Why I Don’t Share Many Animal-Related Articles on Social Media

Hello, all! I apologize for the whole “no-post” thing last Monday; the social construct of time (wink) got the best of me. I hope y’all had great weeks, though!

First off, I’m thrilled to let ya’ll know that the second issue of the feminist, vegan, intersectional zine known as Project Intersect will be hot off the presses in early September, and I’ll have an edited version of my piece on veganism & consumerism published alongside a diverse array of critiques of structures of oppression. I’m honored and humbled to have my work included alongside so many other writer-activists. Check out this Facebook post to see the full list of contributors. Huge shout-out to Jacqueline Morr and Ashley Jo Maier for editing the issue. Be sure to follow Project Intersect to get your hands on their first two issues!

 Second, I wanted to talk a bit about why I don’t share very many animal/vegan-related articles on Chickpeas & Change’s various media outlets. If you follow the Chickpeas & Change Facebook and Twitter accounts, you’ll notice that not much stuff about animal agriculture, vivisection, wildlife, cute animal videos, etc. pops up in there. My reasoning for this is twofold:

1.) Most articles from the progressive news sources I follow tend to condemn large-scale animal agriculture for its detrimental impact on the environment, as well as its violent treatment of non-human animals. Great! However, I’m kind of sick of perpetuating the narrative that we need to include non-human animals in our realm of moral consideration only because the method in which we exploit them for food contributes hugely to environmental devastation, and/or because they’re suffering from unbelievable violence.

Implicit in these narratives is the belief that, if we can figure out an environmentally sustainable, “humane” method by which to violate the bodies of non-human animals for our own gustatory pleasure, then we humans have every right to use those bodies as we see fit. And that belief is inherently speciesist, as it depends upon the assumption that non-human animals exist purely for human use.

So, because there isn’t much media out there written from an anti-speciesist perspective, and because I’m continually striving in my activism to challenge the discrepancies between veganism and anti-speciesism, I don’t share much about animals and veganism. That stuff is written on my own blog, and from the pens of fellow radical anti-speciesist activists.

2.) As a proponent of veganism with racial, class, and ability privilege, I feel it necessary in my activism to emphasize my solidarity with those who do not live with such privileges. I aim to work against the mainstream, consumerist face of veganism that remains ignorant of systems of oppression beyond the exploitation of non-human animals. As such, the vast majority of the articles I share report on/discuss such issues as Black Lives Matter, Israel and Palestine, queer organizing, gender liberation, body acceptance, anti-capitalism, and the like. I do this in the hopes that my audience — many of whom are attracted to my blog for the vegan recipes and from my position as Media Coordinator for Our Hen House — will begin/continue to understand veganism as merely a logical extension of anti-speciesism, which in turn is a necessary aspect of collective liberation for all beings.

Soooo…yeah! I’m sorry if you’ve been confused as to the small amount of animal/vegan-related articles shared on my social media outlets, and I hope my reasoning makes sense. I would love for y’all to send me any articles that you think promote an anti-speciesist perspective, and I’d be happy to share them on the C&C pages.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {7-31-15}

Chickpeas & Changes’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote vegan food (an outgrowth of anti-speciesism) and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which I view as important in fostering a society that prioritizes the well-being of all creatures (not just the rich, white, or human) over the continuous striving for profit/resource accumulation.

Just a reminder about the exciting news that Chickpeas & Change is now accepting submissions! I’m thrilled to be able to open this space up to voices from the anti-speciesist, feminist, anti-racist community. Check out this page for submission guidelines.

Hi, everyone, and welcome to yet another installment of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)! This edition covers all of your summer eating bases: BBQ, burgers, and ice cream. And, while you’re sated from your warm-weather foods, I’d highly recommend that you read & watch the stuff below for info on such important topics as racial justice, body image, and how the US’ slavery-based history pervades our country’s notions of race today. Let’s get to it!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches with Homemade BBQ Sauce
Via Cupcakes and Kale

Photo via Jess at Cupcakes & Kale.

Photo via Jess at Cupcakes & Kale.

Even though the last time I tried to prepare jackfruit I ended up in the emergency room with a bloody ring finger (not from the jackfruit…from that damn veggie-shredding mandoline…), I have not yet been dissuaded from the satisfying texture and flavor-absorbing skills of the giant Southeast Asian fruit. And when that skillful fruit absorbs the tangy, sweet-spicy flavor of homemade BBQ sauce? Count me very much in.

Sweet

Snickerdoodle Blizzard
Via Feasting On Fruit

Photo via Natalie of Feasting On Fruit.

Photo via Natalie of Feasting On Fruit.

I’ve been on a continuous quest for the ideal, sufficiently thick vegan milkshake for at least two years now, and have high hopes for this innovative recipe. Innovative, you ask? Well, when was the last time you included a frozen sweet potato in your milkshake? Yeah. That’s what I thought.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

My Go-To Veggie Burger
Via Made To Create

Photo via Jessie May.

Photo via Jessie May.

These chewy, hearty, oh-so umami veggie patties graced the table of the most recent co-op dinner I prepared, alongside the pretzel buns that I featured on last week’s # NewsandChews. A huge hit! I mean, you can’t really go wrong with oats, walnuts, and loads of caramelized veggies, amirite?

Must-Read Article(s)

Feds Regularly Monitored Black Lives Matter Since Ferguson
By George Joseph at The Intercept

Photo via  Scott Olson/Getty Images

Photo via Scott Olson/Getty Images

Perhaps not the most surprising news given the FBI’s history of monitoring Black activists in the 1960s with COINTELPRO, but still supremely important given the fact that the Department of Homeland Security’s stated aim is to combat terrorism. So…Black Lives Matter activists=terrorists. Right.

On Walter Palmer, Cecil the Lion, and the History of the White Hunter in Africa
By Laura Wright at The Vegan Body Project

Photo via The Vegan Body Project.

Photo via The Vegan Body Project.

Okay, so yeah, I get everyone’s outrage around the murder of Cecil the Lion. I’m outraged, too. But I’m also outraged about the billions of animals killed without question every day for food, scientific research, entertainment and the like. AND I’m also also outraged about the history of white supremacy and imperialism that allows us to much more swiftly react with outrage about the murder of this lion than to those aforementioned billions of animals. So please read this.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

The Big, Fat Skinny Lie
Via Cristen Conger at Everyday Feminism

Photo via Cristen Conger.

Photo via Cristen Conger.

A powerful affirmation for anyone who has ever internalized media images of bodies, struggled to force their body to conform to an arbitrary standard, and/or thought that their self-worth varied in direct proportion with how small their body was. #Mywholelife. It’s taken a LOT of healing work to climb out of the depths of that obsessive, destructive way of thinking, and it’s validations like this videos that have certainly helped me along the way.

Book Recommendation Awesome Projects You Should Totally Check Out

#Charlestonsyllabus
Via African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS)

Prayer Vigil for the Nine Victims of the Charleston Shooting / Photo via AAIHS.

Prayer Vigil for the Nine Victims of the Charleston Shooting / Photo via AAIHS.

I may be a bit late to the game on this one, but that doesn’t make it any less important. In the wake of the Charleston Massacre, a group of Black intellectuals and activists joined together to compile an extensive list of resources on the history of racial violence in the U.S., from plantation slavery to the Civil War to Jim Crow to the Black Power Era to white supremacy abroad and beyond. Okay, white folks–we don’t really have an excuse for ignorance anymore. Here’s the info, laid out right in front of us, at our fingertips.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {7-24-15}

Chickpeas & Changes’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which I view as necessary in fostering a society that prioritizes the well-being of all creatures (not just the rich, white, or human) over the continuous striving for profit/resource accumulation.

Just a reminder about the exciting news that Chickpeas & Change is now accepting submissions! I’m thrilled to be able to open this space up to voices from the anti-speciesist, feminist, anti-racist community. Check out this page for submission guidelines.

Howdy, folks! It’s that time again…time for another round of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)! This week’s recipes are a celebration of all things comforting and nostalgia-inducing, yet innovative in the techniques they employ. Then, for much less fun but much more important news, intersectional activist extraordinaire pattrice jones of VINE Sanctuary has a must-read message to white vegans who disparage the Black Lives Matter movement with “#AllLivesMatter”-type remarks. In related news, the incredible author Ta-Nehisi Coates recently appeared on Democracy Now! to discuss his remarkable new book, written as a letter to his son about what to expect growing up Black in the United States. And finally, an exciting new podcast from another great Black journalist Jamil Smith, via The New Republic. Good stuff today, ya’ll!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

Challah Pretzel Buns
Via Recipe Fiction

Photo via Melinda McCamant.

Photo via Melinda McCamant.

Yet another phenomenal use of aquafaba (bean liquid)! Don’t these look like the fluffiest, yeastiest, doughiest little buns to ever come out of the oven? And with such a shine! Yes, these certainly would do well at a veggie burger BBQ.

Sweet

Circus Cookies
Via House Vegan

Photo via Hannah at House Vegan.

Photo via Hannah at House Vegan.

Do y’all remember those pink and white frosted cookies that came in a cardboard circus truck? Because I sure do. Of course, back then I didn’t understand the necessity of circus abolition (and, of course, prison abolition for humans), and ate those cookies unquestioningly. Perhaps these vegan circus cookies can serve as a good conversation starter, no?

Best Recipe I Made This Week

S’Mores Brownies
Via Fragrant Vanilla Cake

Photo via Amy Lyons.

Photo via Amy Lyons.

Raw date-nut crust. The moistest, fudgiest brownies you’ll ever brownie. Fluffy aquafaba marshmallow fluff, torched to perfection. Could you ask for anything more in a dessert? My housemates certainly didn’t think so. (Pan=empty in seconds.)

Must-Read Article

Irked by Black Lives Matter? Here’s What to Do.
Via pattrice jones at VINE Sanctuary

Photo via Black Lives Matter Twitter account.

Photo via Black Lives Matter Twitter account.

This is important reading, folks, especially for all of us white proponents of veganism and animal justice. In this thorough, impassioned article, VINE Sanctuary co-founder pattrice jones covers why #AllLivesMatter is appropriative, demeaning, and white supremacist, as well as how we white folks can better work in solidarity with Black people in the struggle for racial justice.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

“Between the World and Me”: Ta-Nehisi Coates Extended Interview on Being Black in America
Via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

The incredible Toni Morrison recently called Ta-Nehisi Coates today’s James Baldwin, and this Democracy Now! interview with Coates discusses the book that provoked her comment. As a regular contributor for The Atlantic writing on a host of social issues, Coates has certainly made a name for himself as a journalist and author, and with good reason. Watch this interview and be inspired.

Book Recommendation Awesome Projects You Should Totally Check Out

Intersection Podcast with Jamil Smith
Via The New Republic

Photo via The New Republic.

Photo via The New Republic.

A bit of a podcast fanatic, I’m thrilled that one of my favorite journalists, Jamil Smith, has collaborated with The New Republic to launch a brand new podcast on intersectional social justice issues! Give the first episode a listen and keep a look out for more.

In solidarity, Ali.

A Poem on Humility in Three Parts

Hello again, all! A couple of weeks ago I published a very short story that I wrote in order to creatively work through the monumental, never-ending task of decolonizing the mind. Today, I want to share with ya’ll another creative piece that came out of my desire to follow my heart above my overthinking head, and truly feel the reality of life-changing issues that are so easily abstracted in academia.

As the title of this post suggest, the three-part poem below is on my process of fostering humility as an integral aspect of my being-in-the-world. I don’t know if it will resonate with ya’ll, but it’s what I’ve been feeling.


A front. Affront.
Textual skimming, solitary typing, masturbatory philosophizing, i GOT EVERYTHING WRONG.
Repeat.
(Why can’t the red worm leave the i alone?)
Automatonic processes —> autonomyatic outcomes.
Just think how they’ll see me!

Is anyone looking?

***

Clarified muddiness; basic epipanies.
Weekly, tiring…to stagnate? To move? To…?
i’m revolutionary.
[try again]
i’m scared.
[try again]
i’m arrogant.
Britain thought it was perfect, too.

***

Can i scream with a bibliographic citation?
Can i dance to Times New Roman?
Can i share space through “[…]ality”?
If i wait for the cocoon to slip away,
(but i am a specialunique butterfly!)
It will solidify and fill itself with sedatives.
[try again]
(i am an automaton of autonomy.)


In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {7-17-15}

Chickpeas & Changes’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which I view as necessary in fostering a society that prioritizes the well-being of all creatures (not just the rich, white, or human) over the continuous striving for profit/resource accumulation.

Just a reminder about the exciting news that Chickpeas & Change is now accepting submissions! I’m thrilled to be able to open this space up to voices from the anti-speciesist, feminist, anti-racist community. Check out this page for submission guidelines.

Hello, all, and welcome to another round of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)! Today’s recipes feature a savory application for the now-ubiquitous aquafaba (bean liquid), a classically comforting drink with a sophisticated twist, and a decadent dessert. As for news, I’m sharing some accurate reporting on the recent Planned Parenthood “scandal” video in order to counter heaps of misinformation, a super accessible overview of the Iran nuclear deal and its political implications, and an up-and-coming website devoted to connecting trans people with quality healthcare providers. Have a good weekend!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

Aquafaba Mayonnaise
Via Peanut Butter & Vegan

Photo via Hunter & Amy at Peanut Butter & Vegan.

Photo via Hunter & Amy at Peanut Butter & Vegan.

If you know anything about me you know that I have a special place in my stomach for vegan mayonnaise, so this innovative aquafaba mayo is right up my alley.

Sweet

Lavender Chai Tea Concentrate
Via The Simple Veganista

Photo via Julie at The Simple Veganista.

Photo via Julie at The Simple Veganista.

A tall, icy glass of this sweet-and-spicy, lavender-spiked tea strikes me as an ideal pick-me-up on a sunny summer afternoon. Now all I need is a hammock…

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Banana Split Ice Cream Pie
Via The First Mess

Photo via Laura Wright.

Photo via Laura Wright.

This recipe has been on my “to make” list for quite some time now, and I finally got around to whipping up a version of it earlier this week. Forgoing the ice cream thanks to my lack of an ice cream maker, I doubled the coconut whipped cream and layered it between the roasted bananas, all on top of the crunchy chocolate crust. After my housemates took a crack at it, there were no leftovers to speak of.

Must-Read Article

Profiting From Fetal Body Parts? The GOP Sure Is
By Jodi Jacobson at RH Reality Check

Planned Parenthood Isn’t Doing Anything Wrong—but That May Not Matter
By Michelle Goldberg at The Nation

deborah_nucatola_planned_parenthood_img

The latest in attacks on reproductive freedom: anti-choice groups have released a misleadingly edited video “proving” that Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted fetuses to medical research facilities. Check out the stories above to learn just how manufactured and harmful this video is.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Ali Gharib on the Iran Nuclear Deal
Via Radio Dispatch

Photo via Ali Gharib's Twitter.

Photo via Ali Gharib’s Twitter.

Not great at following intricate foreign policy news? Confused about the nuclear deal that the media is calling “historic”? Then this episode of Radio Dispatch with journalist Ali Gharib is just for you!

Book Recommendation Awesome Projects You Should Totally Check Out

MyTransHealth.com

Photo via MyTransHealth.com.

Photo via MyTransHealth.com.

If you’re at all familiar with the societal barriers that make it very difficult for trans people to ensure their overall well-being, you’ll know that navigating the medical-industrial complex is a major one of those barriers. Which is why it’s so awesome that this online database and community forum is about to launch!

In solidarity, Ali.

Bottom Line: Will It Condition My Speciesism?

Hi, folks! I hope you’ve been finding much joy in your lives lately. Today I want to offer you a rather short post, one that summarizes the “bottom line,” if you will, of my actions and beliefs surrounding other animals. I felt compelled to write this because I’ve become increasingly tired of entertaining what I feel are nit-picky arguments against vegan consumption practices and granting other animals moral consideration.

Honestly, I could care less whether some beekeepers have figured out how to steal honey without stressing out the bees, whether oysters and jellyfish can feel pain, whether farmed animals are “smarter” than dogs, etc. I’m still not going to eat or otherwise exploit bees for their honey, oysters, jellyfish, or farmed animals.

Why? Because the reason why I engage in vegan consumption practices comes from a commitment to interrogating the dominant, violent beliefs and ideologies surrounding other animals that I’ve internalized since childhood. My veganism is really just one manifestation of the responsibility I feel as a person of racial, class, ability, and species privilege to challenge the systemic violence committed against those with less of such privileges than me.

So, when asked why I don’t eat honey, oysters, jellyfish, etc., I’m not going to make arguments about sentience or pain or what bees use honey for. What I really care about is whether my actions surrounding other animals contribute to, further condition, and uphold the speciesist mindset that I’m actively trying to work against. Yeah, I could eat honey if all I cared about was the fact that some beekeepers raise bees in environmentally sustainable ways blah blah blah. But I’m not going to, because doing so would simply reinforce my ingrained beliefs of human superiority over other animals. That’s the bottom line.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {7-10-15}

Chickpeas & Changes’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which I view as necessary in fostering a society that prioritizes the well-being of all creatures (not just the rich, white, or human) over the continuous striving for profit/resource accumulation.

Just a reminder about the exciting news that Chickpeas & Change is now accepting submissions! I’m thrilled to be able to open this space up to voices from the anti-speciesist, feminist, anti-racist community. Check out this page for submission guidelines.

Hello, all! This week’s edition of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews) brings you an artfully crafted sandwich, a french toast epiphany, and a tried-and-true veggie side dish, featured alongside an important history of the construction of whiteness, an in-depth look at the economic situation in Greece, and a website that allows you to share articles from questionable sources without increasing their internet traffic. Happy Friday!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

Soyster Po’Boy with Spicy Garlic Sauce
Via Spabettie

Photo via Kristina at Spabettie.

Photo via Kristina at Spabettie.

After experiencing the impeccable cornmeal-battered oyster mushrooms at The Pickle Shack in Brooklyn last summer, I get pretty excited about crispy-fried vegan “seafood” ‘shrooms…especially when they’re sandwiched between two pieces of bread and slathered in a creamy sauce.

Sweet

Aquafaba French Toast
Via Vegan Mother Hubbard

Photo via Sandra Kohlmann.

Photo via Sandra Kohlmann.

Aquafaba (bean liquid) is at it again! And this time it’s here to revolutionize your French toast. As my good friend and vegan culinary connoisseur posted on Facebook today: “Any vegans that haven’t been satisfied with weird vegan French toast, please try this.”

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Charred Green Beans with Harissa & Almonds
Via Bon Appetit

Photo via Romulo Yanes.

Photo via Romulo Yanes.

Alright, folks. I’ve been making this one for about four years now, producing drool-worthy results every time. The interplay of smoky, crispy veggies, bright and tangy harissa, and sweet, crunchy almonds produces a wonderfully balanced dish. I’ve also swapped out the green beans for asparagus and broccoli before with great success.

Must-Read Article

How White People Got Made
By Quinn Norton at The Message

Photo via The Message.

Photo via The Message.

If you ask me, it’s super important for white people to know how whiteness as a concept, social construction, and identity developed, especially because the dominant societal narrative tells us that when we embody whiteness, we are merely “acting normally.” But when that “acting normally” comes from a history of immense physical, psychological, and economic violence against an entire people…well, we should really reconsider that normalcy.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Coverage of Greece’s Anti-Austerity Vote
Via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

By now, you’ve probably heard about the increasingly tense and hugely important economic situation between Greece and Europe more broadly. And, if you’re anything like me, you get confused about economic things unless they’re explained in a very straightforward manner…like on this episode of Democracy Now!

Book Recommendation Awesome Projects You Should Totally Check Out

DoNotLink

Photo via DoNotLink.

Photo via DoNotLink.

Have you ever wanted to share an article that made you angry, that you disagreed with, that provided a perfect example of the misguided politics that you’re trying to convince your parents and friends exist? Well, now you can do that without increasing the traffic to that article/website and subsequently making it more popular! Hoooraaaaay.

In solidarity, Ali.