Vegan Chews & Progressive News {11-21-14}

Farmers Market Vegan’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which prove 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.

Hello, all, and welcome to the 25th anniversary of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)On this chilly Friday, I’ve got three recipes that breathe new life into classic comfort and warm-weather food favorites. Then, we’ll take a look at two instances of insidious white supremacy functioning in very different venues, and a newly launched intersectional vegan zine that I want to distribute on every sidewalk corner on my college campus. Onward!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

“I’m-On-Cloud-9″ Dreamy Vegan Mashed Potatoes
via Blissful Basil

Photo via Ashley DeMillo.

Photo via Ashley DeMillo.

Pairing potatoes with cashews and cauliflower, Ashley at Blissful Basil has created what appears as the most luscious iteration of mashed potatoes at which my mouth has ever watered. Plus, see if you can guess the secret ingredient…

Sweet

How to Make Coconut Oil Pie Crust
via Oh, Ladycakes

Photo via Ashlae at Oh, Ladycakes.

Photo via Ashlae at Oh, Ladycakes.

Pie crust recipes generally tend to intimidate me a bit, but Ashlae’s accessible, clearly laid out directions for flaky pastry dough based in the most richly aromatic oil in all of Oil Land makes me want to jump right into the kitchen.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Tempeh Chili
adapted from The Post Punk Kitchen

Photo via Jugalbandi.

Photo via Jugalbandi.

This past week served as the Vassar Animal Rights Coalition (VARC)‘s big ol’ campus event week themed around government repression of animal rights and environmental activists (titled “The Terrorization of Dissent” after the recently released anthology by Lantern Books). For our first lecture of the week’s three-part series, editor of the anthology Jason Del Gandio gave an engaging and dynamic talk while the audience gobbled up spoonfuls of this, perhaps the most flavorful, heartiest, most pleasantly textured chili I’ve ever made. With vegan cookbook genius Isa Chandra Moskowitz behind the recipe, how could I have expected anything less?

Must-Read News Story

The Minstrelsy of Marketing
via William C. Anderson at Truthout

Photo via Denny's Twitter account.

Photo via Denny’s Twitter account.

An illuminating look into a pervasive intersection of capitalism and racism, this article by freelance writer William C. Anderson clearly demonstrates the default mode of U.S. society to commodify Blackness and Black bodies – a mode that certainly didn’t die out with the abolition of slavery.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

The FBI vs. Martin Luther King: Inside J. Edgar Hoover’s ‘Suicide Letter’ to Civil Rights Leader
via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

On the topic of state repression of activists, the newly released full text of this horrifying letter from J. Edgar Hoover to Martin Luther King Jr. – in which the former assumes the identity of a Black activist urging Dr. King to kill himself – highlights the long history of the U.S. government to target social justice activists who pose threats to existing hierarchies of domination.

Book Recommendation

Project Intersect, Issue One: Clarion Call
edited by Jacqueline Morr

Photo via Project Intersect

Photo via Project Intersect

Encouraging “radical intersectional analyses of oppression that are sorely needed both in activist circles and in general public discourse,” the newly launched Project Intersect zine embodies exactly the direction toward which I hope with all my heart the future of the animal liberation movement points. I enthusiastically urge you to order your copy. Like, immediately.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {11-14-14}

Farmers Market Vegan’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which prove 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.

Welcome to another weekly installment of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)Today’s post will get you salivating over sandwiches and mac & cheese, inspired to think beyond the embeddedness of the prison system in U.S. society, seeking to combat the perpetual erasure of women of color in mainstream media, and profoundly moved by the courage and strength of the history of Black struggle in the U.S. Let’s get to it!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Walnut-Chickpea “Tuna” Salad Sandwich
via Healthy. Happy. Life.

Photo via Kathy Patalsky.

Photo via Kathy Patalsky.

This past year of my life has featured an intense love affair with vegan “tuna” salad and eggless “egg” salad sandwiches. Creamy, crunchy, tangy, rich, and inclusive of the holy grail of vegan condiments (helloooo, vegan mayonnaise), these salads never fail to provide me with a profound feeling of comfort. Kathy’s version here makes use of walnuts and chickpeas for a proteinous and textural salad, ideal for spreading generously between two slices of bread.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Sundried Tomato Garlic Mac & Cheese with Roasted Cauliflower & Mushrooms
adapted from Miyoko’s Kitchen

Photo via Miyoko's Kitchen.

Photo via Miyoko’s Kitchen.

In preparation for an upcoming review on the Our Hen House podcast, the folks at artisan vegan cheese mastermind Miyoko Schinner’s newly launched cashew cheese online retail store generously provided me with eight wheels of their impressive products (such an understatement, but you’ll have to wait until the podcast review to hear more details!). Seeking to utilize the cheeses in more creative manners than simply spreading on crackers (though also tremendously tasty), I checked the Miyoko’s Kitchen website for recipe ideas and stumbled upon her gorgeously sophisticated take on mac & cheese. Instead of employing the Sharp Farmhouse Cheddar Miyoko specifies, I made use of her Double Cream Sundried Tomato Garlic, omitting the truffle oil and pairing the pasta with roasted cauliflower and mushrooms rather than brussels sprouts. Yuppie comfort food at its finest.

Must-Read News Story

Prison Destroys Families and Communities at Society’s Expense” and “Prisons Are Destroying Communities and Making Us All Less Safe
by Maya Schenwar at Truthout and The Nation

Photo via Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Photo via Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Maya Schenwar – editor-in-chief at Truthout, one of my absolute favorite progressive news outlets – recently published an in-depth investigation into the profound harms the prison system effects on families and communities. Based in her experiences of her sister’s incarceration, Maya’s book not only offers a personalized account of how the prison system destroys rather than rehabilitates its victims, but also suggests viable alternatives to incarceration with the potential to work toward collective liberation for all.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Get it together white women
via Radio Dispatch

Photo via The Washington Post.

Photo via The Washington Post.

On this episode of Radio Dispatch, brother-and-sister hosting team John and Molly discuss the erasure of women of color from post-election discussions of Wendy Davis’ losing gubernatorial campaign. Claiming that all women failed to turn out at vote for Wendy Davis – a staunch advocate for reproductive rights – mainstream news outlets completely discount the fact that the vast majority of women of color did indeed vote for Davis. Basing the episode in an article by Andrea Grimes on RH Reality Check, John and Molly bring up the important point that white women are far less likely to feel the harsh impacts that limitations to reproductive rights than are women of color (or any person of color with the ability to carry a baby). A profound example of white supremacy’s continued prevalence in U.S. society.

Book Recommendation

The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975
edited by Göran Olsson

Photo via Amazon.com.

Photo via Amazon.com.

Based on a documentary film by Swedish filmmaker Göran Olsson, The Black Power Mixtape provides a vivid portrait of the U.S. Black freedom struggle, featuring exclusive interviews with some of the movement’s most groundbreaking participants as well as with contemporary Black activists. I think it’s so important that white people take the time to learn about the history of liberatory Black organizing, so that we may better understand and reflect on our exploitative structural impact upon Black bodies, as well as develop our capacity to act in solidarity with the contemporary Black community.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {11-7-14}

Farmers Market Vegan’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which prove 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.

Happy Friday, and happy Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)! Midterm elections this week left me pretty bummed in terms of my home state after anti-unionist/abominable man Scott Walker beat out challenger/bike enthusiast Mary Burke by a mere six percentage points (On Wisconsin, amirite?). So, in the spirit of denial, today’s stories include no mention of the recent voting hubbub (though check out these couple of articles for potentially exciting measures that did find success this week). Instead, I’d like to share with you all my favorite roasting vegetable blanketed in a deeply flavored sauce, a silky and seasonal pie, crispy fritters of brussels sprout goodness, exciting intersectional projects and people advocating for animal liberation, evidence for why we shouldn’t deify large-scale human rights organizations, and a book that advocates for shaping our interactions with the world in a very different light. Onward!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

Roasted Cauliflower in Mole-Inspired Sauce
via In Vegetables We Trust

Photo via Alexander Harvey.

Photo via Alexander Harvey.

Based in Mexican cuisine, mole sauce comes in innumerable variations depending on where you find yourself in Mexico; I’m told that every Mexican cook has their own unique recipe for the sauce. We in the U.S. typically encounter mole poblano – a many-ingredient mixture based in chilis and chocolate – and it seems that Alexander of In Vegetables We Trust has based his version of the dish on this particular variety of the sauce. Drawing from my recent musings on bloggers’ use of “ethnic” recipe titles, I appreciate Alexander’s decision to name his recipe “mole-inspired,” which to me indicates a humility that doesn’t assume responsibility for conceptualizing/perfecting/fully understanding the cultural complexities behind the dish…which I wish were happening in my kitchen right now.

Sweet

Pumpkin Creme Pie
via Cupcakes and Kale

Photo via Jess at Cupcakes and Kale.

Photo via Jess at Cupcakes and Kale.

The time of year for a barrage of pumpkin recipes has come, and I tend to pass over many of them out of a quickly induced boredom with the seemingly constant excitement over this poor, hyped-up squash. However, this pie from Jess at Cupcakes and Kale caught my eye due to its lighter, almost mousse-like variation on the standard pumpkin pie. To substitute unrefined sugar for the powdered sugar called for in the recipe, simply grind any unrefined granulated sugar (like coconut or date) in a food processor or blender along with a sprinkling of arrowroot powder or cornstarch.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Brussels Sprout Latkes
adapted from What’s Cooking Good Looking

Photo via Jodi at What's Cooking Good Looking.

Photo via Jodi at What’s Cooking Good Looking.

Two instances of sheer perfection: roasted brussels sprouts and crispy potatoes. What happens when these two manifestations of ideal phenomena merge? I can’t quite put it into words…so you’ll have to put it in your mouth.

To make these latkes vegan, I substituted the two eggs called for in the recipe with 2 tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with 6 tbsp water. Though I didn’t make the accompanying maple-mustard yogurt, you can easily veganize that by using non-dairy yogurt or blended silken tofu.

Must-Read News Story

‘Those Things We Cannot Unsee’: Interview with Jacqueline Morr of Project Intersect
via Justin Van Kleeck at Striving with Systems

Photo via Jacqueline Morr.

Photo via Jacqueline Morr.

People like Jacqueline Morr give me hope for the animal liberation movement, and for societal change more broadly. In this interview with fellow intersectional activist Justin Van Kleeck, Morr shares profound stories of her journey to veganism and anti-oppression work, uniting them in a manner that speaks of true transformative potential. If you’re enamored with Morr after reading this interview (and how could you not be?), be sure to email projectintersectzine@gmail.com to request your copy of Morr’s latest project: a newly launched intersectional vegan zine known as Project Intersect.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

‘The Red Cross’ Secret Disaster’: Charity Prioritized PR over People After Superstorm Sandy
via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

Since taking a Geography course last semester on the Political Geography of Human Rights, my readiness to accept the rhetoric of large-scale human rights organizations has steadily declined. The nitty gritty details of that class provide much too much fodder to discuss in this abbreviated format, but this supreme fuck-up – as revealed by ProPublica and reported on by Democracy Now! – by the American Red Cross speaks to the need to look upon mainstream human rights discourse with a critical eye.

Book Recommendation

Transformation Now!: Toward a Post-Oppositional Politics of Change
by AnaLouise Keating

Photo via University of Illinois Press.

Photo via University of Illinois Press.

In her book Transformation Now!, AnaLouise Keating deconstructs the oppositional framework in which society at large operates, and which conditions us to view the world in either/or, “my-idea-is-better-than-yours” terms, thus preventing us from finding common ground with the world around us; and without common ground, how can we hope to unite for transformative change? Keating advocates a practice of “intellectual humility,” in which we stray from boxing ourselves and others into our pre-existing notions of available identities for us to occupy, and instead allow ourselves to see others in a more flexible manner, independent of our assumptions about them. I know that these ideas can seem a bit abstract, and I’m certainly not doing the book a huge amount of justice here, but I’d highly recommend this book to introduce you to a new (and I believe necessary) manner of shaping one’s interactions with other beings.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {10-31-14}

Farmers Market Vegan’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which prove 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.

Helloooo and welcome to yet another edition of your weekly dose of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)First off, though, I want to thank you all for your thoughtful input on my most recent post on “ethnic” recipe titles as cultural appropriation (a relevant topic considering the holiday on which this post falls). In this case, I’d highly encourage you to read the comments — good stuff going on there! Anywho, today’s featured recipes include a vibrant salad of beautifully contrasting textures and two of my most beloved pieces of fall produce, as well as some of the most flavorful chickpeas I’ve ever cooked up. As for stories, I’m excited to highlight critiques of the oh-so problematic “Thug Kitchen” blog and cookbook, an episode of Citizen Radio that features three of my favorite progressive female podcasters, and a book that highlights the threats made by NGOs to feminist organizing in the Global South (India, in this specific case). Happy Halloween! Here’s a guide to vegan candy and how not to be culturally appropriative with your costume.

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Arugula, Fig, & Fried White Sweet Potato Salad
via A House in the Hills

Photo via Sarah Yates.

Photo via Sarah Yates.

Spicy arugula, succulent figs, crispy sweet potatoes…need I say more besides “get ready for a bounty of deceptively simple flavors”?

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Cool Ranch Roasted Chickpeas
via Vegan Yack Attack

Photo via Jackie Sobon.

Photo via Jackie Sobon.

Ya’ll, I cooked up a big ol’ batch of these for my nighttime seminar on Geography & Social Movements this Monday, and the entire class could not keep their hands off of them. Who knew that a little nooch and powdered garlic and onion could so enchant non-vegans and veg folks alike?

Must-Read News Story

Critiques of “Thug Kitchen” by Liz Ross, Ayinde Howell, A. Breeze Harper, and Bryant Terry

Photo via Thug Kitchen.

Photo via Thug Kitchen.

Thug Kitchen provides a striking example of the racism perpetuated by the visible mainstream vegan movement today, and I’m thrilled that folks within the movement have spoken out against it.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

U.S. media freaks out on behalf of Canadians, Shep Smith has a moment of clarity, and Mike Brown’s autopsy
via Citizen Radio

Photo via Citizen Radio.

Photo via Citizen Radio.

Allison Kilkenny of Citizen Radio, Molly Knefel of Radio Dispatch, and Katharine Heller of Tell the Bartender unite for a podcast of laughter and provoking political discussion. My three favorite female podcasters in one place? Too good to be true.

Book Recommendation

Playing with Fire: Feminist Thought and Activism through Seven Lives in India
by the Sangtin Writers Collective

Photo via University of Minnesota Press.

Photo via University of Minnesota Press.

Questioning the legitimization of “expert” knowledge production versus that of local feminist activists in the Uttar Pradash province of India, the Sangtin writers collective employ deeply personal diary entries to investigate larger themes of sexism, casteism, communalism, and NGO-ization. An utterly important feminist-of-color text indicative of the building of transformative social movements.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {10-24-14}

Farmers Market Vegan’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which prove 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.

On this pre-Halloween edition of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews) that makes no further mention of the spooky holiday (sorry, Halloween fans), we’ve got a vibrant and substantial salad that makes use of the last of late summer produce and an oh-so comforting, veggie-packed bowl of chowda. To nourish your mind along with your belly, this week’s stories include an analysis of the pitfalls of neoliberal feminism, the most entertaining form of counterprotest I’ve ever seen, Laura Poitras’ new documentary on Edward Snowden, and a pivotal work in antiracist organizing by activist, yogi, and vegan extraordinaire Becky Thompson. Happy Friday!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Farmers’ Market Potato & Kale Salad with “Glory Bowl” Dressing
via In Pursuit of More

Photo via Shira of IPOM.

Photo via Shira of IPOM.

As we enter the autumn season, the last of the summer veggies – zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes – make their final appearances at the market. Shira’s recipe for this colorful and substantial salad celebrates this dwindling summer produce, pairing sweet peppers and silky smooth zucchini with crispy roasted potatoes and the master of the leafy green world (aka, kale). With added tanginess from artichoke hearts, olives, and a noochy dressing, this salad provides a lovely culinary bridge from summer to fall.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Smoky Vegetable Chowder
adapted from Maple Spice

Photo via Debbie of Maple Spice.

Photo via Debbie of Maple Spice.

With a lovely depth of flavor from caramelized onions, smoked paprika, and vegetable bouillon, this creamy, chunky soup serves as an ideal dinner to help you warm up after a chilly day. For additional layers of flavor, I roasted the veggies before adding them to the sauteed onions and simmering them in the almond milk-based broth, and also drizzled in a bit of liquid smoke (because, let’s face it, what dish doesn’t benefit from a dash of liquid smoke?). I also switched up the vegetables to accommodate the contents of my refrigerator, so my chowder featured carrots, green beans, cauliflower, and plenty of shredded kale. A comforting and nourishing soup if I’ve ever seen one, especially when served alongside a square of fluffy cornbread.

Must-Read News Story

Neoliberal Feminists Don’t Want Women to Organize
via Sarah Jaffe at Political Research Associates

National Domestic Workers Alliance members protest. Photo via Political Research Associates.

National Domestic Workers Alliance members protest. Photo via Political Research Associates.

From one of my favorite independent journalists, this article by Sarah Jaffe of Dissent Magazine’s Belabored podcast offers a clear analysis of how a neoliberal rhetoric has influenced mainstream feminism to position sexism as an entity defeatable through individual success stories. Jaffe effectively counters this insidious pseudo-logic by reminding us of the oppression women (particularly women of color) still experience in the workplace, and the “white savior” complex that “enlightened” Western pro-globalization feminism harbors in relation to the non-Western world (specifically, sex workers in the global South). An ever-important call to employ a lens of class, race, and other social issues when looking at sexist power relations.

‘Weird hobby!’ Couple gain hordes of fans after picketing pro-life abortion clinic protests with witty inappropriate signs
via The Daily Mail

Photo via Saturday Chores.

Photo via Saturday Chores.

As a bonus news story on today’s # NewsandChews, this photo-filled article highlights an absolutely hilarious form of counterprotest against anti-abortion activists. Get ready to smile until your cheeks hurt.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Citizenfour: Inside Story of NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Captured in New Film by Laura Poitras
via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!.

Photo via Democracy Now!.

Award-winning journalist Laura Poitras, one of the first individuals whom NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden contacted to expose corruption in U.S. government surveillance, just recently released her third documentary film in a trilogy about America post-9/11. The film, entitled Citizenfour after the code name Snowden used to contact Poitras and fellow journalist Glenn Greenwald, features highlights from over 20 hours of footage that Poitras filmed while Snowden revealed heaps of information about the National Security Agency’s Orwellian practices. On this episode of Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh interview Poitras about Citizenfour, which opened today in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

Book Recommendation

A Promise and a Way of Life: White Antiracist Activism
by Becky Thompson

Photo via University of Minnesota Press.

Photo via University of Minnesota Press.

Ever since learning of Becky Thompson‘s important activist work through a blog interview I conducted regarding her latest book Survivors on the Mat: Healing from Trauma Through Yoga, I’ve eagerly sought to get my hands on her writings on social and racial justice. A couple weeks ago, I had the tremendous opportunity to meet Becky in person when she spoke at my college campus on her multiracial yoga practice, and inadvertently reminded me that her work in white antiracist organizing could provide an ideal resource in a project I’m working on for my Geography and Social Movements course. In her book A Promise and a Way of Life, Becky features the narratives of thirty-nine white activists who have placed antiracist activism at the center of their lives, highlighting the strengths and limitations of white antiractist organizing along the way. An incredibly valuable read for any white activist looking to get involved in antiracist organizing.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {10-17-14}

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

Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews) turns 20!!! (And only a month after my own 20th birthday.) Today’s roundup – as a testament to my beloved mother and the variety of soups she crafts on an almost daily basis during the winter – features two velvety, steaming purees of colorful root vegetables, along with another spoonable recipe of fruity succulence. For stories, an interview and a book provide meaningful models of transformative activism, while a podcast offers an eye-opening take on three otherwise familiar social issues. So, welcome!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

Beet & Horseradish Soup with Thyme & Caraway Croutons
via The Circus Gardener

Photo via Steve Dent.

Photo via Steve Dent.

The first of two fall-centric soups of today’s roundup, this vibrant puree marries the sweet earthiness of beets with the clean sharpness of fresh horseradish. Lately I’ve found myself more enamored than usual of beets – chopping them raw into my daily lunch salads and baking them whole wrapped in aluminum foil – but have hesitated to implement them in a soupy application. This velvety looking recipe has convinced me, and I intend to throw some caraway seeds directly into the soup along with the thyme, rather than allowing the croutons to get all the caraway glory.

Sweet

Ginger Pear Butter
via Connoisseurus Veg

Photo via Alissa Saenz.

Photo via Alissa Saenz.

No soup, but still a smooth puree of yumminess. Quality ripe pears harbor a buttery quality all on their own, but I’m sure not going to argue with a recipe that capitalizes on this rich texture while adding a spicy zing of ginger. For an unrefined version of this delightfully copper-toned fruit spread, use a less processed type of sugar (such as date or coconut sugar) instead of the brown sugar.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Kabocha Squash, Fennel, & Ginger Soup with Spicy Coconut Cream
via Dolly and Oatmeal

Photo via Lindsey S. Love.

Photo via Lindsey S. Love.

While I don’t have a photo of my own to share with you, I do have deeply fond memories from earlier in the week of savoring spoonfuls of this succulent, complexly flavored soup (the second of the day!). Ya’ll. This soup stopped me in my hungry tracks, necessitating after my first bite that I pause to fully appreciate its silky texture and multilayered flavor profile. Providing an example of expert flavor-building, this recipe forms a base of delicate sweetness with caramelized leeks before adding fennel’s notes of mild licorice and finally the most decadent of squashes – kabocha – roasted to tender perfection. I already miss this soup, and I finished the final batch of leftovers two nights ago…back to the kitchen!

Must-Read News Story

Turning Fear into Power: An Interview with Unarmed Peacekeeper Linda Sartor
by Stephanie Van Hook at Waging Nonviolence

Linda Sartor standing on a Soviet tank outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. (WNV / Peggy Gish)

Linda Sartor standing on a Soviet tank outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. (WNV / Peggy Gish)

I find that looking to more experienced, thriving activists can provide an inspiring model for burgeoning changemakers (like myself, I hope!), especially in demonstrating how to maintain our work in the long-term. Though I hadn’t heard of Linda Sartor before this article from Waging Nonviolence landed in my inbox, I think she offers a great deal of insight into how to sustain oneself as an activist, even while engaging in serious forms of civil disobedience. Linda’s practice of asking “Where is that violence in me?” when she witnesses violence manifested in the world particularly sticks with me, as I see it as a reminder that transformative change begins in ourselves; how can we build a just world if we reenact oppressive structures in our daily lives? All of our activism must incorporate a reconceptualization of the self, an idea that I touched upon in my most recent blog post.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

On Privacy and Privilege
via Radio Dispatch

Logo via Radio Dispatch.

Logo via Radio Dispatch.

While the daily Radio Dispatch episodes never fail to bring contemplation and laughter to my morning, Thursday’s edition of the show framed three issues with which I’m fairly familiar in a completely new light. Discussing the privileges inherent in being able to say that you’re not personally fearful of government surveillance, the paralyzing effect of telling young Black men that they have a set of predetermined life outcomes from which to choose, and the positioning of the white supremacist criminal systems as public health epidemics, hosts John and Molly provided me with a more nuanced manner of understanding these pressing issues.

Book Recommendation

Transforming Feminist Practice: Non-Violence, Social Justice and the Possibilities of a Spiritualized Feminism
by Leela Fernandes

Photo via Aunt Lute Books.

Photo via Aunt Lute Books.

In her realistically hopeful book Transforming Feminist Practice, political scientist Leela Fernandes argues that we – people living in contemporary times – have learned to define ourselves against external entities, and that our doing so has limited us from imagining new worldly realities. Fernandes contends that our inability to see ourselves beyond the possibilities of pre-existing identities prevents us from rejecting the ego inherent in all forms of identity, and instead fostering in ourselves a “radical humility required to really manifest social justice in this world” (44). To cast off these static identities through which we currently constitute ourselves, Fernandes calls for an understanding of the self in “radical interconnection” with the world in its entirety (36). In this task, Fernandes does not mean for us to cease taking responsibility for the very real effects of our identity-based privileges, but rather encourages us to envision ourselves as comprised of so much more than these fixed identities, and asserts that this re-envisioning constitutes a necessary aspect of fostering a world in which the social structures that determine our privileges do not exist. Fernandes encapsulates this re-envisioning well in the following passage:

“A strategy for white students dealing with racial privilege would be to recognize and address the social and economic forms of power and privilege associated with whiteness in contemporary society in the United States while realizing that their own conceptions of their self do not need to rest on such hegemonic conceptions of ‘whiteness’” (33).

I love this book. I think I shall sleep with it underneath my pillow.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {10-10-14}

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

Wowza, it’s the 19th edition of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)! This week’s recipes move into intensely autumnal fare, highlighting the hearty veggies that provide the substance to get us through the cold months to come. As for stories, I’m pointing you toward three articles that showcase grassroots resistance to the neoliberal powers that perpetuate the ever-growing wealth gap, both in the U.S. and internationally; an important reminder that the intellectual history of our nation did not consist solely of white people; and a book that envisions truly transformative justice more concretely than any text I’ve yet encountered. Happy Friday!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

Kale and Roasted Red Kuri Squash Salad
via A House in the Hills

Photo by Sarah Yates.

Photo by Sarah Yates.

Vibrant and substantial, this epitome-0f-fall salad promises the creamy succulence of roasted squash, the chewy smokiness of sauteed kale, the crunchy richness of hazelnuts, the plump tanginess of dried cranberries, and the silky brightness of miso-tahini dressing. A prime example of transforming unpretentious ingredients into a dish that far surpasses the sum of its parts.

Sweet

Pumpkin Pie Popsicles
via Fragrant Vanilla Cake

Photo via Amy Lyons.

Photo by Amy Lyons.

Not even the cooling weather can dissuade me from enjoying my dessert of choice: creamy frozen treats (did I mention that I basically lived on vegan ice cream over the summer?). This iteration of such goodies employs a creamy base of bananas for the pumpkiny star of the popsicles, accentuated by warming spices and imbued with richness from nut butter (the recipe calls for pecan butter, but my goodness, how expensive does that sound? I trust that homemade almond butter or even tahini would quite suffice). Plus, look how gorgeously orange they are!

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Za’atar Eggplant over Lemon-Tahini Greens
inspired by My New Roots

za'atar eggplant (2)

Certainly the least seasonal of the recipes highlighted today, this roasted whole eggplant still provides a warming dinner to enjoy on bracing nights. Adapting Sarah’s recipe, I sprinkled the eggplant halves with homemade za’atar seasoning, roasted them until tender, then set them atop a generous pile of mixed salad greens coated in an adaptation of Sarah’s Spicy Tahini Sauce. Filling and flavorful, this dish adequately showcases the smooth texture and buttery flavor of the mighty eggplant.

Must-Read News Stories

Because I’m perpetually interested in examining instances of community-based challenges to hegemonic power structures, I felt compelled to showcase today not one, but three articles that spotlight grassroots resistance to the various iterations of the neoliberal powers that perpetuate the ever-growing wealth gap, both in the U.S. and internationally. Each of these instances of resistance of course prove hugely valuable in and of themselves, but they also point to the infiltration of the neoliberal framework into all aspects of life, and the consequent need to challenge it in a multiplicity of locations.

World Versus Bank: The Return of the World Bank and the People’s Resistance
by Martin Kirk and Alnoor Ladha at Truthout

Homeless Bill of Rights aims to protect life-sustaining activities
by Renee Lewis at Al Jazeera America

Developers Aren’t Going to Solve the Housing Crisis in San Francisco
by Dyan Ruiz and Joseph Smooke at Truthout

Photo via Truthout.

Photo via Truthout.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Black Prophetic Fire: Cornel West on the Revolutionary Legacy of Leading African-American Voices
via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!.

Photo via Democracy Now!.

Despite what the vast majority of our history books taught us, the construction of this nation did not hinge upon white people alone. Indeed, our entire economy would not exist without the brutal enslavement of millions of African peoples, and African Americans as a population have inhabited U.S. land for longer than any other immigrant group. Yet, despite the fact that Black people played a vital role in building our society, the white supremacist powers that be have all but erased their contributions – economic, social, intellectual – and thereby upheld the myth of Black people as worthless and expendable to this day (as we can see with the mass incarceration of Black people. They’re useless, so let’s throw them in prison…or so the rhetoric goes).

On this segment of Democracy Now!, the inimitable Dr. Cornel West brings Black voices to the fore, reminding us of the astonishing, revolutionary individuals who devoted their lives to fighting for justice.

Book Recommendation

Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law
by Dean Spade

Photo via South End Press.

Photo via South End Press.

An example of a truly intersectional text, Dean Spade’s Normal Life lays out the three formulations of power – individual, disciplinary, and population-based – more clearly than any other work I’ve encountered. Though his book includes “critical trans politics” in its title, Spade makes clear that the power structures that compromise the life chances of trans people operate in the same way to wreak systemic violence upon all vulnerable populations (and to render them vulnerable in the first place). Spade fiercely challenges the “individual rights” framework of the legal system in which many social justice movements currently operate, specifically critiquing the mainstream lesbian and gay movement for centering their efforts on securing legal reform that will only benefit the most privileged in their community, and in doing so strengthening the very stratifying power structures that generate their subjection in the first place.

Not only does Spade offer this necessary critique, he also provides a framework for how to re-enact such social justice movements currently focused on reform rather than revolution, such that they can fulfill their transformative potentials. Read this and be inspired.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {10-3-14}

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

Get yer weekly dose of Vegan Chews and Progressive News (# NewsandChews) here on FMV! I’ve abbreviated my commentary on each featured recipe and story today, since I’ve got my hands full with a campus screening of Maximum Tolerated Dose, courtesy of the Vassar Animal Rights Coalition (VARC). But! The content this week essentially speaks for itself, whether it be a hearty and very green burger, a simple yet refined dinner plate, the harmful reality of the NYPD’s “broken windows” policing strategy, two lesser known yet fully phenomenal animal sanctuaries, progressive discourse on the links between climate and class, and a collection of powerful Palestinian short stories. Onward!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Broccoli Burgers
via Vegan Yumminess

Photo via Vegan Yumminess.

Photo via Vegan Yumminess.

Chock full of walnuts, brown rice, and enough wheat gluten to provide a satisfyingly dense texture, this burger is sure to nourish both tastebuds and body, especially when you throw in a generous helping of cruciferous goodness.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Steamed Squash and Baby Bok Choy with Ginger-Sesame Sauce
adapted from Gourmande in the Kitchen

squash & bok choy with ginger-sesame dressing

Who knew that the clean flavors of steamed butternut squash and baby bok choy drizzled with a ginger-sesame dressing could offer such a fulfilling meal? Served with some tofu-packed miso soup, this dish proves surprisingly comforting, especially on a cold, gloomy day.

Must-Read News Story

Policing for Wealth
via Aaron Cantú at Truthout

Photo via JR/TO.

Photo via JR/TO.

In case you didn’t harbor enough contempt for the NYPD, the truth behind broken windows policing arrives to remind us all of the criminal “justice” system’s close friendship with white supremacy.

Supporting Less Famous Animal Sanctuaries: A Spotlight On VINE And Peaceful Prairie
via Sarah E. Brown at Queer Vegan Food

Photo via Sarah E. Brown.

Photo via Sarah E. Brown.

While the NYPD certainly sucks the joy out of any occasion, the two sanctuaries that one of my favorite fellow animal activists Sarah E. Brown highlighted this week on her blog Queer Vegan Food never fail to reignite the hopeful fire inside my belly. VINE and Peaceful Prairie do incredible work, both for their non-human residents and for the larger animal rights movement. Get to know them and prepare to be amazed.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Belabored Podcast #61: When Climate and Labor Converge (Live!), with Nastaran Mohit and Lara Skinner
via Dissent Magazine

Photo via Dissent Magazine.

Photo via Dissent Magazine.

The two women who host the Belabored podcast – Sarah Jaffe and Michelle Chen – comprise powerful voices in the world of workers’ rights, labor equality, and economic justice. Here, they combine their insights on labor with the fight for climate justice by welcoming two activists and scholars onto their podcast.

Book Recommendation

Men in the Sun and Other Palestinian Stories
by Ghassan Kanafani

Photo via Amazon.com.

Photo via Amazon.com.

For my Subaltern Politics course at Vassar, we’ve been reading this collection of beautifully haunting short stories from Palestinian author Ghassan Kanafani not with the goal of analyzing the experiences of Kanafani’s Palestinian subjects, but in order to reflect upon our own relationships with marginalized peoples around the world in a greater effort to confront the hegemonic systems that shape our dominating views of The Other. Not easy work, let me tell you, but work that I believe to be absolutely necessary.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {9-12-14}

If you haven’t already, please be sure to enter my latest giveaway for my new favorite vegan ice cream from the admirable, socially conscious company Three Little Birds!

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

On this pre-birthday edition of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (#NewsandChews) – can you say 20 years old on September 14, woot woot! – we’ve got the crispiest of potatoes, the most spectacular of cruciferi, an essential feminist critique of the animal rights movement, the practice of calling each other in, a pivotal court ruling in the battle against climate change, and what I consider one of the most important books in the world of veganism and animal rights to date. Allez-y!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Best-Ever Breakfast Potatoes
via Minimalist Baker

Photo via Minimalist Baker.

Photo via Minimalist Baker.

We eat a pretty hefty amount of potatoes in my on-campus 21-person vegan living cooperative (one of my housemates recently testified to eating at least 11 potatoes on a weekly basis), due to their price accessibility, nutritional value, and downright comforting tastiness. Though we enjoy a variety of potato-based dishes in our house dinners (salads, soups, mashes, etc.), we’ve all but officially voted on roasted potatoes as our preferred tuber preparation. Each time a housemate offers up roasted potatoes for a communal dinner, they enter an informal contest judging who can produce the crispiest potatoes. With this recipe from Dana at Minimalist Baker, I feel pretty confident in my abilities to trump the competition.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Cauliflower Steaks with Mushroom Gravy
adapted from Olives for Dinner

cauliflower steak with mushroom gravy

Though my good friend Kaden may resent me for saying so, I’ve come to the conclusion that cauliflower far surpasses broccoli in the battle for the title of Best Floret-Based Cruciferous Vegetable. While cauliflower’s versatility (creamy soups and sauces! raw and dipped in hummus! hidden in baked goods!) certainly plays a role in this thoroughly contemplated judgment, I believe that the superiority of cauliflower lies mainly in its roasting capabilities (can you tell that I’m really into roasting vegetables? Potatoes, cauliflower…you name it, I’ll roast it). In fact, in my humble opinion, cauliflower resides on the pedestal of Best Roasting Vegetables, along with brussels sprouts and squash (cauliflower holds a lot of titles, in my book). So when a recipe tells me to roast thick slices of cauliflower in sage leaves to yield hearty, tender bites with crispy edges and douse them in a mushroom-based gravy, how can I refuse?

Must-Read News Story

For the Animals, By the People…Not the Man: A Vegan Feminist Critique of Social Movement Hierarchy
by Corey Lee Wrenn at The Academic Abolitionist Vegan

Photo via TAVS.

Photo via TAVS.

Last summer, as an intern for Compassion Over Killing, I attended the 2013 national Animal Rights Conference in Alexandria, VA. As a main attraction, the event highlighted a debate on the most effective form of animal advocacy – welfarism or abolitionism – between Farm Sanctuary’s Bruce Friedrich (advocating for welfarism) and Gary Francione (the figurehead of the “abolitionist approach” to animal rights). In speaking to conference attendees, I found that many folks thought ill of this movement “in-fighting,” espousing a sentiment along the lines of, “why can’t we all just get along?” This sentiment in part inspired my recent blog post on the need for animal activists to critically engage with problematic practices of our movement, and I’m thrilled that the ever-insightful Corey Lee Wrenn has penned a clear and concise post informed by similar concerns. Not only does Corey Lee affirm that “factionalism is both normal and healthy for social movements, and is something to be expected,” she also does not shy away from speaking out against forms of human oppression within the animal rights movement; in this particular post, “a patriarchal social structure of command within our organizations.” I highly recommend that you subscribe to Corey Lee’s mailing list on her blog immediately.

Calling IN: A Less Disposable Way of Holding Each Other Accountable
via Ngoc Loan Tran at Black Girl Dangerous

Image via Black Girl Dangerous.

Image via Black Girl Dangerous.

In response to my aforementioned recent post on “The Importance of Calling Each Other Out,” fellow progressive vegan blogger Raechel of Rebel Grrl Living shared with me this post from the truly important blog Black Girl Dangerous (another one to which you must subscribe in the next twelve seconds). The piece advocates for social justice activists to cultivate a practice of calling in along with calling out, the distinction resting in a sense of compassion behind our reason for speaking to someone about an action of theirs we consider problematic. Author Ngoc Loan Tran explains in hopeful, profound terms what they see as the value behind calling in: “Because when I see problematic behavior from someone who is connected to me, who is committed to some of the things I am, I want to believe that it’s possible for us to move through and beyond whatever mistake was committed.” I’m definitely going to actively try to start practicing this more caring form of critical engagement. Thank you, Raechel, for sharing the post with me!

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Exclusive: DA Joins the Climate Activists He Declined to Prosecute, Citing Danger of Global Warming
via Democracy Now!

Untitled

Photo via Democracy Now!.

In a hopefully precedent-setting court ruling, Massachusetts’ Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter dropped criminal charges on two climate activists who blocked the shipment of 40,000 tons of coal to a local power plant with their lobster boat (of course, I find it rather ironic that two environmental activists employed a boat engaged in an industry tied to the wholesale destruction of our oceans…but that’s a topic for another post). Not only did Sutter take the very real and urgent concern of climate change into account when carrying out this ruling, he also plans to march with the two previously arrested activists – Ken Ward, Jr. and Jay O’Hara – in the upcoming People’s Climate March in New York City. I wholeheartedly appreciate Sutter’s consideration of social context in his ruling, rather than attempting to rule “objectively” as the judicial system strives to do (an impossible goal considering the fact that everyone – even supposedly objective actors like lawyers, judges, and scientists – carry personal prejudices, preferences, and subjective experiences with them).

I do, however, want to point out the whiteness of both of the activists as well as Sutter. Considering the U.S. criminal justice system’s disproportionate targeting of people of color, I can’t help but wondering whether the activists would have enjoyed dropped charges if they were not white. Additionally, I’d like to point out that the environmental movement and the media tend to highlight the activism of white folks despite the significant contributions that people of color have made to the struggle for the well-being of the planet, and this story – though indicative of an important social shift – plays into that tendency. Just as with the animal rights movement, we have to work to make the environmental movement a more inclusive one.

Book Recommendation

Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society
edited by A. Breeze Harper

sv_book

An anthology of perspectives on veganism from Black females, Sistah Vegan constitutes a phenomenally important work in that it gives voice to a group habitually silenced both within the animal rights movement and in a broader societal context. Combating the mainstream vegan culture dominated by wealthy white folks and that focuses on the proliferation of expensive novelty foods and capitalist-driven consumer choices, this anthology highlights the marginalized views of women of color who see veganism as a practice of holistic health and anti-colonialism. Thanks to the incredible work of A. Breeze Harper, Sistah Vegan has expanded from a book into a larger project, the details of which you can find at The Sistah Vegan Project. There, you can also read Harper’s introduction to the anthology, and I sincerely hope that you do.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {9-5-14}

In case you missed the edit to Monday’s post, please hop on over to the top of my “Saffron Cantaloupe Butter | The Importance of Calling Each Other Out” post and check out a very important retraction. Thank you!

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

Happy Friday and welcome to your weekly dose of Vegan Chews and Progressive News (#NewsandChews)Today’s recipes feature an original take on the classic kale chip, a delectable interpretation of a quintessential flavor pairing, and a vegan taco bar for a crowd. Turning to news, we’re looking at an enlightening perspective on women’s lack of advancement in the workplace, Hong Kong’s powerful Occupy Central movement, and a book that explores a myriad of problems within the U.S. food system through investigative journalism. Let’s get to it!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

Baked Pesto Kale Chips
via Sweet Simple Vegan

Photo via Sweet Simple Vegan.

Photo via Sweet Simple Vegan.

I’ve crafted many a crispy leaf of smoky kale in my time, from rich savory treats coated in cheesy cashew sauce to simply roasted greens coated in coconut oil and smoked paprika. I’ve even coated to-roast kale in hummus, but never before encountering this recipe had I contemplated the same use for pesto. Bound to yield deeply yet brightly flavored kale chip fabulousness, this recipe will certainly enter my repertoire in the very near future.

Sweet

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookie Bars
via The Honour System

Photo via The Honour System.

Photo via The Honour System.

In my 21-person vegan living cooperative, we devour our fair share of chickpea-based desserts, thanks to our monthly supply of 25-pound sacks of dried chickpeas. Similarly, I’m fairly certain that we consume up to 41% of New York state’s peanut butter supply. This 8-ingredient treat, therefore, proves more than well-suited for the Ferry Haus kitchen and bellies, once again marrying those three letters made for each other: PB & J.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Ferry Taco Bar with Roasted Chickpeas, Dirty Rice, Crispy Cabbage Slaw, & Salsa
Original Recipe

tacos

Speaking of Ferry Haus, last week I packed up my Brooklyn apartment and completed the short journey to my on-campus cooperative in Poughkeepsie, where this Tuesday I began classes as a junior Geography major at Vassar College. With 21 creative minds – both culinary and otherwise – to fill the kitchen, our nightly communal dinners never fail to wow, surprise, and disappear within minutes. Inspired by the corn tortillas that turned up in our refrigerator, I felt compelled to prepare a summery taco bar for the Haus, complete with smoked paprika-roasted chickpeas, tomato-laden dirty rice with plenty of spices (cumin, oregano, cilantro, Spanish paprika, cayenne), a bright and crunchy cabbage-carrot slaw for contrast, and a canned tomato classic-style salsa with onions, garlic, and jalapeno. Who can argue with veggies, grains, and legumes rolled up in a soft tortilla? Almost as good as a sandwich. ;)

Must-Read News Article

Why Aren’t Women Advancing at Work? Ask a Transgender Person.
via Jessica Nordell at New Republic

Photo via New Republic.

Photo via New Republic.

This eye-opening article from New Republic explores the fact that women advance in the workplace at a much lower rate than men, specifically the notion that this happens because of personal choices or cognitive and emotional characteristics, whether innate or socialized. Through interviews with individuals of trans experience who have remained in the same careers/jobs after their transitions, author Jessica Nordell reveals that individuals experience starkly different treatment in the workplace depending on their gender, even though they’re essentially the exact same person.

To take an example from the article, when a man named Ben still presented as a woman and solved a difficult math problem, his biology professor insisted that “Your boyfriend must have solved it.” However, after Ben’s transition, that same professor – unaware of Ben’s transition – commended his work, commenting that Ben’s work was “so much better than his sister’s.”

A fascinating article that sheds light upon the clear anti-woman bias that still exists in our society of supposed gender equality.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Hong Kong ‘Occupy Central’ Protests Call for Political Freedom After China Rejects Open Elections
via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

In Hong Kong, an outpouring of protestors have united under the name of Occupy Central to oppose the Chinese government’s rejection of demands for Hong Kong to freely choose its next leader in 2017. The oldest global faction in the Occupy movement, Occupy Central has proven its determination through huge numbers of protestors and international recognition, and is currently threatening to blockade the city’s central business district.

I don’t highlight this story to bash the Chinese government, for I don’t feel that it’s my place to do so as a Westerner whose government has its fair share of problems with its democratic leadership. Instead, I seek to act in solidarity with the protestors, who have publicly requested that individuals in the Western world spread the word of their struggle. Additionally, I hope that seeing these powerful protests against an oppressive government will inspire U.S. actors to more actively speak out against our less obviously exploitative system of rule, especially in regards to its regards to its treatment of already marginalized peoples.

Book Recommendation

The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields, and the Dinner Table
by Tracie McMillan

Photo via American Way of Eating blog.

Photo via American Way of Eating blog.

In this acclaimed book uncovering a myriad of problems existing within the U.S. food system, award-winning and working-class journalist Tracie McMillan worked undercover in three jobs that feed America, living off of her wages in each. Reporting from California onion and grape fields, the produce aisle of a Walmart just outside of Detroit, and the kitchen of a NYC Applebee’s, McMillan investigates how most folks living in the U.S. eat, while a much smaller group happily spends $9 on organic heirloom tomatoes (guilty as charged). Most insightfully, McMillan explains the national policies (especially their racist dimensions) that lay the groundwork for this “American way of eating.” Though McMillan does not explore the problems within the U.S.’ system of animal agriculture, I think that it proves especially important for vegans to educate ourselves about the non-animal-related issues surrounding our nation’s food, so as not to ignore the plight of farm workers and other individuals exploited in various forms of food service.

In solidarity, Ali.