White Vegan(ism)

Self portrait of the author reflecting on the components of liberation. Image by Ayana Naomi.
There are many shades to veganism, with White veganism being a watered-down, neoliberal shade. There are also many reasons to compel others toward veganism: lessen your contribution to climate change, improve your own health, or save animals. However, I believe these rationales to be distracting and White veganism to be an adulteration of the true essence of veganism: abolition. White veganism upholds the patriarchy and racism that keeps animals and humans oppressed. I want no part of this veganism.
This recipe is a satire highlighting the counterintuitive and extremely harmful narratives White veganism espouses. The second image is a reflection of the personal work to pursue the liberation of all beings. As a White vegan of 10 years, I am compelled to veganism as a protest to capitalist, industrialized agriculture and have the privilege to access the resources to manifest this protest in my diet everyday. Dietary changes are a minuscule part of the overhaul abolitionist veganism requires of the entire food system though. What I am cultivating in my own home, building up slowly and full of nutrients, like soil, is a humble understanding that we are all interconnected, that revolution is evolution, and abolitionist veganism is one part of the food sovereign future I envision.
Portrait of Ayana

Ayana Naomi (she/her)

I am a Master’s student studying agroecology and food systems policy as well as a Museum Studies Fellow on the land of the Anishinaabek where the University of Michigan resides. I hope to collaboratively create aspirational, imaginative spaces of activism and food sovereignty education outdoors. As a settler and vegan (going on 10 years now) I strive for continual self-relfexivity and liberation for all beings from capitalism and colonial structures.