Vegans of Color

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

Anti-Whaling Advocates and the Far Right July 12, 2009

In writing about the Makah whaling controversy in her book Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide, Andrea Smith notes:

The Coalition for Human Dignity documents how animal and environmental rights groups, such as the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) and the Progressive Animal Welfare Society, collaborated with far-right Republican legislator Jack Metcalf to oppose the Makah. Metcalf has openly spoken at the meetings of overtly racist and anti-Semitic organizations and has called for the abrogation of Indian treaty rights. These groups, instead of developing strategies to negotiate their differences with the Makah that respected Native sovereignty, advocated for the U.S. to abrogate its 1855 treaty with the Makah that guarantees their right to whale hunt. What these “environmentalists” did not consider is that if they had been successful in legitimizing the abrogation of one treaty, it would have the effect of delegitimizing all treaties. They would be destroying the efforts of Native peoples across the country who are opposing corporate control through the use of treaties. Many of the leaders of these organizations, such as Dave Forman, Farley Mowat, and Paul Watson of SSCS, are also promoting an anti-immigration platform in environmental groups such as the Sierra Club… Also collaborating with SSCS is Brigitte Bardot, ally of the leading neofascist political party in France, the National Front. She is also overtly anti-immigrant, particularly anti-Arab and anti-Muslim. In Le Figaro, she stated: “Now my country, France, my homeland, my land, is with the blessing of successive government again invaded by a foreign, especially Muslim, overpopulation to which we pay allegiance.” (emphasis mine)

I know a lot of vegans adore the SSCS; I wonder how many of them knew about their connections to right-wing bigots.

Before some commenters trot out the same racist, colonialist arguments that frequently pop up in such discussions, you might take a look at this post about dolphin slaughter or this one about Brigitte Bardot & save your time.