Vegetarian Ecofeminism

1.) When I look at the picture of the meat being cut in detail, and examine all of the components I notice that all of the cut slices have the exact same shape and texture to them. The figure is wearing a chefs hat, and has no curvature implying that it’s a male cutting the meat. Connecting this picture to the readings for this week reflects masculinity and meat eating which can further translate to women being at the root of the way we consume animals and in some ways women (i.e pornography). I can’t help but think about the fact that, yes the slices are all the same, but at the same time, it suggests that women are seen the same at the end of the day as bodies for sexual consumption and objects that can be changed if their is too much ‘fat’. 

2.) The first eating practice that I noticed, is in Deane Curtin’s piece, titled Contextual Moral Vegetarianism, where she talks about the different ways of how we relate to our bodies in relationship to culture and how we are influenced to think about our bodies in alignment with violence and food culture. She writes, “…women, more then men, experience the effects of culturally sanctioned oppressive attitudes toward the appropriate shape of the body…anorexia nervosa is a ‘psychopathology’ made possible by Cartesian attitudes towards the body at a popular level” (Curtin 1). Although their has been a change in advertising, and society is seeing more body positive advertisements rise to the surface of the market, their is always going to be adds that depict the kind of ‘sexy’ body that is deemed most accepted by men, society and other forms of oppressive forces. We also see this kind of body shaming in jobs, social media, family conversations, tv adds and so on. In malls across America, there are posters all over the stores, and skinny manikins in outfits that depict what will look best on the ‘average’ women. You rarely see any other shape in the front of the store. Victoria’s Secret and Pink also have this problem. When bra shopping the other weekend, I took one look at the front of the Victorias’s Secret store, and thought to myself “I won’t fit into any of there bra’s, they are all too ‘sexy’ and small for me…I’m 5’3 and don’t look like their models at all”. So I went to Pink instead, found a plain black bra for every day use (finally, after much searching), and left. Anorexia doesn’t just come from nowhere. It comes from our patriarchal society telling women that they aren’t good enough unless we look a certain way, thus harnessing a very dark and dangerous modeling and ‘career’ industry that forces women to look as thin as possible, only to turn around and photoshop them even further to make the cut for the next magazine.  There are more videos that are out now about the industry then their where before, but even now, all we see are women coming out at their breaking point in tears talking about how they are miserable and are struggling with mental health as a result of the industry and it’s abusive practices. 

2.) (Cont.) The second eating practice that I noticed, in Deane’s article is at the end, where she talks about how vegetarianism can be a statement made by women to show solidarity against what it means to ‘fit in’ in our patriarchal society today. She writes, “…vegetarianism can mark the decision to stand in solidarity with women. It also indicates a determination to resist ideological pressure to become a ‘real man.’ Real people do not need to eat ‘real food,’ as the American Beef Council would have us believe” (Curtin 3). I think that although this could be considered a controversial statement, I can see how to some people, this kind of solidarity is important and goes beyond being about the food that we eat and more about the critique towards men’s relationship to women as being seen as ‘meat’ to eat and animals that men get to take advantage of when they want satisfaction. Both Veganism and Vegetarianism have helped pave the way for more meatless options to become available in stores. I also think that what it means to be a ‘real man’ has changed dramatically throughout the years due to cultural changes and norms, the way that we look at male bodies vs the female body’s, and the way that we regard mens attitudes towards women regardless of the food that we eat. I’ve only known one man who was vegan for a short time, but I still considered him to be a man just the same based on my individual standers for a ‘man’. The term ‘real man’ also changes from person to person, and is not a term that should be generalized in my opinion or be compared to how much meat or non meat you eat. 

3.) Ecofeminists have a strong understanding as to how male dominated factory farms are not only run, but treat and handle non-human animals to process for our daily food consumption. Their is a shared knowing among ecofeminists, that factory farm (non-human) animals are abused, and neglected every day, fed a concentrated diet, shot up with antibiotics, artificially inseminated, and forced to grow past there natural, and biological constraints that stress out the animals organs, heart, and so on. Curtin states that, “It is curious that steroids are considered dangerous to athletes (humans), but animals that have been genetically engineered and chemically induced to grow faster and come to market sooner are consider to be an entirely different issue” (Curtin 2). I will link 1trailer below for a documentary that I have sen that directly relate to this issue. It focuses on health and people, rather than how we relate to an idea of who people are and are ‘meant’ to be. Although mostly male based, there are females in it, that speak on the truth behind how changing your diet can effect you in the best of ways, and how men have changed their relationship to non-human animals and meat for consumption.  From her article Ecofeminism on the Wing: Perspectives on Human-Animal Relations, Greta Gaard also acknowledges the misuse and miss handling of cows in the dairy industry and how they are treated as a result of industry practices. She states that, “Intensively reared dairy cows are so overworked that they begin to metabolize their own muscle in order to continue to produce milk, a process referred to in the industry as ‘milking off their backs” (Gaard 20). Factory farmers don’t perceive factory animals as having any value except for what they can produce. In this case it’s either for meat or milk. Nothing of how we obtain any of these products are humane. 

Work Cited 

Curtin, Deane. “Contextual Moral Vegetarianism.” Toward an Ecological Ethic of Care, vol. 6, 1991, pp. 68–71.

Gaard, Greta. Ecofeminism on the Wing: Perspectives on Human-Animal Relations. 2001, pp. 19–22, Accessed 25 Feb. 2023.‌

The Game Changers. “The Game Changers | Official Trailer.” YouTube, 28 June 2019, Accessed 25 Feb. 2023.

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