Yes, people of color and other subaltern groups should go vegan

This is right:

Aditya Prakash has his own further debunking here, which I have not watched and therefore will not intentionally address.

What needs to be said here is that the oppression of subaltern people, whether on account of race, class, ethnicity, or myriad other ways of “othering”[1] is part and parcel of a system in which the wealthy (mostly white, mostly male) colonize and exploit the other, whether female, whether of color, whether poor, whether something else, whether nonhuman but sentient.

That human beings are kept poor,[2] kept unemployed,[3] in an effort to enforce conformity[4] and to keep wages as close to zero as possible and working conditions to the minimum possible,[5] that capitalism is in fact built upon and rooted in slavery,[6] that a minimum wage does not assure housing[7] or health care,[8] that some are excluded even from that minimum wage, whether through unemployment or an “independent contractor” scam,[9] and that workers are routinely abused[10] unmasks the physical brutal reality of how humans treat each other, even before we get to the broader matters of structural violence, war,[11] and genocide.[12] As a perspective, it only helps us to grasp the unfathomable damage we have done to our environment and the ongoing daily slaughter of countless nonhuman but nonetheless sentient animals.

This is all violence that many of us are insulated from in our day-to-day lives. It is routine violence. We do not peer behind the slaughterhouse walls. We do not venture into poor neighborhoods whose residents live with environmental injustice. We drive our gas guzzling pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and some of us even modify them to “roll coal”[13] but we rarely drive them to toxic waste dumps, clear cut forests, or abandoned open pit mines. It is violence that cannot be distinguished from and is interrelated with violence.[14]

Regardless of our particular forms of subalternity, we support and participate in that violence with our consumption, whether of extracted resources like oil or the flesh and secretions of nonhuman animals, whether of sweatshop labor-produced clothing or Uber and Lyft rides. It is violence against ourselves, the planet we live on, and the nonhuman animals we co-exist with. If we want the violence to stop, we must stop the violence. And we must do so regardless of our particular forms of subalternity.

  1. [1]Simone de Beauvoir argues, I think correctly, that were we to dispense with bigotry and discrimination on account of race or gender, we would find other differences to be bigoted about and discriminate against in “Woman as Other,” in Social Theory, ed. Charles Lemert, 6th ed. (Philadelphia: Westview, 2017), 268-271.
  2. [2]Herbert J. Gans, The War Against The Poor (New York: Basic, 1995).
  3. [3]Jon Schwarz, “The Business Class Has Been Fearmongering About Worker Shortages for Centuries,” Intercept, May 7, 2021,
  4. [4]Herbert J. Gans, The War Against The Poor (New York: Basic, 1995).
  5. [5]Jon Schwarz, “The Business Class Has Been Fearmongering About Worker Shortages for Centuries,” Intercept, May 7, 2021,
  6. [6]Sven Beckert, “Slavery and Capitalism,” Chronicle of Higher Education, December 12, 2014,
  7. [7]Kate Gibson, “Minimum wage doesn’t cover the rent anywhere in the U.S.,” CBS News, June 14, 2018,
  8. [8]Glenn Kessler, “Sanders versus Biden on Social Security: a guide to the claims,” MSNBC, March 9, 2020,; Branko Marcetic, “Biden Says He’s the Workers’ Candidate, But He Has Worked To Cut Medicare and Social Security,” In These Times, April 26, 2019,; Tim Marchman, “Joe Biden: It Would Be an Insult to My Dead Son for Everyone to Have Healthcare,” Vice, August 27, 2019,; Jeffery Martin, “87% of Democrats Support ‘Medicare for All,’ Though Joe Biden Doesn’t,” Newsweek, August 4, 2020,; Marina Pitofsky, “Biden cites delays, cost when asked about Medicare for All veto,” Hill, March 10, 2020,
  9. [9]Nandita Bose, “Analysis: U.S. Labor Secretary’s next move on gig workers likely to include company probes – experts,” Reuters, May 7, 2021,; Sarah Jaffe, “The battle for the future of ‘gig’ work,” Vox, May 18, 2021,; Timothy B. Lee, “Uber, Lyft stocks plunge after Biden official says drivers are employees,” Ars Technica, April 29, 2021,; Eric Morath, “Biden Blocks Trump-Era Gig-Worker Rule,” Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2021,
  10. [10]David Benfell, “Time for the gig economy to grow up,” Not Housebroken, August 30, 2019,; David Benfell, “The expendable worker,” Not Housebroken, July 5, 2020,; David Benfell, “A piper needs paying,” Not Housebroken, January 29, 2021,; Johana Bhuiyan, “Amazon ends practice of dipping into drivers’ tips to meet their wage guarantees,” Los Angeles Times, August 22, 2019,; Jessa Crispin, “Amazon is a disaster for workers. Nomadland glosses over that,” Guardian, March 23, 2021,; Daniel D’Addario, “Amazon is worse than Walmart,” Salon, July 30, 2013,; Timothy Egan, “The Corporate Daddy,” New York Times, June 19, 2014,; Josh Eidelson, “Wal-Mart faces warehouse horror allegations and federal Labor Board complaint,” Salon, November 19, 2013,; Josh Eidelson, “Tens of thousands protest, over 100 arrested in Black Friday challenge to Wal-Mart,” Salon, November 30, 2013,; Josh Eidelson, “Finally paying for Wal-Mart’s sins: Wage theft settlement yields millions,” Salon, December 16, 2013,; Josh Eidelson, “Freezing for Wal-Mart: Sub-zero warehouse temperatures spur Indiana work stoppage,” Salon, January 14, 2014,; Josh Eidelson, “Amazon Keeps Unions Out By Keeping Workers in Fear, Says Organizer,” Alternet, January 22, 2014,; Nichole Gracely, “‘Being homeless is better than working for Amazon,’” Guardian, November 28, 2014,; Steven Greenhouse, “The Changing Face of Temporary Employment,” New York Times, August 31, 2014,; Erin Hatton, “The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy,” New York Times, January 26, 2013,; Simon Head, “Worse than Wal-Mart: Amazon’s sick brutality and secret history of ruthlessly intimidating workers,” Salon, February 23, 2014,; Paul Jaskunas, “The Tyranny of the Forced Smile,” New York Times, February 14, 2015,; Allison Kilkenny, “Ohio Walmart Holds Food Drive For Its Own Employees,” Nation, November 18, 2013,; Ken Klippenstein, “Documents Show Amazon Is Aware Drivers Pee in Bottles and Even Defecate En Route, Despite Company Denial,” Intercept, March 25, 2021,; Paul Krugman, “The Plight of the Employed,” New York Times, December 24, 2013,; Paul Krugman, “The Fear Economy,” New York Times, December 26, 2013,; Danielle Kurtzleben, “Read McDonald’s workers’ shocking harassment and discrimination complaints — and why they’re so important,” Vox, January 22, 2015,; Colin Lecher, “How Amazon automatically tracks and fires warehouse workers for ‘productivity,’” Verge, April 25, 2019,; Edward McClelland, “You call this a middle class? “I’m trying not to lose my house,’” Salon, March 1, 2014,; Mac McClelland, “I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave,” Mother Jones, March/April 2012,; Patrick McGreevy and Suhauna Hussain, “California demands that Amazon comply with COVID-19 investigation,” Los Angeles Times, December 14, 2020,; Nathaniel Mott, “From Amazon warehouse workers to Google bus drivers, it’s tough working a non-tech job at a tech company,” Pando, October 9, 2014,; Ari Rabin-Havt, “Wal-Mart flunks its fact-check: The truth behind its sarcastic response to the Times,” Salon, June 25, 2014,; José Rodríguez, Jr., “The Aftermath Of Prop 22 Is Not As Happy As Big Tech Promised,” Jalopnik, February 18, 2021,; Lia Russell, “The Silicon Valley Economy Is Here. And It’s a Nightmare,” New Republic, January 16, 2020,; Michael Sainato, “‘I’m not a robot’: Amazon workers condemn unsafe, grueling conditions at warehouse,” Guardian, February 5, 2020,; Alexander Sammon, “Prop 22 Is Here, and It’s Already Worse Than Expected,” American Prospect, January 15, 2021,; Alex Seitz-Wald, “Amazon is everything wrong with our new economy,” Salon, July 30, 2013,; Alana Semuels, “As employers push efficiency, the daily grind wears down workers,” Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2013,; Alana Semuels, “How the relationship between employers and workers changed,” Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2013,; Alana Semuels, “Tougher workplace makes home life worse too,” Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2013,; Faiz Siddiqui and Andrew Van Dam, “As Uber avoided paying into unemployment, the federal government helped thousands of its drivers weather the pandemic,” Washington Post, March 16, 2021,; Spencer Soper, “Inside Amazon’s Warehouse,” Lehigh Valley Morning Call, September 18, 2011,; Matt Stieb, “Amazon Called Out for Denying Workers Go to Bathroom in Bottles,” New York, March 25, 2021,; Lindsay Wise, “Report: Temp jobs at all-time high in U.S.,” McClatchy, September 2, 2014,
  11. [11]David P. Barash and Charles P. Webel, Peace and Conflict Studies (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2002).
  12. [12]David Benfell, “Genocide,” Not Housebroken, May 22, 2021,
  13. [13]Michael Ballaban, “The EPA Just Said That This Whole ‘Rolling Coal’ Thing Is Illegal,” Jalopnik, July 8, 2014,; Angie Schmitt, “What Happened to Pickup Trucks?” CityLab, March 11, 2021,
  14. [14]Greta Gaard, “Vegetarian Ecofeminism: A Review Essay,” Frontiers 23, no. 3 (2002): 117-146; pattrice jones, “Mothers with Monkeywrenches: Feminist Imperatives and the ALF,” in Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? Reflections on the Liberation of Animals, Steven Best and Anthony J. Nocella II, eds. (New York: Lantern, 2004), 137-156.

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