As a vegan myself, I can’t believe I had never noticed this before. While I had always internalized the predominately white, youthful, and able-bodied representations of veganism that proliferated the media, I had never stopped to question their implications or their seeming infallibility. Representation is like an echo chamber: when you see something depicted over and over again in a certain way, that mode of depiction becomes your personal truth; it becomes the only discourse through which that thing can be meaningfully identified.
I especially appreciated the point this article made about depictions of POC usually being tied to violence and tragedy, considering all the movies made about slavery, inner city violence, and all the philanthropic campaigns depicted sad-looking brown children from obscure third-world countries (speaking of appropriating people’s struggles without sharing them, this point reminded me of a poem by Sherman Alexie called “How to Write the Great American Indian Novel”. Here’s a link to it: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/52775).
Also, I had never heard of the term “specisism” until reading this article, although the fact that Google Docs just underlined it with a squiggly red line makes me question whether it’s a real word. The moral dilemma of whether animal life is just as valuable as human life is one that I have still not resolved (I always get confused about where one should draw the line between human and animal, and how microscopic you can go to still be considered an animal).
Also #2, a blog and Facebook group called “Black Vegans Rock”? So cool.