Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

Question November 27, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Noemi M @ 3:22 pm
Tags: , ,

question: You’re going to a meeting/event or small gathering where there might be or might not be other vegans/vegetarians there. In their flyer they say they’ll have food. Do you email and ask if it will be veg. friendly? Would your answer change if it was a community organizing or activists geared meeting/event?
In the events I organize with the community group CAFE Revolucion (Community Activists for Equality) , we always offer veg. food because everyone can enjoy it. If we have something that might have milk or cheese, it’s clearly labeled non-vegan on the outside.

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11 Responses to “Question”

  1. vegansofcolor Says:

    Noemi–I would probably ask if I felt like there was a chance that the answer would be yes. If I felt like the event organizers would be semi-hostile to, or ignorant of, veg*n stuff (not that I tend to go to such things by choice, but say if it were for work), I’d probably just suck it up & go eat something beforehand or bring a snack. If it were activists I would be more likely to expect that they’d have something, & if they didn’t I would express my belief that they should (I used to get into this w/the queer Asian group I helped start–especially when people would be like, “There IS vegetarian food!” & then point me to something w/fish in it. Some of those folks even called themselves vegetarians, arrrgh).

  2. nosnowhere Says:

    i think it’s best for us to have vegan food at our meetings, but i don’t expect it, and i know that oftennon-vegans don’t even think about it.

    it bothers me how ridiculous most people think being vegan is, even radical community activist people. i feel like, if we are doing all this revolutionary building than it is a mistake to reflect subjugation and slaughter with our food choices at a meeting. if i go to a meeting or event and there’s no vegan food, i wouldn’t say anything about it, i jsut wouldn’t eat it, but if i’m hosting an event or meeting with people, then i’d make sure to have vegan good.

    p.s. johanna i have some stuff from my archives i’ll start posting here soon!

  3. vegansofcolor Says:

    Yay, Nadia, I look forward to reading! :) (Also I’m kind of confused b/c I had to approve your comment, even tho’ I’d sent you the invite to add you as an author here & on the WP dashboard you’re listed. How silly!)

    To me it’s also funny when a POC group makes a token effort to provide something vegetarian, but freak out if you ask them to make it vegan. Lots of us are lactose-intolerant!

  4. Noemi Says:

    lets see if you have to approve this…
    I usually go w/ the allergies excuse when I think people are gonna freak out. I also go saying i’m a vegetarian who doesn’t eat diary products or eggs or honey. because animal products and byproducts make me sick…

  5. I ask when the event is more than an hour or two. I figure I can not eat for an hour if I need to. If it’s a longer event (like a wedding or a conference) I say, “I’m vegan. Should I bring my own food?” in otherwords, I make it clear that a)not providing vegan food excludes some people b)i take responsibility for my own health and i won’t starve.

  6. Noemi Says:

    It’s cool when at conferences you register w/ they ask if you are a vegan or vegetarian. Weddings usually ask fish/beef but then again I don’t go to weddings like that.

  7. bryanna Says:

    I don’t know where we, as vegans/vegetarians, have gotten the notion that it’s impolite to ask if there will be vegan refreshments or food served at an event.

    Being veg*n isn’t just about making persynal choices but spreading awareness. This *can* be done without being preachy, self-righteous or overbearing.

    While there are some folks that are adamantly opposed to veganism/vegetarianism for whatever reason, most folks that have not had exposure to vegans can be amazingly receptive. Besides, good events organizers should be aware of how to be the most inclusive to their audience as possible, as it ultimately helps their cause. This should mean everything from providing acceptable food options to ensuring that the building is accessible to people with disabilities.

  8. vegansofcolor Says:

    Noemi, I still had to approve comment #4 in this discussion from you–I have it set so that new commenters (less than 2 comments) have to be approved, b/c it seems like a good way to discourage trolls, but it’s silly that this extends to contributors to the blog!

    Elaine–good point re: length of time, & asking about bringing your own food. Do people get offended when you suggest bringing your own?

    Bryanna–I think some of this reluctance to ask stems in part from other socialization issues, @ least for some folks (like I know I have the “nice Asian girl” socialization that I still sometimes struggle w/). I agree that organizers of events need to be more inclusive, but I feel like a lot of the time people think that disability access is vital, but having accessible food isn’t. The whole “veganism is a choice” thing, augh. It annoys me b/c I know that in a lot of the situations I find myself in, if I had requested, say, a kosher meal, no one would feel they had the right to question me or hint that I’m ridiculous or demanding (although I am sure living in NYC has something to do w/this).

  9. noemimtz Says:

    For me personally, I avoid bringing up the issue because it’s a guaranteed debate; I also feel that I am not the norm and they won’t make accommodations either way.

  10. Elaine, I like your answer… It opens up the door to people who would make the effort to accommodate but gives you an out if they don’t want to, hopefully even avoiding the guaranteed debate Noemi mentions.

    When I went to India, people went waaayyyy out of their way to accommodate my diet. That was the best part of the whole trip there. I was floored every time. All I had to say was “I am Pure Vegetarian”. Woo!

  11. vegansofcolor Says:

    Frandroid — nice!! So rare to get that when traveling… sigh.


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