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Sistah Vegan Community BLOG
Wednesday, 15 March 2006
Bridgette Bee 4 U, Nurture yourself
Mood:  energetic
Topic: Sistah Vegan Book Ideas?
I am a 42 year old vegan raw foodist and I personal trainer I would like to attach my bio and help any way that I can help our sistahs understand we have to take care of ourselves before we take care of everyone else.

Bridgette Massey Peterson

Bridgette began her life long endeavor towards a career in fitness early in life where she attended a performing arts high school where she participated in the dance program. While attending Rutgers College in New Jersey, majoring in Biology Pre-Medicine she began training and running in 10K races. She started teaching aerobics classes in a Health Club. Upon moving to the Washington DC metropolitan area she continued to teach aerobics in a Health Club and in a corporate setting. Bridgette started lifting weights with the goal of participating in bodybuilding competitions. In April 2003 Bridgette received her initial certification as a personal trainer with NCCPT (National Council for Certified Personal Trainers) through LAFitness. In November 2004 Bridgette completed her first marathon in 4 hours and 18 minutes. Bridgette has been a vegetarian for over 25 years and within the last ten years she has adopted the vegan lifestyle. Bridgette has coached little league soccer (8-9 year olds) for two seasons. In February 2006 Bridgette became recertified as a personal trainer with ISSA. Bridgette would like to continue her very fit life with the hopes of opening up her own gym the will incorporate fitness and nutrition together.

Posted by bridgettepet at 11:37 AM EST
Friday, 10 March 2006
Methodology of Oppression: Veganism as a Tool to Fight Back
Topic: Methodology of Oppression
Check Sistah Adama's website. She has a unique perspective on veganism as a practice to resist institutionalized oppression. She is a radio talkshow host out of Atlanta. Let's have a dialogue that reflects on what she has posed as a way of looking at institutionalized oppressed through the lens of food.


Here is a snippet of what she has to say:

The Methodology of Oppression

We have come to a place where people are no longer receiving the food that was ideally suited by virtue of the intelligence of the vegetation and plant life complementing the genetic inheritance of the people...

As long as the cell is oppressed with chemicals, flesh, pus, mucus, bacteria, parasites, viruses and all else that the body becomes host, then know that no amount of education, travel, experience, information, money, access, credibility, fame, or fortune, the process of living is being experienced as a process of toxification, acidification, and bastardization laying foundation for physical, emotional, mental, psychic, and spiritual limitation, sickness, imbalance, impotency, perversion and death.

Every disease currently known to the present generations of the earth have developed as result of the starvation of the cell, the assault of the cell with substances which are unable to promote healthy cellular functioning by cleansing the cell, nourishing the cell, or regenerating the cell.
We have been bombarded with lies from the meat and dairy industries since the early 1900's on the necessity of having their products in the diet to be balanced and healthy. It was a lie then, it is an even more atrocious lie now, because so many “professionals” know better.

In order for the human being, child, woman, man to function in the fullness of itself as a living, loving, intelligent, and potent point of presence of The Absolute Presence and Its Absolute Reality, it must be nourished according to that which the body actually needs and can truly utilize. The flesh of dead animals is not that, nor are the pus and mucus of cows, or any of the other things previously articulated.

Freedom and liberation are the desired conditions over oppression, suppression, repression, depression, and being pressed upon. It is not the freedom to eat poison, or to create whatever poison and push it that we should celebrate. It is the freedom to choose to eat that which is truly cleansing, nourishing, and revitalizing. Pure water, fruits, herbs, vegetables, sea vegetables, whole grains, and other alkalizing foods are the “foods” we should be consuming. It is the freedom of the intelligence of our being to function optimally and unobstructed that will bring us the greater rejoicing, prosperity, productivity, creativity, integrity, ethic, and morality. Liberation can best be facilitated at the cellular level, as the methodology of oppression has been to oppress at the cellular level.


Posted by Breeze Harper at 3:38 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 10 March 2006 3:48 PM EST
Sistah Vegan Anthology Topics and Ideas
Topic: Sistah Vegan Book Ideas?
Let's talk about what we'd like to see in the Sistah Vegan Anthology book. If you're unfamiliar with this project, please go to these two links:

Official Sistah Vegan Project URL:


Official Project Submission guidelines:


Posted by Breeze Harper at 3:01 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 10 March 2006 3:22 PM EST
Welcome to the Official Sistah Vegan Community BLOG
Topic: Welcome- Please Read
Welcome. This blog is for ANYONE who would like to have conversations about the Sistah Vegan project as well as topics that are connected to the goal and mission of the Sistah Vegan Project which can be found at http://breezeharper.tripod.com/research/sistah_vegan_anthology.html

Because of last month?s discussion on Veganp*rn and its obvious embedded Racism and elitism within this particular demographic of vegan practitioners, I have decided to create a community blog for the Sistah Vegan project. If you are unfamiliar with what I am speaking about, the recent email I sent out is posted on the Sistah Vegan Community Blog at http://breezeharper.tripod.com/sistahveganblog/index.blog?topic_id=1062287

I would love for us to have great brainstorming dialogues that will help not only those of us ladies of the African Diaspora practicing veganism working on our pieces for the anthology, but also address many issues within veganism that rarely come up in mainstream and "more visible" dialogues about veganism in the USA.

I can honestly say that my transition into veganism came from my childhood experiences with institutionalized racism and sexism. Many people on Veganp*rn.com referenced animal rights as the most important reason for their transition. I honor all life and respect and practice compassion and Ahimsa based philosophy for human as well as non-human animals. However, me experiencing life as a "working class non-heterosexual Black identified female" led me to eventually practicing Ahimsa based veganism from a different point that didn't initially involve animal rights as the catalyst to my "awakening."

When I was 12 and entered the halls of Lyman Memorial Junior High School (97% white) during the first day of 7th grade, the first greeting I heard was, "Look at that skinny little n*gger. Run skinny little n*gger, run." From this point on in my consciousness, I became very aware of my position in USA through the unique fusion of black and female (race and gender.)

Several years later, I began engaging in readings to understand the roots of these types of oppressive acts I encountered throughout high school and college. I moved into bell hooks, Audre Lorde and Patricia Hill Collins (Black feminist theory), then expanded into Ahimsa based philosophy by Jiddu Krishnamurti, then expanded to ethical consumption/veganism. What truly MOVED ME into exploring veganism was reading Dick Gregory and seeing the connections he made to institutionalized racism/classism/sexism, Black liberation and dietary beliefs/practice. After that introduction, literature such as Dreaded Comparison:Human and Animal Slavery by Marjorie Spiegel and Eternal Treblinka:Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust by Charles Patterson that further expanded my understanding of the roots of systematic racism, nationalism and sexism as well as my newer awareness of the mistreatment of non-human animals and the planet's natural resources. Eventually, since the start of my path (that first day of 7th grade) I made the connections that institutional oppression and consumption had to my own reproductive health and lack of knowledge about "healthy dietary practices to heal my physical and spiritual being."

I hope that the Sistah Vegan community blog will be a site of wisdom and experiences that intersect the experience of veganism with all forms of systematic oppression (human, non-human, plant, mineral, etc) from the perspective of not only female vegans of the African diaspora but allies who also have wisdom-filled experiences to help break down the types of prejudices( that were revealed during the Veganp*rn discussion forum) often endured by females of the African diaspora- atleast here in the USA.

Peace and Blessings and Welcome to the Community,

Breeze Harper

Sistah Vegan Project Creator

Posted by Breeze Harper at 1:28 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 13 March 2006 12:11 PM EST
Embedded Racism and Elitism on VeganPorn Discussion Board
Mood:  blue
Topic: Racism in Veganism?
I did a Google search of "Sistah Vegan" several weeks ago and ended up finding something very interesting on Veganporn.com. (which has nothing to do with porn, but for some reason that's the name. It's a site for vegans to interact) Someone had posted my CFP, which I am greatly appreciative. However, it sparked a "debate" on the forum. The forum I'm referring to is at: http://www.veganporn.com/1052277800.html

I was astounded by how 30 pages of debate came out of my spelling of "sistah". I didn't participate in this discussion.

Instead of talking about the "positive" nature of what Sistah Vegan anthology will encompass, I felt that a majority in the debate portrayed a sense of "elitism" and "racism", focusing on my use of the word "sistah." I was shocked because I naively
assumed that most practitioners of veganism would be accepting of all of us who want to practice veganism and post on forums, regardless if we spell "sister" or "sistah." The class, racial, and power implications of this are huge. Hypothetically, if I wasn't a vegan but were interested in veganism and happened to cross this site as my first exposure to the "vegan world of cyberspace", I would have run
away; furthermore, this doesn't help the "myth" that veganism and vegetarianism is a "white middle class snobby" lifestyle (which I don't believe, but have run across plenty of folk who have this perspective). This Veganporn discussion shows just how necessary the Sistah Vegan anthology project is. More voices should be brought to the table that help enhance the vegan experience and make it accessible to everyone; not just a particular group concerned with how vegans "should speak Standard English".

I'm extremely baffled by the whole uproar. How do I explain to this particular demographic the underlying foundations of Sistah Vegan? Why have I found in my experirence that a majority of white identified middle/upper class people are so scared of solidarity among people who are NOT identified as themselves? Same goes with the fears that many heterosexual identified people I have met that seem to responde the same way to glbt identified folk coming together as a community. I know that "my skin color shouldn't make a difference in my vegnaism," but because it's been socially constructed around power for "white looking people" in USA and Europe for hundreds of years, it HAS made a difference in people's experiences. Therefore, I am interested to see how this socially constructed system (of race and gender and class) has informed the "vegan" experiences of a group of people who still experience the negative effects of such a system. I am curious to understand why the vegans on the particular Vegan Porn discussion I'm referring to are so frightened of what "Sistah Vegan" entails? Why have they purposefully interpreted this as something rancid? Have they ever even sat down and read Critical Race Theory? Memoirs of people of color who's HAVE experienced prejudice simply because of this thing called "skin color?" Why is race so uncomfortable with the posters on this particular veganporn forum? I wonder what the reaction would have been, had I not focused on race but instead the "experience of genocide and veganism." For example, a request for papers for "Jewish Holocauast survivors who practice veganism and how the Jewish Holocaust shaped their levels of compassion to resist all forms of suffering." OR if I posted, "CFP: Survivors of the Rwanda genocide that practice veganism." I'm simply interested on how similar "socialized" experiences shape someone's transition into practicing veganism. After I'm done with this anthology, I will also do a CFP for 10-18 years olds who practice veganism; after this, a CFP for people over 65 who practice vegansim. In the first case, I'm interested in how age and "Being a child in USA" shapes their experience- especially in school systems where the cafeterias serve not only flesh based foods but junk food. For the latter, the voice of senior citizens are always silenced in USA and I'd love to hear from them. Veganism should not only be constructed as a practice engaged in by "young people."

Also, for the Sistah Vegan Anthology cfp, I never designated a RACE, per se. For my submission guidelines, I invite "Black identified female vegans/female vegans of the African diaspora" to participate, which doesn't specifically designate "race" but specifically is talking about the African diaspora. Also, "Black-identified" is different than "Black." It's how "you" choose to identify and not as much as the label someone has pressed upon you. Ok, I'll stop now. As you can see, this has completely changed my whole perspective on practitioners of veganism. It's also good material for my thesis :-)

The forum I'm referring to is at: http://www.veganporn.com/1052277800.html .

Please let me know what you think.

Breeze Harper

Posted by Breeze Harper at 12:37 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 10 March 2006 1:17 PM EST

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