Vegans of Color

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

Sharing Meals January 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — nosnowhere @ 3:41 pm
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In a post about Asian Americans and Palestine, Rage speaks briefly about food, and I think it’s relevant to a lot of stuff we talk about here:

I’ve mentioned before (I think, and if not, it’s a pending post that I will definitely get to soon), that while the narrative of Asian American (and broader) cultural studies sometimes suggests that traditions and sharing around food are one of the ways that different communities build solidarity, there’s often a gap for people who observe dietary restrictions. So where the whole “we all eat with chopsticks” or “rice is central” themes are nice, it makes it hard to break bread with APA compatriots when the bread has lard and there’s pork or meat in every other dish.

Not understanding how a simple issue like poor menu planning can immediately alienate and make folks less open to collaboration when it excludes consideration of vegetarian and halal diets is a fundamental failing of a lot of pan-Asian American efforts. You want to think that the community and political stuff should take precedence, but I’ve heard time and again that when something so simple is completely not considered, people lose faith that there’s any point in trying for the bigger issues. I’ve seen this change gradually in cities on the East Coast, perhaps because South Asians and others are still more active in pan-Asian spaces, but it’s pretty terrible on the West coast and other places. If I’m going to end up at a “community” dinner where I can’t order something, I might as well be part of the NRA.


Question November 27, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Noemi M @ 3:22 pm
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question: You’re going to a meeting/event or small gathering where there might be or might not be other vegans/vegetarians there. In their flyer they say they’ll have food. Do you email and ask if it will be veg. friendly? Would your answer change if it was a community organizing or activists geared meeting/event?
In the events I organize with the community group CAFE Revolucion (Community Activists for Equality) , we always offer veg. food because everyone can enjoy it. If we have something that might have milk or cheese, it’s clearly labeled non-vegan on the outside.