“Beef” Between Vegans and Indigenous People?
(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.
2500 12th Street NW
Unit E, Suite 2
Albuquerque, NM 87104
Wednesday-Sunday 10am – 5pm
Here is an interview with Tina Archuleta by New Mexico in Focus: