Why This Site Is For Black Vegetarians

Food For The Soul
Food For The Soul

On April 15, 2013 Food For The Soul, The Online Home For Black Vegetarian, went live. You may wonder why this site is for BLACK vegetarians and not all vegetarians and who qualifies as a black vegetarian. Let me explain.

Many black folks experience a feeling of aloneness that can be different and more isolating that what other vegetarians may experience. The cultural norm in many communities is linked to chicken wings, macaroni and cheese and a highly meat based diet.

When I first became vegan a friend told me "You better get you a white boyfriend." In her mind, and in the mind of many others, black and vegetarian and especially vegan just don't go together.

I have heard of others with the same kind of experience. A. Breeze Harper's book Sistah Vegan is a collection of articles written by black women vegans. This theme was expressed by a number of the authors.

Fortunately there are more and more of us all the time. BUT sadly it is still true that for some people in some parts of the US and the wider world, finding fellow vegans or vegetarians of African descent is difficult.

And so Food For The Soul was born. To provide a place where we can find others like us. To connect us together across the miles. To share recipes, to share ideas, to make friends, to support each other.

It is a site for folks who are vegetarian or who are interested in learning more about veganism, raw and living foods and vegetarianism.It is for people of African descent. Only. It is intended to be a safe space where we can speak our mind and not worry about offending anyone or being called out by someone who doesn't and can't understand our perspective as black people. There are many other places where anyone is welcome. Food For The Soul isn't one of them.

So… What has been YOUR experience as a black vegetarian or wanna be vegetarian? Have you felt isolated or do you have a supportive community? I would love to hear your story. Share it in the comments below.

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Ama Opare
Lifestyle Coach, CEO at Opare Institute
Supporting you by bringing you flavorful and satisfying vegan and raw vegan recipes, inspiration and online training and one-on-one coaching to help LOVE YOUR VEGAN LIFE! I am an educator and revolutionary who has teamed up with my physician/dietitian husband, Nana Kwaku Opare, MD, MPH, CA, to address the growing health problems in the Afrikan/Black community by building a Nation of Black Vegetarians and Vegans.

14 comments on “Why This Site Is For Black Vegetarians

  1. I don’t label myself vegetarian or vegan even though vegetarian is how I’m eating with plans as I learn more to eliminate all animal products.
    I was ecstatic to find this site as I was on a few mixed juicing sites and was turned off by the arguments and divisiveness. There became a need for me to embrace people of the same culture as myself.

  2. I live in N.C. and it’s very isolating especially with family and gatherings at friends home where there is 8 different meat dishes. I have health issues that remind me of why I’m choosing to eat this way an that keeps things in perspective for me. To be black and vegan in the community I live in is a rarity or they ask me why would I want to deprive myself. I looked online and the closes Veg meet ups are 3-4 hrs away. I’m very thankful to have found Food for the Soul Community. Looking forward to learning more about eating Dairy Free , Raw and Recipes.

    • Stay strong my sister. With any luck others will be inspired by your transformation. Or maybe others that have been hiding will start to show their faces. Glad to have you here!

  3. This site makes me smile. The life of a black vegan is a lonely one. I live in rural Texas and people think I’m crazy or not really black. I’ve been vegetarian since I was 20 and vegan for close to ten years. I eat some raw dishes, but not enough. I’m still learning and striving to be consistently raw. It takes a whole village to support a vegan/raw lifestyle. Thank you! Great! Great! Great!

  4. I’ve been slowly transitioning to a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle and I find that if I don’t feel like I have my boyfriend’s or my mother’s support I “fall off the wagon.” This go round my boyfriend has agreed to eliminate meat from his diet during the week and only cook meat on the weekends. The test for me will be resisting his cooking.

    • This is a problem most of us must face at some point. I recommend reading and watching videos to make it very clear to yourself why eating animals is dangerous. This can help give you resolve when temptation arises. Also make a plan of how to handle these situations in the future. Good luck! May your boyfriend decide he likes how feels better than he likes his meat 🙂

  5. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions to get a toddler to like more vegan foods. I’m a newbie to the Vegan world , I’ve been only eating seafood ,fresh fruits and veggies and also been drinking Herbalife tea twice a day with a tad bit of honey.

    • Joanna, I am glad you are starting young. It is much easier to get young kids to start eating healthy. I know lots of kids love to drink fresh made juices and smoothies. I found my own kids liked raw veggies better than cooked ones. And fruit is usually easy to give them. At that age it is easier to control what they eat. If only vegan foods are available they will have to eat that! Taste buds may need a bit of time to adjust. Be sure you are not feeling like you are depriving them of something. You are providing with a gift that lasts a lifetime. There are two posts here about vegan kids. Check out some of the older posts.

      Ama

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