How might we aptly memorialize Marti? By putting her ideas into action
- Set up networks to foster the companion animals of women seeking refuge in battered women’s shelters. Perpetrators of domestic violence often injure or threaten companion animals. Because most domestic violence shelters don’t accept companion animals, women frequently stay in dangerous situations for fear of what will happen to beloved animal companions if they leave them behind or take them to a “humane” society where they might be euthanized. FAR helped to spark the creation of networks of foster placements—safe spaces where the animals can stay for as long as it takes until their caregiver has found truly safe permanent housing and where she and her children might visit them in the interim—in a handful of communities. We need many more. Could you be the person to start the conversations that could lead to such a network in your community? Could you write or call the animal rescue and domestic violence projects in your community, proposing the idea? Could you research and share relevant information with them? Do you happen to know people who work in either of these areas? How could you bring them into conversation with one another?
- Do more to undermine milk. In many conversations with sanctuary co-founder pattrice jones, Marti expressed the wish for animal advocates to focus more on dairy. (She had the idea for a Mother’s Day campaign encouraging adults to wean themselves.) We relocated to Vermont in part so that we could begin to offer sanctuary to dairy industry refugees, which we have done. We’ve been heartened by recent efforts of Mercy for Animals to expose the gendered cruelty that is the dairy industry. We now pledge, in Marti’s memory, to do more to demystify milk. We’d like, eventually, to coordinate an explicitly feminist national campaign to debunk dairy while building bridges between the women’s and animal liberation movements. If you’ve got creative ideas for such a campaign, or if you’d like to be involved when it gets rolling, write us or leave a comment below.
- Support or initiate other projects that both illustrate and intervene in the intersection between sexism and speciesism.
Cows exploited for milk and hens exploited for eggs are female creatures who are enslaved and tortured so that men may reap profits from their reproductive capabilities. Roosters exploited in cockfighting are both victims and unwitting agents of the social construction of masculinity. These and many more specific forms of animal exploitation both reflect and perpetuate gender bias. Marti wanted us to both see and intervene in the deep linkages between the subordination of women and the exploitation of animals. Let’s remember her by doing that. Let’s do that in the spirit of generosity and heartfelt solidarity in which Marti lived her remarkable life.
It’s pattrice writing this post, and I just want to say in closing: Marti, we miss you already, but we know you won’t be all-the-way-gone as long as we carry on the projects you inspired with the same sincerity you carried into everything you did.