Vegan Chews & Progressive News {3-27-15}

Chickpeas & Changes’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which I view as necessary in fostering a society that prioritizes the well-being of all creatures (not just the rich, white, or human) over the continuous striving for profit/resource accumulation.

Wowza, it’s already the 42nd edition of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)?!?!? We’re getting up there, folks. And for good reason, because I really can’t stop myself from sharing all of the hearty breakfast sandwiches, refreshing smoothies, and tempeh-loaded yumminess out there on the vegan blogosphere. And of course, how could I let important stories about U.S.-Israel relations, white male dominance in philosophy, subversive reporting on Africa, or radical vegan scholarship fall by the wayside? Nope, we’re going to have to keep going, waaay beyond 42…

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

Breakfast Sandwiches with Chickpea Patties & Cholula Cashew Cheese
Via Oh My Veggies

Photo via Kiersten at Oh My Veggies.

Photo via Kiersten at Oh My Veggies.

I get pretty enthusiastic about making chickpea-based dishes reminiscent of the texture and flavor of chicken’ eggs (but without all of the exploitation of female reproductive organs and whatnot), and I recently became an aspiring hot sauce aficionado…so this sandwich pretty much covers all the bases.

Sweet

Fennel Smoothie
Via Vegan Miam

Photo via Rika at Vegan Miam.

Photo via Rika at Vegan Miam.

The humble (and under-appreciated, in my book) fennel is right up there with the parsnip on the pedestal of my favorite veggies, so when you throw the crisp, anise-flavored green bulb into a blender with some pineapple and coconut water, well. You’ve made one blogger quite happy.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Cajun Tempeh Sloppy Joes
Via Connoisseurus Veg

Photo via Alissa Saenz.

Photo via Alissa Saenz.

Hellloooooo tons of flavor! For serious, though, the pita pocket into which I stuffed this brilliant tempeh concoction was bursting with succulent, tomato-ey, smoky deliciousness (and it was also bursting because I may or may not have crammed too much tempeh in there, but whatevs). This one is an easy and quick hit.

Must-Read Article(s)

Is Obama really going to get tough with Israel?
By Ali Abunimah at Electronic Intifada

Photo via Pete Souza.

Photo via Pete Souza.

In the wake of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent re-election and his disavowal of a two-state solution, the Obama administration has been claiming that they’re finally going to start taking action against Israel‘s racist, genocidal policies and practices. Sounds great, yeah? Well, there’s always a catch when it comes to American politics, isn’t there? In this article, journalist Ali Abunimah explains why we need to take a critical eye on Obama’s promises with regards to Israel.

Philosophy has to be about more than white men
By Minna Salami at The Guardian

 Aztec thinking was all but erased from history after their defeat by the Spanish. Photograph via Archivo Iconografico/Corbis.

Aztec thinking was all but erased from history after their defeat by the Spanish. Photo via Archivo Iconografico/Corbis.

I really couldn’t resist sharing this second article with ya’ll today, especially because this semester I’ve found myself in a philosophy course overrun with white men who really need to do some serious privilege-checking (like let SOMEONE else speak, bros!!!). Anywho, this article by Minna Salami does an awesome job of explaining the dominance of white men within the philosophic discipline, as well as why it’s so important to look to the forgotten philosophic voices.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Africa is a Radio
Via Africa is a Country

Photo via Africa is a Country.

Photo via Africa is a Country.

I only recently found out about this tongue-in-cheek blog, which challenges dominant conceptions of Africa and its people within Western media sources. Needless to say, I’ve become a huge fan of the blog’s work, not least because of its monthly podcast hosted by DJ and contributing editor Chief Boima. Give him a listen.

Book Recommendation

The Vegan Body Project: Food, Animals, and Gender in the Age of Terror
By Laura Wright

Photo via University of Georgia Press.

Photo via University of Georgia Press.

This Fall season cannot come fast enough, since it means the release of this long-awaited anthology by Laura Wright. Featuring pieces by Carol J. Adams, Justin Van Kleeck of the Triangle Chance for All microsanctuary (whom I recently interviewed on the blog), Jacqueline Morr of Project Intersect, Greta Gaard, and others, The Vegan Studies Project “combin[es] personal narratives and gender studies with eco-feminism and pop culture […] [to] offer a brilliant analysis of the status of vegans and veganism on America’s cultural landscape” (qtd. Hal Herzog). SO EXCITED.

In solidarity, Ali.

“Trash Animals”: Intersections of Speciesism, Classism, & Racism

Recently, I’ve found myself in a number of situations where those around me (and in one instance even myself) implicitly referred to other animals as dirty, and thus in need of being separated from us “clean” humans. Though I’ve written before about the animals we typically deem as “pests,” these recent situations have prompted me to re-explore the topic.

In one instance, I overheard a conversation that took place in my communal kitchen between two of my housemates. Housemate A was about to place a spoonful of peanut butter into a small cup when Housemate B shouted at Housemate A to stop, warning Housemate A that the particular cup they were about to use had previously been employed to feed the rescued lab rats who live with another housemate. Housemate A thanked Housemate B, expressing their gladness that they hadn’t had to eat from the same cup from which a rat had eaten (even though the cup had been cleaned and sanitized in the dishwasher after the rat had used it).

Additionally, my housemates and I have been increasingly encountering cockroaches in the kitchen, pantry, and dining areas of our cooperative household. The majority of my housemates have expressed concern over the insects’ presence, citing health risks and food contamination. I myself played into this discourse by not removing a cockroach trap placed in our walk-in pantry by our college’s janitorial staff — an inaction that, upon reflection, was supremely speciesist, and one in which I don’t intend to engage again. It is with a heavy heart that I think of those beings who met an untimely and violent death in part due to my inaction, and I hope that this post can provide some small memorial to them.

In my view, at the heart of these expressions of disgust toward the rats and cockroaches in our home lies the speciesist assumption that we — the human animals for whose use our house is intended — are cleaner (read: superior) than the other animals with whom we live, and thus that we have a right to determine how they use our house, whether that infringes upon their bodily autonomy or not.

And yet, as the editors of the anthology Trash Animals: How We Live with Nature’s Filthy, Feral, Invasive, and Unwanted Species inquire, “Are animals to blame for flourishing in the abundant habitat we create?” (24). Indeed — to use the case of cockroaches as an extended example — cockroaches probably wouldn’t want anything to do with human animals if not for our “crumbs, scraps of food, and spilled food that they find” (Orkin) (they have existed for 300 million years before us, anyway [Kraus 212]). In this way, are not cockroaches merely cleaning up after our messes?

Because we human animals — and especially those who enjoy ample amount of privilege — are notoriously unwilling to engage in self-critical reflection, we refuse to acknowledge the situations we create as having the ideal conditions for the prevalence of cockroaches and other “pests.” Thus, we attack the symptom — cockroaches — of the manifestation of the messiness at once integral to human nature and demonized out of our fears of appearing “imperfect” in any way. With their astute assertion that “[t]rash is a human creation both literally and figuratively” (7), Nagy and Johnson adequately summarize our construction of certain animals as “pests” out of a fear to acknowledge the mess that we necessarily produce simply by virtue of living (especially in our modern world).

All this talk of human production of trash as the reason for the prevalence of cockroaches is not intended to shame the marginalized groups — namely, economically poor Black people in the United States — who encounter cockroaches on the most regular basis. (To give you some context, a 1996 study by Sarpong et al found that “African-American race and low socioeconomic status were both[…] significant risk factors for cockroach allergen sensitization in children with atopic asthma” [1393]). On the contrary, I want to stress the point that we wealthy white people have a fear of being associated with such marginalized groups due to our historical construction of them as dirty, disease-ridden, and morally inferior (constructions used with high frequency to justify slavery)—a construction that in part depends upon our speciesist understanding of “pests,” since such an understanding allows us to point to the concentration of cockroaches in low-income Black homes as evidence of the latter’s physical and spiritual filthiness. To concretize this idea, it might be helpful to remember that “[p]olitical, ethnic, and interest groups have […] demonized outsiders [such as Black, Mexicans, and Jews] by nicknaming them after [cockroaches” (Kraus in Nagy & Johnson 204).

Yet just as humans create just the conditions in which cockroaches and other “pests” can thrive, wealthy white people create the conditions in which economically poor Black people face institutional barriers to securing housing that supports their wellbeing (i.e., by not being infested with cockroaches, who have been consistently linked with carrying asthma-related allergens). For example, the housing that is economically accessible to economically poor Black people due to vast structural inequality is often in disrepair, making it incredibly difficult to maintain a “clean” home (how can your food stay safe to eat if your cabinet doors are falling of their hinges, or if your refrigerator can’t maintain temperature? And how can you avoid mold if your pipes leak?), and thus one less likely to attract cockroaches and other “pests.”

Cockroaches do not inherently cause asthma, but individuals living in areas with a high cockroach presence for a prolonged period of time have a far greater chance of becoming sensitized to cockroach allergens (aka, becoming allergic to cockroaches), and developing asthma in part because of them. So, instead of demonizing the individual non-human animals who seem to me pretty harmless in and of themselves, perhaps we should instead devote our energies toward working in solidarity with marginalized groups to dismantle the structures that reinforce the white supremacy and poverty that forces economically poor Black people into dilapidated housing, prevents them from accessing adequate healthcare, etc. Part of this dismantling, I believe, needs to involve a confrontation of our fear of being associated with beings whom we regard as dirty and inferior — whether that be economically poor people, people of color, or “trash” animals.

In solidarity, Ali.


References

Arruda, L. Karla, Lisa D. Vailes, Virginia P.L. Ferriani, Ana Beatriz R. Santos, Anna Pomes, and Martin D. Chapman. “Cockroach Allergens and Asthma.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 3 (March 2001): 419-428. ScienceDirect. Web. 20 March 2015.

Garcia, F., M.J. Notario, J.M. Cabanas, R. Jordano, and L.M. Medina. “Incidence of Bacteria of Public Health Interest Carried by Cockroaches in Different Food-Related Environments.” Journal of Medical Entomology 6 (November 2012): 1481-1484. BioOne. Web. 20 March 2015.

Jones, Robert Emmet and Shirley A. Rainey. “Examining Linkages between Race, Environmental Concern, Health, and Justice in a Highly Polluted Community of Color.” Journal of Black Studies 4 (March 2006): 473-496. JSTOR. Web. 20 March 2015.

McConnell, R., J. Milam, J. Richardson, J. Galvan, C. Jones, P.S. Thorne, and K. Berhane. “Educational Intervention to Control Cockroach Allergen Exposure in the Homes of Hispanic Children in Los Angeles: Results of the La Casa Study.” Clinical and Experimental Allergy 35 (2005): 426-433. EbscoHost. Web. 20 March 2015.

Nagy, Kelsi and Phillip David Johnson II. Trash Animals: How We Live with Nature’s Filthy, Feral, Invasive, and Unwanted Species. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013. Print.

Nalyanya, Godfrey, J. Chad Gore, H. Michael Linker, and Coby Schal. “German Cockroach Allergen Levels in North Carolina Schools: Comparison of Integrated Pest Management and Conventional Cockroach Control.” Journal of Medical Entomology 3 (2009): 420-427. BioOne. Web. 20 March 2015.

Oldenburg, Marcus. “Occupational Health Risks Due to Shipboard Cockroaches.” International Archive of Occupational and Environmental Health 81 (2008): 727-734. EbscoHost. Web. 20 March 2015.

“Cockroaches.” Orkin. Orkin. Web. 20 March 2015.

Rauh, Virginia A., Ginger L. Chew, and Robin S. Garfinkel. “Deteriorated Housing Contributes to High Cockroach Allergen Levels in Inner-City Households.” Environmental Health Perspectives 2 (April 2002): 323-327. JSTOR. Web. 20 March 2015.

Sarpong, Sampson B., Robert G. Hamilton, Peyton A. Eggleston, and N. Franklin Adkinson. “Socioeconomic Status and Race as Risk Factors for Cockroach Allergen Exposure and Sensitization in Children with Asthma.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 6 (June 1996): 1393-1401. ScienceDirect. Web. 20 March 2015.

Stevenson, Lori A., Peter J. Gergen, Donald R. Hoover, David Rosenstreich, David M. Mannino, and Thomas D. Matte. “Sociodemographic Correlates of Indoor Allergen Sensitivity among United States Children.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 5 (November 2001): 747-752. ScienceDirect. Web. 20 March 2015.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {3-20-15}

Chickpeas & Changes’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which I view as necessary in fostering a society that prioritizes the well-being of all creatures (not just the rich, white, or human) over the continuous striving for profit/resource accumulation.

Hoorah for Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)! This week’s recipes are a quintessential vegan dream, featuring hummus, tofu, and animal-free versions of once-thought-impossible-to-veganize foods. Then, with your belly satisfied, check out a critique of the (lack of) Irish education typically provided to students surrounding St. Patrick’s Day, a phenomenal web series by a truly fantastic activist whom ya’ll should really get to know, and a great book for anyone looking to challenge internalized imperial thought forms. Let’s get to it!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

Roasted Jalapeno Hummus
Via Minimalist Baker

Photo via Dana Schultz.

Photo via Dana Schultz.

I have a…thing…for roasted chiles. Jalapenos, poblanos, chipotles — you name it, I’ll stuff it in my mouth. How can you argue with their slippery texture, their subtly charred flavor, and the huge oomph they give to just about any dish. Including this hummus!

Sweet

Marshmallow Fluff
Via Seitan Is My Motor

Photo via Seitan Is My Motor.

Photo via Seitan Is My Motor.

I’ve only ever encountered one other recipe for a vegan meringue-like substance (from vegan cooking genius Miyoko Schinner), and I’m thrilled to see more variations on this fluffy spread, which I once thought to be utterly un-veganizeable (how silly of me). You’ll never guess the secret ingredient in this recipe…

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Waffled Miso-Sesame Tofu
Via Daniel Shumski at Serious Eats

Photo via Daniel Shumski.

Photo via Daniel Shumski.

No longer just for waffles, my waffle iron has become a multi-use tool for tofu, hash browns, sticky rice, and more. After the impeccably crispy tofu that this powerhouse appliance produced, I may never cook tofu in a skillet or oven again.

Must-Read Article

The Real Irish-American Story Not Taught in Schools
By Bill Bigelow at Common Dreams

The Irish Famine: Interior of a Peasants Hut | Photo via Common Dreams.

The Irish Famine: Interior of a Peasants Hut | Photo via Common Dreams.

In light of St. Patrick’s Day, this story felt particularly relevant to me, especially since I think it is important to look with a critical eye on holidays that we tend to take for granted. Here, Bill Bigelow laments the lack of recorded firsthand information on the struggles of 19th-century Ireland, and the failure of typical school textbooks to effectively convey neither such struggles nor our continued complicity in their contemporary iterations. For example, Bigelow explains how the Irish Potato Famine constitutes an early example of the true reasons behind the hunger crisis (i.e., inadequate distribution rather than production of food). A fascinating read.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Black Feminist Blogger Web-Series
Via Aph Ko

Photo via Aph Ko.

Photo via Aph Ko.

I recently became a huge fan of the work of Aph Ko, a Black feminist vegan blogger who produces an hilarious and eye-opening web-series based off of the shit she gets from the rest of the blogosphere as a blogger of her identity. Watch her videos. Read her work. Spread it far and wide.

Book Recommendation

Culture and Imperialism
By Edward Said

Photo via Amazon.com.

Photo via Amazon.com.

With his Culture and Imperialism, acclaimed poscolonial scholar Edward Said has produced an important compendium of the ways we reinforce imperialistic thought in the production of art, music, film, theater, and other various cultural forms. In addition to his critical analyses of Jane Austen and Verdi, Said offers a great overview of imperialism as it manifested in the United States, Britain, and France, and the integral components to imperial ideology. A great read.

In solidarity, Ali.

“You Already Know Enough.”

A quick apologetic note before today’s (half-)post: If ya’ll received an email from Chickpeas & Change with an unfinished blog post that linked to a “Page Not Found,” I’m very sorry! I accidentally pressed the “Publish” instead of “Save Draft” button…oops…

Welcome to the week, everyone! Unfortunately, I’m not able to provide you with a full post today, since I was fortunate enough to spend the weekend in Brooklyn with my best friend whom I haven’t seen in three years (such an adorable reunion, if I do say so myself). I do, however, want to share a quote that has recently been ringing in my head. Hopefully it resonates with you, and if so, I would love to hear your thoughts and discuss with you in the comments (maybe even in a future post!).

“You already know enough. So do I. It is not knowledge we lack. What is missing is the courage to understand what we know and to draw conclusions.”

~Sven Lindqvist in “Exterminate All the Brutes”: One Man’s Odyssey Into the Heart of Darkness and the Origins of European Genocide (The New Press, 2007)

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {3-13-15}

Chickpeas & Changes’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which I view as necessary in fostering a society that prioritizes the well-being of all creatures (not just the rich, white, or human) over the continuous striving for profit/resource accumulation.

Welcome to Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)Today’s edition features some unique, animal-free grub; namely, sushi and waffles (not sushi waffles…*shudder*). Then, it’s with a heavy heart that I share a story of yet another police shooting of a Black teenager, this one in my own hometown. After that, though, a podcast and a film that might restore a bit of your hope in humanity.

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Miso-Ginger Glazed Roasted Carrot and Toasted Sesame Sushi
Via Maple Spice

Photo via Debbie at Maple Spice.

Photo via Debbie at Maple Spice.

I’m a big fan of Debbie’s innovative use of a tangy, salty-sweet glaze, typically employed on the bodies of salmon killed for sushi, instead on carrots. I also appreciate the care Debbie took to season the rice she used in this sushi (the word “sushi” does etymologically stem from the Japanese word for “sour rice,” after all). All in all, an impressively crafted recipe.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Cheesy Cornbread Waffles
Via Keepin in Kind

Photo via Kristy Turner.

Photo via Kristy Turner.

Proven by the 21 hungry members of my cooperative house who scarfed them down in no time flat last night, these waffles provide an ideal accompaniment to a hearty bowl of mixed bean & tempeh chili. You can also pour the batter into a baking pan and stick it in a 400° oven for 25-ish minutes if you prefer your cornbread in square rather than waffle form, or don’t have access to a waffle iron.

Must-Read Article

Police Shooting of Unarmed Black Teenager Tony Robinson in Madison, WI

Photo via Flickr / Light Brigading.

Photo via Flickr / Light Brigading.

Last Friday, March 6, white police officer Matt Kenny shot unarmed Black 19-year-old Tony Terrell Robinson Jr. in my hometown of Madison, WI. Clearly, this murder provides yet another example of the systematically violent, white supremacist institution of the United States’ police forces (even Madison’s police chief knows that). As expected, much of the media has been perpetrating some serious victim-blaming, insisting that Robinson “faced some past troubles,” and thus refusing to see him as any more than a criminal—the identity that white American automatically assigns to Black people.

No strangers to rallying (think back to the Scott Walker protests of 2011), Madison’s young people walked out of class this past Monday and marched in droves to the state capitol building. Read more about the details of the shooting and the ensuing organizing in the articles below.

Fatal shooting of black teenager by Madison police sparks protests (Amanda Holpunch, The Guardian)

Wisconsin protesters rally against fatal police shooting of Tony Robinson (Kate Aronoff, Waging Nonviolence)

Madison Students Rally to Demand Justice for Tony Robinson (Rebekah Wilce, PR Watch)

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Love in abundance: Hana Low on the intersections between queer human and non-human animal liberation
Via Hana Low at Animal Voices

Photo via Animal Voices.

Photo via Animal Voices.

As if I don’t talk about the amazing Hana Low enough on this blog, I’m excited to pass along to ya’ll an interview that they just gave on the Toronto-based animal liberation radio show Animal Voices. In the interview, Hana expands upon the connections they see between fighting oppression for LGBTQ communities and non-human animals, as well as the importance of having an approach to animal liberation that incorporates social justice for all groups, not just non-human animals. Give it a listen!

Book Recommendation Awesome projects you should totally check out

“DREAMers Among Us” Film Project & Screenings
Via the Youth Arts Group (YAG) of the Rural Migrant Ministry (RMM)

Dreamers-Poster-3

The Youth Arts Group (YAG) — a program run by the Rural Migrant Ministry (RMM), which is an advocacy group for migrant farmworkers in Poughkeepsie, NY, my college town — recently premiered DREAMers Among Us, a 20-minute documentary produced, directed, filmed, and edited by five high-school-age DREAMers. Drawing from the YAG website, “a ‘DREAMer’ is a young undocumented person who would be eligible for the DREAM Act if it passed. The NY version of the DREAM Act increases access to higher education by making undocumented students eligible for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).” If any of ya’ll are in the Hudson Valley or NYC-Metro area, I’d highly encourage you to attend the film’s next screening on Saturday, March 14 (tomorrow!!!) from 1:00-3:00 pm at the Helen Mills Theater (137 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001). Visit the this page for more details.

In solidarity, Ali.

On Making Farmed Animal Sanctuaries the Most Liberatory Spaces Possible

Hey, ya’ll. A conversation I recently had with a fellow radical anti-speciesist whom I deeply trust and respect got me thinking about the farmed animal sanctuary model in the context of humanitarian efforts.

Let me be very clear about what I do and do not seek to do in this post. First, I seek to demonstrate how we might think about farmed animal sanctuaries as establishing a similar structure to that of humanitarian refugee camps. With this argument, I in no way intend to conflate the very unique sufferings experienced respectively by human refugees and sanctuary residents, nor do I intend to suggest that sanctuaries represent the equivalent of humanitarian camps for other species.  I also do not wish to attack farmed animal sanctuaries or assert definitively that any sanctuary currently engages in the exploitative rhetoric and practices that I expand upon below.

My goal with this argument is to point to the oppressive logic manifest in humanitarian efforts – which must be challenged in and of itself – and to question how anti-speciesists might work to ensure that farmed animal sanctuaries do not similarly operate in ways that further exploit the individuals they aim to assist.

That said, I am not aware of every single oppressive assumption I hold thanks to my lifelong socialization in a culture of white supremacist heteropatriarchy, and very much welcome your thoughts on my presentation of this potentially divisive topic. 

In the sense that farmed animal sanctuaries endeavor to satisfy the basic needs of and provide a satisfactory home for their residents, I think that we may be able to interpret these spaces as functioning with a similar structural goal as humanitarian camps do for displaced peoples. Following this interpretation, I would also contend that sanctuaries fall under threat of perpetuating rhetoric and practices that further oppress their residents, as humanitarian camps have been proven to do.

For example, the now-profitable logic of humanitarianism — said to operate in organized efforts to alleviate suffering under an ethics of universal kindness and sympathy — depends upon the continued production of refugees in order to ensure its own functioning. Consider the vast network of organizations, professional personnel, research programs, and beyond that receive generous amounts of funding and notoriety for their supposed benevolence. How, if their economic wellbeing necessitates the existence of displaced peoples, can such entities purport to support the eradication of the underlying systems that cause forced displacement in the first place? As Weizman notes, humanitarians often become “media celebrities” (42) who use emotional refugee testimonies to “compete for money in the charitable market” (45). In this formation, the suffering of displaced peoples becomes necessary in bolstering the economic health of humanitarianism.

As I alluded to above, humanitarianism’s dependency upon the production of refugees means that the root problems — namely, war and imperialism — causing displacement go far unchecked, and that refugees lose autonomy as humanitarians speak for them and manage their lives in camps.

Farmed animal sanctuaries — namely, large-scale, nationally recognized ones with substantial donor bases — too have become potential spaces for profitable endeavors, and thus risk sacrificing the autonomy and ultimate liberation of their residents and all other farmed animals in the name of the sanctuary’s own continued functioning. As my good friend Rocky Schwartz noted in her presentation at the 2014 Students for Critical Animal Studies Conference, even though “farmed animal sanctuaries attempt to rectify [farmed animals’ loss of bodily autonomy in animal agriculture], empowering the individuals rescued by allowing them to assert control over their own bodies in a non-commodifying context,” there are:

“…some inherent limitations to the restoration of bodily autonomy within a farmed animal sanctuary framework that are not as apparent in sanctuaries of undomesticated species. Clearly, there will be instances in which an individual’s body is interacted with in a manner they are uncomfortable with, such as when the administration of medicine is necessary. Likewise, focusing specifically on the female-bodied and the unique disempowerment these individuals face: poultry cannot be spayed or neutered, so fertilized eggs with the potential to hatch are taken away from hens who wish to protect them; mammals are routinely spayed and neutered, highly invasive procedures; individuals of all farmed species continue to experience health issues due to their selective breeding that essentially render them prisoners in their own bodies.”

I’m fairly confident in my trust of sanctuary staff in their determinations of the necessity of certain medical practices or behavioral interventions (though I can’t speak from the experience of working at a sanctuary, as Rocky can). However, I do still feel it important to reckon with the fact that, in this sense, sanctuaries cannot provide their residents with full autonomy or liberation. Specifically, I wonder how much of this inability stems from individual residents’ histories of systematic exploitation, and how much stems from the sanctuary’s own striving to secure funds. Additionally, I wonder how much sanctuaries are doing — or, really, how much they can do — to address the root causes of their residents’ losses of bodily autonomy (i.e., domestication and selective breeding).

What would offering fuller autonomy to sanctuary residents look like? In contemplating this question, I’m drawn to the notion of voice. As Agier points out, “[i]n the spaces of the humanitarian apparatus, to be heard, injustice must be spoken in the language of the humanitarian vulgate, which is the only convention of speech locally audible” (2010, 42). That is, those managing the camps must relay the experiences of refugees in a manner that will elicit the greatest emotional response from potential funders, thereby positioning refugees as politically irrelevant victims rather than political agents. In response, Weizman suggests that humanitarian spaces must “be conceived in a way that supports the politics of the displaced themselves” (61).

To me, supporting the politics of sanctuary residents would mean repositioning ourselves not as the voices of other animals – those who speak for sanctuary residents — but as the amplifiers of the voices that sanctuary residents have themselves. It would mean engaging in the intensely difficult work of learning the language of sanctuary residents — and all other animals — rather than assuming that we always know what is best for them. And even that is a hugely abstract act — one which necessitates our challenging of the very heart of our internalized speciesism.

For now, I look to the leaders of the microsanctuary movement, who are challenging the notion that providing sanctuary for other animals requires hundreds of acres and thousands of dollars, and instead depends upon an attitude of respect and non-exploitation. Founded by Justin and Rosemary Van Kleeck with Triangle Chance for All, the microsanctuary movement seems to me like a prime place to look for ways to prevent farmed animal sanctuaries from becoming spaces that further the exploitation of other animals. (Check out my interview with Justin for more information on the philosophy behind microsanctuaries.)

What do ya’ll think? Am I totally off-point? I would love to get some dialogue going here because this is a topic with which I’m certainly having trouble grappling.

In solidarity, Ali.


Resources

Agier, Michel. “Between War and City: Towards an Urban Anthropology of Refugee Camps.” Ethnography 3.3 (2002): 317-341. Print.

—. “Humanity as an Identity and Its Political Effects (A Note on Camps and Humanitarian Government.” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 1.1 (Fall 2010): 29-45. Print.

Catlaw, Thomas J. and Thomas M. Holland. “Regarding the Animal: On Biopolitics and the Limits of Humanism in Public Administration.” Administrative Theory & Praxis 34.1 (March 2012): 85-112. Web. ProQuest. 6 March 2015.

Schwartz, Rocky. “Restoration of Bodily Autonomy for the Female-Bodied of Domesticated Species within a Sanctuary Framework.” Vassar College. Leacock Building, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. 30 March 2014. Conference Presentation.

Weizman, Eyal. The Least of All Possible Evils: Humanitarian Violence from Arendt to Gaza. London: Verso, 2011. Print.

York, Richard. “Book Review: Nicole Shukin Animal Capital: Rnedering Life in Biopolitical Times Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009.” Organization & Environment 24.1 (March 2011): 99-101. Web. Sage Journals. 6 March 2015.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {3-6-15}

Chickpeas & Changes’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which I view as necessary in fostering a society that prioritizes the well-being of all creatures (not just the rich, white, or human) over the continuous striving for profit/resource accumulation.

Hello and welcome to your weekly installment of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)! Today’s creamy and succulent recipes will have you running to the kitchen, while today’s stories will have you thinking critically about transmisoginy in the feminist movement and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Then, after that rollercoaster of emotions, you can settle down to nominate your favorite Black woman vegan activist and submit that paper you’ve been working on about campus sexual assault. What a great day!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Caramelized Banana Ice Cream
Via To Her Core

Photo via Dearna at To Her Core.

Photo via Dearna at To Her Core.

Blending up near-instant, one-ingredient ice cream from frozen bananas has become ubiquitous in the food blogosphere (though it sure doesn’t get any less delicious or ridiculously easy…). Just when I thought that there weren’t any more variations to make on banana ice cream, along comes this snazzy recipe from Dreana, who caramelizes her bananas in coconut oil before freezing and blending them to yield an intensely sweet, caramel-like frozen dessert. Yes, please.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Roasted Garlic, Parsnip, & White Bean Soup
Via Yummy Beet

Photo via Allison Day.

Photo via Allison Day.

Soup is my favorite food to eat on cold days. Parsnips are my favorite vegetable. This recipe is my favorite.

Must-Read Article

“Real” Women: A Critique of “Feminist” Transphobia
By Rebecca Long at The Feminist Wire

Dove Advertisement / Photo via The Feminist Wire

Dove Advertisement / Photo via The Feminist Wire

This fully explained and clearly written article by Rebecca Long does important work by challenging the trans-exclusionary radical feminism that originated in the second-wave feminist movement and, unfortunately, continues today. TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) mask their transmisogyny under the guise of maintaining safe spaces for “real” women, and Long demonstrates how such rhetoric plays right into the exploitation of all women – trans women very much included – committed by mass media, advertising, and capitalism in general. Especially in light of the onslaught of recent murders of trans women of color, we need always to examine where the movements we support enact violence upon trans people.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Ali Abunimah on Netanyahu’s speech to US Congress
Via Electronic Intifada & The Real News Network

Photo via Electronic Intifada.

Photo via Electronic Intifada.

This past Wednesday, Israeli Prime Mister Benjamin Netanyahu made his speech to US Congress, “forcefully denouncing a possible international agreement that would place Iran’s civilian nuclear energy program under strict supervision,” in the words of Pro-Palestinian activist Ali Abunimah. In this video, Abunimah offers a critical analysis of Netanyahu’s speech.

Book Recommendation Awesome projects you should totally check out

Two for you today! One for which you should nominate your favorite Black woman who practices veganism, the other to which you should submit your essays on campus sexual assault.

Nominate for the 2015 Vegan Anti-Racist Change-Maker of the Year
Via A. Breeze Harper

Photo via A. Breeze Harper.

Photo via A. Breeze Harper.

Call for Forum Submissions on Campus Violence, Resistance, and Strategies for Survival
Via The Feminist Wire

Photo via Whitney Garcia.

Photo via Whitney Garcia.

In solidarity, Ali.