more on food stuff.

i read the comment left by ‘the vegan’ yesterday. and i read it again and again. i was going to respond directly to the comment but felt another blog post brewing. it’s ranty. it’s emotionally charged, because this is my life — and the very real lives of other folks — that i’m talking about here. so, here goes.

i don’t know if i wasn’t clear enough in this post to begin with, but, thanks to lovinginthewaryears’ comment i’m reminded that i never said once in this entry that i am as anti cruelty as i possibly can be. i’ve been ruminating on anti-imperialist action in my life. as a woman of color, my body is considered territory more often than not (ppl trying to decide how/ when/ where i ought to reproduce, for instance). i see similarities btwn the colonization of brown bodies and the functions of industrial farms — not just on the reproductive tip. i don’t agree with unnecessary brutalization of any being. however, if an animal has to die because its flesh feeds me — and anyone else — i can’t say it’s not necessary. i believe that less torturous methods can and should be used in farms, but because agribusinesses are running things, it’s not as likely to happen in the states. it’s just not. the work needs to be done by ALL people who are concerned to change he face of farming here. the same ppl who approve and encourage these practices — for they can hardly be called animal husbandry — are likely the folks who approve & encourage GMO plant life being part of the foods we eat. given that corn, soy, and wheat are the most used grains — and also have the highest percentages of GMO specimens — wouldn’t it be safe to say that we can’t eat the grains either? what about the farms that spray their tomatoes w/ salmon cells to protect the tomatoes from cold temps, so that they’ll grow when said tomatoes are not even in season? maybe i’m rambling. but, i feel that the whole system functions the same way. the prison system, these jobs, the government — it’s all the same shit to me. same cycle. so, to that end, i suppose we’re all working on whichever facet vexes us the most. that still doesn’t give anyone the space to condemn anyone else for surviving the best way they can. and that has nothing to do with knowledge of what’s ‘better.’ if they can’t do it, does it matter? i’d like for someone to trade me my food allergies for their diet CHOICES — dripping in privilege as much as racism/ sexism/ classism/ ableism — and tell me i’m wrong for eating chicken. go to the ER with your mom at 3 in the morning because you don’t know why she has hives and can’t keep water down, and then find out that it’s because of soybeans, which are virtually everywhere, and tell me she’s wrong for eating what doesn’t make her seriously ill.  i cannot and will not be sorry for being  a meat eater. i cannot and will not limit my diet to impossibly expensive gluten- and soy-free flour choices so that i can make my own bread.  i will not subsist on beans and rice forever just because it’s a vegan dish. for WHAT? when people who look like me are dying just as immediately or as slowly from drug addiction, abuse, police brutality, and violence against one another? no. sorry. not gonna happen. the quality of life for underprivileged (or poor or lower class or whatever words we use to dehumanize the situation) people has as much to do with the food choices they make as the availability of quality food. at the end of the day, the suburbanites have just as shitty food choices when you really think about it.

at the end of the day i refuse to be sick for anyone. i don’t care how wrong it is or isn’t. i’m surviving the best way i can.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joan Kelly
    Aug 19, 2009 @ 12:48:27

    although I don’t have food allergies like you, I do have a similar/same belief about food and eating animals, and I loved this post for everything you talk about here.

    To me, it’s not evil to eat animals. Tigers do it. Are they selfish assholes? What tigers don’t do, or any other species really to my knowledge besides humans, is torture animals while they’re alive, before killing them for food. How we treat other creatures while they’re alive is what matters to me. Everybody is somebody’s food.

    I’m not against other people not-eating meat or animal products at all, for whatever reasons they choose. I just resent the misplaced and dishonest and often-from-a-privileged-position self-righteousness, as well as the complete invisibilizing of HUMANS, often people of color, often specifically women of color, who are tortured and in ways also killed by non-animal food production, among other things.


  2. sparkle
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 13:05:20

    YES, joan, YES!!! i totally agree. i thank you for your words. bless you.


  3. joankelly6000
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 19:11:01

    god knows I love to be blessed (and so thank you!), but I can’t really claim it as earned, since it is other people I read who talk about this stuff, who first made me think about it in any of these ways, like bfp and Mai’a as two examples. And you, here, too, obviously.

    I mean I always have felt like eating animals doesn’t bother me, but how we treat the ones we end up eating is unbearable.

    But I didn’t know what all bothered me about some (not all by any stretch) people who talk about not eating meat or any animal products, or rather what bothered me about some of what they have to say, and I surely was fairly ignorant about the ways actual people are harmed in the production of non-animal foods.

    I think the first time the other stuff started to click for me was a post of bfp’s about how it bugged her that some women would loudly protest the sex industry, but not other industries where women were/are also subjected to sexual harassment and sexual violence on top of low/no wages and intolerable working conditions all around.

    (which, for the record, as someone who’s been in the sex industry to some extent, I didn’t take it as “shut up about the harms of the sex industry” at all, but as a pointing out that it’s not either/or, it’s both, and it’s a lot to do with race that some things, like strip clubs with mostly white performers for instance, get picketed while fields of vegetables with no bathrooms and no water and supervisors who assault and rape brown women are invisibilized or ignored.)

    Okay now I feel like I’m parroting others’ smarter words again. Maybe I’m just having self-conscious-Thursdays, ha. Anyway, thanks for the kind words, and again for the post.

    [I will add, all on my own, that I have a major stick up my ass about anyfuckingbody telling any woman that animals are more important than she is. Separate from the food issue, I’m simply not having that shit.]


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