Afro-Vegan Interviews: Zipporah the Vegan
As we all know, Twitter is a very interesting and somewhat confusing place. But for Zipporah the Vegan and other similar activists, it’s a thriving space to educate others on veganism, social justice, and the Black experience with ease.
Though being Black and vegan might not seem common, Zipporah works to squash misconceptions with her consistent and powerful online presence. Let’s learn more about the passionate activist and foodie with today’s interview!
1. Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Montreal, Canada to two proudly Caribbean parents
2. What were your favorite foods growing up?
I’m a huge foodie, but saltfish and bakes was my favorite meal. I also loved fried plantain and roasted breadfruit although we didn’t eat it too often. Curry goat and roti were also top. Essentially anything West Indian tbh.
3. How did your platform begin?
I started “zipporahthevegan” because people on my personal account were starting to drop like flies when I would talk about veganism or share my vegan eats. I figured I’d create a space where I could talk about what I was passionate about with like-minded folk. I just wanted more people to see what I saw and consider going vegan themselves.
4. What do you do outside of your personal and professional work?
I love doing spin classes and cooking. I’m big on traveling as well and I hope to resume that when it is safe.
5. What's your vegan story?
I watched a documentary called Meet your Meat on YouTube when I was in high school and I knew that I had to go vegan. It was a little complicated given that I had an eating disorder at the time and lived at home with my parents who very much did not approve of veganism. I started to reduce my consumption of animals and I continued researching until I was ready to go vegan.
6. What's your best advice for helping someone go vegan?
Stop listening to what other people have to say because there will always be people who are ready to discredit veganism or try to deter you from doing what you know is right. Listen to your conscious and do what aligns with you first and foremost.
7. How can someone begin doing vegan activism work today?
Being vegan in and of itself is activism. Dating online and encouraging your dates to go to vegan restaurants is activism (yes, I did a lot of this back in the day and I also flirted with people as a means to subtly talk about veganism). Do what you do best and weave veganism into it. I love writing and cooking so these days I write about veganism amongst other things, and I share pictures and videos of what I eat on Instagram.
8. Who inspires you?
My dad. I’m so blessed to have had a father that was incredibly pro-Black and taught me how to love Black people and everything about us. He's why I denounce anti-Black racism constantly and will always lift other Black folks (as long as they aren't invested in upholding white dominance of course).
9. Why is community important when it comes to Afro-Veganism?
We must support one another and hype each other up because veganism is yet another space that white people have managed to colonize. I write about this in Saviourship within veganism , but if we don’t support each other as Black vegans, veganism will continue to be seen as this white thing that pushes out the voices of Black folks which is harmful. There is a lot of anti-Blackness in vegan spaces and it discourages Black people from going vegan which is unfortunate because veganism at its core is about anti-oppression and ending the exploitation of animals. If we can cultivate an Afro-Vegan community, we can show people that there are vegan spaces that do not perpetuate anti-Blackness and are not only safe, but beautiful spaces where Balck vegans can be in good relation with one another. Afro-veganism is so important because folks need to see that