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March 24, 2018

Thread before the Gardening Thread: Veganism - Don't think about it too hard [KT]

Serving your mid-day open thread needs


The subject of veganism has come up in my reading and in some conversations this week. I have always thought that "vegan" was sort of an odd word. Never attracted me to veganism.

I was not surprised to learn that students at Penn State are being taught that eating meat promotes hegemonic masculinity. I WAS kind of surprised to learn that students at North Carolina State University are being taught that veganism promotes white masculinity. Here's the theory:

vegan and vegetarian men have reclaimed their "previously-stigmatized consumption identity" to wield power over women by framing their lifestyle as a rational, rather than emotional, choice.

Though some scholars claim that eating meat causes "toxic masculinity," Mycek came to a different conclusion based on interviews with 20 vegan men, asserting that they actually tend to "uphold gendered binaries of emotion/rationality and current ideas of middle-class, white masculinity.

I always thought there was something kind of "white" about PETA. Never really thought of the organization as a typical example of middle-class white masculinity. But PETA and organizations like it can be kind of aggressive. And crazy.

Via smalldeadanimals, on Friday I learned that an activist covered herself with animal feces outside a San Francisco Trader Joe's Market to protest reported living conditions for chickens at a farm back east. Looks worse than it sounds if you are brave enough to uncover the "graphic photo".

Last year, a butcher shop in Berkeley that sells "seasonal, locally-sourced, sustainably-raised fresh meat" agreed to post a sign decrying animal slaughter in order to get some animal rights group to cut down on their weekly protests. This group has protested at a bunch of other places, too. They seem sort of hegemonic to me.

Do you know any vegans who don't eat organic food? From last year (h/t Maggie's Farm), technophobia and the organic food religion:

Whether we like it or not, humans are spiritual creatures. We seek meaning in our lives and a greater power outside of us. As mainstream religions in Western societies fade away, people are replacing them with a new religion: One whose focus is on sustainability, postmodernism (anti-intellectualism), and technophobia. Organic is the sacrificial food of this new religion.

This piece notes the irrationality of not allowing added sulfur dioxide in "organic" wine when sulfur dioxide is a natural product of yeast fermentation. As a side note, back before the EU took over regulation of most European goods, the French Pharmacopea had an entire volume on wine. If I remember correctly, sulfur dioxide was pretty much a requirement. That was before I had ever heard of organic wine, though.

Are people becoming more doctrinaire about their food choices? One food blogger got death threats after adding fish to her diet.

So if you are evil if you eat meat and you are oppressive if you are a vegan, what food choices are left? Well, here's a brief history of cannibalism. Hope we're not on the way back to that. Mr. Podesta.

Hope you have a great weekend. Eat something you like. Might want to steer clear of sociologists and their students for a while, if possible.

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:15 AM

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