How the Plant Based Lifestyle is Changing the Black Community


How the Plant Based Lifestyle is Changing the Black Community

By Monique Richardson

For the last few years, a plant-based lifestyle has been a growing topic amongst Americans. Previously, it was stereotyped as an “extreme diet” and “reason to help animals”; these stereotypes are diminishing everyday. More celebrities and plant-based advocates such as Cory Booker, Angela Bassett, and Cicely Tyson are coming out to support the lifestyle and encourage others to try the life-changing habit. The advantages of a living a life of veganism, vegetarianism, or simply plant-based is always beneficial to health and animals. Moveover, the plant-based lifestyle is transforming the African American community.

African Americans are adopting plant-based lifestyles for various reasons. According to various media outlets, the standard American diet isn’t favorable for African Americans. Our bodies aren’t able to properly consume high volumes of dairy and meat products versus other groups. In addition, as an ethnicity group, we have the highest rates for all cancers, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Additionally, with all our disadvantages with education, living, finances, and careers, it’s no mistake that our local officials and government are not providing the best food supply for our communities.

As a whole, African Americans are coming together to change the impact of food. Various platforms such as Black Vegan Social and Black Vegans Rocks are spreading the word of the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle while creating goals to bring other people along on the ride. Now we are recognizing more plant-based restaurants in major cities. We are expressing our interests in learning more about the process of preparing plant-based meals. Restaurants such as Slutty Vegan, located in Atlanta, are doing statewide tours to show non plant-based eaters its not all salads and nuts with this lifestyle. A plant-based lifestyle isn’t considered a “white thing” anymore. We are bringing all people of different ethnicities who want to benefit from living a plant-based lifestyle. There is nothing for us to lose except for the generational diseases and disparaging statistics against our communities.

Whether or not we have the whole African American community on board for a plant-based lifestyle in the next few years, we are making a difference. We are bringing awareness of our health issues, introducing self-care, learning the benefits of healthy eating, and living proof that we can spread health positivity as a community without leaving our taste buds behind. The plant-based lifestyle isn’t for everyone; although, we are promoting our people to add more plant-based meals to their diet. It will make a difference. We are leading the way for our next generations to end the unhealthy habits, the risks of hereditary disorders, and continue the fight for equality in quality food within our local grocery stores and neighborhoods. Overall, plant-based lifestyles are impacting African Americans and we are making great strides in incorporating it into our community.