(US) Food Justice is an Animal Rights Issue
- [Opposing Views]
Last March, my partner and I volunteered to gather data for an
important study by the Food Empowerment Project on the availability of
fruits and vegetables in Santa Clara County, California.
The Food Empowerment Project just released the report this week, and
the results are disturbing, reflecting significant disparities in
access to healthy foods in low-income communities and communities of
But first, why am I writing about this study here? Why is this an
“animal issue”? The Food Empowerment Project, led by long-time animal
rights campaigner lauren Ornelas, is one of the few groups working at
the intersections of the animal rights movement and the food justice
movement, drawing connections between the exploitation of human and
nonhuman animals in the production and distribution of food.
These results illustrate the drastic inequalities in access to
healthy, vegan food in low-income communities. Food justice, in
addition to being a compelling civil rights issue on its own terms, is
an animal rights issue: we cannot promote a vegan, plant-based diet
without simultaneously trying to remedy the structural injustices that
make such a diet nearly impossible for large portions of the country.
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