26 Vegetarian & Vegan Women Who Made History

Try using the arrow keys

If you’re a feminist who doesn’t eat animals, then you probably already know that animal rights and women’s rights are undeniably connected. Whether you eat meat or not, though, it might be news to you that women’s rights and animal rights have pretty much always intersected throughout history. Although this form of intersectional feminism goes back for hundreds of years (at least), it was Carol J. Adams book, The Sexual Politics of Meat, that really spotlighted the issue when it was published back in 1990. But long before Adams' seminal work, there have been famous vegan and vegetarian feminists from history who saw the relationship between feminism and animal rights advocacy.

Personally, though I’ve identified as a feminist for many years, I only started exploring the connection between feminism and speciesism about a year ago, and I still typically eat meat one day a week. (After spending hours on this project, though, I’m pretty sure it’s time for me to stop eating animals for good.) The logic we base eating and exploiting animals on is the same logic that has historically been used to discriminate against women and people of color — that for them it is "just different" and that their lives and reproductive systems exist for our benefit and consumption.

If you don’t believe me, believe history — because after researching extensively, I found these 26 feminists from history who were vegetarians or vegans. They saw the connection, and maybe after reading this, you will too.

More Slideshows