(Happy International Womens Month / International Womens Day! Read to end for highlighted lady-owned business.)
There have been quite a few articles and commentary on the tension that has emerged between some vegans and indigenous people. There are those who identify as vegan, who have been attempting to shame indigenous communities for their use of animals. It would be important to first state that most vegans are not likely to agree with this approach. Even so, it has become a trending topic of dispute.
So let us weigh in on the conversation. Although we are obviously advocating a vegan lifestyle with this website, the first thought that came to mind was – “Why is anyone attempting to further dictate the actions of indigenous people in Abya Yala (aka: America) on their own land?”
We believe the focus of non-indigenous people who are vegan should remain firmly on the largest perpetrators of deaths of other beings. This would mean actively working on reducing the suffering of beings in slaughter houses, promoting vegan meals to the main stream, and advertising more eco-friendly and morally sound material use – like cactus leather instead of the skin of beings.
Marginalized communities should not be the target of vegan activism before large corporations are fully addressed and mainstream habits completely changed. This misplaced attention reminds me of some environmental activists who briefly attempted to shame impoverished people in African countries for burning tires for warmth instead of fully focusing on the far greater pollution of western countries.
Yes, at some point…far in the future…non-indigenous vegans may choose to respectfully offer vegan meal ideas and vegan material ideas to indigenous communities. However, it will probably be more effective when these ideas are introduced by the vegan indigenous people that already exist. Yes, there are indigenous vegans. There are also many indigenous communities that eat a primarily vegan diet already.
Due to this conversation, for International Womens Month, we would like to highlight the indigenous founder, Tina Archuleta, of the vegan restaurant – Itality – in New Mexico. She is using native vegetables, fruits and grains to make wonderful vegan indigenous food. She hopes to improve the health of the community and re-connect with de-colonized traditional meals.
There are currently states in Abya Yala (original name of USA/the Americas) attempting to remove history of people from Alkebulan (original name of Africa) from the school curriculum. Well, here are just a few of the many contributions – important and fun – from African-American scientists, engineers, and more!
Materials used in some of the products below may not be vegan.
Alfred L. Cralle
In 1897, Alfred L. Cralle patented the ice cream scoop.
While you’re at it, get some vegan ice cream here.
In 1923 Percy Julian completed his schooling at Harvard University with a master’s in chemistry. Many scientists were attempting to find a more efficient way to produce cortisone – as it had been found to be effective in soothing inflamed joints. At the time, they were killing 15,000 oxen to produce the bile used for the treatment of just one patient. It was Julian who discovered a way to synthesize cortisone from soybeans instead.
Frederick McKinley Jones
1930s Frederick McKinleyJonescreated refridgeration equipment and has more than 40 patents. He named one the Thermo King. He invented refridgeration units for homes, trucks, trains, and planes. “His work also contributed to the preservation of blood and medicine, proving to be particularly useful during WWII. In 1991, he became the first African American to receive the National Medal of Technology.”
Get one of the most eco-friendly refridgerators, like the Liebherr MRB 3000, here.
Gladys West was born in 1930. She is the mathematician and programmer who’s mathematically accurate model of Earth was used as “the foundation for the creation of the Global Positioning System (GPS).”
In 1980, Valerie Thomas invented 3D technology. She patented it under the name – illusion transmitter – while working for NASA. Here invention is still used by NASA today. It is also used to make 3D TVs and 3D movies. We may not be able to use her invention the way NASA does, but luckily we can set up a 3D entertainment system at home to enjoy some movies offered in 3D!
Jean-Philippe, M. and Burnett, J. 15 African-American Inventors to Remember This Black History Month and Beyond. Oprah Daily. (Jan 19, 2023). https://www.oprahdaily.com/life/work-money/g30877473/african-american-inventors/.
Miller, A. 28 DOBE- Day 17: Marie Van Brittan Brown, Keeping You Safe At Home. (February 17, 2018). https://www.blackexcellence.com/28-dobe-day-17-marie-van-brittan-brown/.
Cesar Chavez was a human rights activist with a primary focus on farm workers’ rights. However, he also was an animal rights activist and received the In Defense of Animals (IDA) Lifetime Achievement Award. Many do not know Cesar Chavez was a vegetarian and at times a vegan!
Here is a quote from Cesar Chavez’s acceptance speech for the In Defense of Animals (IDA) Lifetime Achievement Award:
“We need, in a special way, to work twice as hard to make all people understand that animals
are fellow creatures. That we must protect them and love them as we love ourselves and that
the basis for peace is respecting all creatures. That’s the basis for peace. We cannot hope to
have peace until we respect everyone, respect ourselves, and respect animals and all living
things – and that’s the basis we see the beginning of peace. We know we cannot defend and
be kind to animals until we stop exploiting them – exploiting them in the name of science,
exploiting animals in the name of sport, exploiting animals in the name of fashion, and yes,
exploiting animals in the name of food.”
Here is a video of Cesar Chavez’s acceptance speech for the Lifetime Achievement Award from In Defense of Animals (IDA) [starts at 43 seconds]:
Did you have fun at your local Pride celebrations or are you feeling bummed because you missed out? Well, purchasing from brands owned by someone in the LGBTQ+ community is another great way to show your support, allyship and pride all throughout the year! Lets shop!
Beet x Beet
This company is woman owned and they do all manufacturing locally in Los Angeles. The yarn and ink used are 100% vegan. Also, the packaging is all made of recycled materials and is recyclable. I like the…”beet”…of this :D.
Get stuff at Beet x Beet here: https://beetxbeet.com/
Need some gender neutral gear? Brave Gentleman is your store – especially for kicks – the footwear ranges from sporty to professional. If you’re trying to find something to replace your worn out leather shoes, there is a large assortment of options made of polyurethane (PU). Although PU is not the most eco-friendly material, their chart below shows it is vastly better for the environment than tanning dead animal skins. So, for you, if it’s between leather and polyurethane – go Brave Gentleman.
Get stuff atBrave Gentleman here: https://www.bravegentleman.com/
Get stuff at Brave Gentleman here: https://www.bravegentleman.com/
Arium has a wonderful collection of traditional and exotic plants. They are of the variety that can be grown in pots from home. Arium has even partnered with local artists to sell their hand-made ceramic pots – pretty cool huh? So, lets help out – get to growing!
Get stuff at Arium here: https://ariumbotanicals.com/
photo source: https://otherwild.com/
Otherwild is an LGBTQ+ woman owned company with vegan and eco-friendly products to fill your home with. Our favorites include stainless steel containers as well as colorful coffee mugs, t-shirts and pins with fun graphics, and great phrases.
Get stuff at Otherwild here: https://otherwild.com/
Suay Sew Shop
photo source: https://suayla.com/
They use repurposed materials and eco-friendly dies. You can get clothing, blankets, pillows, towels and more. Everything is made right in L.A. They also offer a few really awesome services. If you have items like shirts or pants that you would like to keep, but they have a tear or hole, Suay Sew Shop does repairs! Check out their website to see all the other cool products and services.
Freedom! Finally! Then decades of further struggles that continue to this day – giant hurdles African-American people keep having to overcome. Even so, for today, we all celebrate the news of freedom.
Here are a few African-American owned restaurants you can get some grub from every week and on Juneteenth. Lets Eat!
Baba’s Vegan Cafe
If you call, you may get to talk to Baba directly. The food description on their website is: African Diasporic Cuisine. On June 19, 2022 Baba’s Vegan Cafe is a featured eatery at the Juneteenth Festival (hosted by the L.A. Black History Month Festival). You can grab a bite at the festival between 10am and 6pm. Here is the address for the event: 7000 West Manchester Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90045
After Juneteenth, Baba’s Vegan Cafe offers deliveries via DoorDash & UberEats.
Location: 6619 S. Western Ave, South Los Angeles, CA Call: 323 – VEGAN – 93 (323-834-2693) Order online: https://www.babasvegancafe.com/ Hours: Tuesday – Friday; 2pm – 7pm
Baba’s Vegan Cafe also does catering!
Stuff I Eat
Stuff I Eat is located on a quiet city street – making for an even more comfortable dining experience. The owner, Chef Babette, is well-known throughout many communities. This is of course due to her plant-based cuisine, but she has also been on television multiple times! You may have seen her on Inside Edition, The Chew, and the t.v. series Insecure, among many other television appearances. Dine-in, take-out or get a delivery! P.S. The Enchilada Pie is so so so good!
Stuff I Eat 114 N. Market St. Inglewood, CA 90301 Phone: 323-671-0115 Hours: Wednesday – Sunday (12:00pm – 6:00pm) Website: https://www.stuffieat.com/
The owner of Jackfruit Cafe is Angela Means Kaaya. She did an excellent performance in the popular 1990’s film Friday as the character Felisha. Jackfruit Cafe’s deep fried breaded vegan fish and deep fried breaded vegan shrimp with a side of black beans and rice are the best! The shrimp come with really good vegan aioli sauce and peppers. Yum yum yum!
Support her culinary ventures by ordering delivery online at: https://jackfruitcafe.com/
You can also pick up your food, hot and fresh, at: 358 W. 38th St., Los Angeles, CA 90037
Please support Bovine mothers in the U.S. and around the world – their babies belong to them. Also, just like all mammals (including humans) their milk is made in their bodies for their babies – ONLY their babies.
“New Zealand Dairy Cruelty — Cows cry out for their babies”