FEATURE: Philogynoir

My journey to veganism started in 2009 when I decided to research healthier alternatives to  chemical relaxers. It wasn't until 7 years later that I was able to finally commit to the vegan lifestyle, but the process started with my introduction into the natural hair community. Once my eyes were opened to the pervasiveness of white supremacist socializations - the meaning behind having good hair, obsessing over curly hair, and the idea that natural hair is inherently “unprofessional” - there was a shift in me that to this day, has never been the same. 

Going natural lead to me becoming a pescetarian with a mainly vegetarian diet. After a while, I naturally progressed into a social pescetarian with a 60% vegan diet. Fast forward to 2015, I began eating meat again. During this time, I was well into my pregnancy and almost fainting from not consuming enough food. Now, I am not trying to insinuate that it is impossible to complete a pregnancy as a vegan, I was just unsuccessful because I didn’t have the resources to eat correctly. 

Once I delivered my daughter, I went back and forth between being a vegan and eating certain meats like chicken and turkey. It wasn’t until I read Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society that I was able to commit to a vegan lifestyle. That book, along with all of A. Breeze Harper’s work, really solidified my reasoning for wanting to decolonize my mind and body through abstaining from animal-based products. One line that really stuck with me was a passage where one of the author’s - it may have been Harper herself - said as a person who was anti-oppression, she realized her diet did not match her mindset. That line rocked my world.

I am the creator of an online (and soon to be offline; wait on it) space called Philogynoir. Philogynoir is the antithesis of misogynoir or anti-black misogyny. Utilizing Youtube, I created a web series that discusses the intersection between race and sex told specifically from a black feminist perspective. My show is meant to empower, uplift, and mobilize ALL black women - not just those of us who are thin, conventionally attractive, able-bodied, cis, straight, and college-educated. Though I realize I am unaware of many systems of oppression that I personally benefit from, I consider myself anti-oppression overall. So with knowing this, how could I continue to participate in speciesism when I had the resources to do otherwise?

So far, the decision to become vegan has been one, if not the best things I could’ve done for myself, the environment, and other living beings. I have more energy, my skin is clear, melanin popping, and I have peace of mind knowing my beliefs align with my diet. It’s lit.

Where can you find me online?

Youtube: Philogynoir

Twitter: @philogynoir

Instagram: @philogynoir

Tumblr: @philogynoir

Facebook: @philogynoir

Snapchat: @philogynoir