The words "Vegan" and "Feminism" often conjure up a whole array of emotions because they are surrounded by stigma, preconceptions and controversy. Many people turn their noses up at anyone who claims to be one, calling it a "trend" or "fad" especially as more conversations are had regarding both.
Is it the labels that cause so much unrest rather than the actual way of life though?
I tend to think so.
Is it necessary to give yourself a label?
I don't think so, however, many vegans and feminists are proud to call themselves that and want to share it with others, so why shouldn't they?
For the purpose of this blog, I am going to use these "labels" to make it a bit simpler because there is one question that I really want to look at:
Is it possible to be a vegan without being a feminist?
I don't think so.
If you care about the feelings and welfare of other sentient beings and want the best for them, you cant ignore the inequalities of your own breed. If you care that a mother is forcibly impregnated then has their baby taken away within hours of being born, surely that means you care about the rights of other females?
If you avoid consuming breast milk from other species, surely you understand the rights and struggles of human breastfeeding mothers too? I could go on...
Does being vegan and a feminist mean you hate all men and non-vegans? Of course not! For me, it just means a wish for equality and an end to unnecessary suffering, regardless of whether the species in question is human or not.
I wrote a piece of theatre about this where I go into more detail about my thoughts on the issue (it's not all doom and gloom, it is funny and honest too). I am delighted to be performing "Spilt Milk" on 13th and 14th January in The Bread and Roses Theatre, London with Bee In My Beanie Theatre. So do come along if you can!
More and more people are turning vegan once they realise that animal products are unnecessary for human consumption. If we don't need to consume it, why on earth are we causing so much devastation ethically and environmentally?
For some reason though (and I do have my own views on this too - maybe I'll save that for another day) people want to catch you out, they want you to trip up and see you fail. I don't know why you are suddenly expected to know every statistic out there, or you are a complete failure if you slip up once or twice, surely making even a tiny change is better than sitting back and allowing the suffering and damage to continue?
If you are curious about veganism and the benefits it has for everything involved, why not give veganuary a go? They have so much information and support to share.
And remember: "Nothing tastes as good as being vegan feels"
I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please do get in touch.