A pinch of this, and a spoonful of that; bring it to the boil for this week’s news round-up of all things vegan.
Outing yourself as vegan at every opportunity
Rebecca Jones, the writer and doctor behind The Vegan Doctor blog, popped up on the Guardian website this week to explore the dichotomy vegans have with not wanting to mention their veganism and constantly mentioning their veganism in social circumstances. Why must we keep talking about our vegan-ness? For most, there is a time when they may have to state that, as they are vegan, they wont be having a nibble on the cheese nachos or a scoop of the sour cream. This can then open up a discussion about why finding alternatives to such foods could lead to a more compassionate place to live. Rebecca’s artilce reminds us how exciting it is to imagine a world where insouciance in the aisles and kitchens doesn’t have to be the norm.
Mainstream veganism is too white-centric and does not account for the diversity, history and culture of people of colour
The whitewashing of veganism today might not be a topic that has crossed your mind, particularly if you are a white vegan living in Western society. Khushbu Shah writes powerfully on the history of veganism in African American and indigenous South American countries, making the reader question the prevailing narrative of veganism today. Deftly showing how this maligns certain groups in society, Shah juxtaposes the normalisation of white vegans with the lack of representation and appropriation of other cultures. This is emphasised further yet when drawing attention to the historical diets of people of colour and the consequences of living on a colonised diet of processed meat and dairy products. Citing vegans of colour activist organisations in the community, Shah contests that care for animals – all animals – must extend to be inclusive of the experience of people of colour as well.
Don’t be shy to talk about your vegan life – especially when people ask you about it
As a four-month-and-counting vegan, Miranda Larbi writes about feeling nervous when talking about her vegan habits and beliefs in the context of a presumably meat-eater heavy party. Touching on topics of vegan evangelism, Larbi questions whether people trying to “out vegan” each other and coming across as pious are detrimental to feeling comfortable when talking about the morals of eating meat. This is an issue many – not just vegans – can relate to: not wanting to be judged negatively or conforming to peoples’ stereotypes of a given group. But for new vegans in particular, talking about the changes they have recently made in their lifestyle only serves to inspire others to follow suit.