Okay, I have to reply to something I found on the internet. A vegan blogger was writing about how to have ‘vegan’ sex. The advice ran something like this: ditch your Trojans (because they contain animal byproducts) and go order online some vegan condoms. Consider ditching IUDs because they are tested on animals (okay, ugh), and instead of using the Pill (which causes pollution and hormone disruption of some aquatic animals), rely on the Rhythm Method to not get pregnant.
In an era when abstinence-only sex education is being taught in many American public schools … when people still suffer from HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases … when abortions are becoming more and more difficult to obtain … why are “we” vegans trying to restrict people’s choices when it comes to safe sex? Fuck the vegan condoms if you can’t afford them, or aren’t able to order on-line. Buy the goddamn Trojans (or whatever brand suits you). They aren’t sheepskin condoms, they are latex, and whatever animal products are in them are incidental to their manufacture, not essential to it. Human nature being what it is, sex can get heated pretty quickly. It’s hard enough getting to a condom when one needs it. Let’s not put restrictions on the issue. Except – sheepskin condoms? Yuck. And they don’t protect against sexually transmitted infections, only against pregnancy.
The Intra Uterine Device issue … I hadn’t heard that they are tested on animals, but this is indeed disturbing food for thought. IUDs can also lead to complications for some women, and are not the most highly recommended form of birth contol, as far as I know.
As for the Pill … yes, the hormone spillage is an issue. I worry about the long-term effects of using medications like these to prevent pregnancy and regulate a women’s cycle. However, it’s not the first thing on my mind when I think of environmental campaigns – to try to convince women to stop using their chosen method of birth control.
And once again, it’s the same sort of tired conversation that focuses on what women choose and what women are doing with their bodies. If this is a heterosexual equation, which in this blogger’s post it certainly was, where is the talk about men and about what men do with their bodies? Why are more people not holding men accountable for their safe sex practices? Why don’t more men, who are not interested in having children, get vasectomies? Why do they keep putting their partners through the worry and risk of accidental pregnancies and what to do about them?
Rhythm method … well … that one is plausible, but hard in practice. And a fertile woman needs access to and information about safe ways to utilize emmenagogues and other herbal aids, if they are going to make the decision to use ‘natural’ methods of birth control (which, incidentally, I do support. See sisterzeus.com/HContra.htm, susunweed.com, orgonelab.org/contracep.htm and sisterzeus.com/herbal_contra_abort.htm for information and resources).
But please … don’t send people off into the woods (or, I guess, the bush!) without adequate birth control and safe sex practices. After all, pregnancy tests aren’t vegan either … that’s right, they’re made with antibodies from mice and goats. So be safe, rather than sorry, and do what’s right for you in your sex life.