Every February, we acknowledge the contributions of black citizens in society by celebrating Black History Month. Throughout history, many African-Americans have shown their commitment to justice for all—including animals.
Alice Walker, Dick Gregory, Coretta Scott King, Dexter Scott King, Russell Simmons, Angela Bassett, Miss Black USA Elizabeth Muto, and so many others have chosen compassionate, vegetarian diets, speak out again animal abuse, and advocate a world in which all species are treated with dignity.
Numerous vegetarian African-Americans actively promote plant-based diets and speak out against cruelty to animals in their communities. Blackvegetarians.org serves as the Web's most complete resource for vegetarian recipes, resources, and information for African-Americans. Created by sisters Marya Annette and Tracye L. McQuirter, blackvegetarians.org features articles such as “Red, Black and Greens: The Politics of Soulfood in the 1960s,” an exploration of the history of food in African-American culture, and “Not Milk,” a compelling look at the racism implicit in the USDA Food Pyramid.
The Web site promotes plant-based diets as a response to the widespread chronic health problems faced by the black community, including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, cancer, and diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of black women and over a quarter of black men are obese. Prostate and breast cancer strike almost 40 percent of black men and over 30 percent of black women, respectively. And one in four black women over age 55 have diabetes.
The site also highlights local black vegetarian organizations, like the Black Vegetarian Society of Texas and the Vegetarian Society of D.C., which sponsor speaking events, organize dinners, lead cooking classes, write newsletters, and support individuals interested in pursuing compassionate, healthy vegetarian lifestyles. If you're interested in starting your own organization, please check out the site's “How to Start a Group” guide.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.