For many years I had no concept of what feminism was or why it was needed, growing up in white affluent Surrey with a female monarch and a female prime minister I naturally thought women mostly ran the world and that men had agreed to this.
Oblivious in my childhood bubble I saw my mother and father both work, both drive cars and have equal opinions in the household. I wasn’t aware of all the steps it had taken for women to be able to vote or own property in the UK, I had no idea women were viewed by some as intellectually deficient. I was a rough and tumble tomboy child with a bmx and scuffed knees, I fought with the boys and played with flower fairies and sylvanians, I cut my hair short and climbed trees. I felt like a balanced person not just a girl. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up Prime Minister was my answer, I had no thoughts of ‘boys jobs’ and ‘girls jobs’ I may not have wanted to be a bin man or a pilot but I wouldn’t have dreamed that my gender would stop me doing either.
Imagine my horror upon bursting confidently into the workplace to be treated as less than male colleagues, paid less than male colleagues and viewed as a liability due to my gender. In my twenties; Even as a top performer my older male boss would happily tell clients they only kept me around to do the washing up in front of all the other staff and encouraged sexist comments and behaviour.
So even in today’s so called enlightened society in the UK sexism and insults to women are commonplace, being a feminist has really never been more important, There are still so many battles for female humans globally, for education for health rights, voting rights, rights over their own bodies. people around the world are obsessed with women’s attire, in France you can be ordered to take off your clothes on a beach and uncover your hair at gun point, in other countries women risk punishment for being too uncovered! Personally I think some stringent rules across all cultures to ban males in speedos, large basketball shirts when not actually playing the sport and of course socks with sandals would be of more benefit to civilisation!
So how does this relate to being vegan? Of all of the injustices and outrages in the animal agriculture industry the female of all species are particularly exploited, if I am to remain true to my feminist beliefs, that females AND males deserve to be free and safe and have equal opportunities to live peacefully, then I cannot stand by whilst females of any species are forcibly impregnated, have their babies ripped from them, watch their babies being slaughtered and then steal the milk that was intended for their baby.
I cannot accept that females of any species are herded into massive barns and pumped full of hormones to produce unfertilised eggs for snacks and and as a baking ingredient? Before all of these poor exploited mothers are dragged off to be killed for more snacks.
All mothers bond with the baby growing in their tummy, cells from male human babies have been found in their mothers brain tissue (fascinating!) so it is not a massive leap of the imagination to say that all mothers carry part of their child with them forever.. an invisible cord that connects mother to child. Why would humans be the only species that this applies to? Hens talk to their chicks in the egg so when they hatch the chick knows its mother. IT’S MOTHER ! Not just a hen, not just a pig, not just a cow, not just a sheep- Mothers.
So as a feminist I am proud to stand for all females of all species. We are not humankind if we only look after human rights. We do not give animals rights, we can only restore those we have stolen.