Vegans of Color

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

The Face(s) of Veganism in Bristol November 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 6:14 pm
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I’ve been absent from the blog for a few weeks due to relocating from New York City to Bristol, England (sorry to have missed out on some good discussion from folks!). There seem to be a lot of vegans here — or at least in my neighborhood — but I haven’t yet met any vegans of color.

I did spot one veg*n of color, or at least someone pretending to be one: Animal welfare group Viva is holding a Christmas Veggie Roadshow in Bristol soon, & I noticed immediately on picking up one of their flyers that the person shown was a woman of color (scroll down on their banner page to see the image). I thought that was kind of neat — though what’s with the Carmen Miranda thing?

My new neighborhood, Easton, sports a radical community center that does a weekly vegan brunch. I’ve only gone once so far, but hope to go more regularly, because I think it’s an awesome thing. But (you knew there was a but, right?) I couldn’t help but notice that everyone I saw at the brunch seemed to be white. In a neighborhood that, to my eye at least, seems to be predominantly of color.

Also nearby is Cafe Maitreya, an award-winning veg*n restaurant. It is indeed very tasty — my partner and I went last year when we were visiting — but rather expensive. I could be wrong, but given the economic statistics I’ve seen for our neighborhood, I am assuming that it’s mostly not locals keeping the restaurant afloat.

There’s obviously a lot of context I don’t have, given how new I am to the area, but I was struck by how in these two instances veg*nism seemed to be a marker, in some ways, of outsider status. This all connects to more thinking I need to do about my own place in the neighborhood, with regards to gentrification & other similar issues. And again, these are all just quick impressions that I’ve gotten over the few weeks that I’ve been here. I look forward to learning more… and also hopefully meeting other vegans of color, of course!

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One Response to “The Face(s) of Veganism in Bristol”

  1. Doris Says:

    It’s great that you’ve got a community center with a vegan brunch!

    I was at a free environmental seminar today, sponsored by a government agency, and in a roomful of 50+ environmentalists, there was only one other person of color, as far as I could tell.

    I was also disheartened to read in one of the handouts that we should be buying free-rage meat and eggs, and hormone-free milk.

    I hope you meet some vegans of color soon!


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