So, I started with veganism when I was 15 years old, a teenager. In the beginning I had no notion of what I could eat. I just ate rice, beans, and soy. My mom was worried about my health, but as the days went on, a huge universe of new possibilities emerged. I started to eat more fruits, more vegetables, more greens, more beans and grains. I also drank different kinds of vegan milks, and veganism became easier to me.
Some of my friends (from when I was a teenager) tried veganism as well. Some are still vegan today, but others gave up soon after. Some tried veganism 11 years ago, but in Brazil, things like soy milk, seitan, and tofu were basically inaccessible. The vegan market here, over the past 11 years, has grown like it never has before.
Black people in Brazil are still very much economically inferior to white people. I would argue that it's actually worse here than it is for the black people in the U.S.
Here, sometimes, we don't have the conditions to buy the basic items for three meals a day, so to start to speak about vegetarianism or veganism is not just an ethical issue with animals...it's also a matter of autonomy and consumption. Veganism is an alternative space for us to escape from this poisonous market that advertises poor health and expensive products.
I think veganism is a form of empowerment for the majority of the black population here. We can start to live better and more empowered. People have no power if they don't have autonomy in their kitchens.
So, friends, let's be more courageous to drive veganism as a revolutionary way of the world, a world that's more peaceful and powerful, with life, without the submission of non-humans, and without the submission of our people in front of a non-healthy and expensive food industry.
Veganism is the best choice I've made in my whole life.
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