“Since black people have been ‘animalized’ in America for so long, a lot of black folks don’t want to be associated with animals in any way,” Aph Ko said. Black individuals have been (and still are) derogatorily compared and referred to as animals — and even historically put on display in zoos — to justify the violent atrocities committed against them.

Black veganism: Nonetheless, activists of color are refusing to tolerate this status quo and are organizing their own movement. Harper has explained on the Sistah Vegan website that the black vegan movement fights for a vegan movement that completely embodies practices to fight oppression of all types, including white supremacy.

For years Aph Ko said she thought veganism was “just for rich white people who had the privilege of caring about animals because they didn’t have to deal with racism everyday.” But after reading Sistah Vegan, the feminist activist reconsidered.

“As activists, we’re supposed to be going to different sites of oppression and fighting and resisting,” she said. “When you’re trying to bring down an oppressive system, you should always look to the most oppressed beings to decide what your strategy should be.” Considering the exploitation of animals only “strengthens the system that [activists are] trying to dismantle,” she said, adopting veganism made sense.