Living Meat

By Sophie Williams

Art by Peyton Bond


“Cash rules everything around me”

— Doja Cat, “Mooo!” (2018)

As put in the 1983 song “Meat Means Murder” by anarcho-punk band Conflict, “The factory's still churning out, all processed, packed and neat / An obscure butchered substance and the label reads "meat" / Hidden behind false names such as pork, ham, veal and beef.” Counterculture has long been antagonistic to the consumerist abstraction of industrial livestock.


In The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory author Carol J. Adams critiques the “attitude and action that animalizes women and sexualizes and feminizes animals;” this is the “sexual politics of meat.”[1]


Her analysis gives form to the looming apparitions found in meat-eating. Here, animals are removed as agents in the process of being grown for consumption. They are then killed and removed as living beings, then commodified, no longer understood as individual animals but as interchangeable and infinite products. A chicken nugget is not understood as a small combination of pieces of different chickens, but simply as a food you can get anywhere; one is like another. These limit the consumer’s consciousness by not engaging fully with information such as “this hamburger is made of pieces of these certain cows.” They are then consumed (becoming food, byproducts or food waste), and disappear tangibly as well. The thing that is needed for the product to exist is missing from the concept of what the product is.


Animals become the absent referent in the commodification of meat, eggs and milk — and women are absent referents in a society where the more feminized something is, the more sexualized and objectified it is too. I want to explore how these absent referents — meat, and anyone not satisfyingly masculine — connect to racialization and proletarianization, normalizing mass death in the process.

[DIS]ASSEMBLING APPARITIONS


Swift & Company’s slaughterhouses in Chicago were operated 24 hours a day by Lithuanian and Irish immigrants and, after the Great Migration, Black American laborers living for exorbitant rent at no employer cost in shanty towns around the Union Stock Yards. The apparent innovator Henry Ford turned the disassembly line he viewed there into the “Ford model” of assembling automobiles.[2] Such division of labor under capitalist production increasingly advanced appropriation of worker-created value.[3] Empires formed, whether workers were turning cows into meat cuts in a packing plant, sewing shirtwaists, or constructing Model-T’s for the middle class.


Today in the twenty-twenties, meat packing plants still rely on immigrants without citizenship, whose precarious position in the United States makes labor organizing as treacherous as their taxing, repetitious, and bloody job. Over a third of meat and poultry workers in America are foreign-born, primarily from Mexico and El Salvador, and over a third are women — today animal rights remains a global proletarian feminist issue![4] The replaceable character of individual human laborers shadows the cows, pigs and chickens whose labor is to produce themselves, or reproduce their offspring and their milk, as a product. Additionally, female animals produce more and are super-exploited differently than males, raised in higher numbers and milked for longer.

MEAT LOVERS


Feminization, sexualization, and objectification are intertwined processes. While illustrated depictions of animals are overwhelmingly male, or ‘masculine’ by default,[5] those in food advertising are primarily female and highly sexualized. Carol J. Adams’ uncomfortable and fascinating anthology The Pornography of Meat [6] compiles ads with sights like “Double-D” chicken breast lunches, naked young women sectioned into meat cuts, a girl’s mouth open over a 7-inch Burger King cheesesteak that promises suggestively to “Blow Your Mind Away,” a flexing rotisserie-chicken bodybuilder and a fish with bedroom eyes lounging on a plate for McCormick mustard,[7] a Fifty Shades of Chicken cookbook, a voluptuous pig and demure cow wrapped as if in bath towels in Bimbo Tortillas,[8] and the non-sexual but truly baffling anthropomorphic Chik-Fil-A cows, who advocate that consumers forgo beef to “Eat Mor Chikin” with childlike activism in which the cows are literate but can’t quite spell.[9]


These cartoons knead the violent commodification of bodies into something light, endorsing sexualization in non-sexual contacts and laughing at women without having to be honest about it.[10] It’s not that feminists can’t take a joke or make something out of nothing. Rather, as Sandra Bartly notes, “Feminist consciousness turns a ‘fact’ into a ‘contradiction’” by prompting awareness of the same things in a different way.[11] (As does class consciousness.)


Almost no media gives room for taking agricultural animal rights seriously without simultaneously laughing at vegetarian choices. Jonathan Larson’s 1996 rock musical Rent features a mindblowing protest-performance where Maureen Johnson analogizes a mother cow’s milk to a vivacious life in protest to police-corporate clearing of a tent city, acting as both bovine Elsie and the thirsty people suckling from her swollen udder. An entire article should unpack that performance, but it pairs interestingly with the following restaurant scene at Life Cafe. Here the party orders “Three soy burger dinner” and “Two tofu dog platter,” in the celebratory song “La Vie Boheme,” accenting their “bohemian”[12] status. Banter follows when Tom Collins, notably also the only gay male main character, gets “one pasta with meatless balls—” prompting:


“Ew—”


“It tastes the same—”


“If you close your eyes!”[13]


The sexual double entendres work in part due to the familiar fact that commentary is almost inevitable when someone orders meatless anything. The jokes allow the vegan dishes to go down more easily, only serious choices if you want them to be.


Milk is not inherently natural and wholesome — despite Maureen’s performance linking milk to care — and milk is produced today in a decidedly forced and unprecedented way. “Toward a Feminist Postcolonial Milk Theory” comments that general sentiments toward drinking human milk (past infancy) feel it is disgusting and even cannibalistic. We are rightfully wary of treating lactating people “like farm animals,” given the perpetually pregnant, cyclically mourning status of milk cows as they give birth and lose their calves many a time.[14]

ANIMALIZING PROTEIN


With these dynamics at play, it is no surprise that “eating meat” is akin to “getting women.” Both have become signs of red-pilled alpha-male vitality,[15] something that some reactionary intellectuals like Jordan Peterson lament is being lost to an agenda of post-modern neo-marxism. This apparent ideology has little to do with class struggle or materialism, but instead insists that (progressives think that) the world can be interpreted in innumerable ways and therefore truth is meaningless, most frequently a jab at anyone with a non-Victorian stance on gender.[16] On the surface, books like Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life give decent advice to young men or people struggling to find stability in an isolating world. However, these affirmations claim that the only “absolute truths” are those given by simplistic, essentializing views of “Judeo-Christain” thought, as well as putting the onus of alleviating wide-spread suffering on people on an individual basis.[17]


Similar patterns are found in online forums and communities, such as incel (involuntary celibate) communities, where users advise each other on how to gym-max their attractive potential, and blame their struggle to find fulfilling platonic, romantic, or sexual relationships on immutable conditions like looks, bone structure, height, or the imagined hypergamy of dating apps.[18] The hostility cultivated here for apparently seuxally successful people, and for women in general (as the symbol of rejection), is a distillation of the worst elements of society’s insecurity and entitlement. The picture of health is based on a toned physique, pursued by a diet consuming other animals’ muscles, as if through some r/keto alchemy they will transmute. As red meat is mentally connected to sexual vitality,[19] a high animal protein diet enables people to conceptually conquer something while apparently increasing their sexual proclivity.

Contrasted with the “civilization of man,” nature is feminized, land described as virgin, barren, fertile, untouched or waiting to be conquered. The mythology of the “New World America” was said to be teeming with game and ready for settlers, who were often prevented legally from hunting on British lands, to take advantage of.[20] The modern claim that people/men need animal protein is a racist stance of the last two or three centuries, stemming from [ideology] like, for example, white railroad or field workers from Western Europe needed the sustenance of meat, crafting their superiority to non white workers from East Asia or Mexico who “could live on” rice or corn. The predator-prey dichotomy is also forced onto “capitalist” versus “collectivist” cultures and/or economic systems, drawing racist lines between the “West” and the “East,” the natural conquerors and conquered. Throughout the nineties, many advertisements reaffirmed these connections with ad campaigns promoting extremely anti-tofu sentiments, painting plant protein as a hallmark for failing masculinity in a manner that is joking, but also completely seriously. In one such television commercial, a tofu-buying man at the supermarket, prompted by seeing another man buying meat “that sweats,” comes to his senses and rushes to reaffirm his manhood by buying a Ford truck.[21] Other articles fearmonger about the estrogen in soy milk causing breast growth in men[22] as if cow milk doesn’t have more.[23] Media reviews find that over seventy percent[24] of coverage of veganism or plant protein is negative, skeptical, or paying heed to an anti-vegetarian myth by debunking it with many caveats. Yet protein exists in the plants before being pushed through the animals. Privileging meat protein values not nutrition, but exploitation of both animals and people. Modern virulence against the “soy boy” is a continuing crusade of British colonialism.


The patriarchal connection between dietary and sexual dominance is viscerally felt, and the relation goes deeper than analogy. People are inclined to say they don’t want to feel “like a piece of meat”; PETA runs ad campaigns splitting up naked supermodels into labeled cuts of meat, protesting “All animals have the same parts!” But whenever treatment of meat is used as a metaphor for sexual violence, that is a disservice that weakens both ends of argument. The whole notion of meat is that it cannot feel anything, and that we do not have to reckon during the meal with the work done by slaughterers to make products out of animals. We are not living with the brutal truth of animal agriculture, nor the misogynistic views that uphold it.[25]

DEEP ECOFEMINISM


Those who oppose these systems, both actively and by their very existence, are targeted malignantly. Logging union organizer and ecofeminist Judi Bari was subject to a “lethal sexual assault” for her work with Earth First! when someone (likely FBI) attempted to “bomb that crotch” with car explosives. Sexual malice added to her pain. Her work analyzed gendered traits, falling not to bioessentialism but to considering what is given value within a system, such as the setting of “masculine philosophy versus feminine superstition” and “rational males versus intuitive females,” which also enforced a gendered binary of “civilization versus nature.” Biocentrism is the concept that (1) biodiversity is inherently valuable, (2) subordinating everything deemed ”nature” to boundless exploitation leads to the collapse of life-supporting systems, and (3) humans are a part of the environment. It is less an ideology than a state of nature. Bari applied biocentrism to marxism, imagining a classless mode of production that went past isolated human-centrism to consider the benefit of the entire world.


Red meat hegemony gives no respect to anything deemed to be nature; the terms “meat lover” and “animal lover” conjure up vastly different images. Human-centrism positions man as lord and steward of all, omniscient and removed, able to take freely and boundlessly without reciprocity — yet all the while our bodies are part of, composed of, and contributing to our environment.[26] Differences are nominal or highly relative; see this take on gingerbread people living in homes of their own flesh.[27] Imagining such a clear and obvious delineation between “animals” and “non-animal humans” constructs a not only harmful but inaccurate understanding of ecology and sociology, masking the historic and scientific character of categorization of the world.


NON-HUMAN ANIMALS


Weaponizing animality against people is always a ploy of oppressive powers. Like many privileged statuses, humanity is conditional, both extendable and retractable, and outside individual control. Essentializing extremes are found in many cultural regulations. For example, sexual behavior is seen as “wild” in its passion. Yet it is also key to “having humanity” — as demonstrated in fictional depictions of asexual beings as “less-than-human” aliens or robots, whom often undergo some character development through begrudging intercourse with a “real” person during their storylines.[28] Both de-sexualizing and hypersexualizing people can force animality onto them. This makes them paradoxically unnatural and natural at once, while pushing them out of the realm of “civilization” which is by Enlightenment-period definition, human and non-natural.


Doctrines of coloniality attempted to animalize the societies they were pillaging, yet at each outpost of the Atlantic Slave Trade the raiders and slave traders were sexually assaulting and raping women, never considering their vicious acts to be beastiality.[29] Other racist documentation, like the captain’s notes on the slave ship Hannibal, claimed that African women were already so promiscuous that they could not be raped.[30] Reproductive functions such as menstruating, producing milk, and rearing offspring have been painted by writers like Aristotle as “beastly functions” to make human females non-people. Under chattel slavery in Viriginia, Act XII in 1662 decreed “children to be bound or free, according to the condition of their mother,” which was emasculating to fathers and degrading to mothers, applying standards used for livestock.[31]


This codified the technique of dehumanization into law, and made slave master rape of enslaved women profitable by default-enslaving children, further imposing the American colonial doctrine of “Partus sequitur ventrem.” The “offspring follows the mother” approach was used in South Dakota to determine individuals’ legal status in treaties between the Federal government and the Chippewa, Ottawa, Menominee and Winnebago, along with fractional blood quantums that categorized Indigenous people based on ancestral percentages, and extended rights based on that.[32] As connected in Kaitlyn Anderson’s article “Mixed Feelings” from the 22W edition of Spare Rib, “The practice of quantifying blood and ancestry can be traced to European colonial systems of power and authority such as the exploitative Encomienda system of post-contact Latin America, which set a precedent for other colonies throughout the Americas. Mixed-race peoples were segregated by the “amount” of white, Indigenous, or African blood they had within them, as though the mixing of race (as a European social construction) was a contamination. The term “mulatto,” meaning “young mule,” was used in reference to mules’ hybrid parentage and sterile status to socially stratify these blended ethnoracial populations and control “impure” interracial relations while extracting labor from trafficked Indigenous and African populations.”[33]


A non-animal human is only defined by not being an animal. Under the moral code of meat-eating, at least two things are clear: animals are not human, they are commodities, and ethics do not apply to them.[34] And nothing is safe from commodification. This western paradigm of red meat eating upholds a history of coerced labor, the slave trade, sex trafficking, and an imperial world order that operates within and for a superstructure of sexism and racism.

ADVANCING THE CRITICAL THEORY?


As I heard Adams describe her revelation that animals were absent referents, and that she woke up the next morning thinking women were absent referents too, I was thinking, “So is the worker under capitalism.” It turns out a lot of things are absent referents, as the concept certainly resonates throughout estranging circumstances.


This growing, conquering, dominating, and erasing style of meat-eating, as developed through nativist-settler America, sets the precedent for exhausting the entire life force of many for the absentminded benefit of some others. Living animals are removed to make meat, but their bodies are right there, and to some extent their ghosts are seen as surely as some people order their steak bloody. Here we become acclimated to mass death. Capitalism makes compulsory the laborious figurative death of exchanging hours and hours and hours of life simply to acquire the sustenance to work another day. Necrocapitalism pursues extractive profit not in spite of but by way of war, illness, degradation, impoverishment, neglect, and epidemic. This culture that valorizes and naturalizes tremendous displays of planned killing sets the table for people to accept the butchery of themselves and others, guided into a mindset where their own lives are as naturally seized under the guise of “honest work.”


People forced to subsist on lower incomes are consequently drawn to the cheaper meats and fast food options that, through exploitation, offer the most nutrition for the lowest prices. At the Dollar General the best-priced item for protein per unit is bologna, followed by hotdogs. Of course people want to provide meals that are enjoyable and nutritious as possible despite strict budgeting of their resources and time, commanding a dependence on nourishment that is quick and simple. For many, convenience is not simply a desire but a near necessity. Well-being is also thrown to the wayside by the moneyed marketing campaigns of the food industry that dictate normative dietary messaging, obscuring health risks from people while subjecting them to the often-insurmountable paywalls of medical care. The solution is not moralizing arguments that demonize individuals. We have the productive forces at hand to provide fulfilling and wholesome meals for all, but it cannot be done in the name of capitalist profit.

Capitalism is about extraction, not fulfillment, and compensates for the alienation of production by creating the consumer. Consumption, meanwhile, is privatized and pulled away from the political eye. Veganism is transformed into “a political non-starter, doomed to become the exclusive domain of pearl-clutching white Trader Joe's feminists whose insular political lens precludes us from critically analyzing the material forms of gendered and racial exploitation that migrant workers/POC/etc endure under the politics of meat.”[35] But because meat-eating is the normative positions, defenses of meat rarely even claim that industrial animal agriculture is needed for necessary sustenance — well enough, as the great swaths of land dedicated to crops for livestock[36] do more to exacerbate hunger than allay it.[37] Rather, meat is justified by mild (or possibly orgasmic, as bacon merchandise would have you believe) culinary pleasure. One of the great resistances to the specter of imposed veganism is the loss of complete buyer’s choice. This autonomy is a delusion, one that imagines a difference between the corn syrup and sodium benzoate that ten-dozen brands under three parent corporations put in tomato soup and everything else. Yet choice-defense should be expected; capitalism is about extraction, not fulfillment. It attempts to compensate for the alienation of production by enabling massive consumerism in market countries, while elevating the role of “the consumer” to the most privileged and personalized status. That consumption is then privatized to the point of mindlessness. Why should I have to know things or change things? Why should I renounce hamburgers?


As long as the quintessential American spirit is lauded in idealist fragments and grilled into the beef hamburger patty, which is associated unquestionably with vitality and white masculinity, while scores of individual cattle are turned into single-serving objects of consumption, where their once-living-animal-ness is unrecognizable but fully essential, while the distasteful work of slaughter and disassembly is done by workers displaced by the chaos of invasive imperial economics on Midwestern land that was settled with the imposition of fenced livestock, perfectly symbiotic with endless late-stage capitalism, while women can say they “don’t want to be treated like a piece of meat” as if meat could feelings or should be meat at all, while people who attempt to resist these systems are subjected to exacerbated harm, and as long as Fox News’ response to climate-based consumption recommendations “They’re taking away hamburgers on the Fourth of July” — meat means something.

It doesn’t exactly mean murder, but it might be even worse.

PERSONALLY


In second grade, I had a moment of political activity similar to the Chick-Fil-A cows. Seeing the tank of live lobsters at the grocery store distressed my nine-year-old self; I didn’t like that their claws were zip-tied shut or that they were stacked three deep in the water. I protested by dressing up as a lobster (complete with red oven-mitt claws) for Halloween and carrying a sign demanding, “Free Lobsters — Eat More Chicken!” My thoughts: chickens spent their lives outside in a dynamic environment and flock community, claws unbound. This costume was largely a joke, but one born from serious concern about the lobsters’ quality of life (though I had no issue with them eventually being eaten).


Of course, I was wrong about most chickens. I was extrapolating my personal experience living in rural Pennsylvania, where I knew many people who kept chickens free-range in large barns and yards, to all agricultural production. I had one friend whose family ran an industrial pig farm, but even those barns were set among grassy rolling hills — not the metallic smoking nightmare that “factory” illustrations usually conjure up. In later elementary school the book Gaia Girls: Enter the Earth opened my eyes to factory farming, the primary source of chicken meat.


In 2012, my family watched the T. Colin Campbell documentary Forks Over Knives,[38] learned about the government-subsidized food industry exaggeration and falsification of the health proclivities of animal products (i.e., got dairypilled[39]), and began eating a more whole-foods plant-based diet. I felt that plant-eating made sense, and was already skeptical that humans’ techno-agrarian hunting, fishing and and gathering habits — and dainty “canine” teeth[40] — really pointed to a diet[41] any more than slightly carnivorous.[42] And like many kids I loved animals and often didn’t want to eat them anyway.


Yet in talking to others, I was always adamant that we were not vegan. We could “eat anything”; it was for “health and environmentalist reasons”; I’d often literally say that I “didn’t really care about animal rights” but that I did care about people’s health and working and living conditions. But the current treatment of animals is a human-created and relevant problem. As Adams emphasizes, this is the importance of interrogating — not making analogies between — interconnected oppressions. I fell into the trap of believing that “caring is divisible,” that efforts for mentioning animals or the environment (the entire environment! Everything there is!) detracts from caring for battered women or immigration protection or anti-sanction objections.


This was in middle school, so I hadn’t unpacked the pervasive pro-meat psychology then — and, I realized last month, still hadn’t. Multiple times while conceptualizing this piece out loud, I mentioned unprompted that it “wasn’t a vegan article,” automatically trying to ward off the derisive connections I myself was making subconsciously. I wanted to be a real critic with a serious eye, not a hypocritical animal rights champion preaching Save the Whales while wearing a mink-coat, handpicking issues to care about and settling on fluffy activism about cows’ feelings. I was writing about the necrocapitalist implications of mass meat-eating, yet I could barely mention the outline to friends or fellow Spare Rib staff without posturing for the invisible normative acceptance of adamant meat-eaters.

PREDATOR IDENTITY


As protagonists of their own lives, people resonate more with the poised lion or tiger than with the flock of sheep or herd of deer — yet the illusion of savvy predators versus mindless clone-like prey is simply that: an illusion. All animals to some extent are individuals, capable living a life and having meaningful relationships in their own way. Blocked vegans fear renouncing their zenith placement at the top of the food pyramid — but it’s not a pyramid and it’s not a chain! It’s a web, it’s an entire world. When lions die they become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass.[43] Cows will not eat you if you stop eating them — yet one day mushrooms may, as “decay exists as an extant form of life.”[44] Ecology is not a competition; the winners and losers of bourgeois economics do not apply to the real world,unless viewed from a highly limited and one-directional perspective.


You don’t have to be vegan. I don’t have to be vegan. (I probably won’t be, but maybe I will. I've certainly been more cognizant of what I am eating, and how and why. It’s not an identity, it’s not a moral posture, it’s a series of actions.) We can and should be critical of any automatic response of touchy defensiveness, as if Burger King advertising Beyond Burgers, or a Times article[45] or a clumsily worded climate change plan[46] that suggests eating fewer meat-based meals per week, should be something that threatens someone’s entire identity — because maybe it is that deep. Carol Adams ventures so. She is, as she says, “not the one making the comparison” between meat and women, she is “illuminating why the comparison worked.”[47] In Adams’ analysis of interconnected oppressions, the cows, the First Nations people that lived on the plains, the buffalo, the processing plant workers, and the plains themselves are all absent referents in the American hamburger. I believe that the Western meat-eating paradigm is tepid and fragile, like white supremacy and patriarchal masculinity.[48] I really like her proposition that there are only vegans and blocked vegans. Full of contradictions (like the capitalist order that industrial agriculture functions within), meat-eating is extremely threatened by the alternative order of cooking, talking, and thinking that even the most bland liberal veganism provides. It is easy Red Scare material for a republic built on hollow promises and an ocean of blood.


We cannot change meat production through consumption, but we can envision another way.[49] Veganism, vegetarianism, and an analysis of the psychological reality of industrial meat-eating can and should be components of a revolutionary program, one that can bring about shared and nourishing liberation.[50]






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[1] Adams, Carol J, “The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory,” 1990.

[2] Stairs, Michael. “What Henry Ford Learned From A Slaughterhouse,” 2010. and “Breakthrough: The Ideas That Changed The World,” S1 E4 “A Chicago Slaughterhouse.” PBS. March 8, 2021.

[3] Marx, Karl. Capital, Volume One. “Ch. Twenty-Four: Conversion of Surplus-Value into Capital.” 1867.

[4] Stuesse, Angela and Dollar, Nathan T. “Who are America’s meat and poultry workers?” Economic Policy Institute. September 24, 2020. https://www.epi.org/blog/meat-and-poultry-worker-demographics/.

[5] Cha, Steph. “Of Mice and Minions: Why Are All the Cartoon Animals Male?” Pacific Standard. Pacific Standard, July 14, 2016. https://psmag.com/news/of-mice-and-minions-why-are-all-the-cartoon-animals-male.

[6] Adams, Carol J. The Pornography of Meat. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Academic, Bloomsbury Publishing Inc, 2020.

[7] “McCormick: Chicken” and “McCormick: Fish.” Augusto Elias Agency. RSS, January 1, 2009. https://www.adsoftheworld.com/media/print/mccormick_chicken.

[8] Escrito por Redacción 25 mayo del 2012 a las 10:30. “Déjese ‘Envolver’ Por Los Nuevos Anuncios De Bimbo.” Marketing Directo, May 24, 2012. https://www.marketingdirecto.com/marketing-general/publicidad/dejese-envolver-por-los-nuevos-anuncios-de-bimbo.

[9] While all cows are female, “cow” is colloquially gender-neutral for individual cattle, although “cow” as an insult pretty much can only refer to a woman. The Chick-Fil-A cows do not even read to me as female, probably due to their neutral-realistic design that lacks the markers of femininity (eyelashes, fluffed chest, round hips, wasp waist) I’ve come to expect from animators.

Utaraitė, Neringa. “How Animators Exaggerate Female Animal Characters.” Twitter examples. Bored Panda, July 15, 2020. https://www.boredpanda.com/male-and-female-animals-in-animated-movies/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic.

[10] “Carol J. Adams, ‘The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory’ (Bloomsbury, 2015)” Podcast Episode (42:20). New Books in Animal Studies on the New Books Network. March 2021.

[11] Bartky, Sandra Lee. “Toward a Phenomenology of Feminist Consciousness.” Social Theory and Practice 3, no. 4 (1975): 425–39. https://doi.org/10.5840/soctheorpract1975349.

[12] This descriptor for people with an artistic or unconventional life originated with 19th-century French artists that moved to low-rent Romani neighborhoods, and later applied to the impoverished subculture in 20th century New York. “Bohemian” began as a derogatory misnomer for associates with Romani people (assumed to be from Bohemia) and for Eastern Europeans broadly — the same demographic of working class immigrants that labored in the Midwestern meat packing plants during the Industrial Revolution.

[13] “Original Broadway Cast of Rent – La Vie Bohème A.” https://genius.com/Original-broadway-cast-of-rent-la-vie-boheme-a-lyrics.

[14] Gaard, Greta. “Toward a Feminist Postcolonial Studies of Milk.” JSTOR. American Quarterly. September 2013.

[15] Read, toxic masculinity

[16] Peterson, Jordan. “12 Rules for Life.” https://www.jordanbpeterson.com/

[17] Taylor, Charlie. “On Petersons ‘Postmodern Neo-Marxism.’” August 18, 2018. https://medium.com/@charlietaylor105/on-petersons-postmodern-neo-marxism-b33f6f425066.

[18] Preston, Kayla. “The Black Pill: New Technology and the Male Supremacy of Involuntarily Celibate Men.” May 18, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8600582/.

[19] Whalen, Eamon. “How Red Meat Became the Red Pill for the Alt-Right.” June 15, 2020. https://www.thenation.com/article/society/beef-red-pill-right/.

[20] Citations Needed. Episode 139 - “How Beef Became Synonymous With Settler Colonial Domination.” June 2021. https://open.spotify.com/episode/5xOGGrEOAGhiicBp23rey1?si=f7381b1cd9614eb6.

[21] “Go Eat Your Tofu And Leave Me Alone About My F250 Truck.” https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/174545-go-eat-your-tofu-and-leave-me-alone-about-my-f250-truck.html.

[22] A multitude of articles. March 2022. https://www.google.com/search?q=soymilk+estrogen&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS764US764&oq=soymilk+estrogen&aqs=chrome..69i57j0i10l9.1983j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8.

[23] Maruyama, Kazumi et. al. “Exposure to exogenous estrogen through intake of commercial milk produced from pregnant cows.” February 2010. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19496976/.

[24] Lockwood, Alex. “Why the mainstream media continues to go after vegans.” October 8, 2020. https://www.surgeactivism.org/articles/why-the-mainstream-media-continues-to-go-after-vegans.

[25] Adams, Carol J. on The Activist, (1:10:25). Bloomsbury Academic Podcast. April 25, 2020.

[26] One of the environmentalist quips I’ve heard, a response to debates about prioritizing the economy versus the planet, goes, “Would you rather smoke or have your lungs? Well, you still need your lungs to smoke.”

[27] Hardy, Ethan on Twitter. “You say that it’s fucked that gingerbread men live in gingerbread houses, but to a gingerbread person, gingerbread is as inscrutable and fundamental as carbon. The people and homes are no more alike than humans are to diamonds. Only we, their gods and creators, can see the horror” Twitter. December 21, 2021. I enjoyed this refreshing perspective that went beyond freaking out over “houses of their own flesh” and took on a more Periodic Table-inspired character. https://twitter.com/ethanhardy/status/1473278732676837382?s=20&t=KDTlmmGG0Vsy3t_fWk-cFw.

[28] Ellis, Rowan. “The Problem with Asexual Representation - Youtube,” December 18, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6v1J7kQv_c.

[29] Fielder, Brigitte Nicole. “Animal Humanism: Race, Species, and Affective Kinship in Nineteenth-Century Abolitionism.” American Quarterly 65.3, 487–514. September 2013.

[30] Eltis, David. “The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas.” Cambridge University Press, 2000.

[31] Assembly, Author: General. “‘Negro Womens Children to Serve According to the Condition of the Mother’ (1662).” Encyclopedia Virginia, December 1, 1662. https://encyclopediavirginia.org/entries/negro-womens-children-to-serve-according-to-the-condition-of-the-mother-1662/.

[32] “A Legal History of Blood Quantum in Federal Indian Law to 1935.” South Dakota Law Review, Vol. 51, No. 1, 2006. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=955032.

[33] Anderson, Kaitlyn. Mixed Feelings: Identity, Blood, and Indigeneity https://www.spareribdartmouth.com/post/mixed-feelings-identity-blood-and-indigeneity

[34] Singer, Peter. “Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for Our Treatment of Animals.” New York: HarperCollins. 2002.

[35] Chang, Tiffany H. Comment on draft of this piece. March 6, 2022.

[36] Bland, Alastair. “Is the livestock industry destroying the planet?” Smithsonian Magazine. August 1, 2012. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/is-the-livestock-industry-destroying-the-planet-11308007/.

[37] Cornell Chronicle. “U.S. could feed 800 million people with grain that livestock eat, Cornell ecologist advises animal scientists.” August 7,1997. https://news.cornell.edu/stories/1997/08/us-could-feed-800-million-people-grain-livestock-eat.

[38] Forks Over Knives. Written and directed by Lee Fulkerson. Monica Beach Media, 2011.

[39] Tudury, Leila. “What Does Red Pill Mean?” Dictionary.com, January 19, 2021. https://www.dictionary.com/e/slang/red-pill/.

[40] “Humans Are Frugivores” Teeth Chart. Vegan Biologist, 2016. https://veganbiologistdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/05_humans_are_frugivores_750.jpg?w=1000.

[41] Top-down medical anthropological studies have offered some limited insights. “A Closer Look at High Protein Diets.” T. Campbell, Center for Nutrition Studies. January 7, 2019. https://nutritionstudies.org/masai-and-inuit-high-protein-diets-a-closer-look/.

[42] Speaking with broad generalization. Many peoples such as the Maasai and the Inuit thrive on animal-based diets. Still, these food practices are highly contextual, are now often seriously disrupted and damaged by colonial forces, and are much-cited by paleo Redditors in defense of bacon — without much knowledge or respect on the citer’s part. “The Inuit and Their Indigenous Foods - YouTube.” With Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. Accessed March 4, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReCQrz0-7n0.

[43] The Lion King. 1998.

[44] Users ‘personsonable’ and ‘miaislying’. Conversation on Tumblr. June 15, 2018. https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/you-cannot-kill-me-in-a-way-that-matters.

[45] Clark, Melissa. “The Meat-Lover's Guide to Eating Less Meat.” The New York Times. The New York Times, December 31, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/31/dining/flexitarian-eating-less-meat.html.

[46] “Fox's Red Meat Panic.” The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. YouTube. April 27, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DL0uAnPCs3k.

[47] Carol J. Adams on The Activist, (1:12:02). Bloomsbury Academic Podcast. April 25, 2020.

[48] Harper, A. “Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Society.” New York: Lantern Books. 2010.

[49] Buddhist-Marxism Alliance. “Revolutionary Alternative Non-Meat Diets.” https://buddhistsocialism.weebly.com/revolutionary-vegetarianism.html.

[50] “The Queer, Vegan, Afro-Cubana Hip-Hop of Las Krudas.” The Davidson: Independent Student Journalism Since 1914. https://www.davidsonian.com/the-queer-vegan-afro-cubana-hip-hop-of-las-krudas/.