Race

In Tenderly. More on Medium.


The truth is, in the United States and even globally, the majority of people who eat plant-based are nonwhite. But the white people have become gatekeepers of the vegan community, especially online with blogs and accounts run by white people dominating Google results and social media feeds.

In the weeks and months following the killing of George Floyd and global protests, the vegan community has been forced into a racial reckoning of its own with white vegans starting to acknowledge Black vegans and other vegans of color. …


People of color are the core of the vegan movement — but you wouldn’t know that based on what’s shown in the mainstream

Tabitha Brown posing in a kitchen while wearing a bold graphic print dress.
Tabitha Brown posing in a kitchen while wearing a bold graphic print dress.
Photo: Tabitha Brown

American vegans are disproportionately BIPOC. While non-whites make up 34% of the US population, they make up 46% of the US vegan population, according to a 2018 survey. Minority voices are eating vegan food, creating vegan recipes, and promoting vegan ideology.

Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and Asian vegans are not followers of this movement, they’re the core of this movement.

Even though veganism is prevalent in minority communities, mainstream images of veganism are typically thin, white women. Men, overweight individuals, and especially BIPOC people are often excluded from the popular narrative. If you fancy a non-scientific experiment, go to Shutterstock and…


The difference between sitting on grass and broken wooden chairs

A view of a lake in Central Park, with apartment buildings visible in the background.
A view of a lake in Central Park, with apartment buildings visible in the background.
Photo: Jon Tyson via Unsplash

Many professors don’t take their students off-campus without an obvious reason. Now that I think of it, that may be why I began to do it when I became an academic.

I was suffocated by being confined to a room with no windows, fluorescent lighting, and rows after rows of chairs attached to small desks. I also realized that many of my students believed that something as simple as sitting on real grass, discussing social politics or literature, belonged to white people. …


Vegans of Color

The founder of a collective for women and non-binary POC reflects on how she found her community when she looked beyond white veganism

Amy Quichiz posing with her fingers held to her left temple in front of a backdrop of iridescent fabric.
Amy Quichiz posing with her fingers held to her left temple in front of a backdrop of iridescent fabric.
Photo: Bridget Badore

We all come to veganism differently — and we should all challenge ourselves to question, learn, and think critically at every turn. For Amy Quichiz, the journey began with passionate advocacy against animal abuse, but turned into more as she began to question the overwhelmingly white spaces she encountered.

“I started to be more passionate about veganism through my experiences, and the experiences of other folks of color. I think that’s when I truly became more food justice oriented, rather than just supporting veganism.”

That passion for intersectional food justice eventually led Quichiz to co-found Veggie Mijas, a collective by…


Vegan food gives us an opportunity to look at ingredients in new and different ways — like in my creative coconut and walnut recipes

A huge variety of colorful vegetables, such as bell peppers, red cabbage, radishes, leeks, and yellow squash.
A huge variety of colorful vegetables, such as bell peppers, red cabbage, radishes, leeks, and yellow squash.
Photo: Chantal Garnier via Unsplash

Whether you’re on a vegan or vegetarian journey like me, or just looking to insert a couple of plant-based meals here and there, getting accustomed to plant-based eating can be overwhelming. Over the last decade, the image of veganism is one of wealthy, or at least upper middle class, white people with cash to burn at their local organic markets. It can feel like veganism is too expensive and complicated for a normal person.

However, plant-based eating, or Ital, has always been vital for many members of the African Diaspora ranging from the Rastafarians of the Caribbean to the health-conscious…


Every day brings a struggle to preserve the light in my children’s eyes from a growing awareness that dims it

3 young Black children seen from behind, looking out the window at grass and a road.
3 young Black children seen from behind, looking out the window at grass and a road.
Photo: Dara T. Mathis

Like a mother bird tending her chicks in spring, I have largely occupied myself during the Covid-19 pandemic with caring for my three small children. I am thankful my husband can work from home as I write freelance and manage the kids’ homeschooling. We began to notice the birds trilling amid the tree blossoms as April gave way to May.

Our feathered friends are a delight. When we observe them, we forget why we are cooped up in the house. Watching birds with my children gives me respite from the anxiety of being Black during a pandemic that has disproportionately…


Do I have all the answers? No. Do I have some ideas? Yes.

Photo: Étienne Godiard via Unsplash

Because we can all stand to do better, myself very much included.

1. We can stop appropriating Black Lives Matter slogans and events.

Full stop.

Black Lives Matter is a slogan created by and for the racial justice movement of the same name and it is not ours to co-opt and alter. Allies do not look at the hard work of other activists with an attitude of appropriation, nor do we show up at their events promoting our messaging and branding. That is colonizing and beyond tone-deaf. Instead, we listen and we support. …


I can’t believe I have to say this

Photo: Maria Oswalt via Unsplash

Content warning: This piece contains graphic descriptions of police-instigated murder and violence.

Over the past week, the United States has seen a massive protest action arise from the tragic recent murders of Black people, including (but not limited to, because the list stretches on and back for miles and miles) George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, and Tony McDade. George Floyd was murdered on video as a cop kneeled on his neck. He begged for mercy as three other cops stood around and watched. Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot to death while sleeping in her bed after police…


21 Questions

Jasmine C. Leyva’s documentary ‘The Invisible Vegan’ makes important connections — let’s listen to her

Photos: Tyrone Richardson/Natural Woman Photography

If you’re social-distancing right now, you might think you’ve already worked your way through most of the vegan documentaries worth watching. But have you watched The Invisible Vegan yet? Available on Vimeo, Amazon, Tubi TV, and KweliTV (a black female-owned streaming service!) this documentary deserves to be one of the most-famous in the vegan canon.

Created and directed by Jasmine C. Leyva, The Invisible Vegan is about the connection between African American culture and veganism — and its erasure. Leyva covers ample ground in an extremely entertaining way, from the true history of soul food, to how food deserts and…

Tenderly

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