Vegans of Color

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

Filipino vegan food in Oakland, CA (USA) February 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 1:39 pm

I think I first stumbled upon No Worries Catering online a while ago, but as it was unclear whether they were still in existence & I’ve never lived near Oakland, CA, it slipped my mind. (EDIT: I may have also been confusing them w/a Filipino vegetarian restaurant somewhere in CA that I think closed a while ago — I’ve never lived anywhere in CA so it probably all went into the “you can’t go there anyway” part of my brain!)

However, this Filipino vegan catering business is alive & well, with a sleek website & the news that, starting in April, they’ll be selling food at the Jack London Square Market.

Color me jealous! If any local Pin@ys out there are reading (or anyone else, of course), why not try them out & report back?

Also, I LOVE that No Worries’ tagline (at the top of your browser when you’re on their site) is “Have you eaten?” Because as some of us know, “Did you eat?” means “I love you”.


Vegan disaster relief November 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 6:17 pm
Tags: , ,

Another old link, but something I haven’t seen discussed before: vegan friendly food relief items. Marie, the Filipina vegan blogger behind the mouth-watering How to Become a Vegan Domestic Goddess, compiled a list of easy vegan items one could donate to disaster relief efforts. This was spurred by the devastation caused by Typhoon Ondoy, which smashed into the Philippines in late September. Because I’m not a local, it made more sense for me to donate money — but her list provides some great ideas should I ever be in close enough proximity to an area needing relief that I can donate supplies.

I was also grateful to her for mentioning details on how to donate to the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, who have been helping companion animals affected by Ondoy.


Making Connections… or Not February 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 8:41 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve just discovered the Pittsburgh group Animal Freedom, which does animal rights work that seeks to incorporate a broader understanding of other social justice issues too.

Check out the syllabus of their Animal Rights Study Group. Lots of good stuff in there!

One linked reading that particularly drew my attention was a letter from a Korean person objecting to the way a campaign against the Korean dog meat trade (carried out by Westerners) was run.

I am afraid those pictures [of dogs destined to be eaten] make viewers hate all Korean people because I saw a lot of comments on the internet with racial hate toward Koreans…. However I don’t believe those Koreans, who see dogs and cats as food, will listen to others (especially westerners) who have also two morals in their way of living. For example, Western people are eating much more meat in daily life than Korean people….

I find this quote particularly interesting, given that the president of Kinship Circle, Brenda Shoss, recently commented on my post in November criticizing their own campaign to stop the cat & dog meat trade in Korea & the Philippines. Shoss seems to think that I missed Kinship Circle’s point, but I feel that the points I made about the colonialist nature of such campaigns still stand, & were not addressed.


Colonial mentality in US-based activists? Say it ain’t so! November 26, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 11:38 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , has posted some recent calls to action from Kinship Circle. They were apparently sent out to Kinship Circle’s e-mail list with the subject “One Country’s Companion Is Another’s Cuisine.”

That’s a very true statement, but my heart sank nevertheless as I looked at some of the alerts. Headlines include No More Dogs for Dinner in the Philippines and Outlaw Korean Dog/Cat Meat Trade For Good.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think people should be eating dogs or cats, just as I don’t think they should be eating cows, sheep, pigs, or chickens. But there’s a long tradition of the United States, & the West in general, telling other countries (hint: the non-white ones; sometimes they’re referred to as “the developing world” or the “global south” or “the third world”) what to do — and colonialism & imperialism are hardly things of the past.

Given this background, I find it highly, highly troubling that organizations like Kinship Circle are encouraging people in the US to write to the governments of Korea & the Philippines condemning their cat/dog meat trade. It certainly isn’t going to win the animal rights movement any friends over there. Like the Philippines hasn’t had enough with hundreds of years of colonialism (first from Spain, then from the US) that it is still scarred by today? Do they really need — or want — more Americans telling them what to do? Do United States-based animal rights activists think that this is going to be received warmly? Oh, thank you for enlightening your little brown brothers! I don’t think so.

I find it disturbing for the same reason I am wary of how feminists here respond to the issue of female genital mutilation: feminists in the US rightfully condemn this action. But swarming into African countries where this is still custom, with the attitude (conscious or not) that you’re going to save your slightly backwards sisters from their barbaric cultures? Not productive. Not helpful.

And in the case of eating animals, it’s not like we’ve made such amazing progress trying to get folks in our own country to stop, which I think makes it even more obnoxious that we’re being encouraged to lecture other countries about this nasty habit. (Not to mention I really, really hate the whole dogeaters thing.)

So what should United States animal rights activists with a yen to become involved internationally do? How about connecting with local animal rights activists abroad & listening to them, learning from them & trusting in their knowledge of, & experience with, their culture? And letting them take the lead in their own countries? That’d be a good start.

ETA: I just noticed that, in an article that Kinship Circle sent out along with the action alerts, they say: “In 2007, Koreans and Filipinos acknowledged global opposition to dog meat with rules to Westernize their dog-eating ways.” (Emphasis mine) WOW. Well, at least you’re clear about the intentions you have, huh? Not just to quit with the dog-eating but to Westernize, which is a hardly-veiled way to say “colonize.”