Intersections Videos

Kim Socha on being ignored. Ageism in the animal rights movement (VegfestUK)

Kim Socha gave a skype talk about ageism in the animal rights movement at the Pro-Intersectional Vegan conference at Vegfest UK in London in October 2016.

[with automatic generated subtitles in English]

[ID: On left: Woman with long straight dark hair, dark glasses looking into camera, holding left hand up and making V-sign, on right: text with name, title of talk on blue background]

I was present at the 2016 VegfestUK conference and wrote my impressions on my other blog The Bruges Vegan. See post: Inspired by the intersectionality conference at Vegfest, London.

About this presentation, I wrote:

Kim Socha gave a talk (via Skype) On Being Ignored: Ageism in the Animal Rights Movement. I found this really interesting (maybe also because I am nearly 3 decades older than a lot of the people I see in the vegan community, so I can relate 😉 Ageism is an issue that is often overlooked when looking at intersecting forms of oppression. Ageism is a form of discrimination and prejudice, particularly experienced by seniors (although it can also pertain to other age groups, like the very young). Touching upon the connections of ageism with ‘looksism’ and ‘ableism’ (some sad quotes from Nick Cooney as an example, see one of the slides below) Socha gave examples of how this discriminatory practice is also prevalent in the vegan/animal rights community. “As you get older in the Animal Rights Community, you become invisible“. This happens on many fronts: the campaigns are mostly aimed at younger people (sometimes just by using technology that is inaccessible for a lot of older people, like social media), the social activities are more appealing to youngster than elderly people (eg potlucks), and the forms of activism are generally more accessible to able bodied, younger people (eg demos where one has to stand outside for hours on end). Also, playing into the hands of social stereotypes of beauty, vegans are preferably portrayed as young and ‘attractive’ by mainstream organisations.

“As you get older in the Animal Rights Community, you become invisible“

Slide from the presentation [Text reads: Who should be seen? “In contrast to the very small personal cost is (sic) has for activists, utilizing attractive volunteers and trying to be as personally attractive as possible can do a great deal of good for our cause. […] Attractiveness certainly shouldn’t be the only consideration, but because of its power it should be considered when making strategies and lifestyle decisions” – Nick Cooney, Changes of Heart “It would be great if we lived in a society where people did not judge one another based on appearance. My desire to help animals is more important than expressing my individual identity, than taking a stand about looksism” Nick Cooney, IARC 2013, Luxemburg]
See also Kim Socha on ageism. Interview on ARZone, podcast.



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