My Pro-Choice Veganism

20 Dec

As you can probably guess, I’m a pro-choice activist. I am also vegan. That means I avoid the use and consumption of animal products, including meat, leather, milk, eggs, etc.

Some people believe that reproductive rights and veganism are polar opposites. However, although I feel strongly about both, my beliefs don’t conflict with eachother. They don’t collide like two cars in a wreck, they complete each other, like the three notes in a chord. I am vegan for the many of the same reasons I’m pro-choice. I have a deep appreciation for life; my veganism and my pro-choice activism both stem from this appreciation. I believe that all sentient life has undeniable value and should be respected (unlike antis, who seem to believe that non sentient life has undeniable value and all sentient life must be disrespected). I respect non-human animal life as well as human life; this is where my veganism comes from. I see as pig as having as much value as a dog, a cat, or a human. That’s why I choose not to support the use of non-human animals.

However, respecting life goes much further than just letting the animals/people live. Life, without liberty, is meaningless. This is where my pro-choice activism comes in. If I’m going to respect life, I have to respect liberty. That includes women’s liberty, and women’s liberty includes choices. Reproductive freedom is a vital and necessary component of liberty, and liberty is a vital and necessary component of life. Take away any part and you’re left with an unfinished puzzle, where you can’t even tell what the picture is supposed to be.

I believe that no sentient being should be treated as property. Treating a woman’s reproductive life as your property disrespects life, as does treating an animal as property. We all have a desire to live free from the cruel mistreatment from (other) humans, and that desire should be respected.

I almost feel as if my pro-choice activism and my veganism complete each other. It’s just perfect to me. On one hand, I see antis trying to force women through pregnancies. On the other, I’m learning about how dairy cows are impregnated each year in order to keep their milk supply up. As someone who sees non-human animals and human animals as equals, it’s hard for me to ignore the similarities.

These are two of my beliefs that I know I will never give up on. They are such a huge part of me, and it just so happens that they work together just beautifully. I’m vegan and pro-choice, and I couldn’t be happier with this fact.

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8 Responses to “My Pro-Choice Veganism”

  1. Opinioness of the World December 20, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    As a pro-choice feminist vegan, I could not agree more! Thank you for writing this post. I often run into people who mistakenly think that my animal rights beliefs and my reproductive justice beliefs are contradictory. But you are 100% correct that they do not compete but rather “complete each other.” Fab to know another feminist vegan is out there making the world a better place.

  2. saltyC December 20, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    So succinct, so meaningful.
    It’s true that looking at farm animals, their production of babies, milk and eggs… Reproduction is a valuable commodity-producer, any wonder why husbandry and husband come from the same word?
    I don’t value dogs and people the same, I put people above animals as far as how far I would go to save one, but I do agree with the main points.

  3. Em December 22, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    Thank you so much for this post! There isn’t enough said about veganism & feminism in feminist/reproductive justice circles. As a life long feminist, former worker at an abortion fund and vegan of 8 years, I don’t see a contradiction in supporting women of all species.

  4. Rose September 9, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    I still don’t see how these two things mesh perfectly. In most cases (except for rape or incest cases of course), the woman who wants an abortion has not been forced into pregnancy, unlike those poor dairy cows you mentioned. But it’s true that if she’s kept from getting an abortion, she is being forced to not murder the life that is growing inside her own body, and become a slave to it, in essence.

    No matter how you look at it, there is a conflict here, but this is a multi-faceted situation that I’m still trying to fully comprehend. Do you protect the impregnated mother’s liberty in order to murder the unborn child, or do you sacrifice her liberty in order to protect that child’s right to live – and therefore that child’s liberty?

    When discussing this subject, we also can’t ignore the issue of time. When does it change from just a simple abortion into a full-fledged murder? When the child is concieved? When it’s 100% able to live outside the womb? Do you also protect a woman’s right to partial-birth abortions, when the baby has formed into a fully-functioning human being? If so, how is that any different from inducing labor in a cow and then killing the newly born calf? That is the part of this discussion that truly disturbs me. It must be considered, for the sake of the child.

    My current position on this important issue is evolving as I mature and gather more information. This isn’t merely a scientific question, but a moral one.

    For now, I think abortion should be legal. It disgusts me, but I don’t have the right to force a woman to carry a pregnancy that she doesn’t want. I don’t know what’s in her heart or what she may be going through. I don’t look down on people who perform or get abortions, unless it is made clear that they truly have no regard for life (which some of them don’t).

    The blood of those murders is on thier hands. Unfortunately, for having my current stance, I’m stained with some of that blood as well.

    Once again, this is a very serious issue. It shouldn’t be spoken of so lightly, or with pride. We shouldn’t pat ourselve on the back for protecting a woman’s right to murder her unborn child in any case at all. We do what must be done, but we should mourn because of it.

  5. Daracha Murphy November 2, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    I’m just becoming a vegan at the moment and, as a pro-choice woman, I’ve been shocked by the amount of pro-life vegan attitudes I’ve encountered online. It puzzles me how anyone can be opposed to enforced pregnancy in dairy cows, and yet be happy to see a woman forced to go through with an unwanted, forced pregnancy (I say forced because if it’s unplanned and she’s forced to keep it against her wishes and despite her own distress, it’s a forced pregnancy…) I agree totally with your comments, especially about respecting sentient life. I will always believe in respecting a sentient, distressed being over an unborn one.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention My Pro-Choice Veganism  | Abortion Gang -- Topsy.com - December 20, 2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Charm City Spence, The Abortion Gang. The Abortion Gang said: new post: My Pro-Choice Veganism http://j.mp/gE5qAP #prochoice [...]

  2. Vegan Contradiction « Vaguely Political - March 2, 2011

    [...] the argument I promised: how I justify being a pro-choice vegan. One person sums her reasoning up here pretty nicely. The part of her argument that I relate to the most is the belief that no animal [...]

  3. Blog for Choice Day: On being a pro-choice vegan. » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info - April 3, 2011

    [...] 2010-12-20 – ProChoice Gal @ abortion gang: My Pro-Choice Veganism [...]

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