Dispatch from the feminist animal rights closet

Woke culture has overtaken the vegan and animal rights movements and the effects have been as harmful as elsewhere. I’ve spoken before about how, ironically, this has gone hand in hand with the sidelining of vegan radicals and the trend towards corporatization and pro-neoliberal discourse and activism. Indeed, “intersectional veganism” and the pro-corporate vegan movement are two sides of the same coin.(1)

What I’ve not yet spoken about is the specific issue of sexism and anti-feminism in the AR movement–a topic that would have already been worthy of discussion before the adoption of gender ideology by much of the movement. I don’t know if animal rights/vegan circles and organizations are particularly bad for women in relation to other social movements (it’s not like non-vegan leftist men have a good track record either, and veganism also holds appeal for those who lean right) but I do know that in absolute terms, it’s pretty bad. Now it has gotten even worse. Woke culture has veered the AR movement in an anti-feminist direction, and in some ways this movement is more susceptible than others to the unquestioning acquiescence to the edicts of SJW thought leaders.

With gender ideology, we’ve gotten to a place in the AR movement where women are branded as TERFs; driven out of their organizations; denied platforms and funding due to their feminism; in my case have their work plagiarized (so that I don’t get credit and visibility from it); blacklisted and excluded from events; and the women who avoid these consequences do so at the cost of never publicly voicing their feminist views. Either that, or they just leave the movement.

I wanted to share a dispatch from the closet that many feminist animal rights activists have been shoved into. It’s an email that was sent to me by a female acquaintance after I wrote my post last year on being dropped as an author from an animal rights anthology. I’m sharing it with her permission and I edited it very slightly to keep it anonymous.

Hi Nassim,

Ugh, I don’t know where to begin…

Your early FB posts on this, and Mary Kate’s writings prompted me to pay closer attention.(2) And then I heard that MK got *fired* from her job because of something she’d written -wtf?

A lot of the verbiage had been troubling me but it wasn’t until I read of Meghan Murphy’s talk (in a Canadian library) being hounded and shut down that, with horror and disbelief, I started reading about what had been developing in the past several years, especially in the UK. 

I wanted to write to you, especially when you posted your last piece on FB re being dismissed from the book, but, coward that I am, was ashamed to be another of the many women who tell you of their admiration and support, but will not also speak up.

I’ve been following a number of sources and barely have the emotional strength to read about it let alone act.

Not only am I struggling to make a living, but the wildly dystopian and incomprehensible nature of what has manifested out of the whole shift from what I thought was settled years ago— that “gender” is a set of artificial “norms“ imposed, especially on women, not a fixed set of behaviors that one can escape or adopt by “identifying” or surgically altering one’s body—is deeply troubling and frightening…

When I was last with a group of friends, one said, 

“Well, I don’t think I’d go as far as to agree with Mary Kate, but…”

What?, but hers is just basic feminism…

I’ve tried writing about it but the fury leaves me unable to focus on anything else. 

The lock-step anti-“TERF“ comments I see on FB, by people who consider themselves deep-thinking progressives … is dumbfounding.

At the Conscious Eating Conference at the end of Feb, just before the lockdown, Pax, acting as conference host and moderator, stood at the podium to introduce Carol J. Adams, and found it relevant to loudly assert that “Trans women *ARE* women”.. and the room erupted in wild applause. (3)

Enough for now…

Notes:

(1) While I have long opposed “intersectionality” as understood in the animal rights/vegan movements, this does not at all reflect an opposition actual intersectionality, as formulated by Kimberlé Crenshaw.

(2) She is referring to Mary Kate Fain, who was kicked out of an animal rights organization she had founded (not only kicked out, but accosted by AR activists who hurled abuse at her on the street). After losing her job she went on to found the feminist website 4W, that in a short amount of time has become one of the most important resources for the feminist movement and that hosts the writings of dozens of women from around the world (and pays them too!); she co-created Spinster, an alternative platform to Twitter which has the habit of booting off uppity women; she is a prolific writer who also recently started a podcast, and on top of that got a job with a radical feminist organization. Basically Mary Kate is some sort of Wonder Woman who could have put her talents towards animal liberation, but the movement preferred to hound her out.
(Read Mary Kate’s story of losing her job in her article Fired For Feminism.)

(3) The Conscious Eating conference is organized by Hope Bohanec, the editor who dropped me from her book because of my feminism. From my interactions with her, it became clear that she has little experience with and interest in human-related issues but strives to tick the requisite boxes of diversity so as to avoid criticism. Being of relative privilege and disconnected from much of the oppression that women experience in this world, she thinks that “transwomen are the most oppressed of women”. This conference took place shortly after Hope dropped me from her book. The focus that year was “to explore overlapping oppressions”; a panel on the history of the animal rights movement with prominent female activists was titled Animal Rights Herstory Panel.
By Pax she is referring to Pax Ahimsa, a trans-identified female who started “educating” the AR movement on gender ideology, “inclusivity” etc etc years ago. Pax’s blog reveals a person who has no grasp of basic feminist analysis and whose ideas are in complete opposition to it.
Carol J. Adams is a renowned vegan second wave feminist who, interestingly, has been attacked by trans activists for various reasons in the past, but is now seemingly on board with gender ideology and has become mealy-mouthed on sex and gender, presumably to gain the approval of the “intersectional vegan” crowd. Maybe this is the sad result of having built an audience composed more of vegans than of feminists.

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When an Anti-Lesbian Extremist Murders a Lesbian Couple and Their Child, Does it Matter?

Imagine there is a person who is so homophobic that they devote their time and energy to organizing against gay people having the right to their own spaces and events. Every time there is an LGBT event, they go and protest outside the venue and harass the attendees as they come and go. Imagine that after years of this, this person suddenly murders a gay male couple. Would many in the public not immediately jump to conclusions, without waiting for the court proceedings, and decry the murders as a hate crime? Would the media not immediately talk about the possibility that the murder was motivated by the perpetrator’s well-documented hatred of gay people? Would they not use the opportunity to highlight the stories of other gay people subjected to hate and harassment, and to start a conversation on the problem of homophobia in our society? 

Or imagine a similar scenario with Jewish people. Some raging anti-semite harasses congregants going and coming from the local synagogue, until one day, he finally kills a family that attended that same synagogue. Would this not prompt some media coverage? Some broader conversation on anti-semitism? Maybe a few weeks of interviews with other Jewish people who had been the recipients of hate? Replace with Black people or Muslim people – any minority group that includes men. In each case, it seems reasonable to imagine some coverage from liberal media, some mention of the possibility of the murders being a hate crime, some heightened awareness of the vulnerability of the targeted community. But in the case of lesbians in the Bay Area, no such thing.

Dana Rivers is a well-known trans-identified male who for years participated in a campaign to shut down Michfest, a female-only music festival that was largely attended by lesbians, and who harassed the women who attended the event. A few months after Michfest was shut down, he murdered a lesbian couple and their son in Oakland. The two women had been regular attendees of Michfest. We can’t say for sure why he committed these murders, and it’s not impossible that the fact that his victims were lesbians and attendees of Michfest was a coincidence. But like…. come on. Think of the coverage if the victims had belonged to an oppressed group that is deemed to matter.

There has been extremely little noise on this case, and nothing from “LGBT” outlets. To add insult to injury, most of the coverage at the time, like this headline of The East Bay Times, stated that a “woman” was charged with the killings. This was not a woman’s crime.

To erase and forget the murders of Patricia Wright, Charlotte Reed and Benny Diambu-Wright, and to brush under the carpet what motivated their killer, are further crimes against this family.

Read about the murders and about Dana Rivers’/David Warfield’s prior participation in “Camp Trans”, an organized protest against the freedom of association of lesbians, here:

Media Blackout on Dana Rivers “Michfest” Murder Trial

Famed Transgender-Identifying Activist Accused of Violent Murders of Female Couple, Couple’s Son

Kara Dansky is a radical feminist lawyer who seems to be the only person currently following the case and updating the public. Stay updated here:

State v. Dana Rivers Updates – Kara Dansky

 

Left to right are Patricia Wright, Benny Diambu-Wright, and Charlotte Reed, who were allegedly violently slaughtered by teacher and transgender rights activist Dana Rivers.
Left to right: Patricia Wright, Benny Diambu-Wright, and Charlotte Reed. Photo credit: Michael Campbell.
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When the East forces conversion therapy onto homosexuals it’s backwards, when the West does the same it’s enlightened

A friend recently emailed me an article titled Transgender woman convicted of sexually assaulting 10-year-old girl, and wrote “This will eventually happen in a public bathroom or women-only space. My guess is a lawsuit against the city or company is inevitable, in the US.” Like quite a few women I know in the animal rights movement, this friend knows of my views on gender ideology and falls somewhere on the spectrum from “finds my gender critical remarks reasonable” to “is very alarmed by the advancement of gender ideology”, but doesn’t share her views publicly.  The animal rights movement has wholeheartedly embraced woke culture which has been harmful to the movement in a number of ways, including by reinforcing the sexism in its midst. Female animal advocates have to make a choice between speaking up for animals or for women. When I started speaking openly about gender identity a few years ago, I became a safe person for others to share a “WTF” moment with, and I’ve seen that the WTF alarms are ringing for more and more people. 

Nonetheless, I can’t say I’m optimistic that things are really changing, that the small wave of WTF thought bubbles is strong enough to counter the well funded, expertly marketed tsunami of a pushback against feminism that we are experiencing. It is deeply deflating to witness the incapacity or unwillingness to engage in basic logical reasoning. The seemingly unmovable and unquestioned sexism–including in the supposedly progressive West, including among those expected to care about the oppressed. The effectiveness with which everything revolutionary gets co-opted, including the feminist movement. The incredible level of conformity from vegans of all people, the very same minuscule minority who supposedly have the courage to stick their necks out for animals. The trifecta of stupidity, misogyny and cowardice leaves little room for hope.  

I emailed my friend back that these things had already been taking place, that there were known cases of men raping women in female prisons. I attached the article, Women’s boundaries shouldn’t only matter when politically correct, written after the tragic murder of Sarah Everard, and copied this passage: 

‘Many of those taking to Twitter to tell us to #BelieveWomen and #YesAllWomen very quickly forget these principles the moment it counts. If you don’t believe me, try telling your progressive circle of friends that male sex offenders should not be housed in women’s prisons. You could add that women have allegedly been raped as a result of this policy, as any fool could have predicted. Rather than justified feminist outrage, you will likely be met with embarrassed silence at best, or some hemming and hawing about how it’s a “difficult issue;” or, at worst, ostracism and accusations of bigotry. Middle class women are allowed to be afraid to go jogging after dark, but there is no sympathy for incarcerated women — some of the most vulnerable members of society, large numbers of whom have prior trauma at the hands of males — who are now locked up with convicted rapists. Any concern raised is just hateful scaremongering masking a conservative agenda.’

Liberals have erected what seems like an impenetrable mental fort around the trans issue and it is supported by other elements beyond the stupidity, misogyny and cowardice. What is it that makes people refuse to consider that they might not be “on the right side of history”? Hubris, definitely. Racism too; it goes with the hubris. 

The unwillingness of many liberals to question the framing of “their side” or to take a peek at others’ arguments is facilitated by the fact that these others are systematically denied a platform, and those who do succeed in getting some visibility are relentlessly smeared as hateful transphobes. How many people actually read JK Rowling’s letter or Abigail Shrier’s book before accepting as fact that they are raving bigots? The go-to news outlets and influencers tell them it’s so, and they can’t all be wrong can they? Opposition to gender ideology is painted as coming exclusively from the religious right, which fits nicely into the black-and-white, us-v-them, “we’re enlightened and they’re all backwards racists” worldview common in the US. People who opposed civil rights for homosexuals were bad guys and trans is the next civil rights frontier, right? We’re going to make sure to be the good guys this time, dammit

In reality, much (perhaps most) of the resistance to gender ideology comes from lesbians and gays (many of whom built the LGBT movement), long-time feminist activists (gender as something socially-constructed and separate from sex was conceptualized by feminists) and others who have been involved in a number of progressive causes.

For a liberal who has waited this long to question the gender ID movement, it is threatening to start questioning it now. Or to question one’s own opinions – what do I really mean when I say that trans women are women? – because the whole house of cards would come down. So they hold on by looking around them and finding reassurance that their crowd still thinks like them. It’s just herd mentality. Not only will liberals simply not entertain the possibility that they might in fact be the reactionary, bigoted party, they also don’t relish considering that the causes they’ve championed were chosen not through reason but social conformity. The longer this goes on, the more you resist telling yourself, Man, I guess I’m a sheep. This vicious circle is basically a social conformist’s sunk cost fallacy. 

As ignorant as liberals might be about an issue, they still know for sure that theirs is the side of equality and greater acceptance (and most are ignorant about the beliefs and demands of the gender ideology movement, and think they are on the side of the gender non-conforming when in fact it’s the opposite). At an individual level, the conviction that one is tolerant and righteous and on the right side of history is rooted in hubris–that unshakeable notion that I’m a GOOD PERSON (TM). At a collective level, it translates to the belief that WE’RE civilized. When you explain the extent of the backlash and loss of rights suffered by women, it doesn’t land because for it to do so there would need to be an understanding that, here too, we live in a patriarchy. Libfems make vague and reprobative references to some of the ills of patriarchy, but there is still a pro-Western bias wherein it is believed that, here in the West, we are fundamentally a progressive society and that most men truly favor equality. To see the homophobia and misogyny of the gender ID movement would require seeing the homophobia and misogyny of our society at large; it would require a fundamental shift in worldview.    

A lot has been said and written about Iran’s “tolerant” attitude towards transgender people. Below is a 2014 BBC documentary that makes the case that in Iran, homosexuals often choose to medically transition due to fear, pressure and lack of information and other options. Shadi Amin, a coordinator with the Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network (6Rang), says, “A lot of people think that Iran is the paradise of transexuals, but I say it’s the hell of homosexuals”. Her quote is at 29:59, but please watch the whole video. While homosexuality is not illegal in the West, other experiences that they identify as driving some homosexuals to transition are similar to what is happening in the West. The lack of acceptance and visibility of lesbians is often echoed in the personal accounts of Western female detransitioners. The pseudoscientific nonsense underpinning these projects is the same everywhere. What does it mean for a doctor to tell an effeminate gay man that he is “98% female” and that they can change the 2% to make him fully a woman, but they can’t change the 98% to make him a man? [see Marie’s story at 30:35] Do 98% of the cells in his body have XX chromosomes? No, what it means is that to be a “real man” one can not be attracted to men and prefer the activities or mannerisms that a patriarchal society prescribes to women. Therefore, one’s male body is the “2%” of the equation, but one’s soul and personality are really those of a woman. This is in line with the official view of the Iranian state that gay people have a mismatch between body and soul: gay men have a woman’s soul in a man’s body, lesbians have a man’s soul in a women’s body. It’s also in line with the view of gender ideologues in the West. How is the Iranian therapist different from Dr. Diane Ehrensacht, a San Francisco clinical and developmental psychologist and leader in the field of pediatric transgenderism, who considers that a female toddler tearing out her barrettes is a sign that she’s really a boy? In the UK, therapists at a child gender clinic famously said “it feels like conversion therapy for gay children” and reported that “there was a dark joke among staff that there would be no gay people left”.   

Again, this narrative about Iran is not obscure. It could have invited some self-examination on the part of Westerners. But chauvinism goes hand in hand with racism, and conceptualizing the other as backwards preemptively dismantles any comparisons. They’re stuck in archaic oppressive traditions–but when we do the same thing, it’s totes progressive.

Gender ideology is being exported and pushed onto the rest of the world by the West, especially by the Anglosphere. Linda Louis is an Indian feminist with a background in international human rights law. In this presentation, she speaks of the neocolonialism of the gender identity movement. She notes that various UN agencies all agree that women need access to separate toilets, “but somehow, this is forgotten when it comes to developed countries as if the girls in developed countries are not eligible for the very same basic facilities that the United Nations recommends for developing countries”. She says that it’s like a “reversal of human dignity” because what is afforded to girls in the Global South is being refused to girls of the Global North. “Reversal”, because the usual pattern is that we afford dignity to those in the Global North and not South. But the way I read this is that men of the Global South are seen as predatory, while men of the Global North are not. Not much of a reversal. Though the corollary is that when women in the Global North (those wretched “white feminists”) speak of fear of male violence, they’re just pearl-clutching prudes and bigots.  

If you’re curious about my claim that there have been attacks on women in prisons, these cases are compiled on the website Women are Human. I’m sure that the fact of this compilation will be construed by genderists as proof of fear-mongering and victimization of trans-identified males by feminists, but the point is that the violence that we know men commit at higher rates than women doesn’t magically disappear when a man declares himself a woman.

The data we have on male violence against women is on the basis of SEX, not gender identity. And we have no reason to believe that men’s gender identities are correlated with their propensity towards violence. If transactivists want to make that case, they should provide the data. If we have reason to create spaces from which we exclude men (or males/male-bodied people/the scrotal half/prostate-havers/bepenised ones/AMAB/XY people or whatever your choice of words may be) there is no reason to make exceptions for men who have special gender identities. But that’s the crux of it, isn’t it? Liberals don’t believe or don’t care that we have reason for such spaces. We’re back at square 1, having to argue for our gains all over again.

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Degenderettes Exhibit at SFPL

Photography isn’t my forte, but hopefully this is useful to women who have been curious (or outraged) by the exhibit and don’t live in the Bay Area.

I took pictures of the Degenderettes exhibit at the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) for those who can’t make it there themselves. The Degenderettes are “a humble and practical club, fighting for gender rights within human reach rather than with legislation and slogans”, or a trans advocacy group that goes around intimidating and threatening women, especially lesbians. One of the pieces originally displayed was a bloodied t-shirt with the words “I PUNCH TERFS”.

A Degenderette wears a “I PUNCH TERFS” t-shirt at the 2017 San Francisco Pride parade.

Following outrage from women around the world, SFPL removed the t-shirt with this disingenuous comment: “This exhibit contains strong language, blood and mentions of transmisogyny and police violence. The Library has altered the exhibit, removing artwork that could be interpreted to promote violence which is incompatible with our  policies.” Transmisogyny is defined as “misogyny” towards transwomen, but you would be excused for assuming it refers to the misogyny displayed by trans people.

SFPL should have either removed the entire exhibit (and there is a petition to that effect that I encourage you to sign) or kept the t-shirt, so that the public understands what this TERF rhetoric is about.

Who is a TERF? A TERF is a woman who doesn’t believe in gender essentialism, or the idea that there are certain personality traits (or an essence, soul, mind, etc) that define all women. A TERF is a woman who thinks that her experience of oppression is rooted in being born in a female body. A TERF is a woman who believes that people born with penises, regardless of how they identify, have had different life experiences than those born with vaginas. A TERF is a woman who defends female-only spaces and resources (such as scholarships) set aside for women. A TERF is a woman who questions the medicalization of children who don’t conform to gender norms. A TERF is a lesbian who excludes males from her dating pool. Above all, a TERF is a woman who doesn’t know her place.

According to these guys, she should be punched, beaten, even killed, and SFPL found it appropriate to give them a platform. This is because they are white American males, who always have a license to spread terror to anyone they deem in their way.

An “inaccessible” women’s restroom door. Because all female spaces should be accessible and all women’s boundaries should be smashed.

We are living a global pandemic of violence against women and this exhibit was put up mere days after a massacre in Toronto that was motivated by misogyny and male entitlement. It is an ode to more of the same and allowing it at a public library is unbelievably irresponsible and insensitive. Regardless of how you choose to define “woman” and “man”, it is a fact that people with vaginas are born into an oppressed class that experiences systematic violence from people with penises, who make up the oppressor class. However, by positing that there is another axis of oppression – cis and trans – in which “cis women” (in this case lesbians) are suddenly the oppressors of “trans women” (in this case heterosexual males), they’ve reframed the violence and intimidation of the Degenderettes as a case of a marginalized group “punching up”. That’s all it takes for a stamp of approval from the enlightened folks at SFPL.

Men go into a space for lesbians and claim they “might not feel safe in a crowd of cis women”. This is the classic reversal of abusers who claim to be the abused.

Even if SFPL does believe that trans-identified males are oppressed by women and that that the violence of those punching up is justified, would they allow similar exhibits from other oppressed groups? I can imagine that they might host exhibits about other movements that include violent tactics in their struggle for liberation, but would they zoom in on their bloody weapons and violent slogans? Can you imagine Palestinians or Kurdish women or Black liberationists being allowed to exhibit weapons and slogans like “I punch Jews”, “I kill men” or “die white scum”? Somehow I doubt it. This is a privilege only afforded to those who are white American males.

As someone of Muslim descent, I see both something very different and very familiar in how the marginalized groups of Muslims and women are treated. If SFPL had exhibited a t-shirt that said “I punch Muslims”, I know that Bay Area community organizations and activists would have raised hell and had it shut down. But women? That nagging underclass of humanity? Nobody cares about us, be it on the left or the right.

There is also a chilling similarity. Violence is often justified by presenting the aggressor as the victim. When I see the lies and histrionics about radical feminists who “want all trans people to die” it reminds me of claims like “Muslims want to destroy the West/kill all Christians”. I have never seen any radical feminist advocate for violence against or wish death upon transpeople. Radical feminists simply do not believe that gender is natural or innate, and therefore do not agree with the current dogma that a woman is “anybody who identifies as a woman”. And in the ultra-privileged bubble and navel-gazing culture of American identitarians, disagreeing with someone’s beliefs about themselves is construed as the ultimate violence.

The Degenderettes exhibit is nothing more than misogyny and male entitlement and violence repackaged with the help of some eyeliner. As to the “liberals” who condone this, they have so wrapped their self-worth and social capital around being “woke” and supporting progressive causes, and they are so skittish about being reprimanded for wrongthink, that they allow themselves no room for critical thought.

IYIs [Intellectuals Yet Idiots] fail to distinguish between the letter and the spirit of things. They are so blinded by verbalistic notions such as science, education, democracy, racism, equality, evidence, rationality and similar buzzwords that they can be easily taken for a ride.
– Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Read more:
TERF isn’t just a slur, it’s hate speech
Trans activism is excusing & advocating violence against women, and it’s time to speak up

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Carnism as Cultural Appreciation

The Local Butcher Shop in Berkeley sells what foodies consider the right type of meat: grass-fed, pasture-raised, hormone-free, happy animals, all that jazz. They offer daily sandwiches with ingredients like roasted corn tapenade, soft-boiled duck eggs, herbed aioli and nepitella (I had to look it up too). They also offer butchery classes, where those who are seduced by the esthetic of artisanship can learn to hack away at the corpses of pigs, chickens, fish, even deer. Happily, these classes have been the object of protests by animal liberation activists.

Screen Shot 2017-07-29 at 3.40.38 PMOn July 10, The Local Butcher Shop posted this picture to Facebook with the caption “Bastille Day is this Friday, July 14th, and we’ve got you Francophiles covered: French onion soup, garlicky Toulouse sausage, Boudin Noir (blood sausage), Crépinettes, pork rillons, duck rillettes, duck confit, whole rabbits & chickens. Call us to place an order! Vive la France!”

I really hope that in 20 years we will look back on this gleeful barbarianism in disbelief. And even while the food movement has been turning ex-vegans into carnists, the renewed vigor of the animal liberation movement has me hopeful. Last week in San Francisco I participated in our city’s first March to Close All Slaughterhouses, and intrepid open rescue networks as well as a slaughterhouse vigil movement are compelling the world to finally empathize with farm animals.

There is nothing surprising to me about using Francophilia to sell meat. In recent years the vegan movement seems to have exploded in Europe, but when I was a kid in Europe it truly was more difficult to be veg*n, and when I would visit the Bay Area, it felt like such a breeze. Then a reversal started around the time I moved to the Bay Area (2010), largely due in my opinion to different streaks of identity politics. One was the idea that Europeans are more nuanced and sophisticated, and so instead of rejecting all animal products, they eat the right kind.

Under Bush, many Americans felt self-conscious and strove to imitate Europeans in an effort to distinguish themselves from all the other “dumb Americans”. Appreciation of local cheeses and artisanal sausages soon conveniently fell into this fold. Veganism was another example of misplaced zeal from Americans who, untethered to tradition and lacking nuance, swing from the extremes of fast food to fat free. San Franciscans especially seemed to have something to prove. After traveling to New York and witnessing an amazing vegan scene, I moved to San Francisco to see vegan businesses shutting down, ex-vegans popping up en masse, and carnism as a new enlightenment.

The problem was that people accepted a framing of the issue that is wrong. Veganism is not about refraining from a type of food entirely versus consuming with distinction and moderation. It’s about rejecting the entire notion that certain animals are food. When I lived in Europe, not a week went by without someone dropping the thought-terminating cliché “faut manger de tout” (“one must eat of everything”). I don’t have much of a problem with that message per se; the question is, what constitutes “everything”? The word everything is used as a synonym for “every food”. In my opinion, animals are not food. In the opinion of those people, certain animals are. Discussions should have centered on this difference, instead they were dismissed.

When a European travels to Asia and sees dogs raised for food, they don’t nod appreciatively and say that some dog meat in moderation is a wise food choice. No, they constantly lament the fate of the dogs (I speak from the experience of having traveled in Asia with Europeans). They wouldn’t be very open-minded if a local told them “faut manger de tout”. Where vegans departed from the mainstream is that we questioned why society doesn’t afford the same empathy to those defined (in the West) as “farm animals” as it does to dogs. Not coming up with a good answer, we changed our ways.

Veganism is about changing our social norms and social relations with other animals, and I think Bay Area folks should have been proud of our willingness to do this.

Now the Bay Area is stirring again. As a result of the above-mentioned protests, The Local Butcher Shop agreed to post an animal liberationist message on their window front; a likely first in the history of all butcher shops. The Bay Area is marching towards animal liberation; let’s be unwavering this time.Facebooktwittermail