The Sistah Vegan Project

Vegan pregnancy, More White Male Parternalism, PhD Funding Update

Vegan pregnancy: As of today, I am week 39 of my pregnancy. I have been doing quite well. Midwife thinks the baby is going to be bigger than Sun (and Sun was hard to push out at 9 lbs!!).  I am basically all belly and didn’t gain much more weight anywhere else, so it’s easier for my midwife to feel what’s going on in my womb. I just wanted to note that this ‘bigger’ baby was grown the last 9 months with me practicing veganism the holistic way. I know people talk about how you need a lot of protein to grow a baby (75 -100g for one baby; more per day for multiples). That is partly true, but I’ve also researched that growing a ‘big’ baby as been linked to a lot of DHA and spirulina in the diet. I have both. I have been taking the Ovega DHA +EPA and the Deva DHA every day; about 600-800mg a day. I of course do 30 grams of hemp protein each day too. However, I just wanted to share with you that it is possible to have a well planned healthy plant-based pregnancy, despite the fears and concerns you may hear from omnivores who do not research about this at all (just listen to the news and hear that once a year story that some couple ‘killed their baby on a vegan diet.’).

PhD Funding: As some of you may now, I didn’t get my dissertation fellowship renewed for the 2011-12 academic year. UC Davis is where I’m trying to finish my PhD work in critical vegan and critical race feminist studies. The dissertation project involves me trying to explain how lack of critical race literacy skills around normative whiteness and racism in the USA, creates barriers and impediments for the vegan status quo. I am hoping this document will shed light on the questions so many white middle class vegans have about why they only see themselves as ‘interested’ in veganism and/or animal liberation. It is a project that has never been done before, but I believe it is vital if coalition building and compassionate understanding is to happen. As of July 12, 2011, you have helped me reach nearly half of my goal. I am seeking $10,000 by Fall registration (mid September 2011). Thus far, people have donated: $4500. Still Needed to reached goal: $5500. I accept paypal donations (click on the right side of the blog that talks about donating) or you can mail me a check if you are uncomfortable with paypal.

White Male Paternalism Continued: I posted my new keynote address that I gave at U Illinois at their ecofeminist conference this past spring 2011. It is about how I am using critical race feminism to understand how whiteness functions in the mainstream vegan popular media (looking at top selling books). I posted the information about this video in various places, including a pro-vegan group on Facebook (I will keep it secret). Interestingly, a white male vegan responded by dismissing the focus of the talk (the focus being looking at normative whiteness) and then ‘educated’ me about what I should have said. He even said, “Were I your body I would have done this” (i.e., were I black female vegan, I would have done this).  He posted his response to the keynote (which I can’t even say he viewed) to the entire forum and I was so flabbergasted by this that I simply could not respond. This is the equivalent to me getting information from a person using a wheelchair who wants to talk about ableism in the vegan movement and me telling her (me, someone who had never needed to use a wheelchair and never lived with a disability) that she is doing it wrong and that I know better than she what she should be talking about. This man seems to not understand that how he communicates to me is hurtful and offensive and he seems to sincerely think he is ‘helping me.’ I am still trying to figure out how to communicate this to him in a compassionate way. Sometimes I thinking I’m  “too nice” when it comes to people’s feelings, even though they don’t extend the same to me. It’s probably internalized mammyism that a lot of black women perform in white dominated society (sigh). Anyway, below is my video of the keynote address:

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2 thoughts on “Vegan pregnancy, More White Male Parternalism, PhD Funding Update

  1. Ceylon on said:

    Breeze,
    I thank you for keeping us informed regarding your pregnancy. I wish you the best regarding your Ph.D.
    Peace,
    Ceylon

  2. Hi Breeze! I am so happy to have listened to your lecture. I have known about your book since it was first published, but have become more interested in it as of late because I am looking for other black women who write and speak about being vegan — more specifically being a raw vegan. I have been looking at books, conferences, blogs, magazines, etc. written and organized by mostly white women and have been frustrated by their focus on the ethical treatment of animals. Don’t get me wrong — treating animals ethically is not a bad thing… It is just that animal rights have absolutely nothing to do with why or how I chose to move towards a raw vegan diet. I am more concerned about shrinking uterine fibroids and improving fertility.

    I work in the field of adult education where most of my students are black women with low or no income. They suffer from fibroids, depression, obesity, diabetes — sometimes all at the same time. I know it is the food that is killing us and our ability to have children. So please keep doing what you do! Your work really is important. I will go out and buy your book this weekend!

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