Vegans of Color

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

More on Race & Veganism, & a Question April 20, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 5:04 pm
Tags: , ,

Elaine Vigneault has an interesting series on Anti-Racist Vegan Activism. There’s a reading list, & so far parts one, two, & three.

So everyone has been talking lately about Hezbollah Tofu. When I first heard about it I did a double-take at the name, which is apparently a reference to one of Anthony Bourdain’s comments about vegans, in which he compares them to Hezbollah. In this post, it’s stated that the name is deliberately meant to offend. Linked is this post from a Jewish food blog, in which it’s discussed whether or not the name is offensive. I am going to go digging around to see, but has anyone seen any comments on the name from an Arab perspective?

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5 Responses to “More on Race & Veganism, & a Question”

  1. “has anyone seen any comments on the name from an Arab perspective?”

    That’s a really great question.
    I did a search on PPK and found this:

    http://www.postpunkkitchen.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=1085582#p1085582

    which says some people are offended by the name, but that the blog creator intends the offense, like you said, but she even goes further to call it reclaiming the words, which is just… weird.

    This thread talks about copying/mocking the flag:

    http://www.postpunkkitchen.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=56290

    Some people are worried about it. Maybe you want to chime in?

  2. [...] — This post was inspired by the comments here about Hezbollah Tofu and the blog post here that I found via VOC. [...]

  3. Abram Says:

    I also had an immediate negative reaction to the title, though after reading more about the blog’s inception, I understand where it comes from. It is obviously meant as a humorous, in-your-face response to Bourdain’s comments against vegetarians and, especially, vegans.

    The blog features wonderful recipes, and I like the idea of veganizing dishes from mainstream, especially haute cuisine, to demonstrate that veganism is not synonymous with deprivation or a lettuce and granola diet. The stinging wit permeating the blog can be enjoyable, but the consistent personal attacks against Bourdain, specifically in relation to his anti-vegan comments, do get a bit much.

    The title does bother me still. The objectives of the blog could be well met without a title appropriated from a Lebanese Muslim group associated in the West, by governments and mainstream media alike, with Islamic extremism and terrorism. And I suspect the majority of the blog’s readers are Western, white, and privileged. My concern is that the use of a title so loaded with negative connotations not only ignores, perhaps even diminishes, the very real complexity of the struggle(s) in the Middle East, but also risks perpetuating these negative connotations and linking veganism to the same.

  4. johanna Says:

    The idea of making t-shirts using the Hezbollah flag seems really wrong-headed to me, augh.

    I think the idea of veganizing Bourdain’s recipes is a neat one, & well worth blogging about, but yeah, I think the name could be problematic.

    But not necessarily, perhaps, in the same way that others might. My knowledge of Hezbollah is v. limited, but I was interested to see that, for example, the EU doesn’t consider it a terrorist organization, & that Hezbollah offers social services, etc. as well. Shades of grey, perhaps?

  5. brandy Says:

    i can’t find Elaine’s Anti-Racist Vegan Activism…the links also seem to be broken. can someone pls direct me?


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