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chakarera wrote

I agree with a lot it, but I think there's a lot of stuff in their that's just wrong or problematic. I'm too lazy to right a full response, so I'll just say the main thing is the author has a belief threading through everything, that she thinks veganism/vegetarianism/animal rights is a western/industrial/white people thing. She states this explicitly:

Okay, let’s be blunt: veganism, vegetarianism, and the animal rights movement are only necessary to begin with because of colonization.

Animal rights and treatment weren’t a concern pre-contact, pre-Westernization, or pre-industrialization because animals were viewed as relatives, not commodities.

Ironically, she's the one whitewashing history and ignoring indigenous voices. As far as I know, animal rights and vegetarianism originated at least 10,000 years ago in India, probably with the development of agriculture, with the philosophy of 'ahimsa' (non-violence) and that killing animals was violence (made unnecessary by agriculture). The first person (that we have written documentation of at least) to live and advocate a total rejection of animal exploitation equivalent to modern day veganism, was Al-Maʿarri. Even today, veganism and especially vegetarianism is way more common outside the 'west'. People in the americas pre-contact, went to war, practiced human sacrifice, made empires with some groups ruling over and opressing others, etc. Some were egalitarian peaceful societies, some were patriarchal violent warmakers. Some did fucked up things to animals. I understand indigenous people are in a conflicted situation cause colonizers attempted to destroy their traditions, but that doesn't mean all their traditions are automatically good and beyond critique. With critique meaning reflection from within their community, cause of history of colonization I agree it's very problematic for white animal rights activists to critique indigenous traditions, especially when white animal rights activists have way way way more animal abuse going on in their on in their own backyard to critique. But in my experience it's white non-vegans that make racist critiques of non-whites for eating "weird" animals, and it's vegans that call them out saying ya'll are racist hypocrites, stop eating meat before you criticize them.


lori OP wrote

far as I know, animal rights and vegetarianism originated at least 10,000 years ago in India, probably with the development of agriculture, with the philosophy of 'ahimsa'

This is irrelevant to their actual concern, though - it seems odd to cite India and Syria (two of the most open-to-agriculture lands in the world) when they're Hawaiian and that part was about Native peoples. Hawaiian, Inuit and Plains natives have relied heavily on meat for almost all of their history, and its central to a lot of their culture.

I understand that it being their culture isn't by-default good, but I don't think that leveraging other PoC literally across the world from them is a great move, nor is it really a concern for others to criticize, even if they're Indian or Syrian.


chakarera wrote

I cited India and Syria to counter the author's idea that veganism/animal rights was unnecessary and didn't exist pre-Westernization and pre-industrialization. The author wrote an article about their experience as a native Hawaiian living in midwest USA. Which is great, except that the author didn't frame it that way, she wrote it as if what she was saying is true in general, which for her points 2 and 4 is just wrong.