Vegan Chews & Progressive News {4-24-15}

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.

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

“Kitchen Sink” Pasta with Sunflower Seed Alfredo
Via Blissful Basil

Photo via Ashley DeMillo.

Photo via Ashley DeMillo.

When in doubt of what to whip up for dinner, I turn to roasted vegetables; sometimes I add a sauce if I start to feel inspired while the veggies take their trip in the oven. This comforting-looking dish from Ashley at Blissful Basil strikes me as quite on par with these go-to dinners…but with the added benefit of being recipe-tested!

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Avocado-Banana Smoothie
Via Choosing Raw

Photo via Gena Hamshaw.

Photo via Gena Hamshaw.

I recently learned a fantastic trick of freezing avocados, helpful for when I find grocery store sales but can’t quite figure out how to consume 14 avocados before they turn overripe. Just cut ’em in half, stick ’em in a plastic freezer bag, and freeze away! Perfect for guac, dressings, smoothies — you name it. Paired with another friend from the freezer — a banana — frozen avocados make a delectable breakfast pudding, such as in this one from Gena at Choosing Raw.

Must-Read Article

Despite Skepticism, Europe Will Employ Military Response to Migration Crisis
By Deirdre Fulton at Common Dreams

Survivors of multiple tragedies continue to arrive in Sicily. (Photo: Francesco Malavolta/IOM 2015)

Survivors of multiple tragedies continue to arrive in Sicily. (Photo: Francesco Malavolta/IOM 2015

I wanted to highlight the recent tragedy of 900 refugees dying off of the Libyan coast to offer an alternative perspective to those most prevalent in media coverage of the event.

This semester, I’ve been taking a course called Spaces of Exception, in which we examine how the very structure of the nation-state — the dominant political structure of our contemporary world — necessitates the creation of violent atrocities in that it depends upon the management of the lives of its citizens. In order for the capitalist nation-state to function, it must create “productive” bodies, which depends also upon the creation of non-productive bodies that must be dispensed with . Migrants, refugees, and other stateless peoples are often those deemed the non-productive bodies, so their deaths by atrocities are not an aberration in a nation-state system, but a given.

Therefore, we should not blame European politicians and leaders for this most recent tragedy without also engaging in a reconceptualization of our entire nation-state system. For scholarship on the nation-state system and the violence on which it depends, if you’re interested, I would recommend the works of Giorgio Agamben, Hannah Arendt, and Suvendrini Perera.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Test Mutiny: Tens of Thousands of New York Parents Revolt Against Standardized Exams
Via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

With “ed reformists” (i.e., people who want to shut down public schools in favor of charters, with the effect of barring poor children and families from a quality education) becoming more and more powerful thanks to allies in government (I see you, Andrew Cuomo), parents are demonstrating their dissent by opting out of having their children participate in annual standardized testing, understanding that “it gives undue importance to ambiguous data and compromises learning in favor of test prep.” Check out the details of this awesome mobilization in this segment from Democracy Now!.

Book Recommendation

Caliban and the Witch: Women, The Body And Primitive Accumulation
By Silvia Federici

Photo via AK Press.

Photo via AK Press.

We’re reading excerpts from Federici’s text in my Social Geography of Healthcare course, and it has provided an eye-opening account of how the historical transition to capitalism has affected the body — particularly the “rebel” body (i.e., the body of people of marginalized identities; Federici focuses primarily on women and peasants in her work). A fascinating — and terrifying — look into how capitalism structures so much more than our economic system; it structures our very selves.

In solidarity, Ali.

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