Vegans of Color

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

“Got Colon Cancer? Then You Should Have Gone Vegan” August 24, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. A. Breeze Harper @ 9:40 am

Originally posted on The Sistah Vegan Project:

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“The other day, I heard that one of my colleagues at work was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Well, serves him right. He has been consuming dead corpses every damn day for lunch. Every other week, he’s telling us how he went to some restaurant or BBQ party and had ‘the best ribs ever.’ Well, we reap what we sow. I don’t need to worry about colon cancer shit because I’ve been vegan for 12 years and am never going back to being a dead corpse muncher.”

Since becoming vegan, I have run into these above types of stories and/or comments a plethora of times. My initial response is both sadness and disgust, mixed with a lot of confusion. I find a lot of these comments entrenched in anger and rage, fundamentalism and judgmentalism. It’s a strange ‘narrative’ one uses to convince themselves that their born-again-veganism (as most folk…

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3 Responses to ““Got Colon Cancer? Then You Should Have Gone Vegan””

  1. Oshun 2.0 Says:

    Breeze: I understand your deep commitment to veganism, but you have to understand that the experience of a human being dying, another sentient being, is just as important as respecting the lives of animals. To say someone deserves to die for what you consider poor dietary choices is out of line. It would be asinine if I said a cow deserved to die because it was born into factory farming conditions, no? Saying that a man deserves a slow painful death because he was born into a form of modernity with animal-consumption as a dominant trope is a comparably misplaced accusation. Having watched my aunt slowly waste due to colon cancer, I cant engage with punitive ideas around the deservedness of the cancer-stricken and I dont think thats a good way to promote veganism as empathic. Just as we cant tolerate racism and veganism in the same house (i.e. poorly presented PETA campaigns appropriating border-crossing), we cant treat the loss of another human life as a deserved pain because the cancer-stricken lead omnivorous lives. Its great to be committed to your stance but its not ok to frame cancer as just desserts.

    Best, Folayemi

  2. Folayemi, please don’t take offense, but did you read my entire post? It is a critique against the harsh fundamentalist and judgmentalist vegans who think it is okay to blame people for becoming sick or getting hurt ‘because they aren’t vegan.’

  3. John T. Maher Says:

    Breeze that was spot on. Folayemi has a point which valid to some extent that maybe your colleague was raised within a set of values where s/he did not know better than to examine the choices and reject meat. However, his death should serve as a guide for others interested in their own colons if they lack other ethical considerations.I had a similar reaction “serves them right, maybe someone will learn not to eat meat now.” during the mad cow disease outbreak in Britain. A colleague of mine wrote a book, Meatononomic$ which discusses how taxpayers are forced to subsidize the healthcare of meat by not including the cost of meat related diseases in the price of meat sold.So I would add to your comment that while the person with colon cancer should have expected such an outcome, it is too bad our culture will pay for the choice to eat meat.


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