FEATURE: Funso Foluso-Henry

After struggling with my weight for almost all of my life, I was initially attracted to veganism due to the weight loss aspect, as it would mean I’d inevitably increase my fruit and vegetable intake. It wasn’t until I began to research further into the movement that I realized being vegan was more than just another fad diet. I spent a week watching the videos typically associated with transitioning to the vegan lifestyle...it seemed that every single argument you could think of for eating meat could be denounced by one in favor of a plant based diet. Another fact that I could not ignore was how consuming animal products is the cause of 14 out of 15 of the leading causes of death!

Coming from a mixed race background, my Nigerian dad took my abandoning of meat pretty personally, and I felt as if making the change was the equivalent to rejecting my African roots, where meat is even hidden in the most veggie sounding dishes! However, this changed when I made the link between colonialism and the consumption of meat and dairy. The European colonizers believed changing the diet of the indigenous people (which was typically plant-based for the most part) to theirs (meat, dairy, wine, oil etc.…) was one way they could fashion the colonial body. The egocentric view of nature, that puts humans as dominant to nature and ignores the fact that animals are sentient beings, also has colonial roots. So personally, becoming vegan is one of the ways I feel I am rejecting the ongoing realities of colonialism. 

I also heard about how cows are artificially inseminated so their pregnancy will result in the production of milk; not only this but also how their babies are then snatched away from them afterwards so they don’t drink their mother’s milk. I knew that it would be hypocritical of me to say I fight for intersectional feminism but dismiss situations like this. After all, animals are fellow sentient beings and express emotions like us despite not being able to communicate in the exact same way as us, making it even more important to fight for them!

A day never goes by without the mention of veganism, and I’m glad it’s such a huge part of my life after being vegan for only half a year! It’s amazing how much eating what you actually NEED can have such an effect on your body, mental health and appearance. I can’t even remember the last time I was angry! The meat and dairy industry is so corrupt. So I won’t give up on trying to show everyone that adopting a vegan lifestyle is accessible and beneficial to all: not only the animals, but your health and the planet. It is not simply a “white” lifestyle!  

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