Excerpt from “5 Reasons For Why Animal Rights Are a Feminist Issue” by Aph Ko
Full Article Here
1. Animal Bodies Are Objectified, Too
To be objectified means that one’s body and life exists for the pleasure or benefit of someone else.
Non-human animal bodies are reduced to fleshly things (literally) that can be consumed, or used in painful or unethical scientific projects.
They are not culturally seen as independent beings that experience pain, pleasure, and a range of emotions, and that exist in social networks.
2. Animal Bodies Are Used to Normalize Rape Culture
Animals are sexed. The tortures inflicted upon animals, then, will be specific to their sex and it is no surprise that for female animals, their capacity to breed overwhelmingly dictates how their bodies will be controlled.
Female animals endure a life of repeated rape and perpetual pregnancies and after they’re “spent”, they’re slaughtered.
As feminists, to consume raped and tortured non-human animal bodies, while fighting against rape culture, seems a topic worthy of investigation.
4. Domestic Violence Harms Animals
There’s a clear correlation between hurting non-human animals early in your life, and then harming humans.
The correlation between violence against children and women, and violence against non-human animals demonstrates how patriarchy harms those of us who are minoritized and oftentimes powerless.
4. Intersectionality Must Include All Oppressed Groups
The language that surrounds non-human animals constantly makes use of a moral hierarchy that suggests certain bodies are more valuable than others.
It is ridiculous to try to “rank” how bad each group has it, or to assume that all of our attention must be devoted to one group’s fight for rights, or to assume that if much of our attention is focused on one group at a certain time, that must mean the other groups are less important or “have it better.”
All of these spheres of oppression are byproducts of the same systemic evil—an evil that is heavily steeped in white supremacist patriarchy.
To declare that one of these groups is “treated better” than the other is to completely miss the ways in which these oppressions are intertwined and even depend on one another.
5. Our Society Spreads Lies About Animals, Too
Most of us as feminists already know that cultural scripts are used to naturalize problematic behaviors.
Similarly, there are scripts in animal-eating spaces that naturalize horrible systems of oppression. This script deflects from the systemic reality that non-human animals are tortured, slaughtered, and raped so that we can eat to satisfy our addictions to taste.
Apathy towards violence should never be fostered in any social justice movement.
Cultural scripts perpetuate myths and traditions. Scripts allow us to feel comfortable with problematic behaviors. They allow us deflect responsibility for the choices we have the power to make.