Today is International Women’s Day 2018. It’s a day to celebrate the social, political, and economic achievements of women while also re stories of activists throughout history. And most importantly, International Women’s Day focuses on world attention where inequalities continue to exist.
Even though there have been some gains, globally women are still fighting for equality. Veganism is part of the solution to making this a better world for all women.
Global Hunger & Women
Global hunger has been the vanguard of human rights issues, but something easily overlooked is how women are disproportionately affected by global hunger issues. One-third of the total human population goes to bed hungry every single day, and 60% of those hungry are women.
Women are also mothers, and malnourished women are more likely to give birth to underweight babies. Sadly, underweight babies are 20 percent more likely to die by the age of five.
Population control is an often-cited talking point of global hunger, but this ignores the more significant issue of resource consumption. Animal agriculture uses an unsustainable amount of resources and poor regions with resource scarcity are particularly vulnerable.
Surviving off the land and subsistence farming — of which women are a large part of — becomes difficult if not impossible. One solution? Giving women farmers more access and resources which has the potential to bring the number of hungry people down by 100 – 150 million people globally.
Living vegan is a direct opportunity to reject a system that only increases global hunger and disempowers women.
Every day, billions of female non-human animals are exploited for their reproductive capabilities. They are enslaved, repeatedly impregnated, and repeatedly denied their children. Eventually — when their bodies have worn out from the constant cycle of creating life — they are slaughtered.
This reproductive exploitation extends beyond farms; it also extends to undomesticated free-living animals too. Contraception in deer and other animals is often considered a possible solution to populations growing as a result of human sprawl.
Not only are these vegan issues, but they are also feminist ones as well. The exploitation of female reproductive capabilities has a clear intersect with the plight of global women. The opposition to the exploitation of all women should include nonhuman female animals.
There are so many smart, talented women in the vegan movement who are doing fantastic work. To celebrate International Women’s Day 2018, I want to highlight some women who have worked to counter the oppression of marginalized humans and animals:
- Aph Ko, author of Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism and Co-Founder of Black Vegans Rock
- Dr. A. Breeze Harper, founder of Sistah Vegan Project
- Carol Adams, author of numerous books including The Sexual Politics of Meat
- Lauren Ornelas, founder of the Food Empowerment Project
- Corey Lee Wrenn, PhD, author of A Rational Approach to Animal Rights and founder of The Vegan Feminist Network
- Ashley Capps, founder of Mothers Against Dairy, Milk Hurts and writer at Free From Harm and A Well-Fed World
This list is in no way an exhaustive either. The vegan community is estimated to be 79 percent female, and each of us brings something unique and essential to the movement.
Living vegan is an important part of the solution to making a better world for all women everywhere. And a better world for all women and every non-human female is a better world for us all.
For further reading on hunger issues here globally and nationally check out these publications:
Related reading on Your Daily Vegan: