Vegans of Color

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

Race & Class in Ethical Consumption & Sustainability Movements May 20, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 2:27 pm
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Somehow I didn’t hear about this before, but there was a recent call for papers (the deadline for abstracts has already passed, sorry! is extended until August 1) for a new anthology edited by Breeze Harper (of the Sistah Vegan Project): Race and Class Consciousness: Contradictions, Resolutions, and Reconciliation in the Ethical Consumption and Eco-Sustainable Movements.

An excerpt:

The alternative foods, ethical consumption, and environmental sustainability movements in the USA, have grown exponentially in the past decade. The fusion of white racialized consciousness, 1st Worldism, and middle/upper class experience drives the formulation of “ethics”, “morality”, and “sustainability” that the “status quo” dominating these movements espouse. Rarely, if ever, has the status quo of these movements written about how [white] racialized consciousness and class status impact their philosophies and advocacy of animal rights, veganism, fair trade, ecosustainable living, etc., in the USA. Deeper investigations by academic scholars have found that collectively, this “privileged” demographic tends to view their ethics as “colorblind”, thereby passively discouraging reflections on white and class privilege within alternative food movements (Slocum 2006) and animal rights activism (Nagra 2003; Poldervaart 2001). Consequently, academic scholars such as Dr. Rachel Slocum feel that rather than fostering equality, “alternative food practice reproduces white privilege in American society”. (Slocum 2006, 13) This oversight deserves critical redress if the goals of these movements are to be globalized and accessible to people of color and low-income people.

The discouragement about reflections on white & class privilege has definitely been more than just “passive” from readers of this blog at times, especially lately, although obviously the passive discouragement is a big player as well. As one of my favorite LiveJournal icons says, “White privilege: you’re soaking in it.”

I can’t wait to read this anthology! On another Breeze Harper note, last I heard, the Sistah Vegan Project anthology is due out sometime this summer. Yay!