I have a New Year’s resolution suggestion for vegans of the status quo in the USA:
What does this entail? Well, this has a very long and broad answer, but for the sake of this blog I’m going to try to keep it short and simple:
(1) Please do not approach non-white people as if eating vegetables is a new idea you would like to share with us. Seriously, we really do know what broccoli and tomatoes are. As a matter of fact, it is non-white people you can thank for harvesting most of the produce that comes to you. :-)
(2) Being “discriminated” against because you are vegan is not the SAME- and never will be- as racism. Please do not tell me that you understand racism because the barista at Starbucks decided to put steamed cow dairy milk into your cappuciano instead of the soy milk you requested.
(3) Please refrain from having a tantrum after realizing that the supposed vegan chocolate candy you are eating, was made with sugar using bone-char refinement. It’s hard to take you seriously when you either don’t care or don’t realize that the main ingredient of cocoa was harvested by African slave children in the Ivory Coast and that cane sugar came from indentured Haitians in the Dominican Republic.
(4) Telling me you fight to release animals from cages as priority and have no interest in seeking solidarity against the prison industrial complex, “Because animals can’t chose to be imprisoned, but people can make the choice about being in prison by simply not committing crimes”, leaves me speechless.
(5) And lastly, please stop showing me photos of a starving African child with quotes at the bottom like, “End hunger now: Go vegan” or “She starved because you ate a hamburger: Go vegan.” Practicing veganism in the USA, as a ‘consumer-citizen’ is contingent upon a world economy that is based on globalized capitalism (i.e. neoliberalism, resource wars, hyperconsumerism of the global North) that make vegan commodities possible… I can’t really say that the hungry children and adults enslaved to harvest vegan cotton in Uzbekistan, vegan cocoa in West Africa, or vegan palm oil in Malaysia would agree that your vegan consumerism has made their bellies more full.