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Guest Post: Why I’m Vegetarian

18 Oct

i wrote one poem, drew one bar napkin sketch, and wrote one essay. one of those was academic, one honest, and one angry. and those were probably in a different order than you’d think.

i kept thinking about when my mom got food stamps and she’d give me the book, and we didn’t know a bunch about food like i do now, but i did know a thing or two about quantity and also about being kinda hungry, so in short order i got good at understanding bargains.

so when i think about being vegetarian now part of me i guess is still 6 and embarrassed with my stupid purple sweatpants and 5lb chub of ground beef. but another part of me loves that 6 year old more than any resentments he can plant, and out of love for him, i can’t suffer the work of the InHuman on quarterly rushes to define a product chain that requires a separation from the reality of the inhumanity of production simply because we’d collapse into a moment of authentic experience if we saw it; authentic experience which for some would be not dissimilar to recognizing other deals we make or were made for us.

similar grinders INVISIBLE inVISIBLE inVISIBLE, peach skin and straight sex and easy bake oven bullshit is easy for me to understand once I saw a couple of cracks; i still can’t intuit the relative ethical proximity  of eating a hamburger to killing a human.  but I think it might be a stupid question because i am missing something really obvious. ­

i don’t eat meat because i really like people. and I’m afraid of what we have to give up to consume autonomy of any kind.



We want to share your writings!

31 Aug

Have you written articles, essays, blog posts, or more from a connectionist perspective?  If so, send us a link!  We are going to be building a list of articles and other readings for our resources page.  So if you’ve written about connections between human, animal, and/or environmental concerns and well-being, let us know!

If You’re Not Watching A. Breeze Harper’s Videos, You Are Not Cool

9 May

We know, we know.  We’ve been gone for a whole month.  Life & death have been keeping us busy  and taking us away from the connectionist movement this past month.  So, while you’re waiting for a shiny new blog post, why not pop on over to Sistah Vegan’s Vimeo page?  A. Breeze Harper has posted quite a few new videos this past month and, as usual, they ROCK.

So what are you waiting for?  Watch the videos, invite A. Breeze Harper to speak at an event, and share her work.  More than anything, please, please take her words to heart.

P.S. – Click on the pictures above for more links to Breeze’s work.

Hey White Vegans, Let’s Get Over Ourselves: Race Matters

31 Jan

The current issue of the Journal for Critical Animal Studies is entitled Women of Color in Critical Animal Studies.  Of particular note is Amie Breeze Harper’s contribution, which addresses the notion that race is “feeble matter” in veganism.  This excellent paper truly connects the dots, critically analyzing the mainstream, white animal rights/vegan movement and its failure, and resistance, to acknowledge and examine the racialized dynamics and contexts that inform our choices and strategies.

Near the end of Harper’s paper, and in her references, we are pleased to see that there are many people connecting the dots, in addition to Harper herself.   We also know that there are more connectionists out there.  Even so, it’s not enough.  While vegans of color connect the dots (unseen, unacknowledged and often bemoaned as “nonexistent” by the mainstream, white vegan world), white vegans need to get over ourselves and look inward.  So many of us already think that we are doing so well, we are vegans, we acknowledge that speciesism exists, how could we possibly still be complicit in oppression?   We’ve overcome!

The fact is, we haven’t.  When people like Harper bring up the possibility of racism in the movement and encourage a critical analysis of whiteness in the movement, we scoff, we bristle, and we defend.  In essence, we attempt to silence the voices that challenge us to examine the movement, our approaches and strategies.  This is a function of racism – we use our privilege to guarantee our comfort so that we do not have to look at the world, and ourselves, through a racialized lens.  This may make us feel good, but it does us no favors.  Not only does it support a racist cultural context, but it also guarantees that we will fail.  That is the basis of Connect the Dots – all oppressions are interconnected.  We will not end one form of oppression without simultaneously working to end all others.  They are inextricably linked.

So, seriously, fellow white vegans, let’s get over ourselves.  If we aren’t willing to truly examine whiteness in the movement, then we aren’t capable of promoting the well-being of animals, our stated goal.  It’s that simple.

Click here for links to Amie Breeze Harper’s other works.


Earthlings: Connecting the Dots

17 May

A couple of weeks ago I (Ashley) watched the movie, Earthlings.  It was quite the experience.  After viewing the movie, I immediately posted a blog on my personal blog site.  As it clearly comes from a connectionist perspective, I’ve reposted the blog here:

I finally watched Earthlings tonight.  It was absolutely terrifying, horrifying, and sickening.  In fact, those words don’t even come close to the absolutely devastated state in which this movie left me.

People ask, “Ashley, you’re a vegan, you already know that stuff.  You’ve seen tons of these movies.  Why would you watch something you know is going to be horrifying to you?”  Because it’s my privilege not to.  Privilege allows me to sit in comfort ignoring the institutionalized violence that I know is taking place.  I have to watch this stuff because it’s real.  IT’S REAL.  Many of you ask me why I’m vegan, why I’m so staunchly anti-violence in all realms of life.  Here’s why:

THIS IS REAL.  I know from talking to many of you that you too know it’s real.  How can we let it continue?  We know this happens and we choose to ignore it because ignoring it relieves our cognitive dissonance and allows us to continue on in comfort.  This isn’t a problem of awareness.  We’re aware.  So why is it that we still choose behaviors that cause the suffering of so many?  Why are we complicit in the pain and suffering of so many others?  Why are we okay with the violence?

We have to connect the dots.  We have to see how violence in each realm of life manifests, supports, and allows violence in all realms of life.  We know that extreme violence continues and has been institutionalized in the industries that produce our food, fashion, science, entertainment, and more. Yet we choose to behave in ways that feed it.  We choose to throw our money into it.  And we look the other way. Why?

As a professional, I work to eliminate the conditions that allow violence against women to occur.  I consider what we do to nonhuman animals, everyday, thousands and thousands of times each day, as not only a manifestation of those conditions, but as the normalization of violence and lack of body autonomy in our culture that leads directly to sexual assault.  The fact that I’m afraid to say that publicly means a lot.

You ask me why I am the way I am.  This is why.

Watch Earthlings and understand me.

“Three primary life forces exist on this Earth: nature, animals, and humankind.  We are the Earthlings.  Make the connection.”

Key Tweets on Mother’s Day

10 May

Some of you may know that I’m quite the tweeter.  I (Ashley) found these Mother’s Day tweets from Carol J. Adams and the Institute for Humane Educaiton (IHE) particularly important today:


Happy Mother’s Day to all moms of all species of the world. May you know peace & justice & be free from cruelty, oppression & exploitation.

Carol J. Adams:

There would be no meat eating if female animals weren’t constantly made pregnant: that’s the sexual politics of meat on mother’s day.

What does Sexual Politics of Meat have to do w/ Mother’s Day (originally mother’s day for peace). ans #1 : vegan is a diet of peace.

What does Sexual Politics of Meat have to do w/ Mother’s Day? ans #2. Vegan-feminists don’t rob from mothers of other species.

Sexual Politics of Meat on Mother’s Day? ans #3 the promise: I will not raise my child to kill your child; this extends to other animals.

What do you think of these tweets?  Did you see any poignant Mother’s Day tweets today?  Let us know!

Soul Food Junkies – Connecting the Dots

8 Mar

Just a quick note to tell you that we are very excited for Bryon Hurt‘s upcoming film, Soul Food Junkies. Check out a fantastic trailer here and become a fan on facebook.

Mr. Hurt is also very, very well-known for his critically acclaimed film Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes.

These films connect a number of dots and we encourage you all to check them out, support them, and share them!