Vegans of Color

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

Swine Flu… April 28, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Amie "Breeze" Harper @ 10:55 pm

…Okay, I couldn’t resist. I need to understand why why why the mainstream media (and people I meet) don’t seem to understand that the cruel treatment of non-human animals is rooted in pandemics like this. It’s like people are continuously surprised that if you forcefully pack 100,000 non-human animals in industrialized factory farmed facility, loaded with bacteria, torture, germs, etc, it’s a breeding ground for non-human animal to human animal viruses and bacteria….

Michael Greger’s work explored this a few years ago, no?

Just needed to vent…


VegNews is hiring an Associate Editor April 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Amie "Breeze" Harper @ 12:14 pm

VegNews is hiring! A friend sent this to me. Seriously, if I were not a full time PhD student and tending to a newborn, I’d send my CV to them and propose that I include a monthly section that focuses on the intersections of race, class, and the vegan experience.



“Food Policy and Health” April 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Amie "Breeze" Harper @ 11:06 pm

This was just emailed to me. I may write something with a vegan spin to it.

The Stanford Law & Policy Review seeks articles or short essays for
publication in the Stanford Law & Policy Review’s upcoming symposium
on “Food Policy and Health.”

The Stanford Law & Policy Review is an academic journal at Stanford
Law School that explores current issues at the nexus of law and public
policy. For each issue we solicit articles from prominent professors,
judges, lawyers, political leaders, regulators, economists, and other
experts (past contributors include then Governor Bill Clinton, Senator
John McCain, and Governor Jeb Bush).

Through this symposium, we would like to explore the many ways United
States policies directly and indirectly related to food have
consequences for national health, broadly-defined. We hope to address
all stages of the supply chain, including production, processing,
transportation, sales and consumption. We would particularly like to
highlight the ways agricultural production and the environment may be
connected to health through food policy.

We welcome submissions on any subject relating to United States food
policy and health including, but not limited to:
Structure and health-related effects of US agricultural subsidies, and
other provisions of the Farm Bill.
Food safety regulation at all stages of supply chain.
Regulations of food production relating to the environment, including
pesticides, agricultural water use, etc. and effects on health, and
other agricultural laws related to health, for example regulation of
antibiotic use.
Policy approaches towards nutrition, including school lunches and
measures aimed at obesity.
Marketing law, including marketing to children; labeling law,
including Country of Origin Labeling; and private labeling standards.
Regulation affecting food security and development of local and
sustainable food systems including zoning law and other regulation
related to urban agriculture.
Additionally, authors will be invited to present their articles at a
live symposium at Stanford Law School during the 2009 – 2010 academic
year. We will begin evaluating submissions for next year’s volume on
June 15, 2009, so please submit your article by that date if you are
interested in contributing. Articles should be between ten and forty
double-spaced pages, not including notes and citations. Please contact
us at your earliest convenience to discuss your submission. To submit
an article, please e-mail it to .


Veggie Pride comes to the UK April 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 9:13 am
Tags: , , ,

Next month, the first Veggie Pride Parade in the UK (warning: extremely garish webpage) will take place in Birmingham.

I’m still not excited about the use of “pride” by veg*n groups.


Coping with Unwelcoming Second Homes? April 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — dany @ 2:49 pm

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I call “race traitors” lately, or people who have found homes outside of the (social) locations deemed fit according to their race. One of my homes, with out a doubt, is within socially conscious vegan communities that understand animal rights issues to be related to other oppressions. However, within these spaces, there always seem to be people who don’t quite “get it,” and will inevitably offer some unwarrented racist and/or classist statement about people who inevitably “get what they deserved” in any given situation, ignoring the historical legacies or present realities of their material, emotional, and psychological lives.

One of the most traumatic experiences I had during a conversation on a generally conscious, anti-oppression internet community about police violence after the Oscar Grant shooting in January in Oakland. In response to the situation, a white vegan contributed very little to the conversation, announcing: “Apparently, he was a butcher” and suggested that his shooting was “karma”.

Whereas I have found the concept of rejecting expectations of racial social scripts to be useful, I realize that it requires emotionally expecting certain spaces to be “safe spaces,” without necessarily making them as such in a public way. With this, dear readers (and fellow VoC bloggers!) I ask you these two questions:

What experiences of rejection (as a person of color/against people of color) have you experiences/witnessed in (mainstream white) vegan communities?
How have you dealt with this (on an interpesonal level?)
How have you used these experiences to alter the way that you operate within these spaces to make them “safer” for all those who participate?
What sage words of wisdom can you share/


A Belated Congratulations

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 1:00 pm

This is way overdue, but VOC blogger Breeze Harper recently gave birth to Sun, a baby boy. Congratulations, Breeze!! I’m sure you’re a little busy right now (heh), but if & when you get the chance, I know folks would like to read your thoughts about VOC mamahood.


Vegan Protein Shake/Smoothie Recipes? April 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Amie "Breeze" Harper @ 2:41 pm

It’s Breeze Vegan Protein Green Monster Shake:

40 oz of water in a blender add: 1/4 cup of Hemp Nutiva Protein powder, 3 to 4 heaping tbsp of Jarrow Brown Rice Protein powder (or Nutribiotic Rice Protein Powder), 1/8 to 1/4 c of flaxseed oil, 1.5 tbsp of spirulina, 1 tbsp of alfalfa chlorophyll (brand: World Organic), 1 banana, 1 avocado.

Blend and enjoy. I usually drink half of the shake, then wait the next half hour to finish it. This shake has about 45-50 g of protein.

Anyone got any recipes they want to share?



The Complex Issues Behind Obesity and Children of Color April 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alicia @ 1:53 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Below is a recent article by the Associate Press. I think it is one of the rare articles that points out the unique set of problems that are facing children of color in the United States and how this is affecting their overall health. I thought this article to be especially important because, although we often discuss the disparities between Hispanic and African-American children and adults  versus our white counterpart in terms of obesity rates, rates of heart disease, type II diabetes, cancer, etc.  a group that is often overlooked is the Native American population which is highlighted in this article.

As a nutritionist and cultural anthropologist I am horrified at the growing number of obese and overweight children of all colors but especially that of “minority” children because it points to so much more than just poor food choices it points to the social and political barriers that are keeping our children from succeeding at the very basics of life – health.  I’m interested to hear/read your thoughts.

Study finds 1 in 5 obese among 4-year-olds
Apr 6, 2009  11:29 PM EST
CHICAGO – A striking new study says almost 1 in 5 American 4-year-olds is obese, and the rate is alarmingly higher among American Indian children, with nearly a third of them obese. Researchers were surprised to see differences by race at so early an age.

Overall, more than half a million 4-year-olds are obese, the study suggests. Obesity is more common in Hispanic and black youngsters, too, but the disparity is most startling in American Indians, whose rate is almost double that of whites.

The lead author said that rate is worrisome among children so young, even in a population at higher risk for obesity because of other health problems and economic disadvantages.

“The magnitude of these differences was larger than we expected, and it is surprising to see differences by racial groups present so early in childhood,” said Sarah Anderson, an Ohio State University public health researcher. She conducted the research with Temple University’s Dr. Robert Whitaker.

Dr. Glenn Flores, a pediatrics and public health professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, said the research is an important contribution to studies documenting racial and ethnic disparities in children’s weight.

“The cumulative evidence is alarming because within just a few decades, America will become a ‘minority majority’ nation,” he said. Without interventions, the next generation “will be at very high risk” for heart disease, high blood pressure, cancers, joint diseases and other problems connected with obesity, said Flores, who was not involved in the new research.

The study is an analysis of nationally representative height and weight data on 8,550 preschoolers born in 2001. Children were measured in their homes and were part of a study conducted by the government’s National Center for Education Statistics. The results appear in Monday’s Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Almost 13 percent of Asian children were obese, along with 16 percent of whites, almost 21 percent of blacks, 22 percent of Hispanics, and 31 percent of American Indians.

Children were considered obese if their body-mass index, a height-weight ratio, was in the 95th percentile or higher based on government BMI growth charts. For 4-year-olds, that would be a BMI of about 18.

For example, a girl who is 4 1/2 years old, 40 inches tall and 42 pounds would have a BMI of about 18, weighing 4 pounds more than the government’s upper limit for that age, height and gender.

Some previous studies of young children did not distinguish between kids who were merely overweight versus obese, or they examined fewer racial groups.

The current study looked only at obesity and a specific age group. Anderson called it the first analysis of national obesity rates in preschool kids in the five ethnic or racial groups.

The researchers did not examine reasons for the disparities, but others offered several theories.

Flores cited higher rates of diabetes in American Indians, and also Hispanics, which scientists believe may be due to genetic differences.

Also, other factors that can increase obesity risks tend to be more common among minorities, including poverty, less educated parents, and diets high in fat and calories, Flores said.

Jessica Burger, a member of the Little River Ottawa tribe and health director of a tribal clinic in Manistee, Mich., said many children at her clinic are overweight or obese, including preschoolers.

Burger, a nurse, said one culprit is gestational diabetes, which occurs during a mother’s pregnancy. That increases children’s chances of becoming overweight and is almost twice as common in American Indian women, compared with whites.

She also blamed the federal commodity program for low-income people that many American Indian families receive. The offerings include lots of pastas, rice and other high-carbohydrate foods that contribute to what Burger said is often called a “commod bod.”

“When that’s the predominant dietary base in a household without access to fresh fruits and vegetables, that really creates a better chance of a person becoming obese,” she said.

Also, Burger noted that exercise is not a priority in many American Indian families struggling to make ends meet, with parents feeling stressed just to provide basic necessities.

To address the problem, her clinic has created activities for young Indian children, including summer camps and a winter break “outdoor day” that had kids braving 8-degree temperatures to play games including “snowsnake.” That’s a traditional American Indian contest in which players throw long, carved wooden “snakes” along a snow or ice trail to see whose lands the farthest.

The hope is that giving kids used to modern sedentary ways a taste of a more active traditional American Indian lifestyle will help them adopt healthier habits, she said.

By LINDSEY TANNER     AP Medical Writer