Black Vegans

“Plant-based eating has a long, radical history in Black American culture, preserved by institutions and individuals who have understood the power of food and nutrition in the fight against oppression…Today, there are estimated to be more than a million Black vegetarians and vegans in the United States, with Black people representing the fastest-growing vegan demographic in the country.”

—Amirah Mercer, “A Homecoming.” January 14, 2021.

What I like about this article is that something, in this case veganism, can be a complete paradox in context. For this woman, veganism ties into a history of fighting black oppression. But, I have to admit when I think of veganism, my experience is mostly privileged whites rejecting mainstream culture either on moral, health or other grounds. Eating itself is a kind of oppression, and in some ways, veganism feels like a style of oppression. For example, the kind of vegan that won’t take public transit because axle grease has an animal component has a lifestyle that cannot be emulated by most people. Is that liberating? If so, for whom?

I found this to provide a lot of food for thought.