Vegans of Color

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

absolutely vegan, absolutely anthrocentric? December 21, 2009

This is my attempt to share some thoughts I’ve shared with my housemate and friend, R.

Ant & Aphids


Veganism is the refusal to consume animals, or their byproducts. It is a simplified definition, and veganism is far more complex than just one simple sentence. But when I, and most people, explain what veganism is we generally use some variation of that sentence. Veganism is usually seen as an absolute— you either are a vegan or you are not.

Anthrocentrism is the belief that humans are, and/or should be, the center (of the world, the cosmos, culture, society, etc). This definition is also simplified.

As an ethical vegan I refuse to consume animal products to diminish the number of animals that suffer and die. My focus is on ending the suffering of animals.

And perhaps you were expecting an “and” at the end of that sentence.

“…and to end their use by human beings,” I should say.

But I’ll return to use in a moment.



These “Herbivores” May Still Eat Animals

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 2:52 pm
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It’s pretty easy to find examples of media in the West that tie meat-eating to manliness. Connected to this, NPR reports that in Japan, men who are taking on traditionally feminine traits are known as “herbivores.”

Described as “a quiet army of sweet young men with floppy hair and skinny jeans,” they may prefer “sewing, baking and crocheting clothes for [their] stuffed animals,” as does the protagonist of one TV show said to be popular among herbivores.

Though the story features a Sweets Club, for men who like desserts, nothing else about diet is mentioned. The mere idea of non-standard masculinity is enough to brand you as a wimpy leaf-eater, it seems — nothing in this story indicates that the men are, in fact, herbivoric in diet.

The story also demonstrates how manliness — or lack of — is tied to capitalism, economic productivity, & presumably providing for the family (& lustily creating one, of course): “But there are fears about the financial and social impact of herbivores. Their low levels of spending and lack of interest in sex invoke two of Japan’s biggest problems: its lackluster economy and declining birthrate.”

So if “herbivores” are men acting in un-manly ways, what about women acting in non-womanly ways? They’re carnivores: “economically empowered working Japanese women who know what they want.”

(Hat tip to Absolutely Fobulous for the link.)