A few years ago I read "The Sexual Politics of Meat"
by Carol Adams. I recently have been working to get
her to speak locally, so her book has been on my mind.
The ideas in her book, connecting feminism and vegetarianism
intrigue me. Having converted to a vegan lifestyle about
five years ago, I am also trying to improve myself in
other areas. It is even more important that I work hard
on my feminist side since we have children. I haven't
been much of a feminist much of my life, and I think
reading Carol's book helped me realize this. More specifically,
her discussion of the English language and how the words
we use everyday can tend to objectify women as well
as the animals that we eat in this society.
In order to raise our children as vegans I feel that
they should be exposed to some of the great minds in
the veggie movement. We are sometimes honored when a
guest speaker spends some time at our house and our
children lend out their bedrooms. We try to expose them
to every different aspect of veganism, so they know
how important it is. It isn't just about health, or
the environment, or the animals, or feminism. Everyone
has a hot button, even children. My hot button was health,
and now I am open to the other issues.
The other day on my way to work I was thinking about
how to raise the money for Carol's travel expenses.
A big truck passed me, towing a deep sea fishing vessel.
I thought to myself how, often times, men will name
their boats after women. We also tend to speak of a
boat in a feminine sense. Isn't she a beauty, I wish
she were mine, she looks like she could cut through
the water with ease. I was thinking to myself that this
might be because the sea can sometimes be a scary place
and we want to feel safe. Where else would be safer
than in the arms of our mother?
Then a real shock, I saw the name of the boat. This
sleek hunting machine was named "Ruth-less." Immediately
I thought of that old bumper sticker I have seen many
times in Port Canaveral, "The wife said it's either
her or the boat, I'm sure going to miss her" (In this
case sure is pronounced shore). So I thought to myself,
is this guy missing Ruth, "the wife". I wondered if
Ruth was missing him? How is life, less Ruth? Or worse
yet is Ruth lifeless? Don't even go there! I imagined
Carol explaining to me "Ruth is the absent referent,
the boat name refers to her but she is not present.
Just as we sit down to eat a fillet, we don't think
of the fish, we don't even think of it as a fish. The
living, swimming fish is no longer present in our minds,
it has now become just a fillet."
I laughed to myself, memories of my youth. I used to
ski behind a 23 foot T-Craft, my Dad's friend had named
it "Miss Conception." We spent many Saturdays out at
sea hunting for a big fish to bring home for dinner.
I particularly remember pulling in a big beautiful dolphin
(not the mammal); it had all the colors of the rainbow
when we first landed it. But as it slowly died those
wonderful colors of life left its body and we were left
with a gray, lifeless corpse. Which my father would
later clean and prepare for our dinner. I think back
on it now and wonder why or how could I eat it without
even a question...
I have thoughts of visiting harbors and writing down
interesting boat names, maybe taking pictures. I think
it would be kind of fun. Maybe I should take my children
down to the port for a day of site seeing.
- n e x t e
s s a y -
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