Top 5 Books: Critical Race Approaches to Veganism and Animal Rights 


1. Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters. Aph and Syl Ko.

In this lively, accessible, and provocative collection, Aph and Syl Ko provide new theoretical frameworks on race, advocacy for nonhuman animals, and feminism. Using popular culture as a point of reference for their critiques, the Ko sisters engage in groundbreaking analysis of the compartmentalized nature of contemporary social movements, present new ways of understanding interconnected oppression’s, and offer conceptual ways of moving forward expressive of Afrofuturism and black veganism. (Quoted from Amazon.com)


2. Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Identity. Dr. A. Breeze Harper.

Sistah Vegan is not about preaching veganism or vegan fundamentalism. Rather, the book is about how a group of black-identified female vegans perceive nutrition, food, ecological sustainability, health and healing, animal rights, parenting, social justice, spirituality, hair care, race, gender-identification, womanism, and liberation that all go against the (refined and bleached) grain of our dysfunctional society. (Quoted from Amazon.com)


3. Veganism in an Oppressive World: A Vegans-of-Color Community Project. Julia Feliz.

Through the voices of vegans of color, Veganism in an Oppressive World will revolutionize the way you see our movement. A must read for new vegans and seasoned nonhuman animal activists alike, this community-led effort provides in-depth, first-hand accounts and analyses of what is needed to broaden the scope of veganism beyond its current status as a fringe or “single-issue” movement while ensuring that justice for nonhumans remains its central focus.

This collection of academic essays, personal reflections and poetry critically examines the state of the mainstream nonhuman animal rights movement while imparting crucial perspectives on how to build a movement that is inclusive, consistent, and effective.


4. The Oxen at the Intersection: A Collision (or, Bill and Lou Must Die: A Real-Life Murder Mystery from the Green Mountains of Vermont) . pattrice jones.

This is a brilliant book by pattrice jones. jones, a dedicated vegan activist, primary care giver at Vine Sanctuary, and anti-racism activist (to name a few) tries to understand what led to the death of one of two oxen (Lou and Bill) who had been living at, and exploited by, Green Mountain College in Vermont. Written in the style of a murder mystery novel, jones brings in intersectional understanding to how Green Mountain College, as well as Vermont itself, has been mythically constructed as having always been a agricultural region based on ‘animal husbandry.’ Unraveling the mystery of the ox’s death means to unravel the mystery of how colonialism, white supremacist ideas around non-human animals should be treated, and the myth of ‘locavorism’ have greatly mis-informed and mis-educated the white Vermont imagination around ‘ethical’ and ‘green’ living for a post-2000 age.


5. Vegan Consciousness and the Food Commodity Chain: On the Neoliberal, Afrocentric, and Decolonial Politics of ‘Cruelty-Free’. Dr. A. Breeze Harper

Dr. Harper analyzes how neoliberal whiteness, race consciousness, decolonization, and anti-racism operate within three different vegan food guides: PETA’s Vegan Shopping Guide, Queen Afua’s Sacred Woman, and Food Empowerment Project’s Ethical Food Choices. PETA, Queen Afua, and Food Empowerment Project are all located within the landscape of vegan politics to produce “ethical” spaces across multiple scales (i.e. consciousness, the body and the home). However, these three sites represent different engagements with vegan food commodities for achieving ethical consumption within a white supremacist racial caste and capitalist system. Such differences are not so much about food, as much as they are about the social, political, and economic relationships underlying the food commodity chain. This manuscript reveals that these ‘differing’ vegan guides, actually effect and are affected by whiteness; both in its historical (i.e. colonial whiteness and Jim Crow segregation) and contemporary forms (i.e. neoliberal whiteness). These connections will be revealed and articulated through the primary framework of critical race materialism and the lens of critical food studies. Download the manuscript here.


Dr. A. Breeze Harper

Dr. A. Breeze Harper has a PhD in Critical Food Geographies. She is the creator of The Sistah Vegan Project and the editor of the ground-breaking anthology, Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak On Food, Identity, Health, and Society, is a sought-after speaker, writer, and consultant at Critical Diversity Solutions (www.criticaldiversitysolutions.com).

Her most recently published book is Scars: A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014). Scars interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact the life of protagonist 18 year old Savannah Sales, the only Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. In 2018, her latest book project will be published, tentatively titled Black Mama Scholar: On Black Feminism, Food Ethics, And Toddler Tantrums .

Overall, Dr. Harper’s work focuses on how systems of oppression- namely racism and normative whiteness- operate within the USA. She uses food and ethical consumptions cultures, within North America, to explore these systems. Her favorite tools of analysis are critical whiteness studies, decolonial world systems theory, Black feminisms, critical race feminism, critical animal studies, and critical food studies. She is known for using engaged Buddhism as the choice method to explain her research and broach these often difficult topics of power, privilege, and liberation.

Dr. Harper has been invited to deliver keynote addresses and lectures at universities and conferences throughout North America. Her talks explore how and why people have unique relationships to food and wellness and how these relationships are impacted by race, socio-economic class, gender, sexuality and physical abilities.

If you are interested in having A. Breeze Harper speak at your college, conference or organization please contact her at breezeharper@gmail.com. Learn more about her on her author and publications page here.

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