there was ever a second book like this one, I would apply to write my own story and add it to this necessary book’s mission of educating more women and men to feminism and Veganism.

As women of the world are raped, abused, and killed in wars started by men so are our animal sisters who are also raped, abused and killed in a war against them started by men. All this is also damaging to men as it prevents them from developing empathy and respect for both women and animals. It is impossible to not make the connection once you read both The Sexual Politics of Meat and this wonderful anthology. Everyone is being consumed by patriarchy.

© copyright November 2013- All rights reserved

Defiant Daughters

Deconstructing PETA's Thinking

Earlier today I received a letter from PETA which I didn’t expect. I had previously responded to their letter requesting me to renew my membership, which I have not done in years, with the simple message on the slip « I will support PETA again when you guys stop the sexist campaigns ». I didn’t write them a long letter and therefore expected that this would be ignored among their thousands of letters.

Therefore, my comment must have touched a chord if it deserved such a long letter, which I reproduce here and will comment on:

« Thank you for your letter expressing concern about the women who participate in our ads and campaigns. We appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts with us. »

What is interesting is that they took what I said seriously even though it was just a small message on their payment slip which I just sent back in a stamped envelope. They are obviously concerned about activists’ opinions and they know they are getting a lot of backlash.

peta-went-on-a-global-campaign-against-kfc-and-used-dead-bikini-clad-women« As an organization staffed largely by feminist women, we would not do something that we felt contributed to the very serious problems that women face. Our demonstrations and models choose to participate in our actions because they want to do something to make people stop and pay attention. We believe that people should have the choice to use their own bodies to make social statements, and that there is nothing shameful or « wrong » about doing so. This tactic has been used since Lady Godiva rode naked on a horse to protest taxes on the poor in the 11th century. Please know that we also feature men in our ads and demonstrations. »

We need to look at the definition of feminism according to PETA. Is being a feminist reinforcing the idea of women as pieces of meat and body parts or is it about empowering women and elevate their status in a patriarchal society and therefore challenging said patriarchy? Calling a woman a « chick » is in itself sexist same as calling a woman a « bitch ». These terms, which apply to female animals are been degraded to represent a sexist mindset. PETA believes that it is all right to objectify women. According to a recent article from Scientific American, we live in a world in which three in ten women are either physically abused and/or raped by men. And what does PETA do? they promote violence against women and objectify them. 

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PETA has never showed women for who they really are: intelligent, educated, capable of contributing to society in a way men never imagined. Women can in fact change the face of society and elevate us above wars, greed, poverty, if they put their minds to it. Because women have, in fact, a lot of inner power and maturity, the patriarchal infantile powers will do everything they can to repress them. PETA, on the other hand, shows women as chauvinist men want them to be: sexual objects, deconstructed objects of desires, nothing else. They continually reinforce the dominant patriarchal paradigm of exploitation and might makes right. It is obvious that the world is not only treating animals like things but women too.

Using the example of Lady Godiva, an 11th century woman who had no other way of making a statement because in her time women just had to shut up and stay home is frankly disingenuous and misguided. It is the same as saying that people should eat other animals because the Eskimos do. It doesn’t represent the activism done by women as a whole at all.

We are not in the 11th century where women have zero rights and we are not in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan where a woman can be stoned to death for carrying a cell phone (as a news story indicated recently). This is the western world where women work even harder than men just to be equal, where women still mostly carry the burden of children and work and don’t even get equal pay for equal work, where women get raped every second of the day while a lot of men get a kick at watching sick pornography which promotes exactly the same thing as PETA: women as sexual objects.

When PETA says they use also men, it is true. However, only 5% of all the sexual objectification done in the media includes men. Women, on the other hand are objectified not only in men’s magazines but also women’s magazines, giving them the impression that a woman is only as good as her lipstick or the size of her breasts.

« These activist are dedicated to helping foxes who are electrocuted and skinned by the millions for the fur industry, calves who are torn from their distraught mothers and slaughtered for the meat industry, elephants who are beaten bloody and forced to live in chains year after year in circuses, and the billions of animals who suffer from torture, maddening isolation, starvation, terror, and violent death at the hands of uncaring industries. »

I don’t doubt one minute the sincerity of activists in any of their actions. What I don’t agree with is their tactics. How does it serve animals to have naked women on the street? What message does it send? How many men do you know stop by and look at women with lettuce leafs and think « geez I should really write a check to stop the fur industry » or « damn, I should really go Vegan? » I think it is, like a friend of mine pointed out, also insulting to men as it puts them all in the same category which says that men are only interested in sex. That is insulting to both genders and it is all the more insulting to animals.

We would NEVER apply these tactics to defend human rights. In fact, no one in the Suffragette movement has removed clothes to promote the rights of women to vote. Nor can I imagine Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have been ok with this kind of tactics to promote the cause of African Americans. Can you imagine him saying « I’d rather go naked than… »? We would consider this absurd in the human rights movement or the peace movement but we find this perfectly normal in the animal rights movement.

This is a form of Speciesism.

a-scantily-clad-pamela-anderson-starred-in-this-ad-which-was-banned-in-montreal-because-it-was-sexist« Take Traci Bingham and Pamela Anderson, for example, who posed for our ‘All Animals Have the Same Parts’ ad campaign. Both are deeply committed vegetarians known to millions for their television work, and chose to use their bodies as a political tool to grab public attention for serious animal issues. In this case, Ms. Bingham and Ms. Anderson were offended by the traditional ‘meat’ posters that treat animals as ‘parts’, and they wanted to make the point that neither farmed animals nor women should be viewed as parts – we are all precious. »

This campaign is just totally stupid and actually defeats the purpose. Women are already mostly regarded in society as ‘parts’. Just look at commercials and the media and pornography, etc. If this was not the case, we wouldn’t have this shocking three in ten statistic! So to make this « point » is just reinforcing what already exists. It doesn’t change the prevalent paradigm.

If Ms. Bingham and Ms. Anderson are so committed to animal rights, why are they described as « vegetarian »? Are they not full fledged Vegans yet? This stems of hypocrisy to me. But then again, PETA, like other welfarist organizations, shies away from the word « Vegan » whereas it is not afraid of the word sexism. I call this a double standard.

PETA PREGZ

If we really want to change society’s thinking about other animals and women, reinforcing the mainstream thinking on both issues is what keeps it going, not the opposite. To solve a problem, we have to stop feeding it. The crass campaigns are just PETA’s excuse to get more money to continue to exist because they know there are a lot of men out there who love to look at naked women… and nothing else. But these are exactly the wrong people to target for any kind of campaigns because they are the least susceptible to change themselves or really care. From a psychological point of view, you can’t easily change anyone whose thinking is the basest.

Once again, it does insult men who actually think of women as intelligent partners in the web of life and not just sex objects as well as other animals. It would be like starting an anti-rape campaign and targeting rapists as potential people to make changes. That is crazy.

« We feel that all people should be free to use their minds and bodies (italic in the letter) as political instruments to bring attention to animal suffering like this, and we appreciate any effort to help those who have no voice. We use all available opportunities to reach millions of people with powerful messages. We have found that people do pay more attention to our racier actions, and we consider the public’s attention to be extremely important. Sometimes this requires tactics – like naked marches and colorful ad campaigns – that some people find rude or outrageous, but part of our job is to shake people up and even shock them in order to initiate discussion, debate, questioning of the status quo, and of course, action. After PETA publicized our « State of the Union Undress », for example, we were rated the number one « mover » on Yahoo’s search engine, meaning that PETA received the greatest percentage increase of terms searched that day. The situation is critical for billions of animals, and our goal is to make the public think about the issues. Although some consider our projects that include nudity to be controversial, many women express support for these tactics. »

PETA clearly shows its colors in this text. They are for cheapening women and it is disguised as empowering them. That has nothing to do with being a feminist but everything to do with wanting to please the patriarchal and sexist dominant thinking. Women who « approve » of this do so within the context of a patriarchal thinking and they are as brainwashed as their male counterparts.

There is no challenge once again of the dominant thinking and it looks like PETA is desperate to grab any attention even if it makes Vegans/animal rights activist look like crazies and extreme lunatics (which they do). It makes the cause of protecting and saving animals look like prostitution. This is morally wrong.

Animal rights should be elevated to the same level as human rights, women’s rights, gay rights, etc… Everything is connected and interconnected. How we use a ‘ism’ affect all other ‘isms’. Ignoring this fact will get PETA more and more enemies in the long term and will NEVER really help animals being seen as more than just pet or food with just a very minimum level of rights. I find their « State of the Union Undress » distasteful. It does in fact sounds like a title for a pornographic movie. If that is the image of women they want to give, they are harming us and the animals every day. Case in point is that, very often, if I mention I am Vegan, a non-Vegan will often tell me: « oh, you must be one of these crazy PETA people. » And it’s not said in a nice way but with a mocking tone. Thanks!

I don’t really care if they were number one on Yahoo. What they fail to mention in this letter are the comments from people who read about them. They fail to realize that non-Vegans react to the first image of Vegans/Animal rights activists they get. If that image is an image of intelligent discourse, it is one thing. But if that image is naked women with lettuce leaves, a non-Vegan will never look at other Vegans after that with respect. The first impression either wins them over or not. PETA is only successful when they inform people (in a non sexist way) about Veganism. That is how I got to Veganism myself. If I had stumbled unto PETA’s sexist campaigns as a non-Vegan, I would have ran the other way saying that these people are crazies.

« You might find it interesting to consider that is the societies that allow women to wear revealing clothing in which women have the most rights and the most power. Likewise, it is the societies that punish women for wearing clothing in which women have the fewest rights and the least power. Should women only be allowed to participate in activism if they promise not to show their bodies or use their bodies as a political statements? If a person chooses to use his or her physicality and sexuality to convey a message of his or her choosing, aren’t those who would censor him or her, even if their motives are good, also somewhat guilty of disrespect and repression? »

This argument had me flip. It conveys the message that women are only as free as the amount of clothing that they wear. This is total nonsense and ignores the reality of patriarchal thinking. The fact that women are more free in some countries has nothing to do with the amount of clothing they wear but with the fight their mothers and grand-mothers put up to gain them equal rights to men.

PETA’s statement is in fact insulting the women who pioneered gender equality. Should are mothers and grand-mothers have gone naked to promote voting rights and abortion rights, etc. ? That argument is so twisted that once again it shows the high degree of perversity to which PETA has lowered itself in the last 20 years or so.

That women choose to go naked for PETA’s campaign is of course their decision. But these decisions are, once again, made in the context of a highly patriarchal world. They could say the same about prostitutes and porn ‘actresses’. But what they don’t know is the high degree of suffering in each of these industries in which these women are physically and psychologically damaged (but that could make an entire separate blog). All PETA does, I repeat it once more, is degrading one cause to promote another cause. You can’t change people’s thinking by keeping them in the same mind-frame. PETA treats women AND men as idiots and not as intelligent adults who can understand the rational message of Veganism. They resort to cheap tricks because they are incapable of giving an intelligent message. That is a high poverty of ambition.

« PETA does make a point of having something for all tastes, from the most conservative to the most radical and from the most tasteless to the most refined, and this approach has proved amazingly successful – in the three decades since PETA was founded, it has grown into the largest animal rights group in the world, with more than 3 million members and supporters worldwide. For more information about PETA’s vital work for animals, please visit our website.

We respect your right to disagree with our tactics but hope that you will continue to support projects that you agree with, such as our free vegetarian/vegan starter kit giveaways or our low-cost spay/neuter clinics. »

PETA calls itself an animal rights organization which I find highly ironic since they are in fact a welfarist organization just like other major animal groups out there. A real animal « rights » organization would clearly see the connections between the rights of animals and the rights of women, blacks, gays, etc… but it doesn’t. They act in fact like a prostitute who shakes her legs to get money from men. PETA does the same with its members. They serve the dominant exploitative patriarchal mindset by prostituting themselves to it.

PETA clearly confesses that they are not afraid of trash and they proved it over and over again. One big example is their ads showing battered women which sends a disturbing message that harming women is ok. Domestic violence portrayed in commercials, whether done tongue in cheek as PETA says or not, is disgusting and shows that PETA is NOT feminist.

How can I support any good work they do (like promoting Veganism which is in itself extremely limited) when everything else they do just cheapens the cause of animal rights and Veganism and reduces it to just silly antics by objectifying women. And I won’t even comment on their killing of perfectly adoptable companion animals, which would deviate from the issue. Whatever credibility PETA still had for me just ended with this letter.

The best service PETA can do for women and other animals is to disappear. Let the real activists send the right message. Just like HSUS sells out to pig producers, PETA sells out to patriarchy.

© Copyright 2013 – All Rights Reserved – No printing authorized without prior consent.

THE THREE MAIN THEMES OF THE WORLD PEACE DIET

This text is my answer to Dr. Will Tuttle’s challenge to name what are the three most important themes in his book as I was taking his course in 2011. I would love to hear your take on it if you have read his book. If not, go grab a copy of the World Peace Diet as it is maybe the most important book you will ever read.

1.        How to bring back Sophia As we have seen when reading the World Peace Diet, the link between the treatment of animals and the treatment of women is undeniable. As was seen also in the book “The Chalice and the Blade” written by Riane Eisler, we used to have more equalitarian societies in which women had positions of power but didn’t act like Amazon warrior princesses (the type fantasized by men on television). What will bring back Sophia? First education of women is I believe a number one priority particularly in the developing world as women are exploited and taught to have a lot of children. It is a fact that women who have education choose to have less children and gain control over their own bodies which had before been dominated by men. Raising women’s consciousness raises the world’s consciousness. It also brings more compassion and therefore less cruelty to animals in the process. Women were the original gatherers; they should lead the way to a peaceful cohabitation with animals away from the male hunter mentality which has brought animal suffering, human suffering and environmental destruction. Restoring the female qualities of compassion and nurturing will bring about a better world. Women have to rise above men’s conception of them as just a piece of meat and in some countries inferior beings. When women do that, they also help raise consciousness in men and therefore in animals too.

2.        Cruelty to animals and science and religious reductionism

Humans have to cultivate compassion to all. There is nothing in religion or science that justifies pain to animals. It has been showed many times now that most “research” in laboratories on animals are totally unnecessary and barbaric. There is even less excuses nowadays to experiment on animals when so many alternatives are available. Most drugs that have been tested on animals and considered “safe” have been showed to be harmful to humans in the end. Being on a vegan diet should also reduce the need for medication and bring back sanity in science. At least, it is my hope that this happens one day. As long as there is a large money incentive to torturing animals in labs, it will not change. As for religion, all of them proclaim a message of compassion. Jesus is thought to have been vegetarian as well as the Prophet Mohammed. Buddhism and Hinduism are religions that technically include vegetarianism in their philosophy. But we know for a fact that humans love to interpret religion to meet their own agendas. So just like religious authorities (Christianity) used to say that women had no soul, they still don’t accept that animals also have a soul and a karma as well. We see here in both science and religion that there is a need to extend compassion beyond the so-called needs of mankind and stop seeing animals as just inferior machines here on earth to serve us.

3.        Social programming

What I think is the most important aspect taught in the World Peace Diet is how social programming and what we have been told since birth affects everyone on this planet. This is the recurring theme of the book. We are programmed, and we need to deprogram ourselves to free ourselves and therefore free the animals too. Veganism is a total rejection of the status quo, of the ingrained values of society at large. When we go Vegan, we make a statement that we will not accept cruelty to animals, we will not accept the lies of the medical community regarding health, we will not accept the brainwashing we get constantly from our piers, our families, the government, etc… When we eat animals, we eat pain, fear, torture, and chemicals from this and from what we inject in them and that makes us sick. This is the most powerful statement of the book. It teaches us to be free. And by being free, we help free animals and other human beings as well. It is a win-win situation. We also free the planet from our greedy polluting habits, whether they are physical or psychical. I believe that emphasizing the liberating aspect of Veganism to people is the most rewarding aspect of being a World Peace Diet Facilitator or being a Vegan in this society. I think the most brilliant thing I’ve read recently is your quote of Chuang-tzu. I love your take on it when it comes to people:

“This is the same with us. The people we get angry with are empty boats. There is a karmic wind propelling them, and their words and actions, and it is essentially the programming of our culture. Why yell at or be angry with someone who is propelled by the cultural program?” So thank you for that. It will remind me NOT to get angry with people at my job every day.
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