(Edit -Aug 2017 since writing this blog in my very early understandings of intersectionality I have come to realise that some of my expressions and comparisons in this blog post are not what is intersectional. The book I referenced includes the intersectional approach to veganism for good reference, also
a link here of a fantastic write up that addresses exactly what intersectional in the vegan movement is and isn’t https://humanrightsareanimalrights.com/blog/oppression/why-animal-rights-fails-at-intersectionality/
I have an understanding of how much more purpose veganism has in the world AS WELL as animal advocacy. So that makes me intersectional.
‘Intersectional Vegan is an education tool on understanding how various forms of oppression are interlinked. We hold the belief that actual change for nonhumans and humans will only occur through intersectional advocacy.’ http://www.intersectionalvegan.com
I believe expanding veganism further beyond animal advocacy is in part the largest drive behind the vegan movement we see today, it can not expand otherwise. Do we want it to expand? Absolutely. However there are vegans drawing a line in the sand. The vegan community is divided over questions around the value that is in intersectional, and how that can possibly advocate the animals by focusing on human oppression too.
My goal is total liberation. Explaining why I can see the connection between human oppression and that of animals is quite simple.
I am not from a lineage of slaves who were stolen, shipped in tight compartments and forced to reproduce exactly the way animals are today. But I can understand why racially someone who is, would link their own experience and that of their descendants to animal liberation.
I am not from India where population and corruption is high, where it was very much unlucky to be born female with women running outsized risks of unwanted pregnancies and STD/HIV/AIDS and 100,000 per year female deaths due to ‘bride burnings’.
But I can understand why a women of India would draw a link between the liberation of female non humans and her own.
I’m sure regardless of the painfully miss guided understanding about feminism, a person of this background would very much appreciate the concept of equal rights and that automatically would include those of female animals, should she be vegan.
I have never been over weight or suffered from illness, but if liberation for someone is nutritional, and that looks like a vegan lifestyle than I’m so happy they have found their health through the movement. They should not be excluded from a community for interpreting veganism in this light, or by its default liberation of animals.
This is the beautiful ethic that is vegan.
It is boundless. It is a ripple. No, a wave. You see, Intersectional Veganism is like Kanye. People miss the old Kanye. They want the old Kanye, straight from the go Kanye. That’s what “Waves don’t die” means. It means Kanye will always be the old Kanye and also a new one, like a wave.
We have to see beyond our own experiences to understand that everyone feels differently today, everyone connects differently today, and has the right to do so. Vegan WAS a white person thing. Let’s call it how it is. Vegans were white folks with inherited privileges, growing up with real nice parents and did humanitarian for their appearance. No? Today it is global and that means we have more diversity.
A diverse community MUST recognise that all violence towards animals is formed by an original contempt we have with the depredation and pillage of our planet and each other past and present.
Here is where I want to drop in quotes from my source of learning. You absolutely must buy this book and get learned up.
Sistah Vegan A.Bréeze Harper
Chapter 11 Identity, Freedom and Veganism by Melissa Santosa
“Becoming vegan was one of many awakenings to an authentic life of informed interdependence and respect of all life”
“My life has broadened to an anti violence perspective that sees institutional/cultural abuse and violence toward women and children”
“And the more I live, the more I believe it is a lifestyle that sustains the existence of the world”
“If it were in my logical power to deny the call to action from where ever it summons me I would. For me there is both choice and obligation. In many ways, life is a set of responsibilities and it is our right to choose how we fulfill these obligations. There is a voice in my head that both motivates me and paralysis me. “To whom much is given, much is expected””
You are now nodding your head in aggrence.
Veganism is not a one way approach. It is an emergent worldview. To miss this is to miss entirely the meaning of Vegan. And perhaps the identity of Kanye. So I leave this with one final quote from the book that sums up this topic so adequately:
“in a time of war, genocide, ecological disasters and xenophobia, the need for a worldview that anchors daily life’s to the calling of hope and transformation is undeniable”
Intersectional Veganism is upwards.