4 Things That Can Stay In 2017
Here we are again, a new year, a new start, a shiny new 2018.
When we look forward to a new year unfolding ahead of us, most of us hope for a brighter year. We like to think of the changes and improvements we hope to see, and sometimes, the things we are completely sick of and want to move beyond.
So here is my personal list of all the things that need to stay firmly in 2017.
Body shaming / food shaming.
I am going to be honest with you here, I have spent my entire adolescent, teenage and adult life dealing with body issues, worrying about weight and having unrealistic body image goals and ideas. Sound familiar? I bet it does. Body image issues are prevalent in all areas of our society, with a reported 91% of women feeling unhappy with their bodies.
Recently, I’ve set boundaries with my family and close social circle and asked for us all to work towards stopping talk of diet culture, weight, body shaming and so on. This includes talking about ourselves negatively, and commenting on other people’s appearances, eating habits and lifestyles generally. I don't imagine it'll be a quick fix, but the more we raise awareness and work to make changes, the more changes we will see.
White feminism / white veganism / white supremacy.
This might be a tough one to hear white folks, but we all - now, as much as ever - need to educate ourselves about equality and oppression, and we need to work on improving and promoting intersectionality in our movements and spaces. We all need to work to dismantle white veganism - and this means white vegans.
Check out this great article "Dismantling White Veganism" by VeganVoicesOfColor.org, and this from the Vegan Feminist Network, “Three Reasons Why You Should Become A Pro-Intersectional Activist” for more on intersectionality and what we all can do.
We will certainly be talking about this topic more in the future, feel free to get in touch to be a part of the conversation.
Next time you want to leave a mean / judgmental / ignorant / unhelpful / rude comment on someone’s social media post, page, etc... just don’t. What value is it adding to your life? What value is it adding to their life? I can tell you, it’s adding nothing. If you want to have a constructive conversation then there are plenty of ways to do that, and trolling just isn't one of them. Let's try and be positive people.
Male Supremacy in Veganism.
Stats show that women make up by far the largest percentage of the vegan community, yet stages at vegan conferences, talks and events are always made up of a higher percentage of men. Why in our community are men the ones that are more confident to take the stage, to lead and to ‘inspire’ others? Over the past year, I have seen an absolute abundance of amazing vegan women doing innovative, inspiring things within our community - working as activists, creating and running businesses, sharing their voices and more.
Let's use our own voices to demand an equal representation of our diverse and amazing community. Let's leave male-dominated lineups in 2017.
For sure there are plenty more things I could've added to this list, but here are just four things I am personally actively working to leave in 2017.
What do you want to see left in 2017?