The Sistah Vegan Project

Sick of Children’s Music That Promotes Speciesism? Me Too.

As a picky mom when it comes to my children’s musical entertainment, it is hard to find vegan-friendly and non-human animal friendly music! I am glad we have Michal “Peanut” Karmi to help change that.

Michal is amazing and she visited us here in Berkeley, CA a few days ago. We met Michal a few years ago while she was in graduate school at UC Berkeley. A very committed animal rights oriented vegan, she also has the unique talent of connecting amazingly with little kids through song. My children, 2.5 and 5, are obsessed with her first album. She has a new album she is working on and I highly recommend it. It will help kids think in non-human animal friendly ways. And let’s face it: most children’s music albums in the USA are quite speciesist.  Please support her newest album through this kickstarter campaign. Also, enjoy the photos of her singing to our family. She is a wonderful spirit!

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11 thoughts on “Sick of Children’s Music That Promotes Speciesism? Me Too.

  1. ruth on said:

    thank you for sharing this experience!

  2. Along with music, I’m also sick of any novel that promotes speciesism. This is from me, from one of my recent blogposts:
    “As I was reading a novel, there’s a character who wears cashmere. I decided to skip the paragraph but then to read the character is now eating steak….I decided to stop reading this book and to now make a conscious decision to never, ever read a fiction book that promotes animal cruelty. The reason I will still read non-fiction books with possible animal cruelty in it, is because true books are for serious study, education, reference and of historical knowledge. Whereas books of fiction are designed for the pure pleasure, enjoyment of reading. I do not find pro-cruelty pleasurable reading. But if the novel mentions animal cruelty in a negative way–great!–I’ll read that.
    I love reading fiction and as I researched online, looking for vegan-friendly novels, I was so disappointed to find not many exist. There are some books mentioning a token vegan, but rarely do I find an entire novel that’s vegan-friendly.”
    I just hope many more authors publish more vegan-friendly novels.
    So I totally understand your frustration with music, Breeze.
    I plan on also extending that to any film I see speciesism as films, for the most part, are about entertainment/pleasure (few being about real education).

    • Jenny on said:

      Definitely steer clear of the novel Raptor Red by Robert T. Bakker. All of the characters are non-human animals, but even some of them are speciesist enough to treat animals differently according to species (like carnivores who eat meat instead of going vegan and herbivores who only live in one-species-per-herd herds instead of desegregating).

      • I would read something like that in a non-fiction for reasons stated in my post. But I like my fiction light anyway because I read a lot of very serious non-fiction so to balance it out I tend to read light fiction.

      • Jenny, if Lorrie is expressing that it causes her a lot of psychic pain when reading certain types of non-human animal cruelty in novels, why bother her about it? It doesn’t seem productive or mindful to respond to her in this way. For me, it is quite clear why Lorrie wants to read certain types of books and I think it is obvious that she probably doesn’t mean that it’s traumatizing to read about carnivorous non-human animals who eat other non-human animals. What about her post bothered you so much that you had to have this type of snarky reply?

      • Jenny on said:

        It wasn’t snark, it was an honest heads-up.

        I know some other anti-speciesists who say only humans are speciesist, so at first glance Raptor Red might look speciesism-free since the blurb on the back of the book says it’s got no human characters. Thing is, it’s still got speciesism inside the book.

      • Thanks for clarifying. Sometimes hard to read tone on blog comments.

  3. That seems extreme since the novel you mentioned didn’t seem to be promoting animal cruelty — just being descriptive.
    I’d get how you may only want to read novels about vegan characters — though your choice of books will be extremely limited — but if it isn’t an explicitly vegan book I don’t think that you can expect that simple descriptions of what someone is wearing or eating be in line with your values.
    To me, one of the benefits of fiction is being able to experience the lives of others whose lives, characters and choices are often very different from my own.
    At any rate, there is a big difference between saying “He picked at the steak and fries on his plate” and “As he bit into the steak he said to himself ‘F**k cattle. They exist to give me pleasure, even if that means their lives are torment.’”
    Your walk through life (full of non-vegans) must be an extremely difficult one.

    • I posted the above quickly and left out some things; it was promoting animal cruelty.
      As far as me living a possible “extreme” life, well frankly I don’t think so. I get PLENTY–as well as everyone else–of speciesism thrown in my face daily, that I don’t have to deliberately bring it into my life–it’s a novel for crying out loud. It’s entertainment that I want to read that’s positive ; sorry but I don’t see anything wrong about that–quite the contrary. That’s how many vegans get complacent and aren’t that active, everyday being exposed to cruelty they then start to find some of it is OK.
      My life is fine and not at all extreme. What’s extreme is the cruelty that goes on and how many people are desensitized by it. :(

      • I think mamazaha was saying that the action of not reading certain types of novels is ‘extreme'; not that your life is extreme.

        I agree with Lorrie that it can be really difficult to stomach certain ‘isms’ that are thrown in one’s face every day. I think some folk can stomach it more than others. If it’s just too triggering, I can understand why one would want to take it out of their lives. For me, I try to use racist, sexist, speciesist, etc texts as learning moments and to become critical. However, I do have my limit for certain violences in entertainment and do abstain from many forms of entertainment that show scenes of human rape and humane genocide. I just can’t deal or turn those into learning moments. Perhaps we all have our thresholds.

  4. I checked out the links to songs on Michal’s Kickstarter. They are really great, positive tracks for kids. Hope folks will support her.

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