Thursday, February 9, 2012


I am not a vegan. I am a pescetarian. Basically, I am a vegetarian who eats fish & seafood. Or an omnivore who doesn't eat red or white meat or poultry. I have been eating this way for over a decade. I had various reasons for making the switch, and health was one of them. I know that red meat is not great for my cholesterol, so I avoid it.

When I think of vegans, I think of crunchy granola women. I think of dreadlocks on trustafarian white college students. If pressed, I might also include Hindus and Buddhists in my collection of people who are or might be vegans. I know this is my prejudice showing through, but there is some basis in reality. Even the people who read Vegans of Color tend to be white women.

There are blogs about vegans of color and discussions of how many vegan cookbooks and blogs seem to be targeted to white people with money. There is a valid point here. If the recipes and discussions are talking from a perspective of middle-class white american, the idea of eating mustard greens or samosas might be exotic and different. Samosas aren't different if you're Indian.

There are people who are bucking this image with cookbooks and articles. Bryant Terry said, "White people didn’t invent healthy cooking and sustainable eating. And the traditional foodways of people of color have the answers to the pressing food justice issues we’re facing today." He has also published a vegan cookbook.

As someone who grew up in middle-class white America, it was hard for me to get out of the meatloaf and casserole is dinner rut. It took a while to find balanced, healthful vegetarian meals. I may check out these books to find some new inspiration for healthful meals.

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