Vegans of Color

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

White People Like Veg*nism March 18, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 7:24 pm
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I know I’m late in posting this & probably you’ve all already seen it, but the satiric blog Stuff White People Like has declared veg*nism as a “white thing.”

The irony, of course, is that in putting a photo of Bob & Jenna Torres (of Vegan Freak fame), they are using a non-white dude to illustrate their point about veg*nism being just for white folks.

The comment section seems to be a mishmash of the usual stereotypes about veg*nism & outright trolling (I haven’t read the whole thing & don’t plan to), but there also seem to be some vegans of color asserting their existence too.

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12 Responses to “White People Like Veg*nism”

  1. Billy Says:

    Interesting, thanks for posting this. There are new statistics available in the latest Veg News regarding this.

  2. meridith Says:

    Yes, I saw that awhile ago. The comments section is pretty much of the “Go meat! Vegans suck!” variety, but Bob did leave a funny comeback to some anonymous poster who said he looked like a “faggot” (because he’s pictured eating a salad? come on…) That was probably the only funny thing in that entire post because the original entry wasn’t very well-written.

  3. Thanks for writing about this.
    This one particular example of anti-veganism at SWPL illustrates so many of the misperceptions and outright hate of vegans and how that goes along with other kinds of hate (like homophobia).

  4. vegansofcolor Says:

    I’m so mixed about this stuff — like generally I think that veg*nism DOES have a v. limited, white image (not helped by some of the ridiculously expensive stuff one can find in health-food stores; yeah, beans & stuff are cheap, but I feel like often people forget about that when they think of health food). So I can kinda laugh @ any such intentions the post had on that level, but not on the “OMG white people are so privileged they can afford to feel weepy about the environment, while the rest of us have to deal w/REAL shit!” level.

    I mean, yeah, like we’ve blogged about here before, race & class privilege come into play in some ways in affording some types of vegan food (but not others: like one commenter said, in other parts of the world poor people are often unconsciously vegan b/c that’s all they can afford). But… just b/c that’s true doesn’t mean that caring about such issues is inherently a privileged frou-frou thing to do.

    And yeah, definitely a lot of mixing of oppressions going on too.

    Billy — re: the veg stats — I like to read those, but I always wish there was some way to include Asians in the results. Augh. I know it’s hard when the group is so statistically small, but still, I’d like to know about my own people!! (& I’m sure there are lots of Native Americans, etc. who’d like to know too) (ha ha, obviously not directed @ you — it’s your fault the results didn’t include Asians! — just @ the pollsters or perhaps statistics generally)

  5. vegansofcolor Says:

    Oh, & I got distracted & forgot to say my main point: I’m tired of being invisibilized (like by feminists who are oblivious of race issues, by heterosexism, etc. etc.), so it was even more annoying to see that, according to that blog post, I don’t exist.

  6. caroline Says:

    ugh, someone sent me a link to that blog and it made me feel sick. it wasn’t just the vegan post, but others like the natural medicine, etc. like, hello-that doesn’t even make any sense. This country is obsessed with western prescription drugs.

    That blog just bothered me. Where is the line? Why is there always someone around the corner ready to attack when people are trying to do good things?

  7. Billy Says:

    I agree that the animal rights movement does have a white image. I think many people are surprised to learn that the majority of people who are veg are not white.

  8. Royce Drake Says:

    I’m actually a big fan of stuff white people like. And truthfully I partake in a lot of things on the list, but I like the concept of de-centering whiteness.

  9. vegansofcolor Says:

    Royce — yeah, I like a lot of things mocked on that blog too, which is fine. But the veg*nism thing irked me in particular; I mean, if I like (some) indie music, it doesn’t matter if someone says, “Ooooh, that’s so white.” But I think the perception of veg*nism as “a white thing” maybe makes it less likely that folks will take it seriously, which obviously hurts animals.

  10. Royce Drake Says:

    Yeah I agree with that in some ways. I’m more disappointed at how I my diet more follows “Stuff White People Like,” than the not so great copy, “Stuff Educated Black People Like,” which has shown a huge focus on chicken. It’s one thing for veg*nism to be called white on a blog decentering whiteness, but to be left out of a blog that is supposed to do the same for “educated” Black folks is annoying (Even though by educated they mean bougie).

  11. [...] All the panelists except one are people of color, neatly putting paid to stereotypes. [...]

  12. [...] may only consist of uber-expensive faux meat products. (Beans and rice, anyone?) See, for example, here, here and here. God, on the other paw, hates us all. His ghostwriter (because, let’s be [...]


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