Men and whites (and especially a combination of the two) centrism is rampant in the animal activist movements.
For me, I find this worth exploring.
Side note: The institutions of patriarchy are designed to privilege men, therefore men cannot be victimised within this piece of writing. Don’t even try.
In a movement desperate to expand and I’m dead ass serious, why is we not addressing inequality.
Because “There’s no time to think about that, the animals are suffering!” you say, well; maintaining inequality doesn’t create a vegan world.
Oh louder for the back? Ok, MAINTAINING INEQUALITY DOESN’T CREATE A VEGAN WORLD.
People, are the key role in ending animal oppression, nah mean?
Stopping to think about that, is exactly what non human animal rights spaces need.
I’m all for the purposes of keeping this at a readable length, so I promise my goal is to think of the animals, if it still seems at this point like I’m trying to make us not think of the animals. Read on.
If we truly want to end oppression, in all its forms, we need to check ourselves (and the people around us) to make sure we aren’t unintentionally replicating oppressive beliefs and behaviour.
Oppressive behaviour looks like this
⁃ Defining the experiences of others
⁃ Articulating the boundaries for others
⁃ Designate to each thing or person it’s realm and qualities
⁃ Determining what cannot be expressed
⁃ Controlling perception itself
Animal rights movements continue to operate according to patriarchal & white supremacy (mostly a combo of the two) norms by ignoring specific people issues or delegitimising them. Insert “Won’t somebody please think of the animals!” comment here but before you roll out, let me explain how resisting oppressive behaviours builds towards total equality which actually always benefits the animals…
If the women population, were able to escape the irrationality of patriarchy
and become full citizens both in society and social movements, systems of oppression will crumble.
In other words, the movements greatest source of people power is currently immobilised, as female activists/leaders are so often stripped or silenced.
Victims of racism are doubly oppressed by their own vegan community when their reasonable requests for empathy and safety are dismissed as “drama” “political correctness” “attention seeking” or “not as important”.
To be clear, those who dismiss the presence of violence and the requests for accountability are invariably themselves persons with privilege who, for lack of direct experience, have not had to seriously consider the reality of ongoing human discrimination.
Again, immobilising the power of people as the community bullies them into silence “for the cause”.
Embrace diversity, don’t tell me you gave up on humans so you can’t hold people up, push women to the front, listen to the experiences of others, acknowledge the presence of violence in the lives of other humans.
The movement must liberate people in order to fully liberate animals.
Rather than accuse women and other disenfranchised groups of being discriminatory themselves simply for requesting representation.
A movement that belittles and trivialises the marginalisation of human groups has been unwelcoming to this day, and remains less effective for other animals.
Oppression cannot be subverted through more oppression. When this form of activism is employed, it smothers any room for further growth.