social justice

Expanding Outwards: Connecting Veganism To Other Social Justice Movements; A Guest Post by Jamie J. Hagen

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Expanding Outwards: Connecting Veganism To Other Social Justice Movements

A Guest Post by: Jamie J. Hagen, upcoming 2013 Vida Vegan Con Speaker. Look out for Jamie’s three classes on the agenda: Comments are Your Friend – Veganism, Feminism & Social Justice – and – Finding Balance: Blogging and Personal Life

Photo by Jasmin Singer
Photo credit: Jasmin Singer

The first time I heard Carol J. Adams speak was at the Liberation Now! Conference in San Francisco in 2004. Her provocative slideshow captivated the audience in a huge auditorium. I was vegan then, but I’d yet to grow into any other social justice identities. All the same, important seeds of knowledge were planted.

Almost a decade later and as an active feminist, I heard Adams speak again this year. This time she spoke to an overflowing Bluestockings bookstore in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The event was to celebrate the release of Defiant Daughters, an anthology including essays by 21 authors reflecting on the Sexual Politics of Meat more than twenty years after the initial publication of her groundbreaking book.

A common thread of the essays is the eye opening experience many women had when making the connections between animal rights and feminism. Their stories are diverse, emotional, intelligent and engaging. But as the editors noted during the NYC reading, this anthology is only the beginning of the conversation about making connections between social justice movements.

The audience raised some questions after the reading: Where are the responses from men who have made this connection? Where are the voices from gender non-conforming individuals? How can eco-feminists respond to the rejection of a gender binary by some in the LGBTQ community?

Photo credit: Jasmin Singer
Photo credit: Jasmin Singer

I’m excited I’ll be speaking on two panels at Vida Vegan Con regarding intersecting social justice issues. Both the “Ethics Beyond the Plate” panel and the “Veganism, Feminism and Social Justice” panel will address how to expand issues important to the vegan community outwards.

It’s encouraging so many inspiring activists are engaging in these crucial conversations in blogs, books and podcasts. Be sure to check out the book Defiant Daughters and visit the Lantern Books website to listen to clips from the evening including a reading from Jasmin Singer of Our Hen House who will also be at Vida Vegan Con this year.

Photo credit: Jasmin Singer
Photo credit: Jasmin Singer

In preparation for the conference I recently chatted with fellow panelists Erika Larson and Meave Connor. We agreed we would like to grow our panel into a larger ongoing project so keep your eyes peeled for that. Suggestions for what type of intersectional project you’d like to see are welcome in the comment section below!