Some funky-fresh dope pro-vegan pro-Earth Afro-positive bars and imagery for y’all. Lyrics over here. Music by Djelimady Tounkara.
“Vandana Shiva is the general…”
Some funky-fresh dope pro-vegan pro-Earth Afro-positive bars and imagery for y’all. Lyrics over here. Music by Djelimady Tounkara.
“Vandana Shiva is the general…”
This means we need more veganism. We need more blacks on bikes. We need to set examples of sustainability, wise land stewardship practices based on both traditional and scientific knowledge, and more cooperation with our planet instead of the prevailing attitude of dominion. Lest we forget, and I cited NASA here being a space nerd and science lover, but this is our only planet.
More veganism? Because if crop productivity is going to continue to drop with climate change – especially in Africa – then one of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters (responsible for 20-50% of greenhouse gasses by various enumerations and estimates), the meat industry, must be dismantled and collapsed by our consumer and advocacy power. Not only that, but we must really begin to beat into our collective skull that it makes no sense to have animals chew the land bare and then eat them, when we will feed ourselves so much better and more efficiently if we cultivate and chew of the land ourselves directly.
More blacks on bikes? Why not? Need to usurp and practice transportation modalities and other lifestyle choices that are of lowest impact, are healthiest, are closest to human scale, and are future proof for a hot planet. Talking about colored people composting. Talking about growing gardens instead of lawns. Talking about collective urban farming. Talking about more folks on the street conversant on the idea of a carbon footprint for every consumer choice they make. Talking about rain-water harvesting in the hood (it’s getting drier too). Talking about no-impact brown and black women and men.
Talking about planting trees as a revolutionary act.
This is serious and time-sensitive. Given that whole species are going extinct over this right now, we have it easy, and we have an opportunity. Thanks, NASA.
So I haven’t posted in a long time. My reasoning being that I actually needed to focus on my studies during my senior year. But now I’m done with school for at least a year, and I’ve just settled into my new home in Philly where for the next year I’ll be working at a youth crisis center.
So now I live in Germantown, which is the hood for the most part (the thing about Philly is that economic classes really go block by block), and let me tell you: being vegan is hard here. I knew it would be. We all know how bad those corner stores are, but I’m going to make it my goal to truly explore the gross options that are around me.
Like ecosustainable vegan hip hop? Check out the amazing new album by young Denver brotha, DJ CaveM. My favorite song is Wheatgrass. He is amazing people! Wish there were more young brotha hip hop artist role models like him: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/cavemmoetavation. Click on the image to buy.
Who is DJ Cavem Moetavation?
Ietef Vita is DJ Cavem Moetavation. He is an internationally known Hip-Hop Artist, Environmental Advocate, Youth Advocate and political genius. He is currently employed as an Eco-cultivator at Denver’s Blue and Yellow Logic, a company devoted to transforming empty lots in urban communities into thriving and vibrant gardens. He is from the hood, loves the hood and wants to uplift the hood through educating and “moetavating” his community. DJ Cavem uses music and words as his tool to not only rock a crowd, but to more importantly bring justice to the environment of the hood.
Blue & Yellow Logic, The GrowHaus & Environmental Sustainability
The goal of Blue & Yellow Logic is to teach urban communities how to support themselves and the environment with this sustainability project. No back yard plots here. The gardens cover city blocks and provide enough food to feed several families throughout the year. Here Cavem supervises a soil delivery to agarden managed by the Eastside Grower’s collective. The project is gaining local and national attention. Recently, Blue & Yellow Logic has made arrangements to develop gardens at the office of Colorado Senator Michael Johnston and The Swansea-Elyria Aquaponic Green House, Growhaus Project in order to provide free organic food to the community.
This thoughtful young artist is no airy-fairy performer. Along with gardening comes teaching positive health practices. He engages youth in such forums as the Brown Sugah Fest panels promoting positive and holistic health and Peace Jam; a community music event targeting youth and engaging them in music, health and community activism practices. He encourages both young and old to take care of the environment, develop creativity, and practice behaviors which lead to peace. Contact us if you are interested in DJ Cavem doing a presentation at your school.
DJ Cavem’s Music
DJ Cavem is an international performer having performed in Africa, Europe and throughout the United States. His work has been recognized by such greats as Hazel Miller, Gil Scott Heron and Erykah Badu.
DJ Cavem is a prolific composer and writer. He has five albums available. The fifth album Deep Rokc is available on itunes and amazon now! DJ Cavem’s sixth Album, The Teacher’s Lounge, release date of July 30, 2010, features music inspired by Cavem’s love of HipHop culture, his advocacy for youth, environment and community and his deep rooted value of knowledge. Get ready for this hard hitting, socially conscious release.
DJ Cavem is available for commisions for writers, film makers and other artists. Contact us if you desire music for your art or filim project.
Live Performances, DJ & MC work:
DJ Cavem is available for solo performances as well as live performances with his band, Moetavation. Cavem can MC your special event and draw a crowd just because of his presence. See our booking page for more detailed information on how to book Cavem.
School Lectures and Assemblies:
DJ Cavem enjoys working with youth and sharing how to engage today’s world from a perspective of self-empowerment. He provides interactive classroom presentations as well as performances for your school’s assemblies, instructing youth in environmental, social, community and self awareness.
Non-profit & Corporate presentations:
DJ Cavem also facilitates lectures and panels for non-profit and corporate events. He has lectured at the Denver, Colorado, San Francisco, CA, and Chicago, IL Green Festivals. He provides workshops for youth and adults on urban sustainability at Denver’s GrowHaus Greenhouse project.
What’s it worth to you to have good vegan recipes? Would it bother you to pay money to a publishing company run by an abuser? (more info here; linkdump here.) This cookbook has gotten a lot of positive reviews, but I won’t buy it because I can’t stomach giving money to Microcosm.
Probably a lot of people reading this blog, who may have this cookbook or be thinking about ordering it, won’t know the story behind its publisher. Given that people have been speaking up about this recently, I thought it would be good to add my voice to theirs. I am thankful for the bravery of people speaking out. Because there’s backlash. There’s always backlash. I know the arguments that will be used to dismiss any concerns about Microcosm here; I have been hearing them for years, in the largely non-public discussions about the issue of abuse in zine/activist/punk rock/whatever communities in general & Joe Biel in particular. And every excuse given to defend Joe Biel & denigrate those critiquing him I’ve seen used before to defend other abusers.
People say, have said, will say: who cares, they sell good zines! We can’t boycott everybody! Every company has something bad about them! The good done by these zines outweighs any bad done by Joe Biel! He said he’s sorry! Are we really sure Alex is telling the truth? It’s one person’s word against another! (& why, why should we believe women who say they have been abused?) She’s just jealous! It’s just blown-up zinester drama! Blah blah blah ad nauseum.
I’m going to moderate comments to this post pretty closely: if you are thinking of throwing out any of those trite dismissive arguments, your comments are subject to deletion.
Sure, some of Ploeg’s recipes sound delicious. But do I need to have them at the cost of supporting a company whose head purports to support anarchist & feminist ideals, yet enacts precisely the opposite?
No. That cost is too high. As Alex says:
So, the question is do I think people should support Joe Biel and Microcosm? If you think survivors of abuse should be believed, supported and respected and you believe abusers should be held accountable to their community and those they have hurt then I think you know my answer.
This essay concerns food security, economic counting systems and third world solidarity more than veganism per se.
An article published in today’s New York Times reports on efforts in India to enshrine access to food as a constitutionally protected right, a law its proponents expect could enable the food-insecure to make their own market choices to purchase food with food coupons or cash, instead of waiting for monthly 77 pound bags of grain, sugar and kerosene under the current regime. The article also goes on to highlight statistics about how India’s poverty is more widespread and intense than Africa’s, despite the “Tiger” rebranding and annual economic growth rate. A report compiled in India Current Affairs in July also highlights these poverty rankings, comparing the one Indian state of Madhya Pradesh in the country’s center with the entire Democratic Republic of Congo, both of similar population (though the Congo’s size is more comparable to India in its entirety), and finding the same levels of deprivation, even with DRC’s wars (though Madhya Pradesh is not without Naxalites and other struggles for land and resources between communities and multi-national mining and other interests, not unlike DRC).
On the one hand, the expectation around the world seems to be of Africa as the world’s eternal poverty yardstick. This in spite of similar levels of conventionally measured economic growth in a number of Sub-Saharan countries that approach such activity as seen in India in recent years. By comparing favorably to Africa, a government should have license to claim progress in the war on poverty – that’s the ridiculous, racist assumption, an assumption of development stasis.
On the other more important hand, these rankings and contests, especially as presented in the links mentioned above, are patently absurd in themselves, ignoring the basic fact that most of the annual GDP growth measures the rise in income of mostly exclusive urban, male, elite high-end sectors which determine and direct mining, cash-crop, real estate (land displacement), and [cheapest] labor configurations which exclude vast rural populations, whether in India, Congo, or Colombia. Human beings are impoverishing other human beings – not continental geographies. And the story is similar in most geographies including those concerned in this essay – Adivasis in rural Chhattisgarh struggle to hold on to their land in the face of “Memoranda of Understanding” signed by illegitimate politicians to mining interests to violently displace the people from their land, similarly to how Niger Delta militants attack oil infrastructure and kidnap oil workers in response to land displacement and ecosystem destruction by a half century of oil exploitation by foreign corporations in happy concert with local state governments and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Once you understand neo-colonialism and neoliberal market economics, these patterns can be easily understood as to how they determine poverty and struggle around the third world. Malnutrition and poverty propagate fastest and most consistently wherever governments fail to prioritize enabling peripheral population groups to exact their own capacity to cultivate, live and eat of the land. Changes in the environment, and dietary demands which may place undue stress on the ecosystem and reduce its carrying capacity, may further impede nutrition and food security, as predominates in Sahelian countries that currently suffer serious drought. But policy-makers in much of the third world more often than not do not care, since they do not share the same fate as those far beyond the capitals, the urban and privileged spaces where they bury their heads, forgetting what rural populations go through, forgetting they exist.
I think that in itself, that food security should become a constitutional and human right anywhere is excellent. But a shifting in societal priorities would be a more lasting solution, towards actually considering the plights of women, of agriculturalists, and enabling their self-determination while the wealth of the nation focuses first on human and ecological needs rather than profit for exploitative corporations and salaries for ministers and bureaucracies.
Why focus on these poverty contests, with Africa at level zero? These statistics only measure those who, already in positions of control over powerful economic interests, are getting richer as they exploit more underpaid, vulnerable workers, and the land those workers may have been displaced or evicted from. These statistics don’t measure women’s reproductive work, don’t measure broader levels of quality of life that get inflated by those at the very top, even while the masses at the bottom suffer more dispossession and malnutrition year after year.
Human solidarity is to be encouraged instead. The same problems in Nigeria or Congo are found in India, Bangladesh, Indonesia or Peru, the same exact identical types of fierce corruption, the same exact types of high-official sellouts, the same exact identical types of Western aspirationalism and mimicry, the same exact types of ideological and religious extremisms and hysterias which cripple the masses from thinking critically and boldly enough to challenge the regimes that cause their suffering, the same exact multinationals praying on their resources, human and natural, to be exploited to the lowest common denominator. The same exact types of ignorance forced upon the masses with the absence of schools and the tolerance of illiteracy, despite official claims to the contrary. The exact same types of oppression of labor activists and human-rights campaigners and journalists. The exact same types of classisms and casteisms that compel generations to accept their designated desperation. The same exact types of false democracies in which the people do not have choice or voice in the structural economic questions of society, only at best over the latest personality who says the prettiest things or just looks pretty, but in power does little to nothing of the good he or she promised.
Thus I reject poverty contests. Instead, I move towards human collaboration and solidarity in the third world in pursuit of revolution! Towards the African revolution, the South Asian revolution, the Latin American revolution, the world revolution! Towards human-based economics! Towards the end of rapacious capitalism, the end of the rush to privatize water, seeds and land! Towards human and community-level self-governance and self-determination! Towards the humanization of labor such that people are not reduced to pack mules to produce Wal-Mart products at competitively lower and lower wages in ever more dangerous workplaces!
Towards human development work which is interested in human development, not numbers nudging and statistics masturbating.
In this video, I speak of my call for help for my dissertation work. For my work, I would like to incorporate and analyze black female vegans who merge a black feminist/womanist/critical race/ vegan consciousness into their social justice activism. If you think you fit the criteria, please send me an email at breezeharper (at) gmail (dot) com . I am looking for critical reflections from black female vegans activists who offer open minded critiques of racism, ableism, homophobia, fatphobia, transphobia, classism, normative whiteness and speak of how opposition against these ‘isms’ are incorporated into their vegan consciousness and activism.