Vegans of Color

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

Livestock Welfare: Much Room to Improve in Japan April 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maho Cavalier @ 2:57 am


The Five Freedoms are basic ideals of welfare for farm animals, like livestock and poultry, wherever the animals may be, such as at farms, markets, slaughterhouses, or in transit, and should be applied by anyone in charge of the animals or handling them.
1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst – by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.

2. Freedom from Discomfort – by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.

3. Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease – by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.

4. Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour – by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.

5. Freedom from Fear and Distress – by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
The concept of “live stock welfare” stemms  from the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (FAWAC:an independent advisory body established by the Government in 1979) in UK.  In Japan, the idea of animal welfare is rather new.  Let alone, farmhouse whose stockmanship conceded toward 5 freedoms is low.  However FAWAC states that, “Stockmanship, plus the training and supervision necessary to achieve required standards, are key factors in the handling and care of livestock.”

A lot of people would wonder about the word “animal” and “welfare.”  Please remember that the livestock has as complex nerve system as humans and they feel pain and have emotions.  They need to be treated ethically and should have freedom to move around.

I visited a slaughter house that was run by the local government in Hokkaido in 2007.  Slaughter houses have a death laden air around them.  High pitched machinery sound spreads out, but that is actually the sound of pig screaming.  In the back of the building, the drain had dark red streams.  The smell that seems like fresh and blood also covers the place.  The whole scene is haunting.  Pigs are terrified, since they know that are killed soon, just like the other pigs were.  Before death, they wait in a packed small stall, trenching and crying for help.  Some are pasing and some are deadly depressed.
The slaughterhouse in Hokkaido had a memorial grave stone for slaughtered animals there.  Workers go there to commemorate the lost lives and pains that the animals had to have.  If the good conscience arises strongly sometimes in their lives, things may change for the livestock gradually.

Cheap yakiniku, yakitori, ramen shops are everywhere in Tokyo, or any cities in Japan.  Each one of them use and waste tons of meat and food.  When sitting in front of a deliciously looking food at restaurant , even if your conscience reminds you about the terrified pigs, but the aroma pulls you.   However the conscience is the key to change the vicious cycle of the current mass produced meat industry.


Why I Love My Mother (and other family too) April 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meilani @ 12:51 pm

Let me start off by saying that my mother is not a vegan. She isn’t a vegetarian, either. But she is open-minded. Before I went vegan I heard countless horror stories of vegans who had abrasive, antagonistic, sometimes all around cruel family members. I almost felt like telling my mother I was queer would end up being a walk in the park compared to telling her I was vegan, just based on others’ experiences. But the support not just from my mother, but all of my family has been a blessing and truly overwhelming. My mother loves my vegan lemon bars. My younger brothers (and their friends) gobble up any cookies or cakes I throw their way, and were even willing to try soymilk. A lot of my family members, especially elders, had never heard of a vegan, let alone interacted with one. I spent one afternoon explaining to my partner’s grandmother exactly how it is that one bakes cakes, cookies, and pies with no butter, milk, or eggs (she loves my chocolate chip scones, by the way). What I’m trying to say is that my fears turned out to be groundless. I went home for the holidays and my family ate the vegan pot of greens I cooked and no one commented on missing the meat usually used for flavor. This isn’t to say that there aren’t those of us who struggle with family gatherings or even just simple conversation because of our choice, but sometimes it can feel like becoming vegan means preparing for a battle within our families. I just wanted to share my positive experiences.


Truly Living Well Natural Urban Farms

Filed under: Uncategorized — supernovadiva @ 4:39 am

The gardening movement is one that’s close to my heart. This is how you get food to the people. How can you talk about good nutrition, organics and veganism without available food? A friend of mine is growing food in her yard to give to the elderly near her for example. I grew up able to pick produce out of neighbor’s yards. I was happy to pick pears with my daughter from my next door neighbor’s yard. I’ve been having my hands in the dirt myself hoping to provide fresh produce for my home and other family members. One of the things that stood out for me in this video is the lady in reference to the produce “It actually tastes like something.” I’ve heard this before from people who do not like vegetables. Their tongues aren’t dead, the food is. I’ve bought produce from the grocery store before that looked good, but was a watery, tasteless mess. A couple of reasons are they’ve been shipped long distances and are provided out of season.


race & the food system cfp April 14, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mmcquirter @ 8:55 am

Title: Race and the Food System
Date: 2010-11-15
Description: Race/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Contexts
Volume 4, Number 4 (Summer 2011) “Race and the Food System
Papers must be received by Nobember 15, 2010 to be considered
for publication in this issue. Please send manuscript
submissions to the editor: See Style
Guidelines (www.r …
Announcement ID: 175463

Marya @ chocolate & arugula


Sistah Vegan Book Party TONIGHT (Berkeley, CA) April 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Amie "Breeze" Harper @ 1:59 pm
Sistah Vegan Book Release Talk and Signing is tonight (Thursday April 8, 2010) at Guerilla Cafe, 1620 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA. 7-9pm
It’s available by public transportation via AC Transit. Please spread the word, as 11 people have rsvp’d on Facebook and I’m hoping for more folk to show up. Breeze is also doing a raffle (free tickets) in which the prize is a free copy of “Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Society.” Breeze will be selling the book for $20 and will accept cash or checks.

The Facebook event page to RSVP is located:

Breeze can be reached at and 510-564-7870


academic research opportunity April 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mmcquirter @ 11:23 am


From Bernard Unti:

I am interested in locating a graduate student in sociology, anthropology or allied disciplines to carry out some background research on animal behavior, the companion animal bond, and related topics.  Do you have a graduate student who might fill the bill?  The work could begin immediately, and will be compensated at an appropriate rate.  This is an ideal opportunity for a late-stage graduate student looking for a reliable source of income while supporting a scholarly endeavor.

Please reply to me privately.

Bernard Unti, Ph.D.
Senior Policy Adviser, Special Assistant to the CEO

The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L Street NW    Washington, DC 20037