Eco Feminist Call to Action on Food Politics!
The ethics of meat-eating: A feminist issue?
Staunch feminist that I am, I am greatly enjoying the fuss over the all-male judging panel for the New York Times’ contest calling on “carnivores to tell us why it’s ethical to eat meat.”
The Times’ ethicist, Ariel Kaminer, announced the contest in Sunday’s magazine:
So today we announce a nationwide contest for the omnivorous readers of The New York Times. We invite you to make the strongest possible case for this most basic of daily practices.In the graduate course in food ethics I taught at NYU a couple of years ago, I had the class read:
We have assembled a veritable murderer’s row of judges — some of the most influential thinkers to question or condemn the eating of meat: Peter Singer, Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman, Jonathan Safran Foer and Andrew Light.
- Peter Singer and Jim Mason’s The Ethics of What We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter
- Michael Pollan’s critique of Singer’s views in The Omnivore’s Dilemma
- Jonathan Safran Foer’s critique of Pollan in Eating Animals.
Discussions, to say the least, were lively.
As for the other two: Mark Bittman writes eloquently about ethical issues in food choice for the New York Times. Although I am not familiar with the work of Andrew Light, a quick Google search reveals that he writes about the ethics of climate policy.
All happen to be white men.
On her blog, the “vegan-feminist intellectual” Carol Adams, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat, says:
Here’s the crux of the problem, our culture is heavily invested in the identification of meat eating with manliness…. How could an intelligent woman miss the fact that her own panel of “ethicists” is male-dominated and that such a choice is, itself, an ethical issue?Michele Simon writes on her blog, Appetite for Profit:
When I asked why all the judges were male, Kaminer replied that she couldn’t find one female expert in food ethics with a fraction of the name recognition of the men. She argued that the famous male judges would bring far more attention to the contest, and in turn get more people to consider the ethics of meat eating.Full disclosure: Michele puts me first in her list of ten women who should have been considered.
You can see why I am amused, no?
If you want to enter this contest—and please do!—send written entries of no more than 600 words to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries are due by April 8.
Michele Simon writes on her blog, Appetite for Profit
0 suggestions for female judges for NY Times’ “ethical meat” contest
When I asked why all the judges were male, Kaminer replied that she couldn’t find one female expert in food ethics with a fraction of the name recognition of the men. She argued that the famous male judges would bring far more attention to the contest, and in turn get more people to consider the ethics of meat eating.
Really, not one? I can think of a few. I also asked a few colleagues, posted an inquiry to Twitter, and within minutes received several more suggestions.
So here are five pretty well-known worthy women:
1) Marion Nestle, New York University professor and book author, including the seminal Food Politics.
2) Ingrid Newkirk, long-time president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
3) Barbara Kingsolver, author of many books, including Animal, Vegetable, and Miracle.
4) Kathy Freston, of Oprah fame and author of Veganist.
5) Alicia Silverstone, celebrity author of The Kind Diet.
Plus, five less-famous names but still worthy:
6) Carol J. Adams, author of numerous books, including the Sexual Politics of Meat.
7) Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, author of numerous vegan cookbooks.
8) Naomi Starkman, editor-in-chief of Civil Eats.
9) Twilight Greenaway, food editor of Grist.
10) Mary Rothschild, managing editor, Food Safety News.
More at her blog and well worth following the link above...............................