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Episode 3.17: On Veganism

Content warning for a brief discussion of disordered and restrictive eating.

In this week’s minisode I’m tackling a topic that I’ve been putting off for approximately two and a half seasons of this podcast: veganism. I talk about why I chose to be a vegan fourteen-and-a-half years ago, why it still brings me joy, and why I also think it’s an incredibly fraught identity. Along the way I touch on the different histories of the vegan and so-called “clean eating” movements, the problem with white animal rights activists, and the links between veganism and restrictive eating. But I also talk about joy! And donuts! Plus Kaarina is here to talk to us about setting attainable goals as a way to be kinder to ourselves. Here are some links!

  • One of the foundational books of my own veganism was Carol J. Adams’ The Sexual Politics of Meat. I haven’t read it in over a decade, though, so this is just a fact and not a recommendation. A book I do recommend most wholeheartedly is Timothy Findlay’s Not Wanted On the Voyage. Just to warn you, I’ve read it five times and cried every time. Oh, one more book recommendation, if you like the intersections of philosophy and conversations about the human and the animal and stuff: J.M. Coetzee’s The Lives of Animals. Beautiful, complex, challenging stuff. Wildly meta.
  • This article by Victorianist Susan Hamilton is a great introduction to Victorian anti-vivisection protests and the way they demonstrated the links between the policing of the animal/human divide and the policing of the gender binary. My favourite book on the links between white women, sentimentality, and imperialism is Christina Klein’s Cold War Orientalism
  • I don’t usually link to Everyday Feminism because I’m not a huge fan of a listicle, but this piece on how mainstream animal rights movements enact colonialismand other forms of harm is spot on. And speaking of places I usually don’t link to, here’s a Vice article on why so many white supremacists are vegan.
  • OH MY GOD THE POST PUNK KITCHEN IS STILL UP YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE!!!!! THOSE ARM WARMERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you want a taste of Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s brilliance, start with some of the classics, like her chewy chocolate chip cookiesseitan portobello stroganoffchickpea cutlets, or her famous mac & shews. This is not fancy vegan fair, folks, this is what you learn to make when you are a dirtbag 22-year-old shopping at Bulk Barn. Enjoy!


The podcast theme song is “Mesh Shirt” by Mom Jeans off their album “Chub Rub.” Listen to the whole album here or learn more about them here. Follow me @hkpmcgregor, follow Kaarina @kaarinasaurus, and tweet about the podcast using #SecretFeministAgenda.

Secret Feminist Agenda is recorded and produced by Hannah McGregor on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.