“When you have children…”

June 3, 2008

A couple of days ago, while drinking cosmos during happy hour before going out to see the Sex and the City Movie, my friend asked me if I “would send my children to [alma mater] Macalester.”

I responded by telling her that if yes, some how I managed to procure a child under my guardianship who was of appropriate age to consider a college education, I could afford to send them to an elite liberal arts college, and they were interested in going to Mac, I would be supportive of them if they chose the school.

Like many, I’m sure, I frequently get asked if I would be interested in raising my children vegan. Like many, I’m sure, I’ve been asked why I would be unwilling to “just let them choose whether or not they eat meat” (ironically, ignoring the fact that meat-eating is in itself an ideology)

This question (problematically) assumes that:

1) That I intend on being a mother (because I’m a woman)

[note: this also assumes heterosexuality and participation in a patriarchial society that places value on women based on their reproductive abilities... similarly to our non-human friends]

2) I will be the sole person to decide my childrens’ diet (because… I’m a woman of color?)

3) Carnism, like whiteness, is rendered invisible and therefore “normal” (because, just as we live in a white supremacist world, we live in a specieist one)

I can’t help but wonder if men get similar questions upon informing others of their veganism.

I just had to drop in here, and ask you all: what are the implications of veganism on women of color who are already too frequently deemed unfit mothers?


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