"Sistah vegan needs a 'black version' of Vegetarian Myth"

Sistah Vegan was reviewed on “Civil Eats” the other day. I enjoyed the review and I think Andrea understands the nature of my work.

However, in terms of comments….I think it’s funny that commenters will critique a book before reading it. I guess this human being below (comment 2) is projecting anger and hate issues on a book they have yet to read. They also seem to not understand that I look at veganism from a cultural perspective, looking at how race, racism, racialization experiences influence how one understands or transitions into veganism. Their comment doesn’t reflect that they read this. Anyway, I often like to share how my book and research are [mis]interpreted by people who don’t even bother reading the book. Here is the link to Civil Eats: Sistah Vegan: A rethinking of race and food. Below are 2 comments from that blog thus far. The first one is positive, the 2nd one is unproductive, but I’ve chosen not to engage with this person by not responding. I feel like it would make more sense for them to eventually read the book and spend a fair amount of time on my blog to see what I’m talking about.

Comments from the Civil Eats blog so far:

  1. by Valerie

    On May 11, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Great review.
    I just finished this book and enjoyed it very much.
    Very thought provoking. As a vegan woman of color, I was very excited when I first heard of Ms Harper’s work, and even more exited to see it finally come to fruition.

  2. by yay food

    On May 12, 2010 at 12:40 am

    This book could use a black version of “The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith or even websites like wholehealthsource.blogspot.com as a rebuttal to the health claims.

    A vegan diet will exacerbate existing nutrient deficiencies in black American women because the plant-based sources of nutrients simply do not offer enough bioavailability.

    The black American community needs better access to high-quality animal products, not *just* more vegetables, and definitely not more grains and legumes (which have scientifically demonstrated bad effects including depleting nutrients in the body without massive amounts of prep before eating).

0 thoughts on “"Sistah vegan needs a 'black version' of Vegetarian Myth"

  1. Hello there, fellow-vegan-of-color! After 18 years as a vegetarian, I became a vegan a few months ago (why did it take me so long?). Best choice. Ever. I’m 38, by the way.

    I’ve just ordered your new book. Just by reading your blog and watching your video clips, I’ve learned from you and respect the work you are doing. There’s an urgency to it.

    Also, your son Sun is one of the most beautiful children I’ve ever seen. Wow. Such gorgeous color contrasts (I’m sure you get that a lot!)

    I also recall reading in your comments somewhere that you were planning on writing out a response to L. Keith’s book. Is that still in the pipeline or has it been shelved?

  2. Wow, this book looks so interesting!

    I’ve long wondered about the vegan cultural divide from the black perspective. I’d love to hear what these women have to say.

    I’ll spread the word about this book, good on you!

  3. Maybe it’s because I’m relatively new to vegetarianism but there seems to be an abundance of new vitriol towards vegetarianism. And it seems to mostly be coming from other alternative food movements (aka, the paleo diet, “happy meat”, etc). Is this a battle over market share and ideology or is it something bigger?

    I would love to know your thoughts, Breeze.

    Peace and Veggies

  4. Wow, commenter number two from that site completely missed the point!

    Let’s hope that person will take the initiative and actually read Sistah Vegan, especially my contribution! <–Shameless plug!


  5. Revolutionary and Joyful:

    You are right. It is an ascendant backlash, though not THAT new – I’ve been noticing its rise for about the last half-decade or so. Unfortunately, so much of the vegan movement is so far removed from broader discourses on food and sustainability that it’s being blindsided by this critique. By and large much of the vegan movement is simply unaware of these discourses or responds in terms that reinforce the view that vegans are self-righteous, myopic, doctrinaire, and simplistic – the recent pieing of Lierre Keith being a perfect illustration of this.

  6. Hi Breeze,

    I just read “Sistah Vegan” and I learned so much from it. Thank you for writing it. I’ve been reading many of the vegan manuals on the market and as a sistah “near- vegan” I am a little disappointed that there isn’t much from the perspective of someone who is interested in veganism for better health. I’ve chosen a plant-based diet because of concerns about the safety of our food supply and the effects of the toxins in food on my body first. Health, survival, sustainability, access to proper nutrients all come first, environmental concerns next, and then animal rights. My guess is that if one has access to and can afford “happy meat”, then perhaps one needs the animal rights argument to persuade that a plant-based diet is a better choice, but if it’s all about my survival then no external motivation is needed.

    Thank you again for the book. I was very surprised that many of the sistah vegans had ties to my hometown, Gainesville, Florida.


  7. I’m a bit late to the party, but am excited to read about this book! I’m shifting towards a semi-vegetarian diet and gradually working my way towards a different, more plant-inclusive diet (not sure yet whether it will be vegan, but trying). It’s been somewhat challenging but with the right resources and cookbooks, I know that it’s possible to make successful changes. I’ll let others know about the book.

Add a Mindful Comment (No Trolling Please)