Vegans of Color

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

Intersectionality December 24, 2009

Imagine that your community has been devastated by an un/natural disaster, like Hurricane Katrina. Imagine that where you live is at great risk for being devastated again. Imagine that you know wealthier, whiter parts of town are better protected from future disasters. Imagine that there are two toxic landfills near where you live, unfairly reopened without due process. Now imagine that you also are trying to farm vegetables and fruits on a plot of land in a city despite all of these things that stand in the way.

Right then, not everyone has to imagine that.


Raising the environmental footprint of veganism… November 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 4:05 pm
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Fake Plastic Fish reports that PETA is promoting plastic wishbones for Thanksgiving.

Ugh. The company says they are recyclable, but like most plastic items that are technically recyclable, I am sure most communities in the US won’t have the facilities to take these, even if people were to actively seek to recycle them.

It’s not like I don’t partake in plastic-wrapped cookies & things (which I hate — most of our garbage can is full of plastic wrappers, I think). Though I do make an effort to avoid things like individual plastic cups of pudding or yogurt (I can make the former, & could make the latter too, I suppose — at least with yogurt I try to buy the massive containers, which can at least be re-used for food storage or for planters etc. so at least a teensy bit better, I suppose).

It does bum me out, though — a lot of go-vegan rhetoric* is focused on showing that we can have the same heavily packed, heavily processed food as omnivores: fake beef jerky, individually wrapped! Packages of marshmallows! Microwaveable dinners in plastic trays!

There’s something to be said for convenience, of course — & like I said above, I certainly end up buying things wrapped in plastic. I just wish it wasn’t so inevitable sometimes. (& really, while no one “needs” individual servings of vegan yogurt, definitely no one needs a freaking plastic wishbone!)

Yeah, yeah, I know the average environmental footprint of a vegan will be much smaller than an omnivore. That doesn’t make me feel much better about knowing that plastic I use today will outlive me many times over. It’s disgusting.

(I don’t know what’s up with my posting flurry either, btw!)

* In the US/UK, at least, which is where my experience is from. Thank you to commenter Soj for reminding me that of course, this is not a universal experience.


Some POC environmentalists don’t want to give up their meat either March 12, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 6:03 pm
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Via Racialicious, the Black. Brown. Green. website, which links environmental & racial justice issues. Sounds good, right?

The Living Green page categorizes some things folks can do to go green as follows:

Just Do It. Things so obvious you’d be crazy not to start doing them today.
Step It Up. Things that take a bit more effort but make your life happier, healthier, easier and greener.
Go All The Way. Things that most people consider “die-hard” but are quite sensible, simple, and relatively inexpensive to implement.

There are lots of the usual suggestions, like composting & using compact fluorescent light bulbs. Also mentioned is the idea of having less kids.

What’s left out? Oh yeah. Eating less meat & dairy, or even — shock — cutting them out altogether. I’m glad that at least the page doesn’t play the “happy meat” game, by suggesting people eat “free-range” animals that have been named & cuddled before slaughter. But ignoring the environmental consequences of animal agriculture? Especially when another potential hot-button issue among environmentalists (having less kids) is mentioned, I don’t see the reasoning behind leaving this omission.

The website is still under development, so maybe this issue will be addressed somewhere, but it’s regardless very disappointing to not see the environmental toll of meat-eating mentioned in what is, right now, the most useful part of the site.