atlanta activist nikki ford targets universoul circus

17 People of Color Who Are Changing the World for Animals

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Being vegan is not a “white thing” for many reasons—the abuse and exploitation of animals lives in the intersection of gender, race, and class inequality, among other issues.

Here are some animal activists who recognize these connections and are working hard for the rights of both animals and humans:

Michelle Grandy

We’re happy to sing the praises of activist and chef Grandy, who’s joined the conversation with a vegan soul food cookbook titled Ohhlicious. She’s spent years uncovering plant-based food flavors and perfecting recipes that mimic her grandmother Gussie’s cooking.

Kirsten Ussery-Boyd

Co-owner of vegan soul food restaurant Detroit Vegan Soul, Ussery-Boyd discusses the history of soul food, food justice, and pop culture’s influence on what we eat in an essay that she wrote for PETA.

Nikki Ford

She’s determined, she’s passionate, and she’s one of UniverSoul Circus’ biggest critics. As long as the circus continues to abuse and exploit animals for fleeting human entertainment, activist Nikki Ford will be there, calling attention to the long list of problems with the cruel animal exhibitors.

Bryant Terry

Terry is a chef, educator, and author renowned for his food activism centering on the African diaspora. He’s also the author of the best-selling Afro-Vegan cookbook that includes animal-friendly recipes that will thrill meat-eaters and vegans alike.

Tracye McQuirter

McQuirter is a public-health nutritionist, counselor, and author of the book By Any Greens Necessary. She informs the public about vegan eating through her website and in-person lectures. Her best-selling book includes information on the benefits of plant-based eating, recipes, testimonials, and a vegan shopping list.

Dr. Linda Alvarez, Elizabeth Ross, and Cheryl Roberts

Ross was the driving force behind the Coalition of Vegan Activists of Color, which has evolved into a new group called the Vegan Advocacy Initiative (VAI). Cofounded with Dr. Linda Alvarez and directed by Cheryl Roberts, VAI is hosting a conference this year called “People of Color: Animal Rights, Advocacy and Food Justice Conference.”

Luz Calvo and Catrióna Rueda Esquibel

Professors at California State University–East Bay and San Francisco State University, respectively, this power duo has authored an important cookbook, Decolonize Your Diet: Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing. However, it’s more than a cookbook—it also explores the history of Latin American cuisine and helps to redefine what’s meant by “traditional” Mexican food.

Jaya Bhumitra

As the international director of corporate outreach at Animal Equality, a board member of the Food Empowerment Project, and a member of the advisory council at Encompass, Bhumitra works diligently to further animal- and food-related causes.

Aaron Luxur and Unique Vance

Cofounders of Vegan Voices of Color, the duo speaks at universities and conferences, while their website features contributors’ articles that explore “culture, race, income, and ethics together under the solidarity of social justice.”

VVOC is on the way Santa Cruz 🌻

Posted by Vegan Voices of Color on Sunday, April 23, 2017

Dr. Kevin Jenkins

Jenkins hosts a vegan podcast called The Cool With Kevin Jenkins featuring interviews with vegan activists, artists, entrepreneurs, and others. In an interview with Black Vegans Rock, he explained that he believes “going whole food plant based is part of the liberation movement for the African American community because of the huge impact of lifestyle diseases.”

Dr. Aysha Akhtar

Neurologist, public-health specialist at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and fellow at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, Akhtar is also the author of the book Animals and Public Health: Why Treating Animals Better Is Critical to Human Welfare.

Monique Koch

Koch’s growing empire, The Brown Vegan, includes a website that offers consultations and courses for a smooth vegan transition, as well as a blog, a podcast, and more.

Andrea Gung

Gung works to end the eating of dogs and cats in Asia, in some areas of which these animals are still considered a delicacy. Recently, Chinese authorities banned dog-meat sales at the Yulin dog-eating festival. Gung told the Los Angeles Times, “I have visited Yulin many times in the last two years. This ban is consistent with my experience that Yulin and the rest of the country are changing for the better.”

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