When White Savior Complex Masquerades as Veganism

‘You want to know how I know this was about retribution for the crime of being black? Because you didn’t take the dogs. I’ll say that again. YOU. COWARDS. DIDN’T. TAKE. THE. DOGS.

Anyone who is familiar with the plight of animal companions in the United States should be aware that when the state claims animals, the potential for execution (and yes I mean execution, because we don’t use euphemisms like ‘euthanizing’ to describe the fact that we execute animals after we criminalize them for homelessness) is extremely high, and even more so for dogs considered to be “bully breeds.”

Dogs who end up in the prison system (nee shelters) have approximately 3 to 5 days before they’re killed when facilities are full. And if these victims were in fact suffering from acute psychological or emotional trauma, these animal activists basically sentenced them to death.

It was never about the dog victims for you. You wanted to wear a mask and torture a black man without fear of being labeled a member of the KKK. And so you did. Often when stories like this break, the common question asked of me by vegans who support this violence is “Well if it was YOU were being victimized, wouldn’t you want someone to intervene?”’

Striving with Systems

The following post is an excerpt from my presentation at VegFestUK Bristol 2017 “Savior Complex Veganism: You’re Probably Pretty Speciesist…and you could be racist too.”

Most of the time, my discussions center on western society as a whole and the ways in which violence against animals is a reflection and extension of violence against black and brown humans (and vice versa). But in this particular talk, we examine our own biases within the mainstream vegan community.

An article was posted by a friend on Facebook about a black male dog breeder. The piece states:

A 52-year old Detroit man and suspected dog fighting breeder was reportedly outside feeding his dogs when he was confronted by three armed men wearing masks to conceal their identities.

The masked men forced him into his home where they tied him up before brutally beating and torturing him before cutting off his ear and driving…

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