Optimistic Vegan

Kudos to You, César Chávez

I am going to try and blog once a day for the entire month of April! Wish me luck, and have fun reading. I’ll start it off with a tribute to a wonderful activist:

As many of you know, yesterday was César Chávez Day. Unfortunately it’s not yet a state holiday in Washington state, but it is in California, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin! I’d like to discuss this phenomenal man and the great things he’s done for our country.

César Chávez lived in Arizona until his father made an agreement to clear 80 of his acres in excange for 40 more and that agreement was broken. They were unable to afford the interest on a loan to buy it back and they lost their house and land forever. This injustice made a big impact on Chávez and was only the first of many more. This is one of his famous quotes that relates to this, “The love for justice that is in us is not only the best part of our being but it is also the most true to our nature.” I love this! It reminds me of the common phrase children like to yell, “But it’s not fair!” Fairness makes sense to children, and we believe that bad things shouldn’t happen to good people. It’s only until we learn how the “real world” works that we slowly give that up. For injustice that is willful (compared to unfortunate events like car crashes) we shouldn’t be satisfied, and we should fight until it has been made right. Chávez did just that.

Anyway, Chávez and his family moved to California to make a living as migrant workers. To sustain his family he stopped attending school after 8th grade and devoted himself to migrant work.

He later founded the National Farm Workers Association to mobilize farm workers to enact change. He modeled his actions after Zapata, Gandhi, Nehru and Martin Luther King, using nonviolence to create awareness. You may have heard of the Delano grape strike, in which Chávez motivated grape growers to stop working and later for consumers to boycott buying them. He worked with the longshoremen who loaded the shipments of grapes and convinced them to not load any nonunion ones, resulting in a lot of spoiled grapes. His efforts ended in gaining union contracts and higher wages.

The list of accomplishments that Chávez had is vast, as well as the number of people he affected. He saw something that needed to be changed and he worked his hardest to make it happen, which I’m sure we can all find inspiration from.

I feel it necessary to add that César was a vegetarian. He included animals in his attempt to bring justice to all, which isn’t uncommon with nonviolent activists. Note that Gandhi was a vegetarian, and Martin Luther King’s family is vegan (his son is vegan and his wife was). I’m seeing a trend!

I hope you all took the time to think kindly of César and I thank him for all the steps forward he has taken for our country.


*This information was found on United Farm Workers of America


Food Revolution
March 31, 2011, 8:21 am
Filed under: Celebrities, Food, Lifestyle, Personal | Tags: , , ,

We are living in an exciting time: we’re living in the middle of the Food Revolution. More and more people are examining their relationship to food and more and more people are finding themselves dissatisfied. Little by little we are changing our messed up food system.

A little while ago I started a Twitter so that I could stay more up to date with news, specifically vegnews. I love it and think it’s a great way to stay connected. I feel more up to date that I’ve ever felt, and I feel a community that I didn’t know existed before.

Just in the past couple of months:

  • Oprah’s show had a vegan special
  • Martha Stewart had a vegan special
  • An article in the Seattle Times about a vegan blogger
  • Seattle Vegfest
  • An article in Time about moral issues surrounding food
  • As well as many people in the spotlight who are becoming food conscious (my favorites: Olivia Wilde, Natalie Portman, Alicia Silverstone, Emily Deschanel, Ellen DeGeneres)’

I don’t know about you guys, but this makes me really hopeful. I don’t think the problem is convincing people to care about the environment, worker and animal rights or the difficulties small farmers face, but letting them know. Recently it’s been talked about in the media and I think this is the first step.

I know I’m excited, and I love that it’s happening now. I believe we can revitalize our food system, we just need to keep up the good work!