The Cultured Warrior #044
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.
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.
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 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
- 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.
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,