monkey’s, porn and consent

Yesterday a(nother) liberal dood I know wanted to share how science totally rocks.  his evidence is that a study was done that shows monkey’s like porn and he read about it on the internet. now I don’t know if he read about it at ABC, but I figured if I was going to rant about it, I should look up an article about it.

Then he got really upset that i thought it was horrible. Later he even sent me an email along the lines of, “but I’m a nice guy why do you think I’m a horrible person?” Which makes the issue, not about my reaction to porn, not about rape culture, not about animal captivity, but about poor him and his feelings. Because my feelings hurt his feelings and that is so mean.

This means that I now I have to spend my time letting him know I don’t think he is a horrible person. Well I have to do this if i want to keep the peace. And I do want to keep the peace since I work with him, and we rely on each other to help each other out when studying, and things like that. GRRRR.

But on to the monkeys. First, the article is about how “The study is the first to show that monkeys appraise visual information for its social value and can then use this data to spontaneously discriminate between images of their fellow monkeys.”

but just like with humans the scientists understood “monkeys” to mean MALE BODIED monkeys.

Twelve adult male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) participated in the study

so already there was bias. that female bodied monkey’s don’t count and we don’t need to see how they think since they are the “other sex” anyway.

The monkey’s were given headshots of both males and females, and hindquarters of females to look at. The article does not discuss how the monkeys responded to headshots of the females. but high social ranking males and female hindquarters were “paid for” more often.

Did they pay for headshots of the women too? would they pay for hindquarter shots of the socially high ranking males? how do we know that “sexiness” of the picture had anything to do with it? Maybe social desirability of the subject was important regardless of the position of the monkey in the camera frame. (not to mention that heteronormative assumptions are made about all subjects in the test).  So again, bias about how humans (i.e. heterosexual male humans) view naked pictures comes into how the experiment was organised, and how the data is interpreted:

Camerer says it is “no surprise” that male monkeys “really like looking at female posteriors”. But he is puzzled that males would pay with juice to see high-status males, but would not look at them for very long.

so already we can see this is a problematic study, immersed in patriarchal structure. feminsiting has a post today about science being used to objectify (human) women.

But what about the monkeys? they were “housed in captivity”.  And someone tells me about this study and expects me to be thrilled because no monkey’s were “physically harmed”(quote from self proclaimed nice guy)? Um… vegan here, I’m for autonomy of creatures. that means I’m against captive animals as a slave class for experimentation, regardless of the nature of the experiment.

And onto the issue of consent. This is the biggest issue involved. I don’t know about you, but If I was hanging around and people took pictures of my genitals and butt, and then sold it as porn to someone else, I’d feel angry and violated. But we can do that to monkeys, and its no big deal. More specifically, we can do that to FEMALE BODIED monkeys and it is  SCIENCE.

But you know what? People do this to FEMALE BODIED PEOPLE too. and there is no recourse. If I’m at a nude beach, and someone takes a picture to use as porn, that’s sick right? but shit like this happens, and it is legal, since I’m in a public place. CREEPY. Even if it were illegal, I can’t go to the cops. That could close down the beach, and everyone would “know” its my own fault, and really I wanted it anyway because otherwise I wouldn’t have been naked and teasing men with my nudity.

so this whole taking pornographic pictures without consent issue is both personal and political.

Just more evidence that female bodies are the bodies of the sex class. To be used by men, for sex and porn whenever they want to.  Whether it is male scientists using female monkey bodies to observe monkey objectification, or male monkeys paying to view female bodies as a commodity. Or if it is male humans jerking off in public at a female body who is minding her business and just wants to enjoy the beach. Female bodies are only good for sexual gratification of men and to hell with what women think about it.  Guess what that looks like to me: rape culture.

but you know, getting upset about this hurts the feelings of all those liberal nice guys who really do respect women “both as a group and as individuals”, but who still find this study awesome. /snark.

non vegans thinking that vegan food makes me feel guilty

WE DON’T WANT TO MAKE CHILDREN FEEL GUILT OR SHAME!

this was said in an email to me. a noble goal in general.  in specific, I get to feel shamed and guilty.

GAH!.  backstory.  I volunteered to be part of a team that teaches 3rd and 4rth graders about various world holidays.  We rotate out.  so I’m only teaching every couple of months.  (it’s a once a week thing.)

There is food preparation for many holidays.  I don’t want to be involved in feeding children dead things.  that is so gross.  don’t want to prepare it, don’t want to encourage it.  which is not to say that I actively discourage meat eating.  That is not my place (legally it is the parent’s place).

I clearly stated these boundaries.  Another member suggested that we make vegan versions of everything where possible.  I was so happy I nearly cried.  he’s even an omnivore.  but thought it would be a great way to show accpetance of vegans and for kids to learn about that option.

it is now causing a shit storm.  woot.  and as THE VEGAN. I’m in the middle of it.  I really just want to wail on people about why it is important to be vegan in general.  but bleah.  it would make the shit storm bigger.  this person is obviously feeling guilt and shame.  they must be uncomfortable with their own diet.  if they are that uncomfortable with their dietary chocies why force them on the kids? most other people are happy to learn about new food.  they like food.  more food options means MORE FOOD!!!! isn’t that good?

also the greater organisation is looking into ethical eating as its big 4 year study right now.  so shouldn’t we be considering this?  the labor situation is one of the worst, the environtmental affects are some of the worst, the hurt to living creatures that feel pain is just dreadful.

but because I made someone think about by my mere existence.  Its my fault.

omg! Sexism was in my life this week!

Just like every week. 

anyway, the great american show “Wipeout” has made it to NZ.  eeuuugh.

Its where people go on an obstacle course and they edit it to show footage of people falling down and hurting themselves.  Now.  there were some kick ass people, but showing them isn’t humiliating and fun, or something.  among the kick ass contestants were some women.  but guess what they showed?  not that. 

The voice over said “and now (so and so) is here representing the women”  and of course the girl was rubbish and disgusted by the mud she was walking through and she gave up half way through the course. 

because even when women do well at things like that they show the footage of the woman fullfiling negative stereotypes.  you suck american media.  but you knew that already.

and this morning I had to deal with people being dicks about the language  choices they make.  I was discussing tatoos with a 20 year old australian girl.  about what a commitment they are and how I’d want it in a place to show off, but be able to hid, and that I would be able to look at.  in the course of the conversation she mentions how she’s seen such awful tatoos like some big ones on girls shoulders make them look like “dykes.”

I mentioned she might not have meant that word.  That it was innapropriate and offensive.  and she replied “but that was just this image in my head like kinda trashy, you know?” 

so “dykes” = “trashy” 

Head, I’d like to introduce you to Desk. but she did seem embarased about getting called out on it, so maybe she’ll think better in the future.  i hope so. 

I’m hoping to move into a feminist vegan place soon.  mmmm vegan kitchen.

Amaranth

I’m experimenting with grains. Sunday I was at Jimbos. I was really just looking to see how much the Quinoa was. It was cheaper than at Henry’s so I grabbed a bunch. But I’ve been stuck on brown rice or quinoa for my unprocessed whole grain fix. So I started perusing the other bulk whold grains. I found 3 with pretty quick cooktimes (I didn’t feel like purchasing something that would take 2 hours to cook.. I’m too lazy at the moment). Amaranth, Millet, Buckwheat.

 Last night’s experiment was amaranth. I’d never cooked it before and my extent of knowledge came from googling “whole grain cooking times” as I had forgotten what the bin had said.

So I put in 1 part grain, 2 parts water and a pinch of salt. when it was done cooking it looked a lot like hot cereal. very goopy. It went ok with the lentils I made, but I think next time I will try making it with soymilk and eating it for breakfast. I can definitely see gruell being made from it.

But the taste was good, and i will eat it again.

One of these days I will be patient enought to cook spelt (1.5 hours) or even Kamut (2 hours). but I’ve got a good start till then.

Published in: on November 20, 2007 at 2:34 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,

Tastebetter Rocks! Oh-so-awesome-non-crazy-veganism-Promotion!

In contrast to my feelings about PETA,  I [heart]Tastebetter.com.

They mention the Alicia Sylverstone PETA ad here. While they aren’t speaking out directly against the misogyny, they do agree that objectifying women doesn’t actually get more people interested in veganism.

 Also here they take an extraordinarily reasonable view on the teacher who got fired for “promoting veganism”. The teacher was being a bit of a nut job from the articles I’ve read. whether they are supporting my cause or not doesn’t make them less of a nut job.

My favorite part:

This isn’t some rogue element fresh to the school; Warwak taught art there for eight years (he became vegan in January). It’s unfortunate that he chose to take such a militant stance towards his employers and insist that they make a change that he himself took 43 years to make.

yes, he’s been vegan for less than a year, after 43 years of not being a vegan, and now insists that everyone else make the switch IMMEDIATELY! yeah, because militant tactics are always well received.  The post then goes on to suggest some ways to support the vegan movement which are actually productive.

Yay reasonable people!

Did I mention I can’t stand Peta???

I was tag surfing and someone brought my attention to this article from last month. In general it shows vegans in a very unfavorable light. But The worst part is

While PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has long advocated people give up meat and go vegetarian, the animal rights group has its misgivings about vegans only sleeping with other vegans.

“Sex is a very effective form of outreach and activism,” said Dan Shannon, a PETA spokesman, and 10-year veteran vegan, who thought meat eaters could be converted by their partners.

EWWWWWW. So I’m supposed to sell my body for the cause. Maybe we should support people sleeping with animals so that they see them as lovers not food. Or do the animals get more respect than women?

That said, I’m dating an omnivore at the moment. but he doesn’t eat meat in the house. Although I sometimes find his love of cheese to be disconcerting. I don’t know if I could ever maintain a long term relationship with an omnivore, but I’m planning on leaving the country in a few months, so this isn’t the “big one” so to speak anyway.

PETA should be euthanized: you know, what they do to the domesticated animals they “rescue”

Well the comments from this got me thinking and internally ranting. So here goes.

Now I didn’t actually experience the video that was posted to the full extent as I don’t have sound on this computer. So I don’t know if I’d be terribly offended by it specifically or not. But, what does offend me in general is PETA and the effect they have on non-vegetarians/vegans. Oh and their apparent disregard for human life and animal life outside this country (and sometimes in it).

One of the most offensive things I can recall them doing in my city was “tofu wrestling” like jello wrestling but more beige. It was to promote tofu. Because the Men oggling the young girls in bikinis really cared what substance they were wrestling in.

But let me list the problems with this scenario, Because I like lists:

  1. Objectification and Oppression of Women 
  2. Waste of Food and Resources in general
  3. Lack of thought as to how this affects the rest of the world
  4. No effect on peoples eating habbits

Objectification and Oppression of Women

Well, it’s pretty obvious right? Well the objectification is.  But many, including the women involved, will argue these “bikini clad babes” that they made the choice of their own free will because they believe in the cause.  But I maintain this is a sympton of growing up in a society that rewards women for being merely objects.  When the choice is praise for wearing a bikini while fitting nicely into male fantasy of what women look like, or critiscism for saying, “I’m a person too!”, what choice is there?  Should we blame people for giving into not wanting to be ostracized from society?  The Patriarchy is at work here.  These women are probably not as empowered as they claim.

Waste of Food and Resources in general

This one is a big “no-duh.”  That food they were wrestling in, could have been eaten.  yeah….

 Lack of thought as to how this affects the rest of the world

Now this one is interesting.  How does this affect the rest of the world?  Well, lots of rainforests are being chopped down to grow soybeans these days.  was the tofu they used locally produced? Locally grown?  if not then not only may it not be ethically produced, but you also have to factor in the cost on the environment of shipping the product to the states.  How much fossil fuel was consummed to bring you tofu wrestling?  Because the more we harm the environment, the less we can sustain ourselves and other species.  So this stunt may indirectly contribute to the system that continues in the hurting of lots of animals, including people.   Well Done.

No effect on peoples eating habbits.

What does wrestling in a substance have to do with promoting the consumption of it?  People wrestle in mud and we don’t eat that.  It serves to titillate gthe patriarchy and demean women.   Even if in some way this promoted tofu, it would not stop people from eating meat.  Many people enjoy tofu and still eat animal products.  

 It’s tough.  I personally believe we should strive to eat as few animal products as possible so that we can have more of a chance of sustainability.  how many resources went into growing that cow you’re eating?  A lot more than it took for my equivalent vegan nutrients.  They had to feed the cow, and use land to grow the cow.  We could have been growing food for people in that land.  We could help feed the hungry in the world if we all went to legumes and nuts and seeds.  

But people who don’t care about the cow, or don’t care about their health, won’t care about the environment either.  They don’t care about themselves, why should they care about other people?  So I don’t know what the answer is.   I mention my view to anyone who listens, but generally the response is: Oh, yeah, I guess meat really is bad for the environment, but I’m still going to eat it. 

that’s when my brain breaks.  You agree with me but are still going to fuck with the sustainability of the world.  AAAAGGGHHHH!

still off the wagon but wanting back on

What I really wanted to write about is how much I suck at self control.  I mentioned that I wanted to give up chocolate. Well that has failed so far.

I was rationalizing that while I was menstrating it was reasonable to crave such things. But that is now over.

Yesterday I bought a container of Dark chocolate covered rasins. I could have sworn that they were vegan. It wasn’t until later that I noticed “milk fat” on the ingredient list. did this stop me from eating most of the “11 servings” in the container? no. Why not?

oh, because i’m addicted. I could not stop eating them. I now feel slightly ill. I need to quit. I put the rest of them in the lunch room at work so they would “disapear.”

so now I need to go through the withdrawal and have a horrible headache.

it’s hard to listen to your body when you use stimulants (like caffine). It can really fuck up the messaging system. I’m also surprised by how well I can rationalize things I really know I shouldn’t do. (“it has milkfat, but I’ve already pruchased it, so it would be a waste not to eat it” ) Uggh. well it was a waste. now I’m not feeling good and probably won’t for hte next few days I suffer withdrawal and side effects of eating too much sugar. Because refined sugar is icky.. at least it didn’t have high fructose corn syrup.

The food is in my belly… oh wait.. what time is it?

I was reading Taste better about the digestion time of foods.

The list they link to is interesting. but it doesn’t say in what state the foods are in. I’m sure cooked foods digest more quickly than raw as the cell walls are already partially (or completely) broken down.

I want to know more explicitly and for all cases!

Published in: on September 19, 2007 at 2:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Veganism is a healthy lifestlye

She says as she finishes her fried peanut butter and banana sandwich sprinkled with cinnamon sugar . 

 oops.  Good job.  I try to eat healthily.  I’m big on the whole grains and  I do think that avoiding animal protein is healthier in general… but I am human and I am weak and make mistakes.  but damn tastey mistakes.   it could only be tastier had I added some vegan chocolate to it.   But I think I should give up chocolate as well.

now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think chocolate is “unhealthy” so to speak, but I find if I’ve been eating it, and then I don’t eat it, I get a headache. 

so my life includes making sure i have chocolate around or being in pain.  I’m not a fan of addiction in general.  So I’m giving it up, (again….see there was this wagon, and I had fallen off.)  I went back to chocolate when I gave up dairy.  trading vice for slightly lesser vice.   Today I trade down to fried peanut butter sandwich and coconut sorbet.  oh gawd those would be good together.  (bad brain! I want to give up unhealthy habbits not acquire new ones.) 

 but it is a new month, so by our arbitrary conventions, I will start today!

Published in: on September 1, 2007 at 10:11 am  Comments (1)