Oppressions intersect.
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.

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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.

HOW NEOLIBERAL WHITENESS INFLUENCES MAINSTREAM VEGAN ACTIVISM – Dr. A. Breeze Harper

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. sistah vegan
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.

INDIGENOUS VEGANISM – FEMINIST NATIVES DO EAT TOFU – Margaret Robinson

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? margaret - sizer
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.

ANIMAL RIGHTS & ANTI-COLONIAL ORGANIZING – Sâkihitowin Awâsis

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. awasis
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.

MIDWIFERY, MEDICINE & BABY FOOD POLITICS – Claudia Serrato

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. cserrato
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.

BEYOND VEGANISM: DIET &  CONSUMPTION IN A GLOBAL WORLD – lauren Ornelas

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.

CONTEMPLATING RADICAL SELF-CARE IN ANIMAL RIGHTS – Anastasia Yarbroughanastasia

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?

RE-VISIONING RELATIONS – Sâkihitowin Awâsis awasis.JPG

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.

PETA & THE TROPE OF “ACTIVISM”
– Aph Ko

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”.

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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.

PERSPECTIVES ON INTERSECTING OPPRESSIONS FROM A MUSLIM VEGAN FEMINIST – R.H.

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, Ruby’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, Ruby 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.

RACE, SPECIESISM AND LIBERATION THROUGH CREATIVE WRITING – Breeze Harperbh3

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.

 

mehndiWHITE VEGANS APPROPRIATING MEHNDI/HENNA –
Meneka Repka

A writing from a self-identified pro-intersectional vegan of colour.

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10 SIGNS AN ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUP IS A CULT – Woke Vegana

A writing from a concerned member of the animal liberation movement and someone who was an ongoing lawsuit with an animal rights group,

lynnINDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE – Dr. Lynn Gehl, Algonquin Anishinaabe-Kwe

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.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Communities of Color, Anti-racism & White privilege

Indigenous resistance, Settler solidarity
& Anti-colonial organizing

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