Frequently asked questions:
1) Is it not sexist to exclude men?
No. We are here to give a platform for marginalised bodies and voices in society and we recognise that white/cis/hetero/able-bodied/middle-class men are dominating our everyday lives as they are dominating the animal liberation movement and politics in general. We have also all experienced patriarchal attitudes and (cis)sexism from men (and women) in the movement, often going unchallenged. We stand against this, and will challenge not only speciesism but also injustice towards people of any gender, ability, race, and class other than the most privileged one mentioned above. On this page specifically, we invite men to join us as our allies who will stand with us in solidarity. We hope they can use this page to learn about how to recognise and challenge oppressive behaviours without undermining us or demeaning womxn or non-binary people in any way.
2) What is the meaning of womxn?
We often use this particular spelling of ‘woman’ for two reasons. The first one being that it encompasses everyone who identifies within the spectrum of women, so as to also include those of us who reject the socially constructed meanings that ‘woman’ carries. The ‘x’ then works as a variable that each womxn can bestow their own meaning on. The second reason for this alternative spelling is simply that it erases the ‘man’ within the word, and so symbolises that we reject the idea of being completed by men.
3) What does ‘anti-speciesism’ mean?
‘Anti-speciesism‘ is the practice of resistance against a hierarchy of species. It is the recognition that all beings have the universal right to life and freedom without oppression, regardless of species. ‘Speciesism‘ is the practice of hierarchical thinking and actions based on species (i.e. seeing humans having more value than dogs and dogs as having more value than rats etc.). It is severely oppressive and the basis of all non-human animal suffering and exploitation. We deliberately did not chose to identify ourselves only through ‘veganism’ or ‘animal liberation’ as both of these are the results of an anti-speciesist practice. We recognise that within the vegan and animal liberation movement, there is a lack of critical engagement with the wider system of oppression that causes animal suffering. The anti-speciesism focus draws attention to the fact that as vegan feminists we not only focus on the abolition of known animal exploitation but also on the protection of plants, trees, ecosystems and all other forms of non-human life.