Animal Circus Protest @ the Kitchener Auditorium


Tomorrow there is a traveling animal exhibit from The Bowmanville Zoo coming to the Kitchener memorial Auditorium (400 East Ave. Kichener, ON.) Shows are at 3:00 and 7:00pm, and K.O.A.L.A and GOAL will be demonstrating at 2:00 and 6:00pm. We have reason to belief that baboons, camels, horses and a panther will be used in the show.

We will be handing out leaflets, chanting, holding signage, and hopefully engaging in conversations with those attending.

Click here for the facebook event page and share with all!

Browsing through the animal prison’s website, among several tabs they have one about the importance of zoos. Bownmanville tout’s,

There is a school of thought that says zoos should simply not exist, that animals should not be kept in captivity under any circumstances. We respectfully disagree. And if our animals could talk, so would they. The truth is our animals lead longer, healthier lives than their wild counterparts and we provide large, open areas for them to live and play.

I cannot even fathom the logic behind spreading misinformation about animals in confined-institutions living longer and healthier lives. This is a lie, but there is no platform to challenge this information. That is why demonstrations and providing accurate information is so important and essential to move in the right direction of ending these facilities.This sentiment shares the same origin as does the utilitarian perspective of animals. That is, if humans did not take control of every movement, noise, thought animals make, or create environments for them to exist in, they would be in complete chaos and unable to exist.

Well, to be honest, we have encroached, appropriated, and made the landscapes inhospitable but it is the fundamental principle that we are entitled to feel a ‘responsibility’ to provide and protect animals. Yet, we are the primary instigators -historically & presently- that are creating these hindrances. How about we move beyond ‘responsibility’ and prioritize accountability. This may seem tedious to some, but being accountable would require us to seriously look at the conditions of the animals lives under human “stewardship” and let it seep in just how horrible we treat animals. In addition, this would hold us accountable and require action and change.

I will post tomorrow about how everything goes, and more about the Bownmanville Zoo. Another think I want to point out that I found on the Bowmanville’s website is that hey have a first of its kind ‘curriculum’ to accommodate the learning levels for the demographics of the audience:

Meet our animal friends in this up-close, interactive live animal experience. We have created Canada’s first curriculum-based live animal presentation in conjunction with teachers and conservation specialists. We will educate and entertain your students with remarkable and fasting factbout animals from all over the world. This high energy show will have your students hopping out of their seats, slithering up to the front, and smiling from ear to ear.
For Grades 1 – 4, our presentation touches on subjects like the characteristics and needs of living things, growth in plants and animals, as well as basic information about habitats and communities.
The Grade 5 – 8 program discusses the diversity of living things, interactions within an ecosystem, and a comparison of the physiology of the animals we bring with our own.
We also offer an adult presentation geared to high school students and adults alike. This presentation discusses social behavior, adaptations, evolution, predator/prey relationships, and much more.

It is disturbing to read “living things” over and over again. For now, here is a video of a protest on the opening day in 2013. Alright, I am off to make my poster!

Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, 400 East Ave. Kitchener, ON

My reading list in a picture!

My reading list!

This is an almost-complete picture of my primary texts for this class. I am still waiting on “Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism” by Mark Hawthorne (2008).

To be honest, I am looking for other suggestions to read for the topic of doing animal rights activism. I am not convinced by Hawthorne’s book, so if anyone has any suggestions please share! Or on the other hand, if you really enjoyed this book I’d love to know why!

(Re)positioning Care in Animal Rights: A reading of the ‘The Feminist Care Tradition in Animal Ethics’.

 

One of my favourite book covers!

I just finished reading The Feminist Care Tradition in Animal Ethics (2006 edition published by Columbia University Press) by Josephine Donovan and Carol J. Adams. The 2006 edition includes the original 1996 text (excluding one essay not sure why) augmented a decade later with Part II that incorporates constructive critiques of the feminist care tradition and new theoretical directions.

A few days after reading the text I questioned the constancy and one of the core facets to the praxis. One of the most confusing aspects of this text was if they were proposing a universal feminist care ethics for animals. There was one paragraph that did acknowledge the importance of distinguishing rights/rules from principles/ethics that would allow for flexibility and a framework that is malleable and adaptable to a multitude of perspectives such as race, gender, history, geography, class and so on. However, I still felt that Donovan & Adams envisioned a single-image for the ethics of care that is coming from a middle-class, educated cis-white woman voice. Perhaps if they discursively noted that, I would feel less weary but the  identity politics were only mentioned a few times in brevity.
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My first vegan bake sale!

I am not fond of baking, mostly because I struggle following recipes and like to combine 2-5 alternative recipes for the same good. This strategy to get the *best of everything* ends up comprising the very essence of baking. Nonetheless, I had an opportunity to bake for the third time in my life. The bake sale was organized my K.O.A.L.A (*read: Kitchener Ontario Animal Liberation Alliance) to raise some money for the Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary. I have not had a chance to get up there (plans are in the works!!) but Cedar Row is a sanctuary in Stratford Ontario for rescued farm(ed) animals. We raised just under $200.00 which is pretty awesome.
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Addressing language to combat specieism and violence

This week’s reading note is for the book Animal Equality: Language and Liberation (2001) by Joan Dunayer published by Ryce Publishing in Maryland. This book is an invaluable resource to anyone interested in animal rights and to challenge discourses that perpetuate oppression in our daily lives. Dunayer argues that language choice is important to interrogate to reveal the violence and speciesism built into the English language that upholds the societal lack of respect for animals or violence and oppression in general.

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A more encompassing approach to Mother’s Day

A more encompassing approach to Mother's Day

I saw this post on facebook today and thought it was very important as it extends our understanding of mother’s day to other species, which in itself, challenges speciesism and understandings of ‘motherhood’ for all animals (read: humans and nonhuman animals).

Cow’s milk comes from grieving mothers, who industrially lactate for humans and are stripped of their ability to care and feed for their kin, and have the opportunity to forge relationships. My friend told me about a song called “Feminists, don’t have a cow” by Punch and I wanted to share the lyrics here:

Like apples to oranges, both fruitful. Two eyes, two ears, two ovaries too. That’s where we draw the line, and it’s the differences that give us an excuse. No words to resist. Can’t write without a thumb. How can she say she doesn’t want this done? And every thirteen months, until she’s no good, given what will only be taken away to the same fate, or a veal crate. All for the precious by product. If you wouldn’t want your mother, sister, friend, as a milk and baby factory, don’t let it happen in your name to a creature with two eyes, two ears, two ovaries.

Embrace a plant-based milk option. Personally, my favourite is almond milk and sometimes in combination with coconut. What about you?

Sistah Vegan: Black female vegans speak on food, identity, health, and society. And we should LISTEN to what they have to say.

After reading Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Society (2010) the anthology compiled by A. Breeze Harper I realized how fortunate it is coming from a feminist perspective into veganism; as intersectionality of interacting and overlapping forms of oppression and social injustices are impossible to overlook. It is also important to socially locate myself as a white, cis women. The anthology brings together several narratives of Black American women’s voices that offer a range of understandings and food practices that have resulted in ethical, vegan consumption patterns; that go beyond material content and food into realms of other consumerism patterns like ethical clothing, products (ie. animal testing, animal ingredients) and ways in which one lives their life as seen for example by contributors reference ahimsa which is a non-violence worldview that does not injure or harm other beings.

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Introduction- Why this blog?

My name is Stephanie, and I am a fourth year student in Anthropology at the University of Waterloo. This blog is dedicated to a summer course I am taking with my instructor, Dr. Anne Dagg, that we have decided to call Feminist Animal Rights. The course is structured by reading a book each week, and writing a synopsis, and critical reflection followed by discussion. I am hoping to use this blog as a platform to post what Anne and I discuss, and bring more people, perspectives and experiences into this learning experience. Also, hopefully to provoke other peoples interest in the link of feminism and animals/rights.

Here is a link to the official syllabus:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1j8e2fYcprbNYZi5-VAkdBk5DoqhIbjuihDQ9fH4VJgs/edit?usp=sharing

A little about myself-I have a best friend named Burzum who I adopted on December 27th, 2011 from the St.Catharines Human Society.He is a beautiful, friendly and curious orange tabby cat. I have been a vegetarian since I was 12. My journey began 6 years earlier when I decided to not eat pigs, after spending time observing them at a farm in St.Jacobs. I always loved pigs but seeing them in their confined cages, interacting with each other really made my 6-year-old self step back, and consider what it meant to reduce them to ‘food’. Gradually, I weeded out other animals from my diet and a few months ago, at 20, I decided to embrace veganism. I think what crystallized it for me was attending the online webinar “Neither Man Nor Beast: Patriarchy, Speciesism and Deconstructing Oppressions” hosted by Ontario Animal Liberation and Vegan Feminist Network. The next day I decided to do it, plus I was now aware of the supportive and amazing community out there. Veganism has been something I have been interested in, but had a stigma in my mind that it would be too expensive, and was really an elitist diet. This is something I hope to explore in this course- why an ethical, vegan diet choice is understood in relation to whiteness, and class, especially with our first reading of the anthology compiled by A. Breeze Harper, and the Sistah Vegan Project: Sistah Vegan: Food, Identity, Health, and Society: Black Female Vegans Speak!

It is important to say also that I am coming from a background of feminist activism! My feminism runs deep, being raised by one of the strongest women I will ever know, my mom. My feminism is impossible to untangle from my life, and as my closet and favorite feminist friend Sonmin so succinctly says we are “full-time feminists” (unfortunately there are a lot of folks out there who use ‘feminist lens’ rather than making it their worldview, ideology, what they advocate, politic, or however you want to put it). I have been most active in these circles and am recently getting more involved with the animal rights activism movement. I would like to think my feminism is intersectional, and can identify key areas of special interest: ecofeminism, environmental racism + food access, post-colonial, reproductive justice, and class analysis.

I am really looking forward to this summer, and all the things I will learn and really hope to build conversations through this blog! Follow me if you’d like, and feel free to call me out, challenge me, offer constructive criticism, ask questions, offer knowledge, or share your own experiences. Let’s build a feminist animal rights community!

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