Portland Vegans of Color exists to connect vegans of color with each other locally and worldwide, to promote more intersectional organizing around vegan politics, to inspire more people of color to go vegan, and to confront the perceived mainstream vision of veganism as a white movement.
Why are we specifically focused on race?
As vegans of color, we felt a void in the animal rights movement where race was concerned. Race factors into a person of color’s life in ways that white people in Western society can not feel or struggle with. Vegans of color can and do often feel tokenized, excluded, or isolated as the face of veganism, and animal rights, is often thought of as white. At best, people of color are noticeably missing in outreach with campaigns that concern their communities and, at worst, are targeted with popular xenophobic, racist campaigns against them, headed by white activists. Other problematic issues such as classism/poverty, fatphobia, sexism, ablism, and homophobia/transphobia are often tied up in racism, and often ignored by the mainstream animal rights movement. Also, as Portland is one of the whitest major cities in the USA, we wanted a way to locally engage and inspire activists of color while connecting with those around the nation and world. We are vegans of color and we want more vegans of color in our lives!
Why are you “excluding” white people?
We’re not excluding white people, we’re creating a group where vegans of color feel empowered and inspired to make a difference in our world. If you feel offended by that, you should mediate on why. And research “white privilege.”
Why the phrase, “vegans of color”?
Because “people of color” was a term chosen by people of color to describe themselves, unlike “colored” and a myriad of other derogatory, racial slurs. We, as vegans, and people of color, enjoy smashing the words together. It makes sense to use the term to organize, promote, and connect with others.