This week, we're putting together feminist gift guides to highlight the work of writers, artists, and groups we love. Today's list: gifts for plant eaters.
For many vegetarians and vegans, diet is important, but so are consumer choices and activism. Holidays for plant eaters are often full of exclusion: I’ve brought my own vegan meals to parties more than once to ensure I could enjoy a cruelty-free feast. It‘s challenge to shop for people who don’t do eggs, dairy, honey, wool, silk, leather, or animal testing, and it’s awkward to give someone a gift they can’t ethically enjoy. Turn your head-scratching holiday shopping into a joy with these suggestions.
There's no escaping the holidays. Our only hope is to make 'em our own. This episode tells four tales of subverting the holidays.
First, we talk with author Sherman Alexie about his take on Thanksgiving. Then, we get advice from the folks behind Adbusters and the Story of Stuff project on celebrating the season without getting caught up in consumerism. From there, we talk with a vegan chef who is transforming America's most meat-centric holiday, Thanksgiving, into a vegetable feast. To round it all out, Bitch editorial and creative director Andi Zeisler reads an essay about Jewish Christmas.
But Defiant Daughters, the new anthology of feminist food politics out this spring from Lantern Books, pushes readers to consider the connection between oppression of women and oppression of animals. It's especially relevant this week as we reflect on the links between meat and American identity: the US consumes an estimated 150 million hot dogs on the 4th of July. Defiant Daughters unravels and explores the identities and big issues wrapped up in rejecting our country's carnivorousness.
PETA has long been known for offensive, weirdly sexist, and lazy advertising. Their sexism-is-OK-because-it's-for-animals tactics are tired as can be, yet they seem determined to stay the course. Case in point: Their latest campaign revolves around the much-reported-on new TSA screenings, and it is chocked full of sexism, misinformation, and size discrimination (surprise! but not really). First, the video, which apparently PETA is lobbying to play at airports during the holiday travel season:
You're looking at the cover of a new book by John Joseph, New York native and author of The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon. Besides grimacing, my other first reaction to the book was Malori Maloney's assessment of Skinny Bastard - the male-marketed follow-up to the "vegan/animal rights manifesto wrapped in chick-lit veneer"Skinny Bitch. Malori wrote, "What could be an awesome vegan manifesto is so rife with gendered language, sexist commentary and an apparent obsession with physical appearance over healthy living that potential positive and/or helpful messages get clouded." Having not read Joseph's book, I can't claim this is entirely true about Meat is for Pussies...but something about that title tells me it is.
My time on the Bitch blog comes to a close today. It's been nothing but an honor and privilege to be here, dissecting environmental issues and animal rights among some other stellar bloggers. I had a number of things that I wanted to tackle that never made the blog, and mostly, I straight up ran out of time. From veggie oil cars to reusable menstrual pads to vegan pro-choice rhetoric, I had all sorts of dreams. But let's go out on a high note, eh?
To close out The Biotic Woman run here, I've put together a short reading list with the help of my pal Kelly, who runs both EasyVegan and the fabulous POP! goes the Vegan, which might be of particular interest to pop culture-loving Bitch readers.