“Let’s talk about rape for a moment. Rape is not what George Lucas did to your childhood. Rape is not what happens when a sports team beats another sports team by a wide margin. Rape is not what happens when your electric bill is higher this month than it was last month. Rape is when a person violates another person in the most despicable, degrading way imaginable and among the myriad of terrible things humans can do to one another, rape is among the worst. I think the casual misappropriation of the concept of rape extending all the way to its widespread comical usage is disgusting even by Internet standards.”—Jeffrey Rowland (via observedintoexistence)
I hate it when someone (with the best of intentions) offers me some kind of non-vegan food. Everyone is eating lunch, and this super nice lady just offered me cake. I barely even know her, but we see each other around the department, and it was really nice of her to come all the way to my office to ask me. If it were vegan, I would have accepted it just to be nice (I’m not even hungry right now). But I had to decline, and it felt awkward to say anything more than, “No thanks, but thanks for offering!”
I want these people to like me (and maybe remember me when they are hiring new faculty:), I hope they don’t think I’m a big, anti-social, cake-hater.
Thanks for your big repsonse! And thanks for being civil. Not everyone can be on this issue, and sadly it means we can't find similar ground. Anyway, I went ahead and responded to some of the questions you brought up. I couldn't reblog your post, and it was kind of too long for the ask box. So, if you would like to read, you can find it on my blog. Thanks again for the discussion.
I went ahead and reblogged your post with a few of my thoughts. Also, I just wanted to say that I think it’s great that you’re going vegan (slowly but surely). Personally, I am not religious, but I think there is a lot in christianity that actually seems to advocate for veganism. Vegan high-five.
Thanks for your repsonse. I’ll try to answer a few of the things you brought up and compare them to my own beliefs. First I think the main fundamental difference with our views is that I do believe life begins at conception. I do not believe that a sperm or ovum is life. But, together they do create a human embryo that’s not just a potential being, but is growing and developing. And, I base this on the very basic definition of life and biology.
Also, in my own experience, I do not personally know any pro-life person that thinks a mother should automatically die for her baby if she is facing serious medical problems. Yes, there are those that only consider the life of the baby, but most in my experience understand that there are many factors that should be considered when both lives are threatened. I believe life should always be the most important choice, but unfortunately in extreme health cases, sometimes it does come down to determining the life of the mother or fetus. I think those are very sad situations, and my heart goes out to any mother and family dealing with that choice. Some mothers will give their life, some cannot. Either way, a life ends and I’m sorry for that. One example would be an ectopic pregnancy, which is a case where the embryo cannot survive, and it could be a serious health risk for the mother.
Like you, I do wish more pro-life people were vegans. I am not yet a vegan, but have goals to eventually make that transition. I’ve been a vegetarian now for a month with limited dairy. I think there is just a major disconnect with what people eat. But, I hope that things are changing little by little, and maybe we will see a difference in the future.
I can’t speak for everyone in the pro-life movement, but for me the motiviation is to help people realize that all life is valuable. But, also to help women realize that she has options and that abortion may not be the best option for her. Abortion is a choice (at least by law in the US), and does sometimes seem like the easiest choice to make in those tough crisis pregnancy situations. However, abortion is not always the best choice. And, it does not take away the fact that the woman was pregnant in the first place. Some will be totally fine with their decision. Others will go on to have deep regret for ending their pregnancy. I’ve personally talked to women in their 80s who were still grieving for their past abortion decision. So, I would like women to know that maybe there are better options for her, maybe she does have support, maybe she will be a good mother, etc. I don’t want her to feel like abortion is her only choice.
A lot of people assume that pro-life people only care about saving babies. And obviously that is important. But, I can say that I deeply care for the woman as well. I talk to women daily about their struggles with their pregnancies. Some go on to have abortions, some choose to keep their babies. My heart goes out to all of them. It can be a life changing situation no matter what she chooses.
Anyway, I hope that clarifies some of the questions you brought up. I guess what I hope I shared is that just like not all pro-choice people are pro-abortion, not all pro-life people are crazy, un-educated individuals that want to bomb abortion clinics. There are always extremes on both sides of the issue, but most of us are just the average person that cares about women and babies.
And, thank you for this discussion. :)
Ok. Your post brought up a lot of interesting things, and once again I agree with a lot of what you’re saying. I’m not really sure where to start.
Ultimately, I believe that all pregnant persons should have the option of abortion. It is solely that person’s choice and she can handle it however she sees fit.
I can’t speak for other people and how they see the issue, and maybe I’ll one day see it differently, but this is what it seems like to me: For some women, abortion is the best option. If the pregnancy itself is dangerous for the woman, or if it is a result of rape or incest, abortion is probably the best decision. I think this is also the case for women who simply aren’t in a good financial or living situation and maybe haven’t received sufficient sexual education. Some pregnancies are negative and possibly damaging for any number of different reasons, and I don’t think it is wrong to seek an abortion, especially in the early stages.
I believe that a lot of abortions could be prevented (and I’m not an authority), if there were more sexual health resources open to women from an earlier age. The thing is, women face a lot of societal pressure about sex. Growing up, I always felt that I shouldn’t want to have sex, and certainly shouldn’t have it! But at the same time, I needed to try to impress guys by being sexy. My mom told me not to have sex, but she never told me that I could get pregnant or get an STI, and she definitely wasn’t going to tell me to use protection if I did decide to have sex. And I don’t think sex ed. experiences like this are uncommon. The result is that there are many women and girls out there who aren’t aware of their own sexuality, don’t know it’s ok to want to have sex, and don’t know what they want from sex. And who can they ask when they have questions? I certainly would never have talked to my mom about sex. If I didn’t have a home computer (and an older sister) I would have only had my friends, and they were just as clueless as me!
Another aspect of reproductive rights that shouldn’t be overlooked is the fact that in many cases a woman is not allowed to have a tubal ligation until she has two children and is 22 years of age. So if I make the decision to never have children, I cannot get my tubes tied. The reasoning behind this (it’s not a law that I know of, but rather an attempt by the medical field to prevent legal problems) is that I might change my mind! That is, that I can’t do what I want with my body because the powers that be doubt that I am capable of making big decisions. My little brother, however, of 19 would likely have little, if any, trouble finding a doctor to perform a vasectomy.
The point is, that in some cases women are taught to take a passive role in their own sexuality and even to feel ashamed about what they do with their bodies. Then they are taught to feel guilty about the negative consequences that come about from sexual activity, rape, and incest. She is a “slut” if she has sex or is raped, “irresponsible” and a “baby killer” if she has an abortion, and “bound to change her mind” if she wants a tubal ligation.
I just don’t feel that abortion (when chosen by healthy women, who might be able to “make the best out of a bad situation”-Rick Santorum) is a problem in and of itself, but rather a symptom of a society that routinely shames women about their sexuality and treats them as if they really just aren’t capable of ever making the right decisions about their sexual health.
I know you (angelameds) are more on the pro-life side, but do you think abortion should be illegal in all circumstances?
And thanks for the long response post and good discussion!
"As a vegan I can’t help but roll my eyes when a carnivore claims to be “pro-life.” That's interesting. I sometimes think the same thing of vegans that support abortion. I don't intend to get into the whole pro-choice/pro-life debate. I guess I'm just a person that hopes for a world someday where most people are vegans and most women don't feel the need for abortion. Anyway, I know views differ greatly, and I was just offering another view point. Best wishes.
I see what you’re saying, and I agree with you. I would love to live in a vegan world in which fewer women needed abortions. I think the common misconception (of pro-lifers) about pro-choice individuals is that they are often thought to be pro-abortion. As if you must be anti-baby if you are not pro-life. However, pro-choice means exactly what it sounds like; all women should have the right to choose what to do with their own bodies.
If I became pregnant, I wouldn’t have an abortion and I would likely keep the baby. But that’s my choice, and I wouldn’t make it for anyone else! Not everybody has the family, boyfriend, or financial stability that I have! I’m a terribly lucky girl! But let’s say I find out that I won’t be able to carry that baby full term without serious risk to my own health, or that the pregnancy is not viable - I would like to have the option to have an abortion. And I would like that option to be extended to all women in all situations. I believe pregnancy is (among other things) a medical condition to be handled however the patient and her doctors feel is best.
This does not conflict with veganism, because life does not begin at conception. Just like I don’t consider ovum or sperm to be living things, I don’t think they become more important just because together they have the potential of becoming something bigger/more complex.
If and when it comes to a choice between the mother’s or the baby’s life, I don’t think the mother has some kind of obligation to sacrifice herself. And I’m not sure why so many pro-lifers have this attitude that the pregnant woman should be willing to die for her fetus. As if a woman’s life is only as good as a few pregnancies!
The interesting thing to me is how blatantly contradictory pro-life rhetoric is to eating meat or supporting death or war in any circumstances. If you believe life begins at conception, then how can you stand the thought of eating anything dead, how can you say that you are okay with the death penalty, and how can you agree with the war on terrorism (not that I think all pro-lifers support war or the death penalty; I’m just know some who do.) Clearly life is not the issue at all!
And I wish I did know what the issue was. If there is anyone that does know the true motivation for the pro-life movement, please make it known.
And thankfully I got screenshots of all my major comments in the event something like this happened. [I’m going to try to come back later and add image descriptions to all these. I just wanted to get this out asap. I apologize.]
In which I posted the following comments (now gone). Note, I neglected to say people instead of women, I’m sorry:
Then there was this thread which was trying to peddle the erroneous link between abortion and breast cancer:
I didn’t screenshot my comment but I provided a link to my blog post thoroughly refuting this claim. My comment was between Elida Mulford and Kate Anderson at the bottom. Note how ridiculous Kate’s comment is in response to a slew of scientific proof they’re lying: “I think women often lie about their past sins. Theirs no way to be sure their breast cancer isn’t due to their promiscous behavior.” Uh-huh.
How nice of you antis for erasing the truth from your page in favor of keeping your supporters clueless and misinformed. Ask yourselves why you have to blatantly lie to make this politically motivated decision palatable.
By far, my favorite comment was “women wouldn’t need mammograms if we got rid of abortion.” JUST. WOW.