Tag Archive: environmental racism

Black women live with the harsh reality of not having full control over the ability to 1) choose to parent, 2) choose to not parent, and to 3) parent the children they have in safe and well-resourced environments. These three tenets are the core of what reproductive justice must look like. The failure of politics in America to provide leadership on supporting reproductive justice and the dismantling of policing institutions prohibits the protection of human rights for all.

Continue reading at http://www.colorlines.com/articles/defense-korryn-gaines-black-women-and-children-opinion


Black "Eat Your Ethics" tote bag from Food Empowerment Project

Black “Eat Your Ethics” tote bag from Food Empowerment Project

Water privatization, overgrazing, pesticides, food security. These are clearly issues of sustainability with regards to our food systems. Yet, the term “sustainability” doesn’t quite adequately address related issues of labor rights, food access, and environmental racism that are also part of the path that our food takes to get to our plate.

This is where food justice comes in. Food justice is a holistic, equitable, and intersectional approach to food systems and a welcome alternative to the growing food movement that led by some of the most privileged individuals around.

There are many great organizations working on food justice issues. I’m particularly impressed with Food Empowerment Project and had been meaning to write about the organization for a while. Founded by activist lauren Ornelas in 2006, F.E.P. seeks to promote a more just and sustainable world by informing consumers of the impact their food choices have on other people, animals, and the environment. One of my earliest exposures to F.E.P.’s work came when I was first seeking ethical alternatives to conventional slave-made chocolate.

F.E.P. is perhaps best known for its Chocolate List, a resource that many chocolate-lovers have come to rely on for ethical sources for chocolate. I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know lauren and even help represent F.E.P. at community outreach events. She is what I wish I could be, and F.E.P. the organization I wish I had founded. F.E.P.’s approach to food justice addresses all the issues that are impacted by our current food systems: animals, the environment, human labor and slavery, and our food choices. Not only does F.E.P. take an intersectional approach to food justice, but the information material is very accessible and informative.

Check out the F.E.P. website FoodIsPower.org


T-shirt with the phrase "vegan because all lives matter" written

Image of EVOLVE! Campaign’s t-shirt depicting several types of animals, with the caption, “Vegan because all lives matter”.

This post’s title, “Vegan Because Black Lives Matter,” is my response to the t-shirt design promoted by the vegan group, EVOLVE! campaign, shown on the left. (It has since been removed from their group). The t-shirt depicts 8 different farmed animals surrounding the text “Vegan because all lives matter.” Before I explain what the title means (I know you’re curious), let me provide some context.

I’ve written before about why veganism is relevant to the discussion of sustainability. In that post, I laid out ethical, empathetic, and utilitarian reasons for why avoiding animal exploitation is necessary for a sustainable future. I implied, but didn’t say explicitly, that “animal” includes both human and non-human animals (we usually try to forget that we are part of the animal kingdom). As such, a truly vegan life avoids exploitation of human and non-human animals (e.g., no dairy milk from repeatedly impregnated cows; no strawberries picked from undocumented, brutalized farm workers; no chocolate picked by enslaved children).

Which gets me to the second half of this post’s title. Continue reading

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