It Ain't Easy Eating Green

A VEGAN ODYSSEY

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Circumcision

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Liz, a co-worker of mine (and fellow Vegan), is six months pregnant with her first child. She recently took her maternity leave, but earlier today she came into work and showed off a few pictures from the ultrasound she recently had. She's having a boy.

Josh, a douchebag who recently started work in the kitchen, immedietely started making inappropriate comments.
"I've heard of parents who take a lot of pictures of their kids, but this is ridiculous!" he said, cackling at his own dumb joke. Then, leaning in and wincing at the picture he said, "Hey--is that his dick?!"

Whoever performed the ultrasound had circled the baby's genitals on the print. Liz had been eager to know the child's sex and was apparently told during a previous ultrasound that she was likely to have a boy, but this time it was a certainty.

"Hey-hey! 'Little dude's gonna be a hit with the ladies with that thing!" Josh went on. (Apparently he thought the prenatal child's member was impressive. I wonder what Josh is packing?)

"Well, it'll probably be a tiny bit smaller once he's circumcised," said Liz.

What!?

No, I didn't say that. I just recoiled in silence. I just couldn't believe that Liz, someone who has been a close friend for nearly two years now, was going to mutilate her own child. I thought I knew her, but I guess I was wrong. Very wrong.

I mean, we both obviously agree that exploiting animals for aesthetic purposes is morally wrong; so why then is she planning on welcoming her child to this earth with a torturous procedure which is just that --- purely aesthetic, and rooted in thousands of years of patriarchal, nonsensical religious tradition!

People in favor of circumcision don't really have many good arguments for it, either. Most of their time is spent denying the (lenghty) list of extremely valid arguments we sensible people have about the operation.

Oh, and I guess I'm obliged to mention that I was circumcised as an infant. Thanks a lot, Mom. Thanks a lot, Dad. Technically, I guess that makes me "less" of a man, since I was robbed (and I do consider it a robbery, since I was given no choice in the matter) of a body part all males are born with.

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I admit, I've never felt as though I was missing anything; but a child who is born without sight, hearing, and yes, even limbs, knows no other reality. But I'm certain they ask themselves the "what if?" questions, as I do when I consider my missing foreskin.

The main claims "Circumnazis" make is that the glans area, when covered by the foreskin, is a breeding ground for bacteria and potential infection. Yeah, right. I read that 50% of North American children are now dodging the knife at birth -- I guess that means we're going to be seeing every other male itching at his raw, fly-attracting groin in the coming years, hmm? Unlikely.

Penile cancer is allegedly a greater risk for the un-circumcised. Yet another lie!

Here's the bottom line: we're born the foreskin and should leave it intact. Don't subject your newborn children to such a gruesome practice. If they want to get a circumcision, it should be law that they willingly have it done on their own. And in these cases, it should be done as it was done originally: with no anisthetic. Ha! Let's see how many guys line up to have it done when they have to have it sliced from them while they are awake.

Just as many people believe animals feel no pain because they lack the ability to speak, the same can be said of those who are ignorant of an infant's pain during circumcision. But have a good look at the pictures I've posted -- do these babies look like they're enjoying themselves? Of course they don't.

-Preston

10 Comments:

At 8:18 AM, Blogger Mandy said...

Preston, I agree with you 100% here. Let men decide if they want the procedure done or not once they're old enough to make that decision for themselves.

I also find it odd that your friend is ok with having such a procedure performed on her son.

 
At 4:27 AM, Blogger the vegan vulcan said...

Preston, I also agree. I think you should talk to your friend. Most people think female genital circumcision is an abomination-- and even though male circumcision still allows for sexual pleasure, if you explained that gential mutilation is genital mutilation, she would see your point?

Maybe you can convince her not to do this. Tell her to look at disease and cancer rates in Britian-- they're no higher, even though very few men are circumsized over there!

I think circumcision, male or female, is a terrible thing. I also call bullshit on the "culture" and "religion" arguments for male circumcision (even though I'm of Jewish heritage), since those are the same arguements used to justify female genital mutilation elswhere in the world.

I really think you should speak up. Her deicision might be due to ignorance?

 
At 10:43 AM, Blogger mishka said...

I am proud to be the "cause" of 4 boys in this world not being circumcized - my friend and 2 cousins. I explained to them why I felt it was unnecessary when they said they would have it done to their boys. They just thought it was "something you are supposed to do" and never really thought about why.

 
At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Jenn said...

WHOA,I totalyl disagree. Circumcision keeps u clean buddy. Sounds like your mad at your parents for everything. R u pissed that they gave u immunizations too? I heard small pox is one hell of a good time, would be a shame if u had to miss out on that too. I'm also vegan (and a girl) and I fail to see the link between veganism and circumcision .....please enlighten me. Also, all the ladies that I know prefer a guy who's cut over a sloppy roll-back any day.

ps. female genital circumcision is a comepletely different thing. They cut off your clitoris. In order to make a similar argument u'd have to cut off the head of a penis. Get informed.

pps. bonsai kitten is NOT REAL. Everyone knows this by now. Seriously.

 
At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend of 24 asked his doctor to be circumcised. The problem is that when parents wait until they are old enough to make that decision for themselves, it involves major surgery. Now he doesn't know what to do. Would have been a lot simpler just after birth. I agree with Jenn, girls don't want to deal with a "sloppy roll-back"

 
At 4:59 AM, Blogger the vegan vulcan said...

Although female genital cirucmcision isn't directly analogous to male cirucmcision (which I made clear in my original comment, btw), it is the removal of a sensitive structure for purely aesthetic reasons.

Also, there is always a risk of doing even greater damage to the penis during cirucmcision-- many males have had genital reassignment surgery (hormone therapy and genital plastic surgery to turn males with mutilated penises into females) or have had the entire head of their penis cut off during the process due to mishap.

And, Jenn? Cirucmcised males aren't cleaner-- both uncircumcised and circumcised guys can be raunchy if they don't shower. But basic hygene keeps both cut and uncut males squeaky clean.

 
At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. If it is such a risk then why would the majority of the population (a.k.a. the "normal" people, as has been talked about so often on this blog) have the procedure done?

 
At 8:47 PM, Blogger Vegan Knitting said...

Hi preston.

I also agree with you. Anyone who has actually researched the topic would.

because there are NO reasons to do it other than to give your child plastic surgery as an infant.

And it is genital mutilation because it changes how men's penises respond to stimulation, it prevents them from being lubricated thus causing extra friction for both men and women, and makes the head much more sensitive (and NOT in a good way, as in a "come much more quickly" way.)

The scar it leaves! Come on!

I'm making sure to talk to anyone I know who is having a baby to make sure they know the facts before deciding. Then if they choose to, I know they're shallow and only care about what someone else will think of what their baby's penis looks like. As if that's worth the risks and as if anyone cares.

Some men don't like women who have long labia but you don't see people having their daughter's shortened right after birth if they are long.

 
At 9:41 PM, Blogger Cynthia said...

Actually there is a HUGE difference between female circumscicion and female genital mutilation. They are distiguished with different names and "types". Type I is called a clitodotomy,And it entails the removal of all or part of the clitoral hood. I've read accounts of women who have had clitodotomies voluntarily in order to acheive greater sensitivity during sexual acts. This is the type most akin to male circumscicion and the type most widely and voluntarily practiced in the modern, western world. A Clitoridectomy (type II) is the partial or total removal of the external part of the clitoris and sometimes labia minora. This is where mutilation begins. It was usually practiced in order to stop masturbation. But now, many people choosing an "alternative" lifestyle do it for the drama. Type III is by far the worst. It is called infibulation and is usually performed without anesthesia or proper wound care as part of a tradition. Infibulation replaces the vulva with a wall of flesh from the pubis to the anus, except for a pencil-size opening at the inferior portion of the vulva to allow urine and menstrual blood to pass through. A reverse infibulation is where the opening is left in the anterior part of the vulva in front of the uretha. After excision, the labia are sewn together, and since the skin is abraded and raw after being cut, the two surfaces join via the natural healing and scar-formation process to form a smooth surface. The girl's legs are tied together for around two weeks to prevent her from moving the wound. The "wall" is cut apart and sewn up again after each chilbearing session. Other forms are collectively referred to as Type IV. This includes a diverse range of practices, including pricking the clitoris with needles, burning or scarring the genitals as well as ripping or tearing of the vagina. Type IV is found primarily among isolated ethnic groups as well as in combination with other types.

 
At 9:46 PM, Blogger Cynthia said...

though i do agree that circumscicion is a metter of tradition, not practicality. Though despite the risk of mishap, there are no shortcomings to being circumsciced that i have really been convinced on. And like they said, getting a circumscicion is serious buisness after a sertain age. My ex had one by his choice when he was 12. He wanted it, but is totally scarred him that he had to go through with it so late in life. He would have prefered it be done at birth.

 

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