The International Women’s Day Show: Uncovering the Connections Between Feminism and Animal Rights, with Carol J. Adams

March 3, 2017
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Listen to this show here!

This show is dedicated to International Women’s Day, which takes place annually on March 8th.

As a prelude into next week’s show, our co-host Sinéad tells us about an informal event she attended this week with celebrated film director Liz Marshall (The Ghosts in Our Machine). Liz was in town this week and spoke to a small group of guests about her upcoming film called Meat The Future, which explores the innovations in lab-grown meat, also known as “clean meat”.

Carol J. Adams, eco-feminist, writer and activist, on The Intersections Between Women’s Rights and Animal Rights

Vegan eco-feminist Carol J. Adams. Photo by Hillary Cohen DeParde.

Vegan eco-feminist Carol J. Adams. Photo by Hillary Cohen DeParde.

Our feature interview is with Carol J. Adams, who is a renowned feminist-vegan advocate, activist, and independent scholar and the author of numerous books including “The Sexual Politics of Meat”, “The Pornography of Meat”, “Neither Man Nor Beast: Feminism and the Defense of Animals”, “Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals and the Earth”, and many more. These books, and others, focus particularly on the links between the oppression of women and that of non-human animals.

Carol has also written over a hundred articles in journals, books, magazines and encyclopedias on vegetarianism, animal rights, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. She holds a Masters of Divinity from Yale University, and in the 1970s, she and her spouse started a Hotline for Battered Women in upstate New York. Carol is also an author of books on living as a vegan, and she was inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 2011.

In this interview in honour of International Women’s Day, Carol discusses with us many facets of the connections between feminist values and animal rights. She speaks about the dualistic thinking that many people exhibit in considering the interests of animals to be inferior to those of humans, and explains how the progressive feminist position must recognize the common commitments to justice as expressed by both the feminist and animal rights movements.

She also speaks about the normalization of “meat” and the messages we are dispatched about it in society, which reduces a sentient being to that of an “object”. Carol tells us about the oppression of women who work in slaughterhouses, and also how some people use violence towards animals to control and sexually violate women and children. Eco-feminism, or vegan-feminism, critiques the dominant culture and looks at individuals and at social structures, and deconstructs but also offers solutions. We can oppose all oppressions that we see, because when others are oppressed, no one can be free.

At The Animal Museum, located in Los Angeles, an exhibit entitled The Sexual Politics of Meat, centred on the theme of Carol’s work, has just opened and runs until April 30th. This exhibit features 14 contemporary women artists whose work has been inspired by the eco-feminist theories presented in Carol J. Adams’ book “The Sexual Politics of Meat”. Visit the museum if you are in the area!

In this short animated video clip, Carol discusses how her feminism and then veganism was formed:

 

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