Monday, September 23, 2013

On Having Children and Being a Vegan

1.  If you are a man, we don't care what your opinion on having children is.

2.  If you are a man and you don't have children and have not adopted yourself, please spare us your preaching on the how, when, why, and who of raising children.

3.  Women's bodies are women's bodies; it is women's business.  A vegan uterus is still a uterus, and therefore not of men's concern.

4.  Privileged white vegan Western men's insistence on speaking for and about women is indicative of their sense of entitlement to be the end-all-be-all voice on every single topic (even when it is completely out of their jurisdiction) in a movement comprised of 80% women.

5.  The hooplah about vegan baby-making boils down to blaming women, blaming poor people, and imposing white, male, Western control on vulnerable populations.  Rich nations are actually experiencing stagnating or decreasing birth rates.  Population growth is happening in areas of the world where women have few rights and limited access to education and health services.  This isn't an issue of loose women and irrational child-bearing, it's an issue of global inequality created by and exacerbated by rich nations that have been exploiting the third world for centuries.

6.  Individualizing child-bearing reflects a neoliberal perspective.  This isn't about me, you, or any other one person/couple/family having children, this is about the profit-driven systems of inequality and exploitation.   When we compress huge systemic problems into the jurisdiction of the individual, we deflect attention from those systems that are to blame, and put all responsibility on the individual.  Just like feminism isn't about individual "choice" to be "sexy" or not and veganism isn't about individual "choice" to eat animal products or not, global inequality isn't about individual "choice" to have children or not.  It's about recognizing systemic oppression and mobilizing a political movement to dismantle it.

6.  Adoption is a privilege.  It is not something that is accessible to everyone equally.  If you have the means to adopt children (and Nonhuman Animals for that matter), wonderful, do so.  But, children will cost over 100,000 each to raise.  They also take a lot of physical and mental work, something not everyone is capable of providing.  So, again, we're not really interested in what well-to-do privileged able-bodied white men have to say on the matter.

Thanks to the admins of My Vegan Pregnancy for sharing their insights for this post.