Vegans of Color

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

Week 2: Update on Vegans in the USA and Race/Ethnic Identification September 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. A. Breeze Harper @ 12:26 am

Hello everyone,

Below are the latest results of my survey. 917 people have responded thus far. My favorite write-in is number 49:

“If it is personal choice and not ancestry I choose Red, White, & Blue American.”

Followed by number 47:

“Asian/Asian American is not only insulting, it’s inaccurate. Looking at the geography of Asia, it’s pretty obvious that there’s no racial, ethnic commonality accross all of Asia, so this is an idiotic classification and inadequate. I’m Indian”

-Breezie

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Comment Summary
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If your racial/ethnic identification was not listed, please type it below.
# Response Date Response Text
1 Aug 26, 2009 10:04 PM Irish-Filipina
2 Aug 26, 2009 10:07 PM Afro-Latina Black woman of Puerto Rican descent but for your stats, if i had to choose, i’d prefer black vs. latina.
3 Aug 26, 2009 10:14 PM I do not racially identify because I have absolutely no reason to. My DNA points to European ancestry, but I don’t have any attachments aside from DNA to my ethnic heritage. Therefore, I am simply a US citizen who inherited mutated skin genetics.
4 Aug 26, 2009 10:14 PM biracial
5 Aug 27, 2009 12:01 AM Questions like this are VERY uncomfortable for me to answer. If I had to pick one of these it would be “Latina”, but I am very atypical in my Hispanic-ness. Culturally I was raised Hispanic (in the USA), but as an adult I really am not part of the Hispanic community at all and don’t relate to any other Hispanic-Americans, especially not in NYC. I also look Chinese-ish, and my mother is European descended and Puerto Rican-born. Unlike you, I just can’t really find any ethnicity to identify as.
6 Aug 27, 2009 12:02 AM Questions like this are VERY uncomfortable for me to answer. If I had to pick one of these it would be “Latina”, but I am very atypical in my Hispanic-ness. Culturally I was raised Hispanic (in the USA), but as an adult I really am not part of the Hispanic community at all and don’t relate to any other Hispanic-Americans, especially not in NYC. I also look Chinese-ish, and my mother is European descended and Puerto Rican-born. Unlike you, I just can’t really find any ethnicity to identify as.
7 Aug 27, 2009 12:54 AM We are all a mix really! I’m ¼ Finnish which is not Celtic or Germanic or Slavic but Finno-Ugric….& I’m 1/32 Cherokee!
8 Aug 27, 2009 1:10 AM South Asian (East Indian) American
9 Aug 27, 2009 1:34 PM Indian
10 Aug 27, 2009 3:34 PM I identify as white, but I am about 1/8 native american
11 Aug 27, 2009 4:03 PM Azkenazi/ Eastern European Jew
12 Aug 27, 2009 4:44 PM south asian
13 Aug 27, 2009 6:28 PM white and latina
14 Aug 27, 2009 7:25 PM I am a biracial Korean/Caucasian, but because my mother is an adoptee I consider myself more acculturated to whiteness (e.g. I grew up being treated “white”).
15 Aug 27, 2009 8:19 PM Middle Eastern and White European Descended
16 Aug 27, 2009 8:58 PM South Asian
17 Aug 27, 2009 9:03 PM Middle Eastern AND European
18 Aug 27, 2009 9:04 PM human race (the US census considers me white. I don’t identify with that though.)
19 Aug 27, 2009 9:44 PM plus about an 1/8th Cherokee
20 Aug 27, 2009 9:52 PM White and Middle Eastern
21 Aug 27, 2009 9:54 PM Ashkenazic Jewish
22 Aug 27, 2009 11:18 PM Chicano/a is how I self identify, though I accept Latino/a
23 Aug 27, 2009 11:42 PM Indian, South Asian
24 Aug 28, 2009 12:23 AM 3/4 white, 1/4 mexican
25 Aug 28, 2009 4:16 AM I am Irish and Potawatomi
26 Aug 28, 2009 1:08 PM Jewish
27 Aug 28, 2009 6:22 PM Mostly European and some Native American
28 Aug 28, 2009 7:05 PM Armenian
29 Aug 29, 2009 5:49 AM Chicana
30 Aug 29, 2009 10:07 AM portuguese
31 Aug 29, 2009 5:28 PM Born and raised in South Africa.Citizen of that country.
32 Aug 29, 2009 6:23 PM jewish
33 Aug 30, 2009 7:22 AM Jewish
34 Aug 30, 2009 4:53 PM korean/caucasian
35 Aug 30, 2009 6:03 PM Black/Asian American (Thai)
36 Aug 30, 2009 6:38 PM Asian but of Indian descent (yes, India is in Asia)
37 Aug 30, 2009 7:49 PM I’m European-descended, from Spain, though I have found that being from Spain sometimes means that you can list yourself as hispanic on official US documents, such as when you’re applying for financial aid, etc.
38 Aug 30, 2009 8:14 PM Spanish/Mexican American…not Latina
39 Aug 31, 2009 1:52 AM & Jewish, identify as white
40 Aug 31, 2009 5:05 AM Latina and White
41 Aug 31, 2009 6:24 PM Jewish
42 Aug 31, 2009 6:48 PM I am biracial (black and white). The multi-racial category doesnt indicate which racial/cultural influences have shaped who I am. So multiracial is less informative. Usually I just choose Black to makes sure that Black people are represented even though I occasionally pass for white.
43 Aug 31, 2009 7:31 PM white/hispanic
44 Aug 31, 2009 8:50 PM Jewish of Eastern European descent, which, outside of New York City is NOT considered white (just ask the KKK, you you’re of Jewish heritage, you’re not white)
45 Aug 31, 2009 10:37 PM South Asian (Indian-American)
46 Sep 1, 2009 1:00 AM ‘other’
47 Sep 1, 2009 1:21 AM Asian/Asian American is not only insulting, it’s inaccurate. Looking at the geography of Asia, it’s pretty obvious that there’s no racial, ethnic commonality accross all of Asia, so this is an idiotic classification and inadequate. I’m Indian
48 Sep 1, 2009 1:28 AM African Jamaican and African American
49 Sep 1, 2009 5:38 PM If it is personal choice and not ancestry I choose Red, White, & Blue American.
50 Sep 1, 2009 8:17 PM Irish/Native American
51 Sep 2, 2009 1:15 AM Jewish
52 Sep 2, 2009 1:41 PM hispanic
53 Sep 2, 2009 2:07 PM I am mostly white but also some Cherokee.
54 Sep 2, 2009 5:05 PM 25% itailan,25% cuban and 50% American?
55 Sep 2, 2009 7:53 PM Indian
56 Sep 3, 2009 4:36 AM Dominican/Jewish
57 Sep 3, 2009 5:05 PM with 1/32 Cherokee
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10 Responses to “Week 2: Update on Vegans in the USA and Race/Ethnic Identification”

  1. PS: When I say these are my favorite write-in comments, I mean it’s interesting from a scholarly point of view to understand how each individual in the USA, conceptualizes their ethnic/racial identity…or does not and gets upset about it.

  2. dany Says:

    “Jewish of Eastern European descent, which, outside of New York City is NOT considered white (just ask the KKK, you you’re of Jewish heritage, you’re not white)”

    because we should all base our racial identity on what the klan says…

    • Alicia Says:

      Yeah I found that comment to be very interesting. As if New York City is the only progressive place in America and everywhere else is Klan infested and full of hate.

      Thanks for posting these Breeze! I’m learning so much from people’s response.

      • Ruchama Says:

        Well, I’m Jewish and grew up in the NY area, and always considered myself white and was considered white when I was growing up, but as an adult, living in various places around the country, people have questioned whether or not I’m white, because I’m Jewish.

        (I’m going to have to ask my sister whether she’s ever gotten similar comments. I’ve got dark hair and eyes and olive skin — people who look at me and try to figure out my ethnicity will frequently pick either Italian or Puerto Rican. My sister has light brown hair, pale skin, and green eyes. The comments that I’m thinking of were definitely directed at the fact that I was Jewish, but I’m wondering whether Jewish people who look more obviously white get the same kind of comments.)

        In the survey, I checked the box for “white” and also wrote “Ashkenazi” in the section for filling in more, because the question asked for race/ethnicity. If it had only asked for race, I would have only put white, but since it asked for ethnicity, I put that, too.

  3. neva Says:

    I listed myself as white, even though I know I have some Native American and some African ancestry too. Because I look so white and am treated as white, it’s hard to say anything else without being laughed at, but I don’t feel like the word “white” adequately describes my genetics, my cultural background, or many other aspects. But I think it does describe a certain amount of privilege I have just from looking a certain way. It’s just a tough question I guess. My father looks more mixed race and is sometimes identified as such by others–like they’ll ask “You’re part black, right?” (only African Americans ever ask him that actually) and/or “What exactly is your ethnicity?”

  4. Holly Says:

    1/32 Cherokee just might be a record for white people being vaguely/falsely related to American Indians.

  5. Tiffany Says:

    If everyone is to list their specific combination of racial & ehtnic heritage, what was the point of the “Multi-racial” option already represented with the purple bar next to it…?

    • Because there are people I meet who consider themselves, “multi-racial” and don’t want to list all their racial/ethnic heritages. And then there are people who don’t identify as “multi-racial” and want to write how they personally identify. some people don’t want to identify with “racial” or “race” at all, and you can see that in some of the answers. I just want people to have as many options as possible.

  6. Jarrod W.C. Says:

    I am vegan, my ethnicity is half African-American and half white


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