I’ve edited this post mostly to add, upon discovering this tonight: https://winniemandelasfist.org/2018/07/24/individualistic-veganism-is-not-environmental-justice-repost/
There are indigenous people vegans trample on everywhere. In the same vein, there is no place to consider some oppressions within ‘vegan culture’, be it among vegans of colour. And this is ironic considering many use the term ‘ahimsa’, appropriated from Jainism/Buddhism and Buddhism is popular but Buddhism originally started as a sort of political resistance to the very system of oppression vegans now refuse to hear or engage about. We are not people of colour, this term encompasses our oppressors of colour (whom vegans love, like Gandhi but women too in a vegan movement that is largely women), whereas we brown folks whom Hindus oppress, by definition, by habit and by continued impunity, use another acronym that lumps us with indigenous (Adivasi).
If I use the multi-ethnic acronym, the only one there is, our oppressions are talked about on the same platforms although they are of course more oppressed than me, as are Dalits. Vegans and everyone know and use the word ‘pariah’, this is a surname (i.e. caste name)of people who still bear it and still face the kind of oppression that word refers to, today. It’s been thousands of years and the word exists because of the oppression they faced, it is from their name! I wrote on casteism, before; then I got used for free by Rama Ganesan (@rama_gane, goes by Rama Ganes on fb) who distorted my words through her oppressive lens (at least once, more times I don’t know yet?) When called out for plagiarism, she gaslit me & closed the group where she was mining us for explanations on casteism, as in to explain to her how she oppresses us, alleging good Brahmin intentions or Brahmin guilt a-la-white-guilt. There are no social sanctions for people like her, instead Sanctuary Publishers(POC publication? who has been called in by her friend and knows but doesn’t care, see no one has to care about an oppression no one generally cares about) is publishing Rama as the authority on the oppression wherein she is the oppressor bc you have an ‘ally’ circus in intersectional veganism. It’s the definition of a failed movement. Rama, of the ‘master-race’ (according to themselves), thinks she is talking to ignorant savages when she is talking down to some people or when asking inane questions to famous Dalit writers. And Dalit writers are routinely undervalued, and not treated like writers so this in itself is offensive & oppressiveness at work. Before it got to that, grave things happened and vegans did not understand, or pretended not to understand, there is no accountability. Why, in such an environment, must I do any more labour? For whom? It’s already hard, I have to fight back colonialism everyday. Who is responsible for deforestation, land theft and the predicament of harmed (farmed, hunted/trophy-hunted, exploited) animals? Colonialism. Can those who don’t care to end the latter help animals?
I’m talking to the same followers, some since 6 years. There is nothing more to say, especially that the interest dropped to complete silence since the years I started to mention that caste is one of the intersections. Whereas my friends who face that oppression eat almost no meat anymore either the situations got worse or one got diabetes or we talked naturally and they’re more informed. Veggies I know (family) don’t have good diets, they don’t care and I don’t care, after when I moved back here I shared my supplements with them. Friends are the ones who had to maybe look for seaweed for me, so we talked about nutrients. And I found out they don’t eat fish more than once a week either because of inaccessibility. Vegans I know irl otoh are not rooted in reality, neither helped me with a list I had to compile by myself vs animal testing (when I have no physical access!! The friend I credited is not veg*n), nor helped my disabled self try keep my diet balanced which is hard on this island. It was only a matter of telling me where and I send help to purchase my own food. One would think they shop there anyway because the health type stores carry a lot for vegans. Overseas, 2 vegans posted things to me, an omnivore too and another omnivore offered. This was massive help to keep me healthy, whereas vegans I’ve known for years are doing their bit for eugenics in practice since 5 years (erasure, gaslighting, isolating), and winning. I shouldn’t have moved back.
Read this perspective, see Black & follow indigenous vegans like David Lunch (7 years, and that is the issue with vegans, I’m putting the duration here for vegan readers to even consider her/their views). No one I know, in many countries, ever felt like using the term Al-Ma’arrist, because veganism at the root loves denial of black or brown originators and prefers Gandhi, an upper caste racist pervert who is wrongly credited for satyagraha, he was not vegan but in the end it’s like vegans modelled their movement on his, in terms of appropriation.
On fb, I kept followers updated on local violence e.g. the annual bat killings; although the old petition is still getting signatures, the mood of this society is ‘tired’. Conservationists have given up trying to save our bats! Recently, the NGO said the old petition is now useless, it was merely to judge public opinion. Our government does what it wants, no one cares – colonisers are winning. If most don’t care about social issues that lead to such a situation, or if vegans criticise those fighting for social justice, what good is it to even share petitions? This is not an exception. I’m writing from the place this petition is for, with years of observation and engagement in this issue. A celebrated biologist and professor joined the corruption as our President, said nothing about the cull and later, she was made to step down, she had no voice or wasted her voice as she was hungry for power and money? How many others who are supposed to be working for the environment do that anyway? And are we even supposed to be relying on those in power if we really care about animals? Here, they do, they berate people, they don’t condemn all the above inaction/ corruption but they shamed me for being more disabled now but guess what, when we were friends none of them wanted to borrow DVDs. Over a decade back I did a screening alone and I am so glad the jerks I see around are none of the attendees. It was the wrong approach but I did something right if none of them joined the later-formed vegan cult. I take no responsibility for vegans related to me, mainly hateful violent men who felt in competition with me after laughing at me for years then seeing me sticking to the lifestyle, or one I’ve never met but all men who love ignorance, love tradition except for the part where they owe me respect for being elder to them.
Who is really working for the environment, nature and animals? Answer: indigenous peoples. The forests we claim to care about are designed and maintained by them, for as long as they have state ‘permission’ to be on their land. There weren’t any on our island, originally. Whites needed slaves and dodo meat to live here whereas slaves who escaped, if they made it alive, lived sustainably in the forest and could not be found by man-hunters. This is history we shared with other islands, called marronage. They are considered indigenous, they survived whereas whites left when there was disease, cyclones or after they ate all the dodos.
White vegans I’ve known are mostly concerned about their pets, other animals in theory, about always sounding right (for that, growing the number of vegans who agree with them or become their social capital is ideal), about vegan food and about their own pockets and networks. I’ve known those who opened food businesses but never cared to make it affordable, claimed they were not making much money. They also got membership money from people and did not send gays items they were promised on subscribing. Not to forget they treated the guerrilla gardener like crap when scheduling their intersectional vegan conference. They’re not interested in that or disabled in accessibility.
Both businesses I speak of employed black indigenous people and one mistreated their Black staff, perhaps you will never hear of this bc the whites post pretty food pics or are hispsters and you like them or their eatery. I closed down a South African vegan forum only bc it kept being full of racists and their racism, basically they won. Admins are free to reopen it, I said nothing, nor did they but I was tired of asking for help, we were not able to manage it between the 3-4 who are pro-Black and willing to help. We only addressed anti-black racism, there was no need to address sexism and some things we don’t agree on, yet one admin simply left the group when she figured out my caste in personal communication! The ‘movement’ seems designed colonially, to exhaust and exploit some. Postscript to include this confirmation; in the week where Capetonian vegans held an anti-indigenous protest and got covered in the news, because they ally with mainstream agendas. They were asking people, holding a ceremony in protest to racism (because people act like they’re still barred from some beaches), why it includes a slaughter. They are living on that land only, with no consideration for the culture whereas no one asks them to explain the context of their presence, a racist movement.
I’m now ending this blog.
Thank you to those who kept me trying to bang my head against a wall. Seriously, thanks to all of you who shared, commented or liked over the 6+ years!
I feel bitter too, not to end, but to have blogged here for so long when I am not even humanised, vegans picked and chose what they want of me, to use me. No ex-friends who are ‘intersectional vegans‘ follow me here and this is not what I refer to but as an example, some need a disabled friend to add to their collection of freaks, for inspiration porn or ally theatre. Then their ally theatre (or just putting the word ‘ableism’ in their event) becomes all that people need, radical disabled voices aren’t needed. More so mine bc of my identities. And the vegan so-called community is especially violent to disabled folks, unless only some of us, but as you may see on the blog if you search posts, I always had to defend myself alone against ableism or backlash. Then it’s too draining so I stop speaking on the issue. Casteism is not the 2nd issue I’ve been silenced about, it depends on regions, but like the only existing vegan thing that seems to be against it is a sham, every vegan effort will be unless started by an Adivasi or a Dalit but it won’t even look the same. Even I wasn’t so presumtious as to start something that claims to be a rally cry, can you imagine if there was no indigenous vegans, POCs or whites start something speaking for them and want it to be called legitimate, it would be odd but Anti-caste Vegan is doing exactly that and it is considered valid by vegans I know. I clicked to get the link and it’s mind-boggling how people don’t pick up on her oppressive language. She’s American, she gets published, her English isn’t the issue, her oppressiveness is, all sources do not report in a casteist manner.
I wrote about surnames here, above, and her last post erases what I said, either she is erasing all descendants of indenture or both us and Tamils in India. Veganism is anti-indigenous and I don’t see any prospect of change. Among Indians vegetarianism had the same process, I am 3rd generation (the first transitioned) and I saw the untackled internalised and externalised anti-indigineity in my own family grow to something uncontrollable. POC in general here are, Chinese, whoever; I had to remove an object from my window. We didn’t know what it was for sure, just passed on and neglected so I took it. I’m trash (disabled), it was treated like trash. It upset the sensibilities of passers-by, of all colours except white and black (the family had no such visitors). And it has a face but they didn’t know what it was, later I found out it is where the blood was poured when my great-grandfamily ritually sacrificed an animal. My soul or body made me vegan, decades ago and I intuitively also embraced that ancestral object they deemed was an ‘ugly’ decoration because of tribal origin.
To some of you (mostly only the Ko sisters if they still follow me here), I wish you good things, a great 2019 and beyond.