Vegans of Color

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

A New Type of ‘Painting’ February 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — supernovadiva @ 7:37 pm

Ok this happened to me last summer, but I still have flashbacks of it. Don’t read this if you’re eating. I’ve enrolled my daughter in an early reading program at the library. Once a week they have a special guest to give lessons, be it puppets, safety etc. Well this time it was a rep. from a nature center. She was teaching the kids about insects. All well and good. There were handouts. Cool. But then she got to the project. The tables were covered and there was paint, so I thought my daughter was going to have some fun. I brought us closer to the table. The lady got out this container and told us we were going to dip maggots in the paint and let them crawl across the paper. SAY WHAT? I grabbed my daughter’s hand and slowly made our way to the outer limits of the group. I saw the faces of the other adults. They were not for this. What was bad is that most of kids were from a daycare on a library field trip. They were stuck. I can tell they, to be polite and pass the time until their bus came back, followed through with the project (only the 5- 8 year olds participated (summer program)). The nature rep. tried to assure us they weren’t dirty maggots since they grew in the center, not from the trash. Whatever lady. As I walked further away I heard her instruct the kids to be careful with them because she’s going to wash them off and use them for next time. NEXT TIME?!

I will save you some of the thoughts that went through my head because it fails in the language department (I pretty much used them all lol). I even whispered to the librarian, who also looked concerned, that the lady might as well suggest pulling roaches off the wall, dip them in paint and let them crawl as a home project.

First thing I asked in my head was “Did this lady bother to research her audience?” but then maybe I’m putting my neighborhood in a stereotype. I wouldn’t come up to a bunch of black/latino people and say, “Hey, let’s paint with maggots!” Then to I wouldn’t say that to anybody else, because that’s not how I party.

What are we teaching our children? There was no lesson in this at all. The prizes for the reading logs were animal based: circus tickets, free burgers and such (sponsor based). And now maggot painting.

I should note that at the end NOBODY took their paintings home.

Apparently this is a growing trend:
Here’s a nice video demo for you:


VegNews: Making The “Exotic” Safe For Privileged Western Vegans

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 12:55 pm
Tags: , , ,

VegNews is offering a “Great Adventure” to “exotic India.” Let’s take a look at the itinerary.

You’ll start off in Delhi, which they describe as “[r]uled by Hindus, Muslims and eventually the British” — & oh yeah, now India is actually an independent country, but the badly-written sentence doesn’t mention what happened after the British. Who cares, right?

Also scheduled is a visit to Jaipur, which “has intrigued and seduced travelers, wanderers, caravans and traders throughout history.” Yes, OOOOH EXOTIC. There you’ll “have dinner with a local family” for that oh-so-authentic touch of “traditional warm Rajasthani hospitality”. (I am reminded of how Thailand’s tourist industry bills it as the “Land of Smiles,” & how the Philippines is often referred to as full of friendly, helpful people. Shall we examine what might incentivize such behavior? Shall we look at what might motivate the West to view certain nations in these terms?)

You’ll also do yoga, by the way — I suppose you might be familiar with it since it’s such the rage in the West among health-conscious types like vegans. But I bet it’ll be even more enlightening when you do it in India!

Journeying to a “rustic yet charming” village, you’ll also enjoy traditional folk dancing & even stay with a Raja & his family in their palace! Because they’re the “long time friends” of the tour operators — I am sure the lure of commerce has nothing to do with why they might be hosting you!

In case you were possibly feeling a bit conflicted about your role as a rich Western tourist, never fear; after enjoying the Raja’s hospitality you’ll then head “to a local village school to donate, on behalf of the group, much needed school supplies and books and where [you’ll] be welcomed as honored guests of the students and teachers who have a special surprise waiting.” Phew! Nothing like a bit of band-aid charity to soothe the tourist soul (but make them earn it! Sure hope that surprise is a good one!). Then your conscience will be clear before that night’s attendance at an “auspicious Hindu ceremony.”

To continue with the extra-special-authentic nature of the trip, you’ll also visit a Bishnoi village. Bishnois are vegetarians & “many of their villages, like the one [you’ll] be visiting today – look quite similar to the way they have looked for hundreds of years.” Yay! Western tourists love to see earthy primitive brown people living like they have for hundreds of years! It’s so quaint! You’ll get to visit a village girls’ school & then enjoy a farewell party that the Raja’s family will throw in your honor — purely out of his affection for you, no doubt.

Next stop Udaipur, where you’ll traipse through “one of the five holiest sites in the Jain religion.” Don’t worry, I’m sure the temple is completely as it was before hordes of tourists started coming through! It will all still be totally authentic!

After some time at an animal sanctuary (that part does sound good), you’ll be off for a cooking class — so even after you return home, you can still have a bit of the Other with you whenever you want to cook an exotic dinner! Then yet more yoga & authentic folk music & dance as your trip winds down.

What’s that? Your luggage has exceeded the weight restriction for the airline? Well, yeah. Your Western cultural & financial privilege makes for a pretty heavy load.

(… & if anyone is going to comment suggesting that the point of this post is that no one should travel anywhere, then you’ve vastly missed the actual point of this post, so don’t bother.)