Update on my tuition fees and ethical consumption webinar

I just wanted to briefly update people about my campaign to raise funds for my tuition and fees for the fall 2012 academic quarter…

…. thank you so much!  I got everything I needed as of last night (with the assumption that those who have pledged to mail me a check are able to do so).

Thank you everyone for your support and believing in my doctoral studies.

Today I also gave my first webinar (the original date of Aug 2012 had been canceled due to a family emergency). It went quite well. Below are the details of what I talked about for 1 hr 30 minutes and then a 30 minute discussion and Q&A. I used video and audio, as well as powerpoint to present the ideas below.

Title: What do you mean my vegan chocolate isn’t “cruelty-free”!?

Webinar description:

It seems like everyone is talking about ethical consumption in some way, shape, or form. And it also seems like there isn’t a universal agreement on what is ‘ethical’. Some folk think eating animals is ‘ethical’, as long as the animal didn’t suffer living in confined quarters and was ‘free range.’ Some folk think veganism is the way to go, but don’t think about the humans who may labor in cruel conditions to provide them their vegan foods, or the humans and non-human animals who are displaced to source ‘cruelty-free’ palm oil for vegan butter for example. Most recently, Food Empowerment Project is focusing on revealing which cocoa product companies are sourcing their cocoa from child slavery– even the products that are ‘cruelty-free’ vegan chocolate treats.

This webinar will help you think more critically about how you consume, why you consume, and how to alleviate suffering through mindful consumption that is pro-vegan. This webinar will acknowledge that all people are different and that due to racial, class, and geographical privileges (or lack there of), access to ‘ethical consumption’ varies; you will not be judged or shamed. I will meet you where you are at in your process.

In this pro-vegan oriented critical thinking course, I will teach you how and why you should consider how structural racism, classism, neoliberal capitalism, normative whiteness, and ableism affect what you think is ‘ethical consumption’, ‘healthy,’ and ‘perfect body.’ Upon finishing this webinar, you will have a better understanding of how to think critically about being a vegan consumer that is both mindful of non-human animal suffering and the suffering and pain that structural ‘isms’ (such as racism, sexism, etc) cause to human beings who labor throughout the food chain. You will be able to bring this information to your organizations, friends, and family in a way that is compassionate and loving, not shaming or judgmental. Though there are many human injustices that the global food economy relies on, this webinar will pay close attention to the under-represented topics of how structural racism/whiteness and ableism operate within a neoliberal and capitalist driven consumer economy in the USA. This webinar is not about finding one sole solution to ‘ethical consumption’. Instead, this webinar will help plant the seed of more critical thinking in your consciousness and allow you to then self-train yourself on how to determine what pro-vegan ethical consumption lifestyle, principles, or philosophies best suit your own social, geographical, and financial statuses. This self-training will always be a process that is neverending. You will become better at it each day; this webinar will plant the seed to get you started. For example, once you learn about the human slavery used to produced certain cocoa products, this will engender you to think about the source of your vegan cotton and research if people are exploited to produce a supposedly ‘cruelty-free’ product.

Feel free to email me at breezeharper (at) gmail (dot) com if you have questions.

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