Tag Archive: health



Photo: Chefcola/ Instagram/dresnaps

If you really want to be an ethical vegan, research all your food – even the plants.

Indeed, a great frustration I have with vegans in the global north is the erasure of human exploitation in food systems. Vegans are typically concerned with the wellbeing of charismatic animals and are unbothered about the plight of “less attractive animals” or humans who are impacted by their food choices. And although ethical consumption is all but impossible in an unethical economic system, it is an ideal that global northerners (including myself) nevertheless strive for.

This quest among vegans and non-vegans to ethically consume is frequently done by (re)creating ideas and practices that actually have historical precedent. Even the term veganism, a word coined in the UK in 1940s, is really another way of saying strict vegetarianism, although at many points in history, vegetarianism was by definition “strict.” These new frameworks only come about because we have forgotten their historical predecessors.

Perhaps the most remarkable of these forgotten traditions is plant-based diets among African peoples, the subject of today’s featured article from This Is Africa: African vegans are a return to tradition. The above quote is from the article and said in passing; the central message, in fact, is that of returning to a traditional diet: Continue reading

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When I started out as a new vegan some years ago, I sometimes would get questions about whether or not I also eat “gluten-free” foods. I knew less than a handful of people with Celiac disease who cannot eat gluten, and they ate a standard American diet as closely as they could without wheat—in other words, they were far from being vegan. Seeing that there are no ethical reasons to avoid wheat (that I know of), I found it peculiar that a plant-based diet would be conflated with eschewing gluten, but thought nothing of it (people also ask if I eat fish, chicken, or pork because of carnists who think “vegan” means someone who eats other animals except cows).

But soon I started seeing gluten-free bagels and toast in the same freezer section as vegan meals, gluten-free baked goods at the farmer’s market, and even “gluten-free” options were popping up on vegan menus. Celiac disease isn’t that common (about 1% of the population), so I knew something was up.

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[Image of a pile of colorful hemp seeds with the caption: Prama Love Hemp Foods. 10% of our profits go to Silencing the Reality of Systemic Racism Foundation for Health

Source: Sistah Vegan

Another thought-provoking and critical piece by Dr. A. Breeze Harper that challenges the very notion of “healthy eating” in a country dominated by state violence, violence, and the demonization of Black bodies. This quote sums the piece up nicely:

I think about all the symbols and suggestions of healing and health in this Berkeley store that I frequent that put ‘good health’ into a vacuum; a vacuum that is suggesting that all one needs to be healthy is to buy and eat the right organic/natural and local foods. I see so many white and smiling faces on these products or magazines that are void of any conversations around how unhealthy racism and normative whiteness are; that refuse to even try to explain that the food system, health system, and systems of racism are interlocking…and that all the Spirulina, kale, or beets in the world cannot create a healthy USA if the food system– even the local and organic food system– exists in a foodscape anchored on centuries of systemic racism, white supremacy, and the demonization of Black bodies as ‘worthy of being brutalized’.

Read the full post over at Sistah Vegan.


A police line (police tape) established at the scene of a car crash in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Source: Tony Webster, Wikipedia

One common and troubling obstacle that human and non-human animal rights advocates face is the insistence that violence against others is “justified” because of some perceived or imagined threat. Exploitation and killing of marginalized people and animals often hinges upon the claim that “I feared for my life,” or “it was my life or theirs.” Of course, there is a general agreement that self-preservation is fundamental to the right to life, and whatever one does in response to a threat of one’s life is presumed justified until proven otherwise.

However, when we refuse to challenge or even question this claim, the opportunity to “prove otherwise” is completely forestalled, and opens the door to abuse and violence under the pretext of self-preservation. Continue reading


Golden flax seeds

One of my favorite handcrafted, organic hair and body product businesses (Brendita’s BodyWorks) seems to have gone under. She used to make hair gel that I really liked and I recently needed more of. I like supporting small businesses like Brendita’s, but so often their products contain ingredients from animals or leave lots of buildup in my locs (despite smelling delicious), so I tend to make my own stuff.

I’ve heard great things about flax seed as a hair gel, and found this recipe from Crunchy Betty: Homemade Hair Care: Flax Seed Hair Gel . This particular recipe suggests adding aloe vera gel, which I have growing in abundance, so I’ll have to try blending that in. Commenters suggested using brown flax seed for a larger gel yield, and cooking the seeds until they form a thick, but not (yet) gel consistency: it thickens as it cools.


A set of various artisan soaps, lotions, and other body care products

All natural does not equate to safe, ecologically sound and healthy.  Bacteria, salmonella, cocaine, and staph germs are natural but I dont want to put them on my skin. Chemicals are not bad. Everything is a chemical. Water is a chemical, oxygen is a chemical, we are chemicals.  Synthetic products are not necessarily evil. I do understand customers concerns about being as close to nature as possible so I offer a range of products fit those needs. I always label my products truthfully, please buy from a soapmaker that is honest.

via Preservatives vs all natural.

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