Women's History Month and Going Vegan
4 min read

Women's History Month and Going Vegan

In the name of science, I'm going vegan. Now, let's talk about women, social justice, and livestock.
Women's History Month and Going Vegan
Photo by Simon Maage / Unsplash

The Cultured Warrior #044

April Fools!

I will NOT be going vegan any time soon. What I will do is reflect on Women's History Month (March) and celebrate the gateways to life (women) and the nonsensical claims levied against meat-eating as privileged and patriarchal.

Food processing and emotion regulation in vegetarians and omnivores: An event-related potential investigation - PubMed
The present study investigated cognitive reappraisal during exposure to vegetarian and nonvegetarian food cues in food-deprived vegetarian and omnivore participants. In particular, we were interested in clarifying the motivational meaning of the foods that vegetarians avoid, as revealed by self-repo…
Food Processing and Emotiona Regulation in Vegetarians | Appetite, 2019

First, let's consider that vegetarians and vegans cannot deny their own neurology:  

"...in vegetarians, aversion towards nonvegetarian food prevails at the subjective level and is consistent with their personal beliefs. In contrast, at the neural level, the intrinsic motivational salience of this type of (nonvegetarian) food is preserved." (1)

This means that refusal of animal products is done at a cognitive / conscious / pre-frontal level; however, an innate part of our brain's pleasure signaling is triggered unconsciously by animal foods.  Now that feelings are out of the way, let's look at some facts.

Women in Half the World Still Denied Land, Property Rights Despite Laws
Global campaign “Stand For Her Land” aims to bridge gap between law and practice so that women can realize their equal rights to land
Women in Half the World Still Denied Land | The World Bank, March 2019

In half of the countries in the world women cannot own land (2).  In fact, they are less than 15% of landholders in the world (3).  Now, let's add some context to that, like the fact that globally 40% of agricultural GDP comes from livestock (3).

"The livestock sector should be integrated into national rural development policies and programs. It has growing potential to create employment for the youth and women, not only in livestock keeping but also in processing livestock products, producing and selling livestock feeds and providing livestock information services." (3)
The Women’s Empowerment in Livestock Index - Social Indicators Research
The empowerment of women in the livestock sector is fundamental to achieve gender equality. It also is instrumental for increased household productivity and improved household health and nutrition. Diverse strategies exist to empower women, yet these strategies are difficult to prioritize without a…
Women's Empowerment Livestock Index | Social Indicators Research, May 2018

Furthermore:

"The empowerment of women in the livestock sector is fundamental to achieve gender equality. It also is instrumental for increased household productivity and improved household health and nutrition." (4)

In an ironic twist of fate, what a privilege it is to be separated from the global proletariat.  For example, how close is it to your nearest hospital?  How about a grocery store or pharmacy?  Now consider the privilege you have of access to those facilities in addition to the supplementation (or subsequent treatment for deficiency) available to you for the most common (global) nutrient deficiencies, including (5, 6):

  • Vitamin A
  • Iron
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B12

Will I be labeled a science-denier or fascist for telling you that those pretty closely mirror the nutrient deficiencies of a plant-based diet (7, 8)?  Remember, it doesn't matter what goes in your mouth / gut if it doesn't make it to your blood (i.e. bioavilability) to get where it needs to get to do what it needs to do.

Veganism and Children: Physical and Social Well-Being - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics
I claim that there is pro tanto moral reason for parents to not raise their child on a vegan diet because a vegan diet bears a risk of harm to both the physical and the social well-being of children. After giving the empirical evidence from nutrition science and sociology that supports this claim, I…
Veganism and Children | Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, April 2019

If you want to talk about equality, let's also talk about equity and how livestock store it (9) and if you're serious about human rights, advocacy, and empowerment, let's also talk about food / nutrition security with more nuance than ideological adherence (10, 11) and the sovereignty to provide for our families (12).

Cheers to the rad ladies eating steak and lifting weights,

Austin