12 Black Vegan Women Discuss Social Justice and Change
These Black, vegan women share a vision for uniting their activism for Black lives with their advocacy for animal rights and sustainability. | courtesy of Malinda Simpson/Erika Hazel/Cara Celeste West (pictured left to right)

12 Black Vegan Women Discuss Social Justice and Change

Black women vegan influencers, bloggers, chefs, and activists discuss their intersectional activism for Black lives, animal welfare, and sustainability.

Last summer, following the police killings of Black men and women like Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in the U.S., an uprising for racial justice emerged, as communities across the country and the world rose up to confront persistent, violent anti-Blackness. The tragic events of then, and the most recent killing of Duante Wright in Minneapolis, have brought pain, confusion, and a demand for justice. People came together in solidarity, using their voices and platforms to demand change, including 12 Black, vegan women who share a vision for uniting their activism for Black lives with their advocacy for animal rights and sustainability.

12 Black Vegan Women Discuss Social Justice and Change
这12个黑色,纯素食的女性uniti的愿景ng their activism for Black lives with their advocacy for animal rights and sustainability. | Courtesy Malinda Simpson

Last year, Malinda Simpson, a Dallas-based attorney and vegan lifestyle blogger behindKindred Vegan Souls, came up with an idea for a campaign to lift up the Black Lives Matter movement from the perspective of Black vegan women working at the intersections of racial justice, environmental justice, and animal welfare. She reached out to her community of food bloggers, nutritionists, creators, and activists and launched,Black Vegans for Black Lives Matter是一个社交媒体竞选引起关注这些交叉问题。活动家和美食家将他们的伙伴关系称为一个“姐妹情谊”,通过大流行的许多挑战来维持他们。他们加入了在黑色素食主义亚博体育滚球的圆桌会议上讨论;种族司法,可持续性和动物福利之间至关重要的联系;素食主义的种族刻板印象;并确保素食空间更包含黑色经历。

亚博体育滚球生活:黑人,女性和素食主义者让你处于社会正义原因。为什么对你说黑色的生活很重要,并使你的倡导与种族司法有关?

Erika Hazel,Bizerkeley Vegan:I first spoke out publicly about Black Lives Matter when I realized how many vegan organizations, companies and brands did not seem to care about BLM. We don’t live in a vacuum or bubble — you should care about全部your consumers. When it comes to sustainability and racial justice, I think it’s about a humanistic approach — I deserve the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and so do all other people of color.

Cara Thibodeux,伟大的完整的女孩:所有压迫都是相互联系的。我们不能只是解决一种形式的压迫,但忽略了另一个形式。当我第一次去素食主义者时,我真的没有看到许多看起来像我的人。直到我看到更多的黑素食主义者分享他们的故事并使用他们的平台反对一切形式的压迫,以至于我真的觉得我属于这个社区。

Afia Amoako,The Canadian African:I personally do not identify as an activist — I am just a vegan food blogger who was forced to talk about being Black and vegan because Black vegans were not as seen, heard or listened to in the vegan space. Ideally, I’d love to just talk about my food but I’m not afforded that privilege like my white counterparts, because there are a lot of barriers that impact me in the food space that I have to contend with, and that white vegan food bloggers don’t have to deal with.

Being an ethical vegan means caring about the mistreatment of people, knowing inequality for anyone is a danger for everyone.

MalindaSimpson, attorney and blogger:With the killing of George Floyd, we had to speak out, especially in the vegan community. Being an ethical vegan means caring about the mistreatment of people, knowing inequality for anyone is a danger for everyone. Racial justice and animal justice have similarities, though of course, seeing comparisons to slavery is just misguided and discounts what’s been done to Black people over centuries. It’s important to speak up about inequality in the world, and even if your work focuses on animals, you can still speak up about racial justice.

LK: What do you see as the connections between racial justice and environmental justice, and white supremacy and the climate crisis?

Genesis Butler,活动家:My uncle is the late social justice advocate, Cesar Chavez, who saw the connection between various movements and believed we should speak up for everyone who’s treated unjustly, including animals. There’s definitely a connection between them all, and I felt I had to speak up for not just animal rights, but also for humans and the planet because it’s all connected.

Emani, chef and founder,Black and Vegan:种族司法和环境正义之间存在巨大的联系。对于初学者来说,虽然有明确的事实证据存在不公正的证据,但它们都是为了看待。最重要的是,虽然整个世界有助于不公正,但只有一个人真正为正义而战的亚组。它有时似乎令人生畏,但我很自豪能够通过我的素食主义成为环境和种族的倡导者。

And truthfully, white supremacy is the root of capitalism that is the baseline for industries that have torn down our environment. I wish that one day, we will put the value of our Earth and our safety as a human-kind over the value of a dollar. I believe through being a living example, we can show that there are things we can do as ” regular people” that can create a massive impact if we band together!

Simone Venner,rhn.:抗议是最好的之一,most powerful ways to come together with others, and social media has really helped with that. It’s been under a year since George Floyd was murdered, and that was a wake-up call for many people about the racial injustice we still see so strongly in day-to-day life. We don’t want this to just be a monument or particular moment in time, but a movement. Racial injustice is still very apparent every day, and we need to keep raising our voices, for those who have voices, and also for animals, who don’t. The connection here is that in both these huge issues, we need change, and we need to come together with allies, and not have to be the only ones doing the work and the education.

咆哮戴维斯,chef and health coach:Communities of color don’t have access to the same stores as other communities — as a result, diseases like diabetes and heart disease affect these communities at greater levels. This is deep! Lands have been ripped apart in search of gold, fossil fuels and other natural resources. This has ultimately had an effect on our environment, leading to our current climate crisis and environmental issues that disproportionately affect lower-income communities and people of color.

Dymetra Pernell,Plantbasedprincess:Short answer, they’re all connected. Poor people, usually Black people, are residents of neighborhoods where factory farming is prevalent. Unfortunately, the people who run these factory farms are rich white people, who have no interest in how their practices are affecting the surrounding communities. This, in turn, is a form of white supremacy.

LK: In your advocacy for racial and environmental justice, have you ever faced stereotypes that falsely equate the vegan lifestyle with whiteness? What do you want people to know about veganism in communities of color?

Charlise Rookwood,Vegansoulicious:我们面临的一个巨大的问题,我突然出现在所有的时间是黑色影响因素,这是不到白光影响者的报酬 - 营销人员在推动黑人的生活时营销人员在字面上低估了黑色影响因素。大多数人仍然认为素食主义是一个充满白千年代的年轻运动,但植物饮食的根源是亚洲,非洲,加勒比海和土着文化。我的父亲是牙买加和我母亲毛里求斯,他们从陆地上吃了。无残忍的饮食不是什么新鲜事。我的许多家庭成员都是Rastafarians,无论如何都知道。拉斯法里安主义强调了个体的权力,并了解一个人与环境的关系。在牙买加的20世纪30年代开发了饮食,鼓励植物的未加工膳食。

Thibodeux:I think the most frustrating rhetoric I hear within the vegan community is that it’s so easy and cheap to switch to a plant-based diet, but that’s not always the case for many people of color who live in food desserts and face food insecurity. While beans and rice may be a cheap option to live the vegan lifestyle, communities of color don’t want to just eat beans and rice. They want to eat foods that are reflective of their culture, heritage, and traditions.

Gabrielle Reyes,One Great Vegan:I’ve had a unique experience, being biracial, feeling a lot of kindness from my white family and communities, and my Caribbean side. Much of my vegan audience is white, and Black, and Caribbean. Sometimes I’ve struggled with feeling like I have to “prove” my Blackness, as a vegan, or “prove” my place in different cultures, being a vegan. The truth is we’re all learning, all the time, how to celebrate cultures and not appropriate, and we’re all learning together the vibrancy and flavor and richness of all food cultures.

巴特勒:当我遇见人时,他们发现我是素食主义者,他们很惊讶,因为我是黑人,墨西哥人和原生(Apache)。他们问我是否难以成为素食主义者,因为我是一个颜色的人,我让他们知道我能从我的文化中吃所有最喜欢的食物,而只是在素食主义者版本中。

路:由于系统性的种族主义,什么barriers communities of color face that make healthy and sustainable living more inaccessible? How do you address these barriers in your activism?

Shakayla Houston,甜蜜的绿色素食主义者:Communities of color face significant challenges when it comes to having access to healthy and nutritious food and sustainable living opportunities. Specifically Black communities are flooded with fast food restaurants, grocery stores that lack fresh produce, and chemical plants and factories. These all significantly impact the health of many community members which have long-lasting impacts. Through my platform, I work to provide easy and simple recipes that include accessible ingredients. I also work to educate through my platform and share the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years.

Thibodeux:虽然食物沙漠和粮食不安全是障碍的巨大因素,但防止群落采用健康的植物的生活方式,我认为另一个巨大的因素并不是很多人谈论的是时候。烹饪需要时间,用餐准备,计划杂货店列表。低收入社区的许多颜色都不总有时间。当我创造食谱时,我总是在尝试记住这一点。我专注于如何在30分钟或更短的时间内制作素食餐。

Rookwood:对于几个植物的饮食之后,对于植物的饮食,是一种抵抗力,可以对抗这种工业食品系统饱和在不健康的食物中造成的健康问题。无法勇于我们家庭和几个世纪的压迫所教授的破坏性习惯。社交媒体给了我达到,分享,聚集和学习的平台。我们需要找到变得更加自给自足的方法 - 社区花园到处都应该提供更多的社区冰箱,提供免费研讨会等等。黑色素食主义者和动物权利活动家呼吁他们的白色同行以拥抱交叉口并创造长期的结构变革。