Nature is an ecoterrorist!

Archive for the ‘Reproductive Rights’ Category

A Ranty Post About Dairy

The pro-forced birth ideology is one of the reasons I’ve come to the conclusion that men learned to rape from farming animals. Because the basic concept of “forced breeding” is one of machinery and alienation; fundamentally, it doesn’t matter what your property thinks or feels about it, because the goal is merely to produce more property to be owned and also exploited—unless they are in the owner class, which women, children and animals are (naturally) automatically excluded from.

Remember that if you say, “it’s wrong to treat women like animals,” you’re missing the point. It was wrong to treat animals like that in the first place; ignoring that fundamental wrongness allowed it to be done to women, too. It’s pretty easy to expand a category of inferiors, after all—the trick is to make sure there is no category of inferiors to expand.

I used to believe that being pro-forced birth was merely believing in rape by proxy—raping a woman, taking over a female person’s body against her will, by way of a fetus. At the time I wasn’t yet vegan, and couldn’t understand the nuances of what I was saying; now I can. In a sense, it’s still basically true: you’re reducing a female person to a machine, to property, by affirming that using her body to produce more property—children, whether of owner/property-manager or property class—is more important than anything else she could do with her life, like, for example, actually living it without being subjugated as an incubator.

In short, rape objectifies you by reducing you to a thing to be used (property); forced birth reduces you to a thing to be used (property). Who is doing the using doesn’t really matter; the fetus is still going to be property if/when it actually becomes a sentient being—a baby—and a fetus isn’t exactly forcing itself on anyone. It has no thoughts or feelings—the entire point of gestation is getting a fetus to a point where it is developed enough to have thoughts and feelings—and thus it can’t really force itself on anything. It’s still the people around you, stewing in the putrid sewage of a misogynistic society, who are forcing a fetus on a woman, and don’t you ever forget it.

Without having the inferior property status of her body enforced upon her, she’d have her uterus contracting firmly in a jiffy, and the fetus wouldn’t be much more than menstruation. It would happen, because that is what women have always done.

Always.

The concept of someone’s body being property should horrify anyone; I still can’t quite figure out why it doesn’t. The life of a dairy cow bears an unhappy resemblance to the life forced upon women, by socialization, by culture, by capitalism and men: you are impregnated as soon as possible, for money; you are used to produce more children (caged and slaughtered for veal or caged and impregnated), for money; you are used up, for money. And when you aren’t “good” at producing things for your owner anymore, you are dealt with. For as much money as he can milk from your corpse.

That was a mild description. Do you really need to hear that dairy farmers are basically entirely men to realize what’s wrong with it? Do you really need to know that the dairy farmers themselves gave a nickname to the artificial insemination stands where the cows are restrained, calling them “the rape racks”? Do you really need to hear a dairy cow yowl herself hoarse after they take away her calf a few hours after birth—the best to collect the colostrum, now a new “health supplement” product—to understand how that’s fucked up?

And do you really need to have the lines drawn to understand that property is property, and that exploitation doesn’t become acceptable when it’s directed towards a different target?

Carnism has more implications for women, not merely on the stage of justification—because, as you should know, women’s exploitation has always been rationalized on the basis that they were “like animals”; I am still surprised that feminists have not yet cottoned to the fact that, since men were so wrong about the women they wanted to use, they are also quite likely wrong about the animals they used as a comparison.

There’s more nuance than that; over and over, women end up being destroyed by their participation in capitalism, civilization, racism, ageism and carnism, because all oppressions reinforce each other. It’s just that the link from dairy to women’s bodily autonomy is more direct and distinct because of several things:

1. Dairy contains the more potent animal estrogens (as opposed to phytoestrogens, which are much weaker); the age of menarche and puberty has dropped in tandem with the rise in dairy consumption. FAABs of color are more likely to begin puberty earlier; they are also vastly more likely to have been enrolled in WIC, which is heavily reliant on shoveling subsidized dairy products out of the market (and which only in the past five years included soy formula, thanks).

High levels of estrogen—especially from dairy, which, again, is from pregnant and nursing mothers—are also linked to a longer period of fertility, as many as seven extra years from menarche to menopause. More time to get pregnant and fucked over.

Did I mention that dairy can also increase your chances of having twins which, aside from being incredibly dangerous to the mother, is also fraught with peril for the children and somehow more than twice as tiring for any mother? This has been in the news several times in the past few years; it’s not exactly hidden knowledge.

2. Dairy sabotages herbal abortion methods.

I’ve worked with herbalists over the past several years of my life and, aside from being incredible people, they are also very willing to change the way they think based on how their patients do with different treatments. Three of them assisted abortion regularly, especially for low-income youth; all of them affirmed that herbal abortions were more likely to be successful the fewer animal products were consumed, with no reduction in benefit as consumption went lower; all of them said that a mixture of herbs and activities were best; and two of them were so alarmed by what dairy did to their patients that they refused to assist anyone who wouldn’t give it up for at least six weeks so the abortion could work properly.

And this is why: most abortive herbs, combined with dairy, will wreck your kidneys.

Angelica root (1/2 tsp. as a tea twice a day with 2 tsp. tansy or 1 tsp. black cohosh as teas every two and a half hours) turns into an incredible poison when mixed with dairy. It produces, at best, violent nausea; without dairy it works well.

Pennyroyal (1 tsp. as a tea three times a day with black or blue cohosh 1/2 tsp. as teas three times a day) also produces the nausea, but sometimes causes tingling in the extremities as well. It doesn’t do this with dairy.

Ginger, a well-known, mild abortifacient and contraceptive in large, consistent quantities (as a raw juice mixed with orange or papaya juice, chopped raw taken like pills, freshly powdered, in food, constantly, about 1.5 tablespoons three to six times a day.) loses its effectiveness when combined with dairy. It doesn’t become poisonous; it just becomes useless.

Slippery elm, too (1 tsp. as a tea twice a day with any of the above, with cedarwood essential oil rubbed firmly in a specifically downward motion just below the bellybutton to the mons) becomes completely ineffective.*

All the time, every time, even the most minor intake of dairy will fuck up the chances an herbal abortion will work. I like to say this is because dairy is evil and the cow is cursing you for perpetuating her pain, but only to people who really piss me off.

Carnism fucks up women; it fucks up your ability to control your own body and you can only be carnist by fucking up someone else’s ability to control theirs. Abortion is a necessity for women, and always has been; women have always had abortions and basically always will, unless or until we can make it so that no one ever has PIV unless they really really want to get pregnant. Abortion is a necessity not because it is a special thing needed to make sure women are equal to men, but because it is a basic right not to have your body used against your will—not a human right.

*I’ll make a more lengthy post about nonmedical abortion methods later.

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Nature is Not an Equation—Penis + Vagina != Baby

I was reading I used to be a pro-life Republican over on HAY LADIES! and wouldn’t you know it, an anti-choice troll came trundling up. I was tempted to take it all ’04 Extended Discussion on their ass, but I decided I’d rather write a blog post—though do check it out if you have a chance; it’s hilarious. The “live with the natural consequences of your actions” bit from the pro-forced birth brigade really chunks my carrot. See, this is something I could take apart in debate when I was seven, and I did. Something that is a natural consequence of your actions happens immediately after you take an action, but it breaks into several possibilities after that—because after the initial effect, you have choices.

Pregnancy can be a consequence of PIV, but it doesn’t follow that childbirth falls into the same line of “natural consequences.” As soon as it falls out of the range of “immediately afterwards,” there are several things that can happen.

If you get pregnant, there are a bunch of things that could happen:

a) You have a spontaneous abortion—i.e. a miscarriage, which happens in just over half of all pregnancies. Usually this occurs before you even know you’re pregnant.

b) You have an elective abortion—i.e. you take medication, herbs or another form of action that will terminate the pregnancy.

c) You give birth—mind, even then there’s no guarantee of live birth.

d) You die.

It’s obvious that children are not this bizarre, unavoidable consequence of sex because there are things that can happen where even if you do get pregnant you don’t give birth. (And human conception rates are some of the lowest in the animal world—you have a vanishingly small chance of a fertilized egg successfully implanting in the first place. So the idea that sex = pregnancy is sketchy in the first place.) That would basically mean that fetuses have fucking super-powers, and for the love of sweet potatoes, they don’t even have half-functional brains until the twenty-fourth week!

So… yes. Pregnancy? Possible consequence of PIV that you cannot avoid unless you have no ovaries—because you can’t will yourself not to get pregnant, you have no control over that. Childbirth? Possible consequence of deliberately doing nothing about being pregnant.

This is where it gets fucking obvious, especially to my seven-year-old self. Since you can do something about being pregnant, childbirth isn’t an “inevitable natural consequence” of PIV. If you have the motivation to avoid childbirth (and women have, for like, ever), then the only thing that would prevent you is… someone else enforcing a consequence upon you.

Which makes childbirth in the view of not wanting to be pregnant an absolutely unnatural occurrence. Women have, after all, been using herbal abortions for eons—abortifacents exist wherever plants grow. Green papaya, angelica root, black and blue cohosh, wild yam, wild carrot seed, cedarwood oil and then some are all natural abortifacents—ones which also have an exceedingly low chance of killing you, provided you’re not consuming dairy. (Dairy and abortifacent plants cause severe kidney and liver problems.)

So, in the words of a seven-year-old, you’re wrong. Those aren’t the consequences to my actions; they’re the consequences you want to enforce on me because you don’t want me to take those actions, ever.

And let me point out: just because something is a natural consequence does not mean you have to or should let it happen—natural consequences happen every single day that we try our hardest to stop. The natural consequence of saying something offensive to my face is getting your nose introduced to my elbow; the natural consequence of eating dairy is (among other things) multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis and breast cancer, but holy shit do people freak out about all those things! The natural consequence of trying to rape someone is getting your ass killed, but that’s just misandrist to say so.

Something that is natural is, at its very deepest heart, neutral. Death is natural; it’s also neutral, only good or bad because of extant circumstances. Childbirth is natural; it’s also neutral, only good or bad because of extant circumstances. Sneezing is natural, as is pissing and… well, y’know.

Something can be unnatural and also neutral, but a lot of the time it isn’t. Rape is not natural; we learned it via animal agriculture, which looked an awful lot like rape to us even if it didn’t to the animals themselves. Forced birth is the narrative of that oppression—that even if you experience your life, you have no right to your body: others can manipulate it and exploit it regardless of… well, you. And you become property—”saved” from death only to be used, over and over and fucking over again. Because death would be a waste of an incubator.

Fundamentally, the reason I find this “pro-life” shit so fucking evil is that it is the explicit belief that death is unacceptable, but torture is perfectly fine. Remember that. Death is natural. No matter what, death happens when life does; it is inevitable. But the pro-forced birth brigade doesn’t seem so hot on natural things when it starts threatening their ideology of “life at the cost of everything that makes life worth living.”

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