Systemic violence and institutionalized prejudices don’t victimize people in neat little boxes according to “race” or “sex” but instead, blur together in messy complicated ways.
So it goes, any attempt to challenge this reality – through organized social justice activism or personal daily battles – requires anticipating solutions that also cross boundaries, defy labels and overlap in beautiful ways.
As we highlighted in our most popular post HERE, Kimberlé Crenshaw identified how we shouldn’t be relying on a single category of a lived experience (e.g., being queer, or being chronically ill) to explain something as complicated as oppression (e.g., homophobia, or ableism).
That being understood, ELK has organized this website by keyword topics to make content more accessible. Some resources will appear on multiple pages because it is relevant to both by discussing multiple subjects.
Since the 1980s, neoliberalism has become the USA government and Western economist’s universal answers to inequalities, such as poverty caused by European colonialism, imperialism and racial inequalities. However, decolonial scholars collectively argue that this new world economic order only exists to globalize the American capitalist system and consumerist cultural system.
Capitalism, no matter how ‘self-regulating’, is a system that is not only unsustainable but also contingent upon the very types of structural poverty and racism that neoliberalism purports to remedy. Whether most people in the USA are conscious of it or not, our minds have been colonized by neoliberalism and this has deeply impacted how we collectively engage in even vegan activism and animal compassion work. During this talk/workshop, I will explore how particular vegan food guides and products, promoted as “cruelty-free” or “liberating”, uncritically uphold tenets of what I call neoliberal whiteness.
If, as our Mi’kmaq legends suggest, animals are our siblings, then how can we justify their treatment as objects within the hunting, fishing and agricultural industries?
What alternative do Mi’kmaq legends offer to the Christian colonial models of stewardship and domination, in which animals are our property? This workshop examines Mi’kmaq cultural values as an indigenous grounding for vegan practice while offering a critical standpoint on issues such as the indigenous fishing industry.
Awâsis will provide a brief overview of colonization and the impacts this has on Indigenous ways of being. How the colonial processes of dehumanization and dispiriting subjugate Indigenous Peoples, animals, and the earth will be explored. This will provide reasons to expand the scope of animal rights mobilizing to also include understandings of diverse relationships and responsibilities.
Interrelated acts of decolonization and Indigenous resurgence in our movements for animal liberation have the power to transform the very notion of what it means to be human on a path to liberation. Activists often risk reproducing colonial power dynamics in their organizing and it is an important obstacle to consider in our collective struggle. Lastly, Awâsis will suggest strategies for building a more inclusive, united, and a common front against all injustice.
During this decolonial era, Indigenous midwifery in East Los Angeles despite the several attempts to dismantle this ancestral practice along with their Indigenous plant-based nutritional advice thrives as the alterNative to biomedicine.
The Indigenous foodways and nutritional ways of knowing guided by these midwives are critical in restoring or decolonizing pregnancy, birthing, feeding experiences and most importantly health. In placing the decolonial present into perspective, a herstorical feminist narrative of early Los Angeles, midwifery, medicine, law, and the baby food industry discloses a critical dimension of the colonial matrix of power, which has been overlooked in determining changes in diet, health, and birthing. In recovering Indigenous foodways and nutrition, underground feminist practices in the urban ethnoscape of Los Angeles restores womb and taste healing memories.
lauren will discuss the achievements, shortcomings, and gaps of vegan advocacy with respect to various social ills. She will highlight both the inadequacy of vegan outreach in oppressed communities and communities of colour, and how forms of vegan outreach have the potential to either dismantle or reinforce historical relationships of oppression and imperialism.
Although the importance of radical self-care is emerging as a legitimate strategy for liberation within social justice communities, and although authors like pattrice jones have emphasized the importance of self-care in the animal rights community, radical self-care in practice is often ignored within animal rights. In fact, the very concept of “community” is ignored in animal rights. Instead, we focus increasingly on individuals making siloed decisions based on sometimes abstract ideas of animals as a monolithic group and how justice should manifest for them in a global human society. In my talk, I offer stories, poetry, some data, and real-life examples as to why radical self-care is important and relevant for the animal rights movement. I challenge fellow activists to contemplate and reconsider the role of community, in building community, when shaping our strategic and tactical work for animal rights. With the forces of racism, patriarchy, and colonialism weighing heavily in our individual lives and relationships, the most radical action we can take to affirm our power and make a difference for other animals is to help ourselves and help animals to help themselves. Throughout this talk, I will return again and again to the guiding question: how do we navigate the storm of oppression and manage to emerge sane?
– Sâkihitowin Awâsis
Spoken word has the transformative potential to be healing, empowering, and confrontational. It provides a way of resisting and dismantling colonialism and other oppressive systems that degrade our relationship to the land, water, animal beings, ourselves, and each other. This workshop will explore the role spoken-word, as an act of truth-telling, has in anti-colonial and anti-pipeline struggles that are working towards the liberation of all living beings.
THE FRONT LINE REALITY OF CANADA’S CHEMICAL VALLEY – Vanessa Gray
A look at the slow industrial violence in the Aamjiwnaang First Nation. Canada’s oil addiction has left toxic-water, polluted air and the displacement of all indigenous beings.
This presentation was delivered in 2013 during the first Sistah Vegan Conference, focusing on “Embodied and Critical Perspectives on Veganism by Black Women and Allies”.
Feminism cannot afford to ignore the link between women’s oppression and animal exploitation. Nor should veganism position itself as a movement independent of the struggle for women’s rights.
As well as the obvious examples of dairy cows and battery hens exploited for their reproductive capacity, there is a more subtle connection. From an early age, R’s own experience in a patriarchal religious-based culture led her to question both the roles of women and the treatment of animals. In Halal, R will discuss how her feminism and vegetarianism (eventually to become veganism), bloomed simultaneously in her early childhood, although she was not to make the connection that these were two sides of the same coin until decades later; that feminism and veganism are intertwined because both reject the implicitly accepted notion that some bodies have the right to control and dominate others. As long as feminists eat meat, then they are propping up the very system they fighting against.
In this talk, I will explore how my two books, Sistah Vegan (Lantern Books 2010) and Scars: A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural New England (Sense Publishers 2014), creatively articulate core themes in both critical race feminism and ethical consumption studies.
Ultimately, I will explore how creative writing can be used to holistically educate people about the interconnectedness of suffering for both human and non-human animals.
A writing from a self-identified pro-intersectional vegan of colour.
Many Indigenous people and organizations are interested in harnessing and incorporating traditional Indigenous knowledge into their policies, practices, research, and ethics. This is a much-needed shift as it is apparent the current paradigm is not working for humans and all the beings that came before us. In this talk, I draw from the Anishinaabe knowledge tradition discussing what is meant by Indigenous Knowledge, answering such questions: where is it, and who has it, and are the Indigenous nations of Turtle Island the only people who have Indigenous Knowledge? Drawing on the Anishinaabe Creation Story and the Clan System of Governance I will talk about our place in Creation and the responsibilities we have in this place. I will also talk about the holistic nature of Anishinaabe knowledge and the importance for people to value the 2 intelligence of the heart in a way that they begin to look more critically at their own thinking process so as not to be manipulated by the current order of capitalism, materialism, and resource extraction.
Communities of Color, Anti-racism & White privilege
- RECON 2013: THE COLOR OF ANIMAL RIGHTS
- White Supremacy Culture
by Tema Okun
- Decolonizing Antiracism
by Bonita Lawrence and Enakshi Dua
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
by Peggy McIntosh
- Explaining Racism to White Veg*Ns & Speciesism to Non-Veg*N POCs
by Vegans of Color
- Challenging White Supremacy Workshop
- Animal Liberationists of Color
- Portland Vegans of Color
- Sistah Vegan Project
Isn’t about veganism as much as it is about what life and phenomenon look like through the consciousness of black vegan girls and women – using critical race, feminist, decolonial, as well as vegan frameworks
- Sisters of Resistance
Anti-Imperialist Pro-Vegan Radical Queer Feminist Hip-Hop & Grime Revolutionaries
Vegans of Color
A space to give a voice to vegans of color. Many vegan spaces seem to be assumed (consciously or not) to be white by default, with the dialogue within often coming from a place of white privilege. We’re not single-issue here. All oppressions are connected.
- Vegan Hip Hop Movement
Where food justice with a plant-based/decolonial diet perspective meet hip hop and where we explore the intersections of other animal/human/earth liberation. hip hop is rooted in resistance and rich with experience in fighting for social justice. veganism is about practicing compassion and is motivated by living cruelty-free for the sake of other animals. the fusion of veganism and hip hop is designed to promote holistic activism.
- Black Girl Dangerous
100% reader-funded, non-profit project working to help amplify the voices of queer and trans* people of color!
- Personal Empowerment with Black Feminism
By Dr. Alexis P. Gumbs
- White Noise Collective
We are a collective of people who (mostly) identify as female and who have experienced the world with white skin privilege. As individuals, we come from diverse class backgrounds, religious and spiritual traditions, ethnicities and sexual orientations. We are informed and inspired by the intersectional analyses of influential Black feminist theorists as well as the work of our antiracist white ancestors.
- The Angry Black Woman
Why am I angry? Lots of reasons. The aforementioned racism and sexism. The way that our culture perpetuates racism and sexism then lies about what it’s doing. The fact that minorities, poor people, immigrants (both illegal and legal), and other marginalized parties are still treated like the gum on the shoe of the white, male power structure in this country and yet we’re all told that things are getting better. Things are not getting better.
- Racism versus speciesism: A moral battleground?
By Katrina Fox
- No One Is Illegal
A group of immigrants, refugees and allies who fight for the rights of all migrants to live with dignity and respect.
- Migrants Know Your Rights
- Racism, Intersectionality & Allyship
By Kim Milan
- “Meet Us at Our Table:” The Problems with the White Savior Complex
By Toi Scott
- The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond
Focuses on understanding what racism is, where it comes from, how it functions, why it persists and how it can be undone. Our workshops utilize a systemic approach that emphasizes learning from history, developing leadership, maintaining accountability to communities, creating networks, undoing internalized racial oppression and understanding the role of organizational gate keeping as a mechanism for perpetuating racism.
- DISMANTLING RACISM: A RESOURCE BOOK
Indigenous resistance, Settler solidarity
& Anti-colonial organizing
- Decolonial Food for Thought
An antispeciesist standpoint grounded in the teachings shared with us by our communities and elders which include our relatives, the slithering two and four legged animals (humans included) the land, water, plants & seeds…
- “History in our Faces on Occupied Land: A Race Relations Timeline”
By Vancouver Status of Women – Feminist Working Group
- “Racialization of Poverty: Indigenous Women, the Indian Act and Systemic Oppression – REASONS FOR RESISTANCE”
By Angela Sterritt
- Colonization and Decolonization: A Manual for Indigenous Liberation in the 21st Century
- 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance
By Gord Hill
By Zigzag & Keyway, Long Hot Summer ‘99
- Decolonization is not a metaphor
By Eve Tuck & K. Wayne Yang
- Unsettling Ourselves: Reflections and Resources for Deconstructing Colonial Mentality
A sourcebook compiled by Unsettling Minnesota
- Decolonizing Animal Liberation
This blog was created and currently managed by Darren Chang, animal liberation activist living on Unceded Coast Salish Territories, Turtle Island (so-called Vancouver, BC, Canada), traditional, ancestral, and occupied land of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh), and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) people.
- Reclaim Turtle Island
Defend our Lands. Shut Down the tar sands.
- Unsettling America: Decolonization in Theory & Practice
An emerging decentralized network of autonomous groups and individuals dedicated to mental and territorial decolonization throughout Turtle Island and the “Americas.” We are not here to document Statist, top-down legislative/governmental “decolonization” from above, but rather the mental, spiritual, and psychological decolonization and liberation that can only come from below and within, and does not seek sanction or legitimization from abstract (and fundamentally illegitimate) external power structures in seeking true sovereignty and self-determination for ourselves and for all people.
- Defenders of the Land
A network of Indigenous communities and activists in land struggle across Canada, including Elders and youth, women and men, was founded at a historic meeting in Winnipeg from November 12-14, 2008. Defenders is the only organization of its kind in the territory known as Canada – Indigenous-led, free of government or corporate funding, and dedicated to building a fundamental movement for Indigenous rights. We will be holding a second gathering this year, where we will decide on collective action and a strategy to build the movement through education and organizing.
- Unist’ot’en Camp
A resistance community whose purpose is to protect sovereign Wet’suwet’en territory from several proposed pipelines from the Tar Sands Gigaproject and shale gas from Hydraulic Fracturing Projects in the Peace River Region.
- Indigenous Environmental Network
Established in 1990 within the United States, IEN was formed by grassroots Indigenous peoples and individuals to address environmental and economic justice issues (EJ).
- Cultural Survival
Partnering with Indigenous Peoples to Defend their Lands, Languages, and Cultures
- There is No “We”: V-Day, Indigenous Women and the Myth of Shared Gender Oppression
By Lauren Chief Elk
- Unsettling Minnesota
A collective of non-Dakota people working in solidarity towards decolonization in Dakota homelands.
- Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (Missing Justice)
A grassroots solidarity collective based in Montreal that works to eliminate violence and discrimination against Indigenous women living in Quebec. The collective seeks to consult and collaborate with Indigenous communities and organizations to foster understanding and dispel harmful stereotypes commonly held in regards to Indigenous women who are targets of violence.
- TRIBAL EQUITY TOOLKIT 2.0: TRIBAL RESOLUTIONS AND CODES TO SUPPORT TWO SPIRIT & LGBT JUSTICE IN INDIAN COUNTRY