From Frugivore – So, I am tackling a subject that has been on mind for quite a while one that I have discussed with friends and other vegans. This is a topic that I hope will start an intriguing dialogue here concerning the vegan movement among African-Americans.

As we have heard many times before and as I myself have addressed here, we are disproportionately affected by a plethora of preventable diseases most often linked to meat consumption. Unfortunately, even with the alarming statistics consistently on the forefront, many still refuse to take closer look at their plates and make significant changes. I often wonder though, beyond not wanting to give up burgers and steak, are there other reasons why many of us are shying away from plant-based diets?

I have often surmised that one reason might be because, upon looking at the landscape of veganism, you see mostly female Caucasian faces spearheading the movement, thus perhaps making it undesirable or instilling a feeling of this sort of lifestyle being “not for us.”

But, upon further examination, while looking at many of the African-Americans who are embracing this lifestyle, there seems to be certain types of people that you see on the forefront as well.

So, it makes me inquire: do African-Americans feel that if they don’t fit a certain mold that there is no room for them to embrace or promote the lifestyle? I know it may sound silly to even suggest, but we live in a society where many strive to “fit-in” and be “accepted,” so are people afraid of the stigma that can often come along with veganism?

(Continue Reading @ Frugivore…)

  • QCastle

    That shirt is cool.

  • L

    I onno, but meat tastes good!

  • Leonie UK

    I fit the stereotypical “Vegan” tag.

    Natural hair check, ecentric music taste check, lover of art check, sometimes heels mostly flats check, the list goes on. But fine folk I’m not a vegan, not even a full veggie. I’ll eat the flesh now and again, but trust I always get pushed into the green box. Plan a dinner party, BBQ, Family blessing and someone will hail out ” She don’t eat meat she a vegan,give her the ital list”. Even when the elections were taking place last week, someone informed me that ” Your green party won’t win London like they did Brighton”, I won’t even comment my response to that coversation.

    PETA, WWF, RSPCA,Battersea dogs home and all those good charities/agents need the Black support they can get, but I’m not one of them. I’ll be using my leather satchel till it stops raining while the olympics are on, eating chicken every Sunday dinner with rice & peas and all while listening to Ms Badu.

  • saywhatnow

    @Leonie UK…….luv it! Hil-arious. Why don’t I know more folk like you in the UK?!?
    Rock that satchel and enjoy that rice and peas! Luv it.

    I have nothing more to add to this discussion because really, eat what you eat people. Read.
    Enjoy choice
    and enjoy Life.

  • MK

    Vegan I’m not, Total Vegetarian I want to be. There is a difference, I can’t say I am a vegan because I love my leather shoes, my leather jacket and anything that will last a long time. Total vegetarian is a more appropriate name.

  • Michelle

    I do think there is something to many of us wanting to appear to be something other than the black stereotype, and in a real sense, something wholly other than “black.”

    Veganism, like many other socially constructed identities is a costume that many of us wear to try and protect ourselves from the internalized shame of being African American, or black American.

  • Dalili

    it’s been some years since I conformed to anyone’s standard for my life. My reasons for shying away from being a vegetarian/vegan has more to do with the fact that I LOVE meat, especially red meat, nothing more.

    There’s great freedom in being unapologetic about who you are; whomever and whatever that may be. My philosophy is let people get through this life the best way they know how, without confining them within boundaries stemming from preconceived notions and perceived flaws.

  • L

    Uumm! Speak for yourself.

    Lick me, Im dry!

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Michelle,

    *chic noir waves to Michelle*

    Girl Bye!

    Some of us become vegetarian and vegan for health reasons.

  • http://www.purplekeychain.blogspot.com purplekeychain

    This article… huh? Veganism is not a special club that white people let you in to, but this article makes it seem like it is. It begs the question of if you have to be a certain “type” of black person to get in the club, while simultaneously reminding us that the author is, in fact, one of those “lucky” few who fit the stereotype well enough to be allowed admittance.

    People “become” vegans for a number of reasons — including wanting to prove to other people that they have “removed the blindfold” that “is” Western culture. When black folk make choices that are different from “accepted black culture” they always want to get on a podium and shout about their “differentness” to everyone else so they can be a shining example of that annoying little phrase we are always spouting: “black people are not a monolith.”

    Damn, my comment has a lot of quote marks.

    My question is: who cares?

    ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” “

  • Whatever

    I know plenty of vegan and vegetarian black people and they have all chosen that diet for health reasons. I don’t consider it a “white thing”… For the most part, what you put into your a body is a big deal especially with the rise in heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. That trumps “hip and cool” any day. More black people haven’t chosen the vegan/vegetarian path I believe for cultural reasons. There is an article on here right now with people professing their love for a traditional serving of fried pig intestines.

    (http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2012/05/you-can-have-your-chitlins-and-eat-them-too/2/)

  • Whatever

    I know plenty of vegan and vegetarian black people and they have all chosen that diet for health reasons. I don’t consider it a “white thing”… For the most part, what you put into your a body is a big deal especially with the rise in heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. That trumps “hip and cool” any day. More black people haven’t chosen the vegan/vegetarian path I believe for cultural reasons. There is an article on here right now with people professing their love for a traditional serving of fried pig intestines.

  • Whatever

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