Modeling the Vision

In her book Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide (South End Press, 2005), Andrea Smith writes about Modeling the Vision as one of three components of the work of Sisters in Action for Power:

This sector of Sisters in Action for Power, often missing in traditional organizing projects, is based on the philosophy that we should model the vision for change in the here and now, and that we must make change within ourselves and our organizations. This modeling takes place through a variety of structures and activities that connect mind, body, and spirit, such as teamwork activities, self-reflection, journaling, self-defense classes, cooking, and revolutionary therapy. Just as members support each other in the political work, they support each other in each other's personal work to decolonize their minds, bodies, and spirits.

This inspires me to think about how modeling the vision might be integrated into veganism. I think it's a wonderful way to think of vegan practice. The adoption of a vegan way of living can, for instance, be viewed as modeling the vision for change in the here and now by making change in ourselves. Modeling the vision can guide our development and support of organizations. That is, we should ask whether the organizations we support are models of the vision for change in the here and now, or do they model something else. There are also a variety of activities that can be viewed as modeling the vision, including potlucks or even cooking meals. Cooking an animal-free, total vegetarian meal can actually model the vegan vision for change.

I think the work of Breeze Harper and the Sistah Vegan Project are also great examples of modeling the vision. For instance, Harper's work on decolonizing the diet is a beautiful example of this. This work is summarized in the article "Health as Wealth."