Vegans of Color

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

Hip Hop and Food August 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Royce @ 12:37 pm
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It took me a long time to get into hip hop. I got into punk music in middle school, and didn’t expand outside of punk and its offspring until college. So as my ideas on oppression grew, so did my new found crush on hip hop. Anyways there are three hip hop songs that I have liked at some point involving food, so I thought I’d share.

Beef and Broccoli

Immortal Technique used to a big deal here at Vassar. We know how liberal art students love appropriation. I used to really like Immortal Technique– in a few choice songs. Now I feel his blatant misogyny and homophobia definitely aren’t worth his tired (but still solid) critiques of liberal capitalism and racism. Though I always was disappointed in Immortal Techniques inability to see veganism as revolutionary, I realize because it has a lot to do with the way other artists portray veganism.

Be Healthy

Like Dead Prez. I love Dead Prez, and who can deny that lentil soup is mental fruit. Though this is one of their most apolitical songs, it still makes veganism sound so good.

Hood Diet

This is my new favorite song about food. A song about food justice– hell yes. By Loer Velocity featuring Donnan Linkz.

 

Keeping the Species Pure

Filed under: Uncategorized — Royce @ 9:39 am
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Hybridity!

Hybridity!

This post has very little to do with what is happening in the world of today, and perhaps I spend too much time thinking about the future, but this post is going to be a bit speculative. I’ve thought a bit about chimeras, specifically parahumans, for quite awhile. Basically since I heard about the rabbit/human embryo in China back in 2003. But I stumbled on stuff about it again this weekend, and the stuff freaked me out.
I’m not freaked out about the idea of human/non-human hybrids– I’ve accepted that they may very well one day share this planet with us. I’m more freaked out by the way people talk about them. I’m not the only one who takes this seriously– in 2005 the Brownback Bill, also known as the Human Chimera Prohibition Act of 2005, was in Congress. What the bill, and a lot of people are saying has a subtext of keeping the species pure. These hybrids are called subhuman (Why would we call them that?). There is a fear that if this happens we won’t be able to judge what is human and not. People really seem to hate the idea of a spectrum.
But why would people want to create chimeras— from what I’ve read it nowadays falls into medical research. The fact that animals aren’t great for vivisection cause some scientists to mix them with human DNA. And also there is the fact that in a speciesist world these chimeras if they ever come to exist as parahumans would be used for expendable tasks.
The thing is these chimeric beings could already exist, in a way. After all scientists have been putting human genes in animals for years– who knows what effects that has that we don’t know. There’s a scientist now that wants to replicate a human brain in mice. And people have been trying to make hybrids forever: there was ol’ Ivanov who spent his life trying to create human/ape hybrid soldiers for Stalin (using black and brown folks to mix with the apes). Thank god Ivanov didn’t have today’s knowledge of genetics.
So this fear of chimeras is based on speciesist claims that basically rely on a human supremacist view of the world, and animals. And the pro-chimera side is based on a speciesist, human supremacist claim to animals, and the ability to use them. As people who recognize the intersectionality of oppressions I feel we are in a unique place to think about the condition that these (for now) theoretical parahumans would be in. Besides the fact that the claims made now mirror (largely) outdated ideas about race, racial mixing, and using folks of color for medical research.