Vegans of Color

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

More on Veg*nism & Economic Privilege, & Non-Exotifying Veg Writing April 10, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 6:18 pm
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In the comments of Noemi’s post here about veganism & white privilege, reader Hortencia mentioned her experiences in Mexico, where folks told her that they were vegan because they couldn’t afford meat.

Today, via The Animals Voice*, I came across this article about veg*nism in Russia, which says the following:

With the largest part of the population living in the countryside until 1917, the Russian cuisine is based on the cooking of peasants. Syrnikov notes that meat was a rare ingredient in rural meals. “Peasants would eat meat only on holidays. It was hard to get, hard to store, and also there was a lot of fasting to do. They would cook it to store and eat very little of it.”

I realize generally Russians tend to the whiteness. But obviously race/ethnicity, nationality, class, immigrant status, etc. all intersect with each other. I just wanted to point out another instance where someone is talking about veg*nism not as a sign of privilege, but as a result of lack of privilege.

I admit I clicked on the link because the article is called “Mastering Russian Veggies,” & I thought it might be some gross exoticization/fetish-y/stereotype-y thing.

On a related note, I just got the most recent issue of Vegetarian Journal (which, despite the name, is vegan as far as I can tell). There’s an article on African cuisines, & while I was guarded reading it, I thought it did a fair job of not exotifying. No mystical African spices or anything.

* Shouldn’t it be “Animals’ Voice” with an apostrophe? Yes, yes, I know: I’m a smitty (for those of you who remember that term from the heyday of Sassy).