Vegans of Color

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

January 2, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Amie "Breeze" Harper @ 8:32 am

The Sistah Vegan Project

I have to admit that I am not a fan of the use of ‘porn’ in describing food. But, that is just me. I prefer the word ‘erotica’ instead so….

Today I will be kicking off my Sistah Vegan in Europe series with “Food Erotica” as a way to share my experiences in Europe. Today I share with you Salzburg, Austria.

I am hyperaware of the commodities I saw that obscure the resources and people exploited to make these items possible. For example, so many cocoa products with no indication of how the cocoa was sourced, showered store case displays in Salzburg. I am quite confident that this means that a majority of the cocoa was sourced from child slave labor in West Africa, but the “happy” images of “Holiday cheer” (i.e. hundreds of chocolates Santa Claus items, Xmas trees, ornaments, etc) are strategically used to sell ‘nostalgia’ and ‘pleasure.’…

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Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Amie "Breeze" Harper @ 8:31 am

The Sistah Vegan Project


I have a New Year’s resolution suggestion for vegans of the status quo in the USA:


What does this entail? Well, this has a very long and broad answer, but for the sake of this blog I’m going to try to keep it short and simple:

(1) Please do not approach non-white people as if eating vegetables is a new idea you would like to share with us. Seriously, we really do know what broccoli and tomatoes are. As a matter of fact, it is non-white people you can thank for harvesting most of the produce that comes to you. 🙂

(2) Being “discriminated” against because you are vegan is not the SAME- and never will be- as racism. Please do not tell me that you understand racism because the barista at Starbucks decided to put steamed cow dairy milk into your cappuciano instead of the soy milk…

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“How do you like Germany so far? I mean, you’re Black”: On [Anti-]Racism and Food Erotica

Filed under: vegan — Dr. Amie "Breeze" Harper @ 8:22 am

Breeze Harper, 2012 New Years Eve at a club in München. Failed afro attempt. Ended looking like a ‘poodle.’ The Afro just wouldn’t stay up. LOL.

On December 30, 2012, I went to one of the few cafes open on Sunday in Germany. The manager tried to speak to me in German, but I failed big time and answered in Spanish. I do this weird thing that when I’m spoken to in German,  I respond in Spanish 50% of the time. Weird, no? Talk to me in Spanish and I will respond in English 50% of the time. Anyway, I digress…

…The manager ended up speaking to me in Spanish and English. After a few minutes of chatting about where I learned Spanish and what I am doing in Germany, he bluntly said, “How do you like Germany so far? I mean, [because] you’re Black.” I replied that I get stared at all the time, but I’m still enjoying myself. He folded his arms and shook his head, “Germany is full of Nazis once you leave the metropolitan [München] area. They are racists.” He shook his head, “I don’t really like it [here in Germany]. I don’t have a problem with anybody, black, white, whatever, but they do.” I have to admit that this is the first time I have encountered someone living in München, during my trip, who  offered to share this particular interpretation of Germany with me. I couldn’t agree or disagree with him about Germany being ‘full of Nazis’, as I have only spent most of my time in the metropolitan area. I told him that I get stared at in the USA all the time, once I leave most cities and enter mostly white areas, so my Germany experience is not a surprise for me. I was unable to read his ethnicity, but he  did not ‘pass’ as white– or, rather, how I have come to define ‘whiteness’, which is in the USA socio-historical context. He had an olive complexion and black hair.

Yesterday, someone commented on my post about my Tollwood experience, wishing that my in-laws move somewhere in which I would feel ‘at home’ versus a ‘racialized other.’ I appreciated their concern about me not feeling as comfortable or ‘at home’ as I should be in predominantly white spaces, but in my opinion, my in-laws shouldn’t have to move anywhere for me (or anyone else who doesn’t look like the ‘tribe’ of a particular region) to feel ‘at home.’ I would like to see that my in laws ‘stay’ and that Germany’s white collective consciousness continue to ‘move’ more forward, towards a creation of an unconditional love for all people who exist in these [socially constructed] borders of the German nation. Let’s remember: Germany has come a long way since the era of nationalized and institutionalized white supremacist Nazism. The mere fact that I can travel to here, get around the city, and be alive at the end of the day is an indication of a ‘move’ of national consciousness. But I am still really thinking about the cafe manager’s brief conversation with me and his strong use– maybe even inflammatory (?)– of the phrase, “Germany is full of Nazis….” Actually, in tandem with this, I think this about my own homeland: “USA is full of white supremacists who have no problem publicly displaying their enragement about the POTUS being non-white.” Fresh in my mind is the Facebook page that depicts Obama being lynched, with the caption “Rope”, instead of “Hope”with the sentence, “Hang the bastard.”

But, I am hopeful. The other day, while waiting for the S Bahn (subway train) at Rosenheimer platz , I saw an advertisement on one of the many widescreen monitors they have on the subway walls. Portrayed was a ‘brown’ man accidently bumping into someone at a biergarten. He trips and accidently touches the shoulder of a white woman sitting down. The white man across from her becomes very angry and violent that this ‘brown’ man touched her. He grabs the brown man and is about to beat him up. The image freezes and then pans out to show that all of Germany is watching and will NOT tolerate such racialized and violent responses/behaviors to this ‘brown’ man’s sincere mistake. I didn’t know this was going on until the captions were translated for me. Has anyone else seen these ads? I have been trying to search for them on the Internet all morning.

Food Erotica!!!!!

On New Year’s Eve, I visited a shopping center dedicated to edible yumminess. My end goal was the new vegan shoppe called Boonian. Not all the photos below are from Boonian. The first ones are from Boonian. I spoke with the founder and he is from South Dakota, USA. I ended up eating a seitan sandwich and broccoli salad for lunch.


Sandwich: Seitan yumminess from Boonian.





And array of vegan wines offered by Boonian….

And wishing these were vegan……