Vegetarianism -Women Can Lead the Way
The Meat Eater: Blind to the Source of Meat
In an interview with feminist Carol Adams, another feminist, Merle Hoffman said, Feminists always rail against being treated like pieces of meat and yet they say this as they eat a hamburger or steak. Adams, author of the award winning The Sexual Politics of Meat, believes that women should become responsible for the welfare of the earth with the help of their inherent compassion and gentleness.
Adams says that people turn a blind eye to the fact that meat comes from animals. We don't say a lambs leg, we say a leg of lamb. Adams turned vegetarian in 1986 when she read Hans Rauschs Slaughter of the Innocents. She realised then what it was that she had been eating. The basic fact we ought to realise is that animals are not ours to exploit. Animals are beings that exist in community with us. Our goals are not to have them on our backs or on our plates.
Rausch denounces vivisection on moral, medical and scientific grounds with such conviction, that many say his book has the power to change its readers. Adams certainly is one such reader.
Another exponent of vegetarianism, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, in his book, The Face on your Plate - The Truth About Food, asks meat eaters to acknowledge that the animals they eat are capable of suffering. He writes that people choose to distance themselves from the fact that the meat on the plate once belonged to a living animal. They do not think of bacon as "pig" and baby calf as "veal".
The Sexual Politics of Meat
Many women have confessed to Adams that they would be vegetarians if it weren't for their husbands. This is the sexual politics of meat that says that men need meat to be strong. She suggests that it's to do with the myth of what real men do and don't do. Real men don't eat cabbage. They hunt. Real men have total control over bodies whether they belong to animals or women.
Adams points out that battered women are often terrorised, traumatised and kept hostage by their batterers through the abuse of their pets. According to her, 'real men' show their superiority by battering women and helpless animals. Adams argues that neither animals nor women should be considered as "meat."
The New Becoming Vegetarian
Women More Likely to be Vegetarian than Men
A poll in the US reveals that out of the 12.4 million adult vegetarians, almost 70 percent are women. Dr. Reed Mangels, nutrition adviser to the Vegetarian Resource Group based in Baltimore, says that this is because women are "usually the health care gatekeepers in families," and they are often more health conscious than their spouses.
A survey done on 174 vegetarian women in the UK revealed that 81% attributed their vegetarianism to issues of animal welfare.
Compassion Can Save the Planet
Mother Teresa, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize said, "Women are better at caring than men. Compassion, empathy, sensitivity its all second nature to them."
According to Albert Schweitzer, philosopher, theologian and physician: "Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace."
And Albert Einstein had this to say about the importance of vegetarianism: "Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
Compassion and benevolence seem to be the best shields against catastrophe on a personal and environmental scale.
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© 2014 Anita Saran