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Student op-ed: Veganism a ‘white thing,’ not sympathetic to ‘victims of racism’

It’s beyond cliché by now to say “just when you think you’ve heard it all”; unfortunately, almost every day something comes along to make you utter it yet again.

This time it’s Audrey Larcher’s op-ed in The Daily Texan. She contends that “white veganism” refers to the “dominant cruelty-free culture of wealth, privilege and exclusivity” … a “mental image of a pale-skinned bro picking at his quinoa salad,” if you will.

But such is far from harmless, she continues, for “[i]f vegans want to promote sustainable and compassionate diets for the world, their communities must be intersectional.”

American vegans ignore the vegans of color around the world, she notes — Indian, Ethiopian, and East Asian cuisines, after all, demonstrate that veganism has “an international history.”

Even worse, vegans are not sympathetic to those affected by racism, and they even “appropriat[e] minorities’ struggles to advance their own cause.”

From the piece:

Black Lives Matter is degraded to a distraction from chicken and cow lives, and equating America’s chattel slavery to the agriculture industry’s “imprisonment” of animals is commonplace.

The vegan vision is one of global sustainability, but the community’s actions suggest interest in a costly and homogeneous culture. If vegans are truly committed to cleaner and more compassionate consumption, they need to recognize the importance of making plant-based diets accessible to everyone.

The first step in making a more inclusive veganism would be to stop acting so bourgeoisie. Vegan communities must stop fixating on tempeh chili recipes and shift dialogue toward issues that actually impact global food systems, like how to support sustainable diets within food deserts. Veganism can help us solve global hunger, but only if it doesn’t get distracted by popcorn tofu. …

Our struggles are intersectional. Instead of attacking movements that combat racism and classism, the cruelty-free community has to realize that they only alienate potential vegans by belittling others’ hardships. Amplify the voices of vegans from all different backgrounds, and we will be on a much shorter road to a kinder, more sustainable world.

Larcher is certainly correct about “intersectionality,” but not in the way she thinks. She actually demonstrates that politically correct social justice activism is intersectional in that each part of it ultimately ends up offending some other part.

Read the full op-ed.

MORE: Vegan activists demand to opt out of animal dissection in classes at GWU

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 18 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.