Lisa Kemmerer in London 06.09. 7PM

lisa banner

We are happy to announce that Dr. Lisa Kemmerer will spend an evening with us in London, speaking on ‘Ecofeminism: Bitches and Bollox’.

Dr. Kemmerer, professor of philosophy and religions at Montana State University Billings, is the author/editor of nine books and a hands-on activist for the animals, the environment and social justice.

Dr. Kemmerer will address ‘Ecofeminist theory [that] connects animal advocacy with other social justice movements, highlighting the importance of a more expansive vision of liberation. In this view, anymal activism requires solidarity with other social justice causes such as [those against] racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, heterosexism, and classism’

We are inviting people of all genders to join us for this very special evening at the London Action Resource Centre (LARC).

Free Entry!

The pre-party will begin at 6PM where our allies from the LARC will kindly provide vegan snacks (Thank You!) and you will have the opportunity to meet and chat with our organisers. Books, zines and art work will also be for sale.

Dr. Kemmerer’s talk will begin at 7pm. The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions afterwards.

Please share this event widely!

Here are the details:


Address: 62 Fuelgate St., London, E1 1ES

Free Entry + All welcome

Doors open: 6pm

Talk begins: 7pm

Accessibility: The room is wheelchair accessible and there are also gender neutral toilets.

This event will operate under out Safer Space Agreement but please be aware that it is open to the general public. If there is anything specific we can do to ensure your safety beforehand, please let us know!

4 Reasons the ‘No More Chick Shredding’ Rhetoric is Problematic

written by: aga | she/her

CW: discussion of violence towards animals; (cis)sexism

The problematic message shown on this meme of 4 fluffy chicks has been making the rounds on social networking sites amongst animal advocates for the past year or so. It reads: ‘World First! Germany to end the mass slaughter of male chicks in the egg industry!’ (see picture below. Not sure who to credit for it but I think I saw it on Animals Australia first a long time ago).

Screen shot 2015-04-01 at 21.28.57

Picture of 4 chicks on light blue background. Top left corner in the colours of the German flag. Text: World First! Germany to end the mass slaughter of male chicks in the egg industry.

Chick Shredding is a thing?

Not only the meat, dairy and egg industries but any for-profit institution that depends on animals will always rely on the exploitability of those assigned female, so as to be able to reproduce the ‘goods’ they provide endlessly, be it flesh, eggs or milk. If you would like to learn more about how exploitative the egg industry is check out animal aid and viva! (the viva link will take you to a video still of a very ill factory farmed chicken) .

Whereas female assigned animals are exploited until they are killed when their reproductive organs give up, male assigned chicks, just as calves, are not profitable, and thus disposed of. Chicks conventionally go through a process called ‘sexing’, where humans decide which animal is male and which female. The male ones are picked out, thrown onto  a conveyor belt that transports them to their brutal death, being shredded or ground up, whilst conscious.

Another option, often used by smaller farms is to either gas the animals, suffocate them by means of a deadly foam, or simply to throw them into rubbish containers.

Political Background

In Germany the Green Party has been heavily involved in making chick shredding a political topic however their successes don’t have much impact upon individual animals nor onto chicks as a whole. Regulations such as forbidding 1-day old chicks to be killed in one part of Germany (North-Rhine Westphalia) have no impact whatsoever, and if anything just prolong the suffering these animals have to endure, keeping them alive in horrendous conditions for longer.

Now the German government is aiming to implement a technology that allows for the sex­determination of an embryonic chicken. The, amongst the scientific and animal activist community, highly celebrated technology is aimed at reducing the numbers of killed male chickens, by terminating their development during their embryonic stage (Leipzig University 2015). The idea is being developed by Leipzig University veterinarian scientist Prof. Dr. Maria ­Elisabeth Regina Krautwald­ Junghanns.

Let just quickly point out the betrayal by this woman who is, as I will show now, not only advancing capitalism but also misogyny. The whole sexing procedure has not only got misogynist effects but also major cissexist implications. What I find the most perverse about Krautwald Junghanns leading this development however, is that she is a veterinarian, a professional who is trained in the medical care for birds.

Why We Should Not Celebrate The End of Chick Shredding in Germany

1 Animal welfare perpetuates exploitation

The ‘No more chick shredding’ campaign is an attempt to improve the lives of chicks, whilst minimally compromising human gain. That is exactly what animal welfare is about. Welfare legislation changes are often just bureaucratic and the real life impact is so minimal because they are only put into place to keep consumers willing and interested in continuing their relationship with animal products. So animal welfare legislation actually benefits the industry in the long run.

Animal welfare improvements make it very easy for us to forget that it is indeed not normal, natural and necessary (Melanie Joy) to ingest animals. Supporting animal welfare decisions without interrogating their purpose, just as the meme above asks us to do, merely perpetuates speciesism and justifies our participation in animal exploitation.

2 Nationalism and heroism are part of the narrative

The colours of the German flag in the top left corner of the meme are not merely informative, telling us what country passed the law against chick shredding. It also creates so called ‘soft power’ (Joseph Nye) for Germany as a state. The ‘No More Chick Shredding’ campaign by the German government and the international narrative of celebration and victory for the animals surrounding it, positions Germany as a pioneer in science and animal welfare. This invites additional positive international attention and so gives soft power (as opposed to hard economic or military power) to Germany. The meme portrays the country as a hero for the animals: You look at the cute fluffy chicks, see the German flag, read the words ‘Germany to end mass slaughter’ and make a mental note of how good Germans must be if they care about these cuties. This might not be the biggest reason why this meme is problematic, but I feel that even the smallest instances of nationalism are worth to be rejected.

3 Bad for animals good for capitalism

As mentioned above, this campaign is not so much a win for the animals as it is for capitalism and the poultry industry specifically. It actually allows for more efficient mass slaughter, without all the extra costs the useless (that is inedible and thus unprofitable) male assigned chicks bring to the equation with the space and labour demand they create only to be killed. This also means it will be financially viable to increase the exploitation of female assigned chicks.

Veganism is a booming market and animal industries are aware of that. Companies profiting off animals need to keep themselves viable and so invest more into deceptive advertising and lobbying that allows them to spin their products as animal friendly. This ‘end of chick shredding’ campaign is one such example. It is nothing more than a response to increased consumer awareness and a growing dissatisfaction with animal exploitation.

4 A super sexist Idea

As mentioned above, the idea of embryonic sex determination is harmful and has far reaching consequences for our understanding of gender also amongst humans. I feel that this decision is also partly informed by the mainstream understanding of sex and gender and reproductive organs.

So by ‘sexing’ the chicken eggs we determine which egg is worthy of life (the female assigned one) and which one isn’t (the male assigned one). The worth of the egg then is equal to the exploitation potential the individual that the egg might turn into bears. If that individual turns out to have the right reproductive organs it is deemed valuable and will thus be subjected to a life of torture.

You know how doctors tell pregnant people whether their foetus will be a boy or a girl based on the genitals they can see? The parallel here is that, just like female assigned chickens are exploited for their reproductive organs, people who are commonly assigned female are also reduced to their reproductive organs and whether or not they are existent, functioning and available for men to use. This obviously also perpetuates the cissexist myth that your genitals determine your gender and that there are only two genders. So the sex determination process in animals is not isolated from the myths we learn about assigning genders to humans and vice versa. They both inform and justify each other. This is part of what Carol Adams calls the ‘Sexual Politics of Meat’.


Melanie Joy – Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows

Joseph Nye – Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics

Carol Adams – ‘The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory

why I am so open about My Sex life

(For this article I will mainly be focusing on cis-gender expectations, this does not mean that if you identify as trans or non-binary you are invalid – you’re fucking awesome.)

From a young age, I was conditioned to believe that womxn have certain expectations to uphold when it comes to every part of their lives, however minuscule. Young girls shouldn’t scratch their crotch, but boys can. Girls should cross their legs to require as little room as possible, yet boys can dominate the space and take up as much room as they please. “Boys will be boys” yet girls need to do everything in their power to fulfill the patriarchy’s expectations.

Even now, as a non-binary person, I find many people expect so much from me. And that’s why I say ‘fuck it’ and do what makes me happy (without oppressing others). I’ve learnt to become much more open about everything in my life from my sexual experiences to my gender. I’ve learnt to not make myself smaller just to make others who are stuck in the kyriarchy’s way, happier. This does create a lot of tension between me and some family members especially because I often find I either call them out (leading to an argument because they are from a different generation & I’m from a cis-white middle class family so they haven’t experienced much oppression) or I have to be silent which I personally find really disgusting because it goes against everything I stand for. So now I’ve decided that uncomfortable arguments are much better in the long run than a lifetime of racist, ableist, xenophobic and other oppressive comments that I won’t personally endure.  I’m not friends with anyone anymore who is racist, sexist, transphobic etc. as I took it upon myself that I’d rather be alone than friends with oppressive people who didn’t want to learn. But now I have amazing friendships with so many awesome people, the best being ASC, my safe-haven.

I was first inspired to write this blog post from posting this photo on instagram (it is a picture of me with my eyes closed laying down in a white crop top and one arm up):



“I haven’t been wearing a bra for months now and I cannot tell you just how amazing it feels (but also annoying because im a size D so get in the way sometimes lol – can’t wait until I have enough money actually have top surgery!) omg it felt soo good yesterday though to just dance and not even care about what people think, with my boobs jumping about lol! Also wishing my armpit hair was longer, but it’s getting there haha […]”

It inspired this blog post because I was thinking “do I say my bra size” “do I say about my boobs jumping around” and now I’m like hell yeah?! Why shouldn’t I say the truth of my experience, if people feel uncomfortable it’s their problem, not mine. For so long I’ve been ashamed to speak about my natural body, about the gritty and raw truth of my life. Now I love speaking the raw truth, none of this bullshit of having to be silenced again! This is why when at work (I work in a pub) when I hear some male colleagues talking of their sexual experiences, I join in with mine. I have an attitude about me now whenever I talk about my sex life to anyone and say how I’ve slept with over 10 people in the last year since my sexual debut (I hate saying “losing my virginity’ like wtf, I’ve gained something here you know? It all links back to the patriarchal idea that ‘womxn’ should be ‘pure’ and that we’ve ‘lost’ some kind of value.) Anyway, I have an attitude of no-shame, I am not ashamed of how many people I have slept with and how many more people I will continue to sleep with because as long as I get check-ups and stay safe all is well! I will continue to be open about my life, my sexual experiences, my bra size, whatever! Because it’s important these discussions need to become normalised so more non-binary people and womxn don’t feel ashamed too. However, it is also important to remember that not everyone is empowered by openness. Some may choose to keep some information private and that is completely valid, no one is less of a non-binary person or womxn if they choose to shave, wear a bra and not talk about their sex life.

So my solidarity is to those who are open, those who want to be but feel too scared, and those who choose to not be open. You are all inspiring, amazing, and together we will smash the kyriarchy!

~ Casey


Cameron During Resignation as Full of Shit as Always

by aga

During his resignation speech Cameron played the perfect Tory and the perfect politician. I took note of some of the most preposterous things that came out his mouth. If listening to him doesn’t make you throw up, you can watch the full speech in the video below or read the transcript in the Telegraph.


Calling out the Prime Minister

CW: mention of gaslighting (only in the first paragraph)

It seems like in his speech, Cameron is gaslighting the whole world, as he is recreating our present reality by reshaping our memories of the past and denying his own violence. Gaslighting is a serious form of abuse, where the abuser tries to convince the victim of a version of reality that suits the abuser by manipulating the victim through denying reality and convincing them of a different version of the past. The purpose is to make the victim fond of the abuser so as to still be able to benefit from the uneven power relationship.

Blaming the people for Brexit

Throughout the speech Cameron makes sure to allocate the blame to the people for the horror that’s to come (If you want to know why we are devastated by Brexit read yesterday’s post). The first four sentences he utters all stress the people’s role in this decision.

By throwing a big number at us (33,000, 000 people) and making sure to mention every single one of the many countries that had a vote (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar) he makes sure to make it sound like everybody and their mom decided for this to happen. After all, as he says, they ‘all had their say’. He conveniently leaves out that the population of 16 and 17 year-olds was not allowed to vote, as the costs would have been too high, apparently. Two people I know  who aren’t in the UK at the moment registered a proxy to vote for them but neither of them ever got a polling cart. Obviously this is not some sort of conspiracy, it’s just a testament to bureaucratic democracy failing the people.

Taking credit for people’s achievements

cw: mention of suicide in the following paragraph.

‘I believe we’ve made great steps, with more people in work than ever before in our history, with reforms to welfare and education, increasing people’s life chances, building a bigger and stronger society, keeping our promises to the poorest people in the world and enabling those who love each other to get married whatever their sexuality, but above all restoring Britain’s economic strength’ – this is probably the part that angered me the most. More people are working, and what he doesn’t tell us is that most of them are working more hours for less money finding it increasingly hard to survive. Budget cuts to the NHS, which he is responsible for, are affecting already marginalised people to such an extent that suicide rates are rising so he is decreasing people’s life chances across the board.

Then the dirty Tory dares to take credit for ‘enabling those who love each other to get married, whatever their sexuality’, shitting all over the hard work the people put into this great achievement over decades (plus it is still hard for trans people to even get recognised by institutions, not to mention actually getting married).

Denying his own role

Cameron makes sure to distinguish the decision of the people very clearly from his own campaign for a Britain that’s better off in the EU. He tries to make us forget the horrendous Tory propaganda he has been responsible for, for at least the past six years. He makes us forget that it was him and his government that riled up everyone, from working class people to rich-as-fuck ‘liberals’, against immigration, against muslims, against Eastern Europeans and against the EU.

He tries to make us forget that it was his racist, ableist, classist and misogynist politics that sent the population into despair and made many feel powerless and hopeless. It is his politics that made people like Farage acceptable and even popular. And it is Cameron who is to blame for Brexit.

Playing the martyr

Cameron said: ‘The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected’ and ‘The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered’ – all of a sudden he is playing the civil servant. A fine civil servant who is blaming the people for his resignation as their decision is so different from his ideology which is why ‘the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction’. Nice one, first he messes everything up and then he leaves it to even more conservative and right wing politicians to take it from here. And he is trying to sell this screw up as in the best interest for the people?

Some casual nationalism

‘Britain is a special country’ and ‘I love this country’ reproduce the imperialist narratives of Britain’s greatness and ability to conquer all no matter how hard times are. It feeds right into the ‘we can do it on our own if we stick together as a nation’ storyline that has recently been made popular again through romantic adaptations of the ‘Keep Calm and Carry on’ War time slogan, versions of which are decorating everything from pillows, to mugs and pet food bowls.

Cameron knows however, that the world has changed and Britain has changed so he scrupulously appropriates British diversity to advance a sense of nationalism by pretending that he too, like most of the British people, thinks the melting pot culture to be a good thing: ‘And while we are not perfect I do believe we can be a model for the multi-racial, multi-faith democracy’, he says, trying to make us forget that it was his government who put islamophobic and xenophobic anti-immigration laws into place and that under his government police brutality against people of colour has risen.


Strawberry Fair Report

We’ve got reports from three ASC members who tabled at Strawberry Fair with us. Thank you to everyone who supported us by buying our zines or to everyone who just  by coming over and sharing a smile made our day! If you are interested in getting involved with the group, attending our discussion group, tabling with us at fairs or contributing to our zine, let us know!


“What a fair this year! I was on two stalls so I couldn’t spend the whole day with ASC, however the time I did spend there was lovely. So many warm and compassionate people came over to have a chat. The weather was beautiful as we tucked into our vegan fish and chips and admired the amazing art work of one of our ASC members. We helped people make the connection while meeting like minded people and having some wonderful conversations. Thank you to everyone who came and supported us, hopefully we are one step further to animal and human liberation.”




Cw: domestic violence, discussion of fur farms

“ASC had our stall at Strawberry Fair for the second year running! We were really excited about meeting new people and sharing our zines and artwork with others. Luckily, our stall was near our friends and fellow activists at Cambridge Hunt Sabs and StandUp, a grassroots youth animal rights group. We were also next to a vegan ‘fish’ and chips van – surrounded by awesome vegans!

Unfortunately, not all stalls at the fair are free from violence. We saw a stall selling fur and animal skulls (the stall owner told us that the fur came from ‘roadkill’, although we believe this is untrue). Fur farms are horrifically cruel, and animals bred and kept for fur are often skinned alive. Please do not support this industry by buying fur.



The day was overcast, and for the most part fairly quiet. We met some lovely, compassionate people – including someone I met at our stall last year – who we had constructive and positive discussions with. Inevitably, we also had someone joke that cleaning bacteria is a speciesist act (which we led into a conversation about sentience) and a few people questioning the apparently ‘sexist’ nature of a group for womxn and non-binary people that excludes men (check out our FAQ page for our answer on this).

We also witnessed a traumatic incident which left some of our volunteers feeling shaken. ASC is an anti-oppression group, and we do not tolerate any kind of violence or aggressive behaviour and recognise the importance of reflecting this in our everyday actions. We were concerned about approaching the womxn, as it could have put not only us but the womxn and children in further danger. In the face of public displays of domestic abuse, we would usually advise following at a distance and if at all possible (keeping your safety and the safety of the other person firmly in mind) discreetly giving the victim of abuse information for local helplines (see for more information about support in Cambridge).  However, watching the situation unfold, we were in a position where we had a safe space and were able to offer support.


“While I didn’t get much hurt physically (I got pushed on the table and got some bruises on my back), it really affected me emotionally, especially as someone questioned if it is was a right thing to do to offer solidarity to the womxn and the children, because that way according to the person we were inviting violence towards us. But no, it was the right thing to do, violence never can be tolerated and I’m so proud that we as a group stood for what we believe. Personally I think this act of violence even strengthen us a group. I knew that I had everyone’s support and their backs, no matter what will happen. I hope we can turn this negative experience into something more positive and reflect it in our works in the future. And more than ever I’m sure that we will keep doing what we do and showing solidarity to every survivor of violence. Hopefully our works and acts will inspire others to stand up wherever possible for themselves and/or others. “

Shaming, sexism and a call for zoo abolition in the aftermath of Harambe’s death

cw: animal cruelty, sexism

On May 28th, 17 year old gorilla Harambe was shot and killed at Cincinnati Zoo after a child fell into Harambe’s enclosure. At ASC, we were devastated when we heard the news. Video footage shows Harambe protecting the child. There has also been evidence of gorillas protecting young children in the past – in 1986, Jambo protected five year old Levan Merritt and in 1996 Binti Jua cradled an unconscious child until staff arrived. These incidents show cross-species empathy and care for others – yet Cincinnati Zoo stand by their decision to shoot Harambe.

Over the next few days, the parents of the child were continually shamed and derided online. The blame focused on Michelle Gregg, the child’s mother. Hateful sexist memes were created like this one – (text reads: I was killed because a bitch wasnt watching her child).


It is important to note that this misogyny is also speciesist – calling a womxn a bitch promotes and maintains a system of othering: other than womxn, other than man, other than human. Memes like this support the life of *some* animals, but suggest that womxn are objects that deserve aggressive slurs.

Reports followed that Gregg was at the zoo with three other children. As a person who has grown up with four younger siblings, I can understand how a child can easily slip away from supervision (we once lost my then-six year old brother on holiday in Spain at a market… he had gone back to a park he liked without telling us. I have never felt so panicked). A court ruled this week that there will be no charges brought against the parents. Continuing to place blame on the parents (and specifically Michelle Gregg) will only continue to cause the family further stress.

Other critics focused on the poor structure and security of the enclosure. Both of these complaints deflect focus away from the core of the problem: zoos are prisons. Zoos take away freedom from animals, putting them in small, artificial environments and parading them in front of thousands of humans for human entertainment and profit. ASC know the arguments – the importance of conservation and protection from danger are examples. But where does that danger come from? Hunting, and the destruction of natural habitat. By humans.

Animals in zoos present abnormal repetitive stress behaviours such as pacing, rocking and biting from being confined in enclosures. Animals in zoos become bored and depressed, and some are medicated or tranquilized because they are so unhappy. From the shock of Harambe’s death, we ask that readers question the necessity of zoos. We ask that you consider life behind enclosure windows for living beings like lowland gorillas – animals that care enough to protect human children and are exploited and killed in return.

~ elecia

Poison – Zine Contribution by Casey

This poem was published in the second issue of our zine. Thank you Casey ❤


Lauren now goes by the name Casey.

This is the transcript of poem:


What is it that poisons you?

is it the words you were told when you were growing up, trying to put you in a

corrupt confined catergory

a tick box, decisions had to be made on the spot

you were 13 you didn’t know the meaning of the word sexuality

you didn’t know, when you grow up you’ll be sexualized objectified and

oppressed. You didn’t know you’d be told that the beauty that nature holds

doesn’t hold itself upon you until the hairs are no more. You didn’t know that one

night you’d try with all your might yet the word no still didn’t stop it occurring.

Re-occuring the nightmares and dark visions you have, your outfit of more

importance than the crime you never asked for.

They want you to hide your nature to hide your body to hide the things that

distracts men most.

Well my body is mine, you have to deal with that. Deal with your mind don’t

become a corrupted twat

What is it that poisons you?

You being the oppresser

You were told that eating meat, spreading violence and dominanting was what

defined your gender. You’re lied to, we all are. This corrupt system trying to

cover up the scars, the dead bodies in the ground that this economy is built on. It

disgusts me that people still think we are equal. How dare you? I got asked one

day. They looked me up and down and here I’m thinking I want to shrink into the


Shrink no more I will do. Shout out loud more for you, for the younger

generations this worlds going down and don’t let it take you too.

Human Milk for Human Babies – Zine Contribution by Kaya

This is a copy of Kaya’s written contribution to our zine on Human Impacts (transcript below). Thank you Kaya ❤

human milk for human babies 1human milk for human babies 2

Trigger Warning: Discussion of discrimination against breastfeeders and descriptions of violence towards animals.

Having been vegan and an animal rights activist for 3 years there was never any doubt in my mind that if I were to have a child, they would be brought up vegan and animal conscious also. When I became pregnant at the end of last year I went through a transformative process so unexpected and beautiful; I was suddenly rooted to the ground in a way I hadn’t imagined. This little life inside me was to inherit so much; so much opportunity to make a difference and so much magic the universe has to offer. But also she was to inherit all of the terrible impacts we humans have on our surroundings and the beings we share them with. I promised her I’d do my best to show her the truth of the food, clothing, research and sporting industries and teach her to look through the barrage of lies and propaganda spilling out of a capitalist world that thinks nothing of abusing and destroying for a profit and thinks everything of promoting a brainwashed population that doesn’t realise the monumental violence and suffering in almost every aspect of their consumption.

One of the best gifts I could give this child would be the gift of veganism. To not have been hoodwinked and tricked by society into eating and wearing animals as a child is something that I expect every vegan wishes had been their story. The ‘choice’ that non-vegan parents claim to be promoting is nothing of the sort. By feeding unknowing children and babies animal products we are actually removing all ‘choice’ from the matter. If I had been fully aware and informed as a youngster, I would never have chosen to hurt animals through my diet or fashion or entertainment. But I did, and I regret every mouthful, every leather shoe, every sip of cows’ milk, every ride on a horse’s back. So I promised my unborn child that I would never put her in that position. I would feed her healthy, kind food that had not come from violence. Food that would nourish her body as well as her soul. And that all starts with milk from me, her mum.

When Ivy came into this world, a screaming, magical, hungry friend was delivered to me. We were instantly inseparable and my devotion to her is on a whole new level of carnal depth. The moment she first fed from my breast was unforgettable. It felt so simple and right. My body was producing just what she needed and the joy and love involved in that symbiotic act of feeding kept me on cloud 9. But as instantly as I felt joy I felt an intense sense of pain, fear and guilt. The dairy cows. Women of another species who are forcibly impregnated and their babies taken away from them soon after birth or at most just weeks after their little lives have begun. If male, the babies are either brutally killed or kept chained to a pen and artificially fed to make ‘veal’ (body parts from baby cattle). If female they are subjected to the same sad fate as their mothers – enslaved in the dairy industry. As I looked at little Ivy and felt the intense emotion that connects a parent and their child in an indescribable way, I thought how it would feel to have her forcibly taken away from me. How I would scream and fight and cry, broken at losing the most precious and vulnerable part of me. If anybody has heard the howling bellows of a screaming mother cow who’s just had her baby taken away they will not be in any doubt at the level of terrible despair of these women. Footage of cows trying desperately to reach their missing babies and lunging desperately at enclosure gates is commonplace. That most farmers are men makes it even more chilling. Sexism and patriarchy transcends species.

Ivy and I have had a few bumps in the road when it comes to breastfeeding. She was born with a tongue tie that wasn’t diagnosed until she was a month old, by which time my milk supply had almost disappeared due to her not being able to take enough milk and my body not producing enough in response. I had no idea about any of this and had thought that 6 hour long feeding stretches and constant screaming was normal for a newborn. Eventually she was admitted to hospital and the paediatric team there said she was putting on weight ‘dangerously slowly’ and she needed supplementing with formula milk. I explained that we were vegan and I didn’t want her to have cow’s milk, but they insisted there was no other option as soy was ‘not safe’ for young babies and human milk was not available unless she was in intensive care. I burst into tears. Delirious with exhaustion and with a team of Doctors standing over me telling me how important this was, I agreed. The feeling of hopelessness and disgust at watching the nurse bottle feeding my baby with cows milk formula was almost unbearable. When it came to my being shown how to hold the bottle I couldn’t connect to what my own hands were doing. This beautiful innocent young baby sucked trusting and contentedly at the teat, her big blue eyes looking up into mine, and all I could think was how much I had betrayed her and the mother cows this milk was stolen from. And their killed babies it was intended for. I cried so much that night on the ward, feeling like a failure and apologising in my heart to Ivy and to the cows who suffer unheard. I’m sure to a non-vegan this sounds ridiculous, hilarious even. But that’s just because they are so disconnected and have no grasp on the reality of dairy products. It’s simply breast milk stolen from a grieving mother, who will year after year suffer the unimaginable heartbreak of forcible impregnation, having her baby taken away and having her breast milk sucked out of her body by machines for human consumption.

Ivy did not react well to the formula. While on it, she projectile vomited, was constipated and was in a lot of gas pain, writhing and crying through the night. Amazingly this is not the case now. I found there is a fantastic network of people who share their milk to guardians unable to breastfeed. As soon as we were discharged I started looking for another way, and I managed to connect with a local donor who gives bags of their frozen breast milk so I could supplement Ivy in a natural and nourishing way. Her tongue tie has been sorted and I’ve been working hard to build up my own supply so thankfully we are a good breastfeeding team now and she’s getting about half of her nourishment from my body, with the donated breast milk making up the other half.

I am so disappointed that the medical team are working within such an oppressive framework where guardians are being pushed into making choices so damaging to them and to the cows and their babies.

The negative health impact of dairy consumption is only just being seriously recognised by the science community leading to a British Medical Journal labelling human consumption of cows milk a ‘myth’. We know that incidences of hip fractures, a key indicator of osteoporosis or ‘brittle bones’ in humans, is highest in demographics that consume the most dairy, and lowest in areas which consume no dairy. We know that dairy and other animal derived products actually sap the calcium and phosphate from our bones due to them putting our bodies into a state of acidosis. We know that dairy cows are one of the most abused and tortured group of beings on the planet – and the very nature of forced pregnancy, baby snatching and leeching breast milk from grieving mothers sits very uncomfortably to those who dwell on the reality of it. We know humans only need breast milk for the very beginnings of life, and that human breast milk is the only acceptable source. The dairy industry has long enjoyed dominance, quietly and secretly enslaving cattle to be used as milk machines and disposing of their babies, mere ‘spare parts’. Commercial formula milk companies have been pushing bottle feeding onto women for decades, and the result is a brainwashed flow of guardians who don’t question why.

I believe it’s time for that to stop. Time for guardians to help each other if breast milk is needed but not immediately available instead of perpetuating an already critical level of abuse and oppression of cows by reaching for the formula bottle. We have the power to change this!

Liberate Your Language – Zine Contribution by Elecia

Here is Elecia’s contribution to the second issue of our zine (transcript below). Thank you Elecia ❤

Liberate Your Language


Content warning: discussion of disordered eating and homophobia.

Have you ever been in a social situation where something someone else has said has made you feel uncomfortable? Suddenly your heart starts beating faster. Your hands might shake a little (or a lot). You find it difficult to think of how to respond. Whether you should even bother to respond at all. Time slows down, and you want to escape the conversation on as quickly as possible.

This happens to me a lot. At first, I wondered if I was just an awkward person (this is probably somewhat true) or maybe incredibly sensitive. The first time I noticed was during a period of intense emotional difficulty and disordered eating – any mention of how my body looked had me wishing for the ground to open beneath my feet. After this, I struggled admitting my sexuality was definitely not heterosexual to people I didn’t know in case they were purposely (or even accidentally) homophobic. Now, as soon as anyone mentions any kind of animal exploitation, I look for the easiest exit.

I’m telling you this because people do not always consider the feelings or responses of those around them. We all have different experiences. I’m telling you this because it is so important to think about what you say before you say it. This is not about policing freedom of speech. It’s about not oppressing minorities.

Let me explain – comments about how my body looked were directly related to my gender identity and I felt under pressure to conform to societal standards. Placing value on women’s bodies is sexist objectification. It is so normalized that many people do this without even realizing.

Let’s move on. I experienced homophobia in different ways growing up –from people ‘innocently’ using the term ‘gay’ as an adjective to describe anything that bothers them, hearing others spread jokes about lgbtqia+ individuals and having slurs thrown my way. It’s no surprise that people find coming out difficult.

What I have been struggling with recently is correcting people that assume that I must be heterosexual. Will I get looks of reproach? What if they make my work place uncomfortable? Will I be unsafe? Why the fuck should I even have to consider these things?

And finally: it is unbelievably hard to listen to people discussing how much they enjoy to consume corpses and drink milk stolen from mothers. Admitting veganism to carnists usually results in either: silence, jokes ridiculing your choices, brushing your comments off, or concerns about your health (don’t fucking talk to me about my ‘diet’ after two years of disordered eating. Seriously). Most of this does not oppress me as a human, but affects all of the animals that are exploited by our species.

Basically, I’m trying to say that people often say things to me that oppress me as a bisexual woman and single out veganism as a negative difference (thereby oppressing animals). Sometimes it’s unintnional. Sometimes it isn’t.

The language we use helps us to create and shape our understanding of the world. Active campaigning and growing awareness means that many terms are now understood as oppressive to marginalized groups. Toxic words are no longer tolerated. It is up to us to ensure that we are not harming people because of the words we are using. Stop throwing around ableist terms like ‘stupid’. Don’t use the word ‘bitch’ to describe people you don’t like (it’s sexist and speciesist!) Don’t assume someone’s gender identity and sexuality. It’s hard to catch yourself at first, and you might feel embarrassed swallowing your pride to apologize, but creating an inclusive and supportive environment is crucial.

We need our language to reflect our politics. We take a stance against violence. Let’s not engage in microaggressions that harm others.


What They Said

Here are some quotes we collected by vegan feminist authors for our first zine:

Quotes page


Emily Gaarder: ‘When women make the choice to become animal rights activists, they should be considered, in the words of bell hooks, “political thinkers making political choices” (1989, 95). Only within this framework can we begin to understand the social and political relevancy of women’s narratives of activism, and the majority status they hold in the movement for animal rights. Such a framework might also inspire women activists to reimagine the significance of their extraordinary political choices’.

Patricia MacCormack: ‘”of course animals enjoy interactions with humans” or “we can help as much as hurt”, “animal systems can teach us how to be posthuman”, or the most basic question: “we need to think differently about animals”. No. We need to think about the undoing of us, whatever that means.’

Melissa Santosa: Veganism cultivates an attention to minute details of food ingredients, clothing labels, and how the things you consume are produced. This mindfulness leads to the deeper investigation of all the things you consume, not only as to their material content, but also the conditions in which the products are manufactured, and the standard of living they create for all those on the chain of raw material, manufacturing, selling, buying, and disposing.’

Lisa Kemmerer: ‘Marriage grants a man “legal license to his wife’s sexual and reproductive services, [while] the model of animal husbandry grants agribusiness and wildlife managers access to the bodies and reproductive services of other-than-human animals” (Kheel, Nature, 231). Women and nonhuman animals are exploited for their reproductive abilities, and both are devalued as they age and wear out – when they are no longer to reproduce’.

Joan Dunayer: ‘Even the word nonhuman divides all animals into two, seemingly opposed categories: Humans and everyone else. With equal validity we could categorise all animals as robins and nonrobins’.

Breeze Harper: ‘The British who sipped their sugary teas considered themselves civilized, despite the torture and slavery it took to get that white sugar into their tea cups, along with the cotton and tobacco they used. Collectively, maybe we in the U.S. are too addicted to see clearly, to see past the next fix. This addictive behaviour has occurred for centuries. Sadly, those who were originally enslaved to harvest sugar cane (Africans and indigenous Americans) are now enslaved in multiple ways: as consumers of sucrose, hormone-injected processed meat and dairy products, and junk food’.

Pattrice Jones: ‘Women make most food purchases and preparation decisions. If women are going to both go vegan and withstand the demands of male family members for meat, women must be emboldened to resist their own subordination and at the same time reject the oppression of nonhuman individuals’.