July 10, 2012 @ 8:19 PM

 I read an article from a popular Vegan magazine's website from 3 months ago that was talking about Vegans who are of African American descent. I've known the whole time I was a Vegan that there are many people of every nationality that's common in the Western world that are Vegans. Zero shock to me.  They highlighted a few recent publications that had emphasized that, including a couple of books that were put out by Vegans of African American descent.  Then they proceeded to quote someone on their work to bring attention to suffering everywhere, to compound human suffering in with the Vegan ethic, and they were talking about some of the blowback they've received from what they've done and emphasized along those lines.

Human suffering issues aren't related to Veganism and never will be, just as health issues have zero to do with Veganism, though it's a helpful, productive biproduct that helps with evangelization to the Vegan cause whose end goal is exclusively to end animal suffering at the hands of humankind as far as is BOTH possible and practical. However, it does do a tremendous service to destroy the stereotype that Vegans are just White Folks with an ax to grind; that they're just straight-edge people from the punk scene that are angry at everything. Though the Vegan culture does include them, it includes Vegans from every ethnicity, almost every religion, & every country. Perhaps by decade's end, it'll include people from every city and village in the Western world.

When Vegans speak of "cruelty-free" the term specifically relates to animal suffering, not to people suffering. There's nothing wrong with the human suffering issues, humanism, etc., but animal suffering shouldn't be contributed to just 'cause the only shoes in my price range happen to be made in China. Some Vegan companies refuse to carry things from China, but that only harms Veganism in the end if not everybody can come up to a budget of "fair trade" in as timely a fashion as those who've jumped on the bandwagon of that and try to force down the throats of other Vegans would demand. I bought the two best pair of Vegan shoes that I've ever had in my entire lifetime at Walmart a few days ago. They were $16 each.

Some would say all kinds of stuff about the living wages issue, fair-trade, slave labor, and all kinds of other issues, but I'm happy that I've got Vegan shoes that don't have rotting corpses smeared all over them and consequently smeared all over my feet as daily reminders of the cruelties that I'm forced to contribute to because I don't have $200 to get a pair of shoes from online Vegan companies, including shipping and handling, that would fit my feet where sizing is also an issue never addressed by those Vegans that get all high and mighty about not carrying things imported from China but refuse to carry things that are for every size-range while they're on their high horse! That doesn't do much to encourage people who are new to Veganism or long-time Vegans like myself, to say we don't deserve a new pair of shoes if we can't choose shoes over rent with what Vegans are demanding we be able to pay. I'll buy shoes that are made in Guantanamo if they're 100% Vegan, even if they're made by those that are being tortured everyday in the behalf of national security, if they're within my price range and 100% Vegan, as well as quality workmanship, because again, Veganism is about animal suffering, not about humanistic agendas with alleviating human suffering by taking it out on Vegans that can't afford the alternatives that are made by so-called "fair trade" companies.

It doesn't mean the other issues about human suffering aren't important, and as a minister of the Gospel, I'm doing my best to deal with both, but neither are really helped if I'm having to buy dead animals for my feet, as with my previous pair of New Balance that I bought 'cause they were within my price range and the correct size that none of the online Vegan companies ever carry.