Veggie Mijas Founder Amy Quichiz Is Decolonizing Her Lifestyle
The founder of a collective for women and non-binary POC reflects on how she found her community when she looked beyond white veganism
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 and for women and non-binary POC. Originally, the site was meant to be a platform for sharing recipes, but as the site was shared, interest for a meetup grew. “I thought that was amazing — I really didn’t know any of these people, and they all wanted to come together. To talk about veganism in our communities, and how that affects us.” The collective now has chapters based in 12 different US cities.
Whether it’s addressing the lack of fresh food in POC-majority neighborhoods by restoring a community garden, or feeding protesters on the streets, Veggie Mijas builds anti-racist actions into the fabric of their activism. Quichiz spoke with Tenderly over the phone about her own journey to veganism, co-founding Veggie Mijas, and how she’s getting through this current moment.
Tenderly: What’s your ethnic and cultural background, and where did you grow up?
Amy Quichiz: I’m Colombian and Peruvian, and I grew up in Jackson Heights [in Queens, NYC].
When did you become vegan, and what led you to that decision?
I became vegan during my sophomore year of college, in 2014. Some of my friends of color were vegan, And they were like, “Amy, if you really believe in women’s rights, and all of the issues that you’re really passionate about, you should really look…