The Vegan Ideal works to cultivate a process by which theory, learning and skills based on the principle of non-exploitation are put into practice.

Veganism, Food and the Global Economy

The Guardian published an excerpt, "Our diet of destruction," from Felicity Lawrence's book, Eat Your Heart Out: Why the Food Business Is Bad for the Planet and Your Health. The article touches on what I called the food-to-flesh conversion as it relates to the capitalist system. (Read more...)

The Assumption of Universal Whiteness

On the Vegans of Color blog, Johanna posted about "Engaging" POCs in AR Work? in response to the program for an upcoming animal rights conference that includes sessions on "Engaging Ethnic Minorities (African-Americans, Latin Americans, Asian-Americans)"; "Commonality of Oppression (commonalities of oppressing animals, children, women, others)"; and "Engaging Other Movements (health, environment, hunger, women, justice, peace movements)."

The titles for these sessions illustrate what Ana Clarissa Rojas Durazo calls "an assumption of universal whiteness." (Read more...)

Food-to-Flesh and the Global Food Crisis

The exploitation of other animals for food and other goods involves more than the human privilege that comes from the direct exploitation of other animals, it also come at the exploitation of the world's hungriest people. So the rise in global food prices is not just linked to the conversion of food crops like corn and soybeans into ethanol and biofuels. This food-to-fuel conversion follows an older system where food crops, also mainly corn and soybeans, are turned into flesh, eggs, and dairy.

Health as Wealth

On July 19, Breeze Harper, founder of the Sistah Vegan Project, spoke at the University of Pittsburgh on connecting our diet to social justice in a talk titled, "Race, Class, Food and You!" [based on her book chapter "Decolonizing the Diet: A bell hooks approach to Nutritional Liberation for 'At Risk' Youths".]

The challenge, Harper noted, is that "America's concept of wealth and success is monetary and material based, and not rooted in the wealth of a healthy mind, body and soul." And while many people are concerned with healthy eating, Harper explained that the consequences of unhealthy eating habits for middle- and upper-income white youth "are far less life threatening than that of low-income Black and Latino boys who collectively practice junk food consumption and are already 'at risk' in achieving a healthier life." (Read more...)

Amusing Oppression?

I came across this disturbing video today called "Spiders On Drugs." It was posted on a blog under the heading "Laughing at Spiders."

My initial reaction was horror at what I thought was perhaps an actual video involving drug experiments on spiders. How could someone think giving drugs to spiders is funny? On more than one occasion I've sat in awe quietly watching spiders just like these build their beautiful webs.

Then I caught on that it wasn't a real experiment. But it made no difference to me that it was actually a "joke." In fact, that someone had intentionally set out to make vivisection into a joke is just as bad.

As the video went on it became offensive on a whole new level. Not only was the video speciesist and anti-nonhuman animals, but it took on wholly racist overtones. (Read more...)