FEATURE: Unique Vance

My name is Unique Vance and I am a 3rd year Global Studies major at UC Santa Barbara where I am the Co-Chair of my university's Student Commission on Racial Equality and the former Environmental Justice chair of my university's Environmental Affairs Board. I grew up in Compton, California, and became vegetarian in high school after my best friend and I started an environmental club called "The Green Team".

When I learned about the link between social justice issues and the animal agriculture industry I couldn't come up with a good excuse to continue eating meat. After watching Cowspiracy in college I knew that I had to make the decision to completely eliminate animal products from my diet due to the ethical and environmental impacts of the dairy industry.

As an environmental justice advocate, racial justice has always been at the forefront of my politics. Racial justice is something that I have seen missing from mainstream veganism. Because of this Vegan Voices of Color was started by myself and my best friend Aaron just over a month ago. We wanted to link the causes and goals of veganism with the intersection of issues faced by people of color, from climate change to vegan eating on a low income diet.  I am currently trying to bridge social justice with veganism, allowing people to see how mainstream white veganism shouldn't be the face of this social justice crisis. 

I hope to advocate for a veganism that centers around the intersections of being a person of color. Veganism is a social cause and I hope to show this through Vegan Voices of Color. My motto is vegan for the animals/ vegan for the people/ vegan for the planet/ vegan for justice!