Political activist, Angela Davis, is well-known for her progressive thoughts on race, class, and gender, but not many are as familiar with her "anti-speciesist" position.
The revolutionary-scholar has some rather forward-thinking ideas on species and animal product consumption.
During the 27th Annual Empowering Women of Color Conference, Angela Davis opened up about her vegan diet, and challenged audience members to consider the connection between human and animal liberation. She stated:
"I usually don't mention that I'm vegan, but that has evolved. I think it's the right time to talk about it because it is a part of a revolutionary perspective -- how can we not only discover more compassionate relations wit human beings, but how can we develop compassionate relations with the other creatures with whom we share this planet, and that would mean challenging the whole capitalist industrial form of food production."
Challenging this type of food production would require people to actually think about how these things end up on their plates What does that process look like? Most have no clue.
"Most people don't think about the fact they're eating animals," she stated. "When they're eating a steak or eating a chicken, most people don't think about the tremendous suffering that those animals endure simply to become food products to be consumed by human beings."
When Breeze Harper, author of Sistah Vegan, asked Angela Davis about extending compassion beyond humans as a part of social justice, Davis expressed similar sentiment. "The food we eat masks so much cruelty," she said. "The fact that we can sit down and eat a piece of chicken without thinking about the horrendous conditions under which chickens are industrially bred is a sign of the dangers of capitalism, how capitalism has colonized our minds. The fact that we look no further than the commodity itself, the fact that we refuse to understand the relationships that underlie the commodities that we use on a daily basis."
Davis also encouraged listeners to view the documentary Food, Inc. Then she said: "Ask yourself, what is it like to sit down and eat that food that is generated only for the purposes of profit and creates so much suffering?"
If you'd like more information on the details of a healthy vegan diet, start with our Vegan Food Pyramid breakdown.