Being Black and Vegan is nuanced. First of all, there are many different black ‘peoples’. Are we talking African? Caribbean? Europe or the USA? If you’re talking Caribbean veganism, it could be part of spiritual traditions, Rastafarianism involves eating produce that’s ideally home-grown and organic.
Processed foods can be classed as ‘contaminated’ with additives and preservatives.
If you’re talking African veganism, it’s also a return to tradition. Africans lived a mainly plant-based lifestyle. Meat wasn’t consumed like it is today: when I was a child we got a single 1-inch cube of meat with our meal, that was it. Colonialism was the advent of major meat-eating in Africa.
When it comes to connecting on social media, it seems Black American Vegans are mostly Caribbean. I’m African, my mother is White British and my father is Nigerian. I’m on a quest to find more of my people! To find the veganised food of my childhood. To find the black African Vegan businesses to support! So far, I haven’t been able to find any statistics that can tell me how many Black Vegans there are, anywhere.
My line of work involves helping people heal themselves naturally, the products I recommend are those that helped save my life, and which help to keep my family safe. [Brief history – I got diagnosed with depression and fibromyalgia after my 3rd child, went vegan for health, took my family and dog with me, cleaned environmental toxins out of our lives, and now only use plant-based natural products for everything, no pharmaceuticals either]
The big HOWEVER is that I’m not finding the products I love from Vegan BLACK Owned business.
I won’t align myself with any company that’s associated with any form of Planet Rape, Animal Exploitation, or any discrimination of any kind. Am I fussy? My family and I live this way for a reason, our lifestyle is our PROTEST, we need our boxes ticked when it comes to products we use.
My good friend (Nena Ubani @duchessnena) and I are actively looking for African Vegans in business in the UK. She’s a Nigerian Celebrity Chef & Life Coach who has done wonders for our community. Veganising so many of our favourite traditional foods, travelled Nigeria featuring on radio stations and TV shows (BBC Igbo/BBC Nigeria).
The Black Vegan angle is fast becoming a huge market, especially since 2020 has shown us all how many things are possible when forced to be responsible for ourselves, and that we have to be creative with it.
Guest post by Victoria Koshoni