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From Frugivore — So, I am tackling a subject that has been on mind for quite a while one that I have discussed with friends and other vegans. This is a topic that I hope will start an intriguing dialogue here concerning the vegan movement among African-Americans.

As we have heard many times before and as I myself have addressed here, we are disproportionately affected by a plethora of preventable diseases most often linked to meat consumption. Unfortunately, even with the alarming statistics consistently on the forefront, many still refuse to take closer look at their plates and make significant changes. I often wonder though, beyond not wanting to give up burgers and steak, are there other reasons why many of us are shying away from plant-based diets?

I have often surmised that one reason might be because, upon looking at the landscape of veganism, you see mostly female Caucasian faces spearheading the movement, thus perhaps making it undesirable or instilling a feeling of this sort of lifestyle being “not for us.”

But, upon further examination, while looking at many of the African-Americans who are embracing this lifestyle, there seems to be certain types of people that you see on the forefront as well.

So, it makes me inquire: do African-Americans feel that if they don’t fit a certain mold that there is no room for them to embrace or promote the lifestyle? I know it may sound silly to even suggest, but we live in a society where many strive to “fit-in” and be “accepted,” so are people afraid of the stigma that can often come along with veganism?

(Continue Reading @ Frugivore…)

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  • Michelle

    I do think there is something to many of us wanting to appear to be something other than the black stereotype, and in a real sense, something wholly other than “black.”

    Veganism, like many other socially constructed identities is a costume that many of us wear to try and protect ourselves from the internalized shame of being African American, or black American.

    • L

      Uumm! Speak for yourself.

      Lick me, Im dry!

    • Michelle,

      *chic noir waves to Michelle*

      Girl Bye!

      Some of us become vegetarian and vegan for health reasons.

  • Dalili

    it’s been some years since I conformed to anyone’s standard for my life. My reasons for shying away from being a vegetarian/vegan has more to do with the fact that I LOVE meat, especially red meat, nothing more.

    There’s great freedom in being unapologetic about who you are; whomever and whatever that may be. My philosophy is let people get through this life the best way they know how, without confining them within boundaries stemming from preconceived notions and perceived flaws.

  • This article… huh? Veganism is not a special club that white people let you in to, but this article makes it seem like it is. It begs the question of if you have to be a certain “type” of black person to get in the club, while simultaneously reminding us that the author is, in fact, one of those “lucky” few who fit the stereotype well enough to be allowed admittance.

    People “become” vegans for a number of reasons — including wanting to prove to other people that they have “removed the blindfold” that “is” Western culture. When black folk make choices that are different from “accepted black culture” they always want to get on a podium and shout about their “differentness” to everyone else so they can be a shining example of that annoying little phrase we are always spouting: “black people are not a monolith.”

    Damn, my comment has a lot of quote marks.

    My question is: who cares?

    ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” “

  • Whatever

    I know plenty of vegan and vegetarian black people and they have all chosen that diet for health reasons. I don’t consider it a “white thing”… For the most part, what you put into your a body is a big deal especially with the rise in heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. That trumps “hip and cool” any day. More black people haven’t chosen the vegan/vegetarian path I believe for cultural reasons. There is an article on here right now with people professing their love for a traditional serving of fried pig intestines.

    (http://mundane-mint.flywheelsites.com/2012/05/you-can-have-your-chitlins-and-eat-them-too/2/)

  • Whatever

    I know plenty of vegan and vegetarian black people and they have all chosen that diet for health reasons. I don’t consider it a “white thing”… For the most part, what you put into your a body is a big deal especially with the rise in heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. That trumps “hip and cool” any day. More black people haven’t chosen the vegan/vegetarian path I believe for cultural reasons. There is an article on here right now with people professing their love for a traditional serving of fried pig intestines.