Vegans of Color

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

Brigitte Bardot: Not My Ally June 3, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 10:09 pm
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Until a few minutes ago, I only had the foggiest idea of who Brigitte Bardot was, or why I should care.

She’s just been fined for anti-Muslim remarks she made in France. She’d written on her website that Muslims were “destroying our country by imposing their ways.” Bardot, described by the BBC as a “prominent animal rights campaigner,” is said to be, in this instance (she’s been fined several times before for anti-Muslim statements), incensed about “the slaughter of animals for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.”

Two comments here: one, how about all the animal slaughter that non-Muslims living in France support every day with their diets? By focusing so heavily on Muslims, Bardot is showing what her real problem is: she’s an anti-Muslim bigot. And two, way to add to the reputation of animal rights activists as heads-up-their-asses folks who are oblivious to any other form of oppression or injustice but that visited on nonhuman animals by humans. (Intersectionality… it’s a pretty popular concept on this blog lately. Wonder why?)


sacred aboriginal cookies? December 23, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 12:09 pm
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Things have been a little quiet on this blog, for which I apologize. Hopefully in the new year I’ll get to writing up a few posts that I’ve been thinking about.

In the meantime, a quick thought about Orgran Outback Animals Cookies. I picked these up at the local health food store. I noticed they were vegan, & also catered to folks trying to avoid common allergens (like gluten). They’re pretty yummy, I have to say.

My partner took a look at the box, which is emblazoned with various Australian animals given names (Kim Koala, etc. — not quite Suicide Food, I guess, given that these are vegan representations of animals…). Then he snorted & pointed out the big rock looming in the background:

what does aboriginal sacred ground have to do w/cookies?

Turns out this rock is called Uluru, & is Aboriginal sacred ground. Despite an expressed wish to the contrary by the Aboriginals living nearby, tourists continue to climb Uluru, & the rock remains, according to Wikipedia, a famous icon of Australia (I would probably think of koalas or the Sydney Opera House instead, but that’s just me).

So what does this have to do with vegan, gluten-free cookies? You got me. I find it disturbing that a spiritually important Aboriginal area would be used so casually to market something completely unrelated. It reminds me in a way of how bindis turned into mere fashion accessories for a certain group of people.

I want to take a more systematic look someday at how ethnicity is represented in food products, particularly ones marketed to a more mainstream/whiter audience: for example, not miso that you buy in Asian markets in Asian neighborhoods, but, say, Eden health food store miso. Trader Joe’s alone would provide fodder for a whole series of blog posts (I love TJ’s food, & that they have so many vegan-friendly products, but sometimes they make me shudder).

Anyway — happy holidays to anyone celebrating. May the usual vegan pitfalls be avoided. See you in 2008.


two links November 27, 2007

Via the Veg Blog, here’s an article from Unitarian Universalists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (ugh, why take a PETA-like name?) on why the Heifer Project is a bad idea. It’s not just about the environmental toll of meat, and the inefficiency of meat-based agriculture in addressing hunger, but also about the fact that many people of color (such as those in countries the Heifer Project focuses on) are lactose-intolerant. So pushing dairy cows on them is a stupid thing to do.

Neva Vegan writes here about the cognitive dissonance among omnivores who are appalled at animal sacrifices in religions like Santeria (& you know a lot of that horror is racially tinged), yet think it’s absolutely fine to kill animals for dinner.