052 Dear White Vegans: Stop It
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Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSTo kick off the new year, Callie and Nichole talk about veganism’s race problem – tackling this issue as two white people talking to other white people about why this is so harmful to the movement and how to help correct this problem.
In This EpisodeAfter seeing countless Facebook posts where some vegans are trying to address the race problem that veganism has and seeing so many white people jumping in to claim that there is no problem, or that they’re entitled to use slavery as a comparison tool to get people to go vegan, or that they don’t like the exact wording or tone of the message, Nichole and Callie felt compelled to step in and take a stance as two white people who want to tell other white people to just stop it already. Veganism is seen, by many, as a white thing. That is our (white people’s) fault. When we shut down voices in our community, we perpetuate the idea that veganism is only a safe space for those who look like us or those who are willing to remain silent while the rest of us do whatever the fuck we want. This is not ok. This movement needs everyone and, more importantly, this movement should be built on compassion and equality, not exclusion and maintenance of privilege. Don’t believe us? Read this article on Aphro-ism that shows what happens when someone tries to publish a list of black vegans. Spoiler alert: it ain’t good. It’s uncomfortable to confront your privilege, of course. But our discomfort is so insignificant compared to the contributions to the movement that are being made, and overlooked, by people of color. People all over the world, from all walks of life, are a part of veganism and it is high time that they are equally represented and that their voices are not just heard, but valued. The best way to help break this cycle of vegan white-washing is to expose yourself to vegans who look different from you and for fuck’s sake LISTEN TO THEM. Just listen. Absorb the message, don’t fight it. Don’t go on vegans of color’s pages or blogs and argue with them, don’t share their articles in your white vegan groups and pick apart why they’re wrong or not worded to your liking. Let go of your ego and see that embracing everyone and modifying your behavior will ultimately lead you to a happier life, deeper connections with your fellow vegans, and a movement that we can be proud of. Usually we put links down below, but these three articles are extremely important to this topic:
- The [White Savior] Elephant in the Room: Ally Theater, Savior Complex, and Speaking for ‘The Other’ by Dr. Amie Harper and Christopher-Sebastian McJetters (The Sistah Vegan Project)
- Slavery: It’s Still a Thing by Christopher-Sebastian McJetters (Vegan Publishers)
- Veganism has a serious race problem by Clair Heuchan (Media Diversified)
Links and InformationNews
- Kat Von D Donates $50,000 to Mercy For Animals (VegNews)
- A New Year resolution that’s good for you and the planet: stop eating meat (The Guardian)
- New Vegan “Super Condom” Could Help Eradicate HIV (VegNews)
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(Jane Elliot video) https://www.ted.com/talks/kathryn_schulz_on_being_wrong?language=en
(TED talk Kathryn Schulz)
S k y p e – username: theVeganRevolution
The last point you made, about the nonsense of sharing videos of violence against animals is also sooo important, maybe you can do a whole podcast on that? This is one of the many issues that made me an outcast in the vegan movement, I refuse to share graphic videos (though I can open an exception when they’re not very graphic and showing them is absolutely necessary) because it just drives people away (and who can blame them?) and, as you stated, objectifies animals. Even before facebook and all that crap I was unsubscribing from newsletters because I didn’t want to be subjected to videos of animals being tortured. In one case, I was traumatized by a video, quite literally, to the point that even today I shiver to think about it (and it was a very very long time ago). The same point can be made about using graphic language, I mean, what good is using a language that drives people away, makes you look like a better-than-anyone-else ultra-ultra-radical-vegan… ups, I think I already answered my question 🙂