Vegans of Color

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

Four Recent Links August 31, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 12:18 pm
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Breeze Harper’s podcast is back, with a great episode on the links between speciesism & racism.

At the Vegan Ideal, Dani writes about whiteness & the AR2008 conference, linking to a post from a Rainforest Action Network attendee who notes:

the People of Color caucus that met earlier today asked to read a statement – calling for anti-oppression and anti-racist workshops at future AR conferences – and was denied the opportunity to speak.

In the comments of my post questioning the conference, it was suggested that bringing in race issues to AR spaces would be kind of a distraction from the real work of AR, something suggested more blatantly by folks responding to (& inspiring) this post.

pattrice jones is starting a Carnival Against Vivisection. The deadline for the first carnival is September 6th.

Josh of Herbivore talks about the (lack of) diversity in the models on the Herbivore site & what to do about it.


11 Responses to “Four Recent Links”

  1. […] 31, 2008 by Kanika Johanna @ Vegans of Color compiled a list of great links to peruse…Including a wonderful podcast from Breeze Harper (of the Sistah Vegan Project), […]

  2. Ico Says:

    OMG. Denied the opportunity to speak? That is really appalling. It just goes to show how little some of these conference organizers care about other forms of oppression that aren’t part of their — pardon the phrase — pet cause.

    The AR movement seems particularly blind to the elements of racism/white privilege that permeate it.

  3. But I believe it won’t be “blind” for long, as long as we keep talking about it, writing about it, etc. I’m hoping to break it open when I finish my dissertation that looks at the denial of
    “white racialized consciousness” (A term by Arnold Farr) within the Animal Rights and Vegan movement. But, that won’t be until 2011, probably… 🙂

  4. Ico Says:

    That sounds like an awesome dissertation subject! 😀

  5. FYI, from

    “When [Alaska’s gubernatorial] candidates were asked their favorite meal … Palin nailed it best,” according to Vogue magazine. “`Moose stew,’ she said, `after a day of snowmachining.'” And then when Vogue went to her parents’ home, “Buoys of all colors hung from the house and outer buildings. On the back of [Palin’s parents’] 4×4 a bumper sticker read, Vegetarian–Old Indian Word For `Bad Hunter.'”

    Shakesville commentary:

    “Gov. Palin is a “refreshing and bold” choice. That’s fine if you’re describing a new flavor of Diet Coke, but I don’t think Madison Avenue works when you’re selling a vice presidential candidate whose truck has the bumper sticker “VEGETARIAN: OLD INDIAN WORD FOR ‘BAD HUNTER'”. That supports gun rights and anti-Native American racism in seven words or less. That kind of “refreshing and bold” attitude is more suited to a Minuteman reunion.”

  6. breezeharper Says:

    On my August 18, 2008 podcast about Speciesism, Whiteness, Racialization and Racism, I talk about the links I have seen to maintaining racist attitudes through one’s relationship with non-human animals and systemic whiteness.

    Palin’s bumper sticker and her obvious speciesist philosophies, I would argue, fit into what I speak of on my podcast, which is why I still can’t fully understand why

    When I saw a picture of her, last week, sitting at her home, I became very scared. On her couch was a bear that had been killed and stuffed. I think it’s quite SCARY that the AR conference folk cannot see what is SO obvious to those of us who know that systemic whiteness (in the USA), racialization, racism, and human-nonhuman animal relationships are all connected.

    I say we start our own conference. “Animal Rights, Anti-Racism Pedagogies, and Breaking the Silence.”


  7. breezeharper Says:

    oops, I mean to say, “which Is why I still can’t fully understand why A LOT of people continue to ‘pretend’ that there is no link to AR and needed to understand this country’s (USA) interlinking history and current practices of of whiteness, racism, and non-human animal relationships.”

    Sorry about that.

  8. Doris Says:

    Did anyone else here participate in the POC caucus at AR2008? I attended the meeting on Saturday, but if there was a meeting on Sunday, I missed it.

    The title of this program at AR2008 is an indication of the presumption of Whiteness: “Engaging Ethnic Minorities (African-Americans, Latin Americans, Asian-Americans) ” One of the speakers on that panel even suggested that AR groups hire a person of color to reach out to other people of color. To her credit, a white woman who works for Farm Sanctuary said that she would feel very uncomfortable hiring a person of color for that purpose, and a different speaker agreed with her.

    This is a statement that the POC caucus wrote at an Earth First gathering:

  9. johanna Says:

    Doris — yeah, we talked about how bizarre the name of that program is here.

    I would love to hear more about the POC caucus if you or anyone else wants to share!

  10. Doris Says:

    We only met for an hour. It was organized by Jay from Philadelphia. The only time we had was lunch time because the schedule was so packed by the time Jay approached FARM, FARM said there was no time to schedule a POC caucus meeting but suggested we meet over lunch. There were probably 10-12 of us, but not all at the same time because people came and went during the hour. And there were definitely some POC at the conference who did not attend the POC caucus meeting. We all went around and introduced ourselves and talked about why there aren’t more POC at AR conferences. Are there fewer POC who are animal rights activists, or are there some issues that keep POC away from AR conferences? We agreed that we wanted to read some kind of statement during the banquet on Saturday, but there wasn’t enough time to write something. Three of us agreed to meet later that afternoon to write a statement. Jay knew someone who worked for FARM, and thought that she would be able to arrange for us to read the statement at the banquet.

    When we met in the afternoon, Jay showed me the statement from the Earth First gathering. He said that his FARM contact told him that Sunday night would be better for reading our statement instead of the Saturday banquet. Since we were no longer in a rush to write the statement, and we were all curious about the “Engaging Ethnic Minorities” session, we postponed writing our statement until after the banquet and we instead went to learn how to engage ourselves.

    That evening, after the banquet, Jay and I played phone tag and we never hooked up to write the statement. When I saw him on Sunday, I told him that I had to leave early, but that I was sure that whatever he wanted to write/say would be fine. I didn’t realize until I saw this blog that the POC caucus was never allowed to read a statement.

  11. johanna Says:

    Doris — thank you for this report! I totally get that conference schedules are packed & that it’s hard to make late additions, but the lunchtime-only thing seems a bit… I dunno.

    I would really like to hear from the person who denied the POC caucus their chance to speak — I’d love to hear their rationale.

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