Vegans of Color

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

Understanding Intersectionality & Food: How to Get It Wrong June 3, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 7:55 pm
Tags: , , , ,

My recent post about Breeze Harper’s anthology on race & class in sustainability/ethical consumption movements is being discussed at Alas, A Blog, & by someone blogging at the Atlantic. The latter post is particularly textbook. It’s short, so I’ll quote it in its entirety:

I genuinely don’t understand this. I’m pretty comfortable with the concept of privilege, but I fail to see how my choices in foodstuffs contribute to it. I’d order the book to find out, except that it sounds very, very silly.

Yeah, because race & class issues are “very, very silly.” To some folks more than others; more often those who don’t have to deal with them personally, I’ve found.

I’m also bemused that supposedly Erik Marcus commented to say, “The book might sound a good deal less silly if only every sentence at the website you’ve linked to wasn’t so poorly written.” I’m assuming it’s a troll hoping to stir up some vegan infighting, although who knows? Maybe Erik Marcus really has nothing better to do than critique our writing styles.

Several comments on both posts seem to be expressing some disbelief that food & diet could be in any way tied to class or race. They also seem to focus mostly on consumption (ie. what access do certain groups have to fresh, local food?). But as posts on this blog have demonstrated over & over again, there’s much more to the story than that. Like any movement, veg*nism, animal rights, & sustainability movements are affected by the biases of the societies they spring from. And that plays out in who is encouraged to join, what tactics & rhetoric get used, etc. Focusing solely on food security/access — which is very important, don’t get me wrong — ignores so much. It’s a little bewildering to see all these people stubbornly refusing to see this, but then I guess that’s what privilege is all about, huh?


One Response to “Understanding Intersectionality & Food: How to Get It Wrong”

  1. Elaine Vigneault Says:

    This comment highlights an issue that seems right up Vegans of Color’s alley:
    It’s about being the allies of allies – how people in China who oppose animal testing don’t have the political freedom to express their opposition.

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