Mardi Gras, ‘battery hens’, and intersections of oppressions
Just as it pains me to think about the treatment of non-human animals in factory farms (and other situations, of course, but that’s the biggest one that gets at me!), it also pains me to think that people can be at risk of both discrimination and verbal and physical intimidation and abuse simply because of their sexual orientation.
In 2010 I attended a “Unity of oppression discussion” organised by Katrina Fox as part of the Sheila Autonomista Festival 2010. The blurb stated it would look at “the intersections between women’s rights, queer/trans rights, animal rights, environment issues, race issues etc.” Katrina has also written extensively on this topic, including this article on her ‘online portal’ The Scavenger.
In the interests of ‘feeding two birds with one seed’, and supporting both queer rights and animal rights, earlier this year I participated in and filmed the Queer Animal Liberation NSW float in the 2011 Sydney Mardi Gras parade. The event was fantastic – the float was titled “We As Queers Agree, Set The Chickens Free” and there was a real celebratory vibe and so much support for our message about battery hens. Although it took months for me to put together the video – my very first ‘edited’ video! – it’s now done and up at last. The music that kicks in after around 40 seconds is my song “Paradigm Shift”, which I chose specifically; regardless of whether the issue is animal rights, queer rights, or another form of oppression or discrimination, my position is stated in the chorus: “There needs to be a Paradigm Shift”.
Of course, it’s important to point out that the message ‘set the chickens free’ does not equate to a message supporting the purchase of non-cage eggs. Future Veganthused posts will include delicious egg-free recipes for cakes, biscuits and savouries… mmmm! Sign up to the Newsletter if you want to be alerted when these go live!
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