People of all backgrounds are vegetarians, and within the African-American community some people deserve recognition for their contributions to the veggie movement. It has been said there are over 1.5 million African-Americans in the U.S. who are vegetarian, so it is vital to have leaders who can guide this growing population.
Bryant Terry is one such leader, making a big hit this year with his book Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine. Terry, an eco chef and food justice activist, uses local, seasonal and sustainably-grown produce. Raised in Memphis, his recipes are based on Southern, African-American, and some Caribbean flavors.
The African-American community and beyond is blessed to have the expertise of Tracye McQuirter, M.P.H., co-founder of blackvegetarians.org and a public health nutritionist who promotes vegan health through writing and public speaking. She taught low-income Washington DC residents how to shop and cook nutritious vegan meals. Her upcoming book addresses what she calls an explosive health crisis among black women — high rates of death and disability from heart disease, stroke and diabetes. By Any Greens Necessary: A Revolutionary Guide for Black Women Who Want to Get Healthy, Lose Weight, Eat Great and Look Phat comes out in May 2010.
Stephanie Redcross is the powerhouse behind Vegan Mainstream, a marketing company for vegan and vegetarian businesses. Redcross is highly technologically-savvy and familiar with social media — skills that are very necessary as she consults people with vegan blogs (there are hundreds), helps companies that sell vegan products and/or address vegan health issues, and more. Redcross also offers a vegan job board. Join the Vegan Mainstream Facebook page which has daily thought-provoking posts.
Some veggie people need help on their path to healthier eating or improving conditions for animals and the planet. Others would like to find love, and in addition to checking out VeggieDate or VeggieConnection.com, may prefer a dating website specifically toward African-American vegetarians.
Our goals and backgrounds may differ, but we can unite in gratitude for the numerous resources and leaders supporting those who want to move toward a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.