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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:54 am 
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I think the "dairy cows are raped"; "slaughterhouses - holocaust"; "speciesism - racism"; arguments are very ineffective and a little offensive. I think they attract people who are attracted to radicalism in general, but that group is rather limited.

I've thought veganism is a generally good idea for a long time, and one of the things that held me back was that popular image of the "crazy vegan" (and some real-life examples from when we were all young and unpleasant). For me, the fact-based arguments (without gory pictures), along with plenty of "It's not really that hard" arguments, and examples of vegans of different kinds, are what made me try veganism. And here I am, still sort of taking it step by step, but I haven't eaten any animal products in almost two months except by accident.

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:15 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:14 pm 
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linanil wrote:
Asking for input from vegans of color rubs me the wrong way because everyone has different opinions and experiences. A descendant of former slaves in the US may have different thoughts than a Jewish person and they may both have different thoughts than a Native American. And perhaps a 'person of color' living in a foreign non-white country would have yet another opinion.

How is a Jewish person "of color"? Or am I just misinterpreting what you said?


I agree with Singer on most points and as a German (Singer wasn't able to do speeches in Germany because of the protest in response to his theses) I'm in a minority on this.

But when it comes to how useful these comparisons I agree that they're not very. Especially not if it's talked about as "it's the same".

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:36 pm 
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VeganinBerlin wrote:
How is a Jewish person "of color"? Or am I just misinterpreting what you said?


If someone is using holocaust comparisons, then I figure they are also included even if they aren't 'of color'. And really, I imagine that is to say those that are minorities in general who have been subject to slavery, genocide and other abuses could have a thing or 2 to say.

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:07 pm 
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There are plenty of Jews who are POC. And "white" is a really vague concept, anyway -- I'm generally considered white in the US today, but I know that, at various times and in various places, plenty of my ancestors weren't. Who counts as white and who doesn't changes all the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:07 pm 
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Interesting factoid: Jews were considered "colored" in many places in the New World when we first showed up and since "colored" people could easily marry each other (whereas "white" and "colored" people could not marry), there are now bunches of Carribbean and South American Jews who are "of color" in everybody's eyes. Corollary fun fact: it was super lucky for Jews to have been considered white in the U.S. (and was not assured), and our fate here would probably have turned out much differently had we not been. (Other interesting fact: there are plenty of Jewish POC, although you do not often meet them in the U.S.)

ETA: and what Larisa said faster than me.

But probably the appropriate catch-all term would have been "historically oppressed people(s)," as that would also nicely include women, who are not minorities, thankyouverymuch, but still manage to get shat on (and so often by vegan activism!).


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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:51 pm 
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I know I'm late to the party... But I have $0.02 on this. I'm totally sympathetic to the error of trying to humanize animals by comparing their suffering to situations where human animals have been dehumanized. Nothing, except perhaps the Armenian Genocide compares to the Holocaust. But, parallels can be drawn... Racism is a reflection of the absolute worst aspects of human culture, it is violent, alienating, and cruel, but the othering involved in racism is parallel to the othering that takes place in distinguishing between cow and house cat. So, I understand why these examples are sometimes used. But, I think they're too simplistic and often deployed flippantly, which is not cool man!

The thing is dairy cows are systematically raped, and feed-animals are produced, tortured, and executed for human consumption in a systematic manner and it is important to find ways to speak frankly about this. I'm vegan because I think of the animals as my equals, my brothers and sisters, and their suffering is as terrible to me as the suffering of other humans. Some people I talk to are so offended by the idea of considering all life as connected and equal, that I try to play it real easy and just talk about health and environment and steer away from animal rights all together because I recognize that veganism as an ethical position represents a TOTAL paradigm shift for most people so the most effective message is to talk about the benefits to humanity that come from veganism, but I hate doing that, because to me, the paradigm shift is immanent, and crucial...and the embrace of compassion that veganism represents is only part of it, so it can be so hard to keep my mouth shut!

It's awesome to read all of your thoughts on this, and really helpful to think of new approaches to the inevitable confrontations that arise from being "the vegan in the room."

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:41 pm 
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indexandicon wrote:
The thing is dairy cows are systematically raped, and feed-animals are produced, tortured, and executed for human consumption in a systematic manner and it is important to find ways to speak frankly about this.

Just a reminder that the use of "rape" to describe forced impregnation of dairy cows is considered really inappropriate for a lot of survivors of sexualized violence, vegan and non-vegan.

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:45 pm 
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indexandicon wrote:
I know I'm late to the party... But I have $0.02 on this. I'm totally sympathetic to the error of trying to humanize animals by comparing their suffering to situations where human animals have been dehumanized. Nothing, except perhaps the Armenian Genocide compares to the Holocaust. But, parallels can be drawn... Racism is a reflection of the absolute worst aspects of human culture, it is violent, alienating, and cruel, but the othering involved in racism is parallel to the othering that takes place in distinguishing between cow and house cat. So, I understand why these examples are sometimes used. But, I think they're too simplistic and often deployed flippantly, which is not cool man!

Here's where I have a problem. Animals (or non-human animals for people who want to get sniffy) are *not* human, by definition. I think that efforts to "humanize" animals are as misguided as they are silly. By doing this some vegans uphold and enforce the idea that deserving to be treated well is a human quality.

Also, I still can't help but raise an eyebrow when white people to say things like "the racism is parallel to the othering that takes place in distinguishing between cow and house cat."

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:05 am 
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Addendum to my last post that I can't edit anymore: I use the word "colored" above because that's the word that was used.


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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:07 am 
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j-dub wrote:
indexandicon wrote:
The thing is dairy cows are systematically raped, and feed-animals are produced, tortured, and executed for human consumption in a systematic manner and it is important to find ways to speak frankly about this.

Just a reminder that the use of "rape" to describe forced impregnation of dairy cows is considered really inappropriate for a lot of survivors of sexualized violence, vegan and non-vegan.


j-dub, with all due respect to the experience of any survivor of a violent assault, I think that if we're comfortable speaking about the rights of animal mothers to care for their children, in much the same terms we speak about human mothers having the right to mother their children, it shouldn't be out of bounds to demand that female animals have the same rights to not have their bodies violated by humans in the same way that we demand that our own bodies not be violated. I'm a firm believer that society's ability to other animals to an extent that they become mere cogs in a machine for human pleasure, is the same back-assward ideology that leads to the GOP and rape culture and other atrocities. There's a reason why feminists cry out in outrage that the right-wing approach to women's rights is equal to treating us "like animals." But, that statement also makes it sound like treating animals as if they have no rights to their bodies is A-OK. All I'm trying to say, is that I think the best message is the one where we're all in it together, you, me, the chickens, and we all deserve our autonomy.

I'm really curious as to why the parallels seem so unreasonable?

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:35 am 
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Jigglypuff wrote:
indexandicon wrote:

Also, I still can't help but raise an eyebrow when white people to say things like "the racism is parallel to the othering that takes place in distinguishing between cow and house cat."


I understand where people come from when they say things like this...But, if it's equality we're going for, we have to remember that equality is not a reversal of privilege or hierarchy, it is the undoing of privilege and hierarchy. While I am absolutely a heterosexual "white" person, I am also absolutely capable of observing and analyzing the linguistic, social, and psychologic patterns that define racism, sexism, and speciesism from my own position and experience. My doing so does not discount or diminish the position of anyone else making and voicing their own observations. If you happened to be male and I barred you from speaking on an issue related to womanity because I didn't think you had the appropriate experience, then I would be reinforcing problematic power structures. I'm not interested in doing that. I'd rather work together to undo them.

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:53 am 
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indexandicon wrote:
Jigglypuff wrote:
indexandicon wrote:

Also, I still can't help but raise an eyebrow when white people to say things like "the racism is parallel to the othering that takes place in distinguishing between cow and house cat."


I understand where people come from when they say things like this...But, if it's equality we're going for, we have to remember that equality is not a reversal of privilege or hierarchy, it is the undoing of privilege and hierarchy. While I am absolutely a heterosexual "white" person, I am also absolutely capable of observing and analyzing the linguistic, social, and psychologic patterns that define racism, sexism, and speciesism from my own position and experience. My doing so does not discount or diminish the position of anyone else making and voicing their own observations. If you happened to be male and I barred you from speaking on an issue related to womanity because I didn't think you had the appropriate experience, then I would be reinforcing problematic power structures. I'm not interested in doing that. I'd rather work together to undo them.

Your position and experience with racism are irrelevant, to be frank. I don't see how it reinforces problematic power structures to tell men that they can't speak on issues that do not affect their lives. In fact, I would say the opposite is true.

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:33 am 
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indexandicon wrote:
j-dub wrote:
indexandicon wrote:
The thing is dairy cows are systematically raped, and feed-animals are produced, tortured, and executed for human consumption in a systematic manner and it is important to find ways to speak frankly about this.

Just a reminder that the use of "rape" to describe forced impregnation of dairy cows is considered really inappropriate for a lot of survivors of sexualized violence, vegan and non-vegan.


j-dub, with all due respect to the experience of any survivor of a violent assault, I think that if we're comfortable speaking about the rights of animal mothers to care for their children, in much the same terms we speak about human mothers having the right to mother their children, it shouldn't be out of bounds to demand that female animals have the same rights to not have their bodies violated by humans in the same way that we demand that our own bodies not be violated. I'm a firm believer that society's ability to other animals to an extent that they become mere cogs in a machine for human pleasure, is the same back-assward ideology that leads to the GOP and rape culture and other atrocities. There's a reason why feminists cry out in outrage that the right-wing approach to women's rights is equal to treating us "like animals." But, that statement also makes it sound like treating animals as if they have no rights to their bodies is A-OK. All I'm trying to say, is that I think the best message is the one where we're all in it together, you, me, the chickens, and we all deserve our autonomy.

I'm really curious as to why the parallels seem so unreasonable?


Edit: I decided I didn't actually want something that personal on the internet for all of time. Here is what I will say: I think the fact that people (in this case myself but I know I am not the only one who dislikes this usage) have voiced that it is hurtful both to themselves and the cause should be enough.

I am not opposed to drawing parallels, I am opposed to using language that can be triggering and is, in my view, inappropriate to the situation. Plus, I don't think you win friends by using language that has the capacity to offend/trigger the 1 in 3 women who have experienced sexualized violence.

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:30 am 
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linanil wrote:
VeganinBerlin wrote:
How is a Jewish person "of color"? Or am I just misinterpreting what you said?


If someone is using holocaust comparisons, then I figure they are also included even if they aren't 'of color'. And really, I imagine that is to say those that are minorities in general who have been subject to slavery, genocide and other abuses could have a thing or 2 to say.


Yeah, I was just wondering about the termonology. I wasn't sure if it's a common thing to say in the US or not. Or whether that applies to other religious groups as well.

Quote:
There are plenty of Jews who are POC. And "white" is a really vague concept, anyway -- I'm generally considered white in the US today, but I know that, at various times and in various places, plenty of my ancestors weren't. Who counts as white and who doesn't changes all the time.

I know they are Jewish POC, that's not what I meant. I'm also all for criticizing weird race definitions (or actually race definitions as such), I was just curious as to why Jewish people would be described as POC just for their religion, and whether that would also apply to other religious groups.


Quote:
Just a reminder that the use of "rape" to describe forced impregnation of dairy cows is considered really inappropriate for a lot of survivors of sexualized violence, vegan and non-vegan.
Is it? Why? Because we have a social construct around it as well? I mean, I wouldn't think my rape experience is the exact "same" thing for other animals, but I don't see why it shouldn't be called rape. In a theoretical discussion of it, mostly though.

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:32 am 
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As a non-Jew, my view could be totally wrong but I view Jews as a race in terms of it isn't just religion. It is a group of people. It isn't like people (besides Madonna) are showing up at local synagogues signing up to be Jewish by the thousands. I believe that most Jews today (some may not even practice) come from long Jewish family lines.

And I don't know about "person of color" as terminology as it isn't mine. I don't use "person of color" to describe myself, I generally use hispanic (although isn't well liked by some) or maybe a minority because in the US, we still are, for now or just Mexican-American. I figured the intent of the poster was people who have been marginalized and are currently marginalized, in the US or in the past.

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:54 am 
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VeganinBerlin wrote:
linanil wrote:
Just a reminder that the use of "rape" to describe forced impregnation of dairy cows is considered really inappropriate for a lot of survivors of sexualized violence, vegan and non-vegan.
Is it? Why? Because we have a social construct around it as well? I mean, I wouldn't think my rape experience is the exact "same" thing for other animals, but I don't see why it shouldn't be called rape. In a theoretical discussion of it, mostly though.

i guess the question to ask is if you (a human) were put in the position of the cows, and a person with an implement invaded your body and inserted (human) sperm inside you against your will, would you call it rape? (i would. the definition of rape doesn't restrict it to a penis, does it?)

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:22 am 
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supercarrot wrote:
VeganinBerlin wrote:
linanil wrote:
Just a reminder that the use of "rape" to describe forced impregnation of dairy cows is considered really inappropriate for a lot of survivors of sexualized violence, vegan and non-vegan.
Is it? Why? Because we have a social construct around it as well? I mean, I wouldn't think my rape experience is the exact "same" thing for other animals, but I don't see why it shouldn't be called rape. In a theoretical discussion of it, mostly though.

i guess the question to ask is if you (a human) were put in the position of the cows, and a person with an implement invaded your body and inserted (human) sperm inside you against your will, would you call it rape? (i would. the definition of rape doesn't restrict it to a penis, does it?)


I would, too.
I am a sexual assault survivor and I think calling dairy production rape is just calling it what it is. It's taking power and autonomy away from a living being and using their reproductive system as a tool.

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:47 am 
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Jigglypuff wrote:
indexandicon wrote:

I understand where people come from when they say things like this...But, if it's equality we're going for, we have to remember that equality is not a reversal of privilege or hierarchy, it is the undoing of privilege and hierarchy. While I am absolutely a heterosexual "white" person, I am also absolutely capable of observing and analyzing the linguistic, social, and psychologic patterns that define racism, sexism, and speciesism from my own position and experience. My doing so does not discount or diminish the position of anyone else making and voicing their own observations. If you happened to be male and I barred you from speaking on an issue related to womanity because I didn't think you had the appropriate experience, then I would be reinforcing problematic power structures. I'm not interested in doing that. I'd rather work together to undo them.

Your position and experience with racism are irrelevant, to be frank. I don't see how it reinforces problematic power structures to tell men that they can't speak on issues that do not affect their lives. In fact, I would say the opposite is true.


That's a very telling statement. Fascinating.

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:08 am 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
I am a sexual assault survivor and I think calling dairy production rape is just calling it what it is. It's taking power and autonomy away from a living being and using their reproductive system as a tool.


Same here. And the dairy industry even calls the insemination apparatus a "rape rack."

That said, I think the problem with all the analogies is that they end up focusing the attention of the audience on something other than the actual plight of the animals

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:55 pm 
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I would just like to point out that if people are calling artificial insemination rape, then everyone needs to be aware that AI is used on all animals that are bred, including dogs and cats. AI is not limited to dairy cows.

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:52 pm 
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i'm sure the majority of us are against dog and cat breeders too. (especially while the shelters are overpopulated and euthanization rates are higher than 0%)

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:55 pm 
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Sorry supercarrot, I didn't mean to imply otherwise. I meant that I only ever see "rape" applied to dairy cows, and no other animal that AI is used on.

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:59 pm 
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So, offending some survivors of sexual assault and talking about rape- that get people to cut down on the butter this Thanksgiving? Didn't think so.

I don't think that it's necessary to make these sort of awkward comparisons and i think they fail as far as being "Effective Vegan Messaging." The anal electrocution of foxes in fur production is terrible enough without trying to make some connection between it and some marginalized group from history. I simply don't think that the tactics of PETA work. I also don't think that animal activists should mirror the tactics of the anti-abortion movement.

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 Post subject: Re: Effective vegan messaging
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:30 am 
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I feel like at this point there are two different conversations going on: are the comparisons valid and are they effective? I think it's great to have both, but people are talking past each other.


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