By: Aph Ko
Over the past few days, the musical community has been grieving over the unexpected death of musical icon, Prince. The vegan community has been trying to grapple with this loss as well. I personally struggled with what route to take in regards to celebrating Prince's veganism considering so many animal rights activists messaged me to let me know that they didn't think that he was actually vegan. I hesitated with what to do considering some white animal rights activists make it their life's mission to destroy Black Vegans Rock, and featuring someone who wasn't vegan would give them even more ammunition to use against me. This fear over being attacked for celebrating someone who might not be vegan is something that occurs far too often in this movement, so much so that the conversation surrounding whether or not Prince is vegan has clouded out his legacy, his activism, and his iconic creativity.
I would personally like to celebrate Prince, his music, his life, and his animal rights advocacy. He also broke racialized gender boundaries which should be celebrated as well. Some folks state that he is vegan, others state that he's not, however, I feel like we should celebrate him because of his advocacy regardless. He has influenced many black people to go vegan and that must be remembered.
Here are some lyrics to his song "Animal Kingdom":
No member of the animal kingdom nurses past maturity
No member of the animal kingdom ever did a thing to me
It’s why I don’t eat red meat or white fish
Don’t give me no blue cheese
We’re all members of the animal kingdom
Leave your brothers and sisters in the sea
He is also known for saying, "Compassion is an action word with no boundaries." He was vocal about racial oppression as well as animal oppression, and I am here to celebrate his legacy.
Rest in Peace Prince. #blackvegansrock
Here are some articles that celebrate Prince's career and legacy:
Prince, an Artist Who Defied Genre, is Dead At 57 by Jon Pareles
Prince: Not Vegan, Still Awesome by Pax Ahimsa Gethen
Prince, the Vegan, the Activist, the Legend by Jessica F
Prince: Music Icon, But Also Social Activist by Shanika Gunaratna
Prince Was An Activist Who Fought For Justice Every Chance He Got by Madhuri Sathish
The Quiet Activism of Prince by MSNBC Live