Vegans of Color

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

If you click yr heels 3 times, you too can stop being brown July 30, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Noemi M @ 5:37 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

A post on veg*ns of color and a shout out to the vegans of color blog on feministing has turned into the old vegetarian debate-fish, can it be on the vegetarian buffet table or not?

Another common argument I hear all to often in different circles is the “I don’t like labels” cover. You’ve heard it before. Someone who says “I’m part of the human race” or someone who says “I don’t see colors, I see people.” I have to admit, I always vomit a little in my mouth when I hear something shoveling this. Other variations might include something like I’m not a feminist because I like men or I don’t believe in feminism because I beleive in equal rights for men AND women.

Take this one for example:

In the meantime people should be less concerned about labels. Even though it can be frustrating when the lables get clouded, people will always have their opinions and ideas.

Sure, it’s safe to use this line when you can’t remove the label that others use for you. See, I’ll always be a “Hispanic” (sic) person to any one that looks at me. I can’t hide behind the “don’t label me” excuse because I am brown, and you know I’m brown by looking at me. Some even say they can sense my brownness over the phone (I worked billing at a call center-was called wet back and spic countless times without them even knowing my first name). You can think I’m Mexican, “exotic”, Carribean, Indian-but rest assured that I am automatically labeled as being non-white.

Another thing that irks me the wrong way appears in the comments section. Comparing isms to other isms. In this case, being bisexual and being a faux-vegetarian. It just doesn’t fly.

Yet, another thing that comes up in the comments in the opinion that I’ve heard many times: if I lived in poverty, I would be forced to eat meat because poor folks can’t tell the difference between meat and a potato. Furthermore, poor folks throw all moral convictions to the wind (if they do not eat meat for moral reasons, lets say) because, well, they are poor and therefore have no moral compass. ( Yes that was sarcasm folks). I suppose this idea comes from the belief that poor folk have to be appreciative of any food that comes their way and no poor person would turn away meat. I guess only self-respecting non-poor folks can decide what they do not want to eat.

*note on post title: I in no way want to be nonbrown. But I wonder if that’s what folks want to happen to us so we can avoid using icky labels such as “Mexican.”

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8 Responses to “If you click yr heels 3 times, you too can stop being brown”

  1. johanna Says:

    Hahaha, I totally didn’t dive into the comment thread at Feministing because I knew it would be fucking annoying. Looks like it was even worse than I thought. Why am I not surprised?

  2. Jose A. Says:

    I think its interesting that so many well intention European Americans rarely think about race (on a personal level) and so many POCs are reminded of it everyday. The attitude of color-blindness is not helpful.

    In terms of labels, not all labels are the same. External labels such as Latino and woman are obvious and should not be ignored if we are to have any kind of discussion about equality. Internal labels such as feminist or vegan are helpful when you define them for yourself. Not when they are imposed on you. However, even if one would define themselves with such a label, we have to remember that people are dynamic and they the right to change those labels as they see fit.

    BTW – I’m vegan and hold BA in Communication with a minor in Women Studies and I helped develop Latin-American Studies program at my school. Let me know if you need a blogger. I’m down.

  3. Jose A. Says:

    I think its interesting that so many well-intentioned European Americans rarely think about race (on a personal level) and so many POCs are reminded of it everyday. The attitude of color-blindness is not helpful.

    In terms of labels, not all labels are the same. External labels such as Latino and woman are obvious and should not be ignored if we are to have any kind of discussion about equality. Internal labels such as feminist or vegan are helpful when you define them for yourself. Not when they are imposed on you. However, even if one would define themselves with such a label, we have to remember that people are dynamic and they the right to change those labels as they see fit.

    BTW – I’m vegan and hold BA in Communication with a minor in Women Studies and I helped develop Latin-American Studies program at my school. Let me know if you need a blogger. I’m down.

  4. Jose A. Says:

    I think its interesting that so many well-intentioned European Americans rarely think about race (on a personal level) and so many POCs are reminded of it everyday. The attitude of color-blindness is not helpful.

    In terms of labels, not all labels are the same. External labels such as Latino and woman are obvious and should not be ignored if we are to have any kind of discussion about equality. Internal labels such as feminist or vegan are helpful when you define them for yourself. Not when they are imposed on you. However, even if one would define themselves with such a label, people are dynamic and they have the right to change those labels as they see fit.

    BTW – I’m vegan and hold BA in Communication with a minor in Women Studies and I helped develop Latin-American Studies program at my school. Let me know if you need a blogger. I’m down.

  5. Sara Says:

    that blog keeps pissing me off–I will not stop identifying as feminist, but damn…

  6. supernovadiva Says:

    yeah that pisses me off too. i just got a PETA email announcing that Ingrid sent a letter to Obama about since this nation is a melting pot, he should adopt a national mutt. people refuse to think.

  7. sorsofilia Says:

    The poverty-vegetarianism thing horrified me. When I try to avoid using labels it’s usually when someone is asking me what my religion is, or what party I vote for. But it did do me good to sit and think about why it really is so dangerous for people to adopt that colorblind attitude. I used to really take people’s word for it, in my naivete, not realizing that it’s much healthier to be conscious of and talk about the impossibility of instant colorblindness.

  8. johanna Says:

    Jose, I’ve e-mailed you about joining the blog. Thanks!


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