Publication details

Animal Colonialism in North America : Towards Indigenous Decolonial Veganism



Year of publication 2023
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The paper will explain how animal colonialism in North America has been integral to the colonial expansionist project by tracing the history of displacement of Indigenous populations due to “animal agriculture” which also caused mass extinction of many free-living animals as well as environmental degradation. With traditional predominantly plant-based Indigenous foodways dismissed as inferior and inadequate, Indigenous peoples have been forced to accept the colonial assimilationist food system that has deepened their dependency on the settler state and has caused various health problems. Despite most of the world population being lactose intolerant (predominantly people of colour), milk has been universally represented as staple food and, together with meat, has been used as a colonial tool for gender and racial discrimination. While plant-based diet has been represented by the Western colonial culture as inferior and linked to emasculation, weakness, and racial inferiority, milk continues to serve as a symbol of white supremacy with its culturally constructed connection to white purity, wholesomeness and virility. To protest the violent industrial animal farming practices that involve torture, slaughter, and mass dairying and are build on racist rhetoric, some Indigenous peoples propose Indigenous veganism as an act of political resistance. Return to pre-colonial foodways that did not involve large-scale human and animal exploitation is crucial to decolonization as well as to addressing environmental destruction. As more people across North America are adopting plant-based diets and participate in food justice projects, the pathway towards environmentally-friendly decolonization is slowly being paved.
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