When I came across Food Empowerment Project through tabling next to them at the Animal Rights Conference it was the first time I had been actually excited about a non-profit organization in many years. Finally a group that truly gets it. Not only are they dedicated to promoting the vegan message but they do not ignore so many of the other important issues that intersect when one is dealing with food politics. To have a truly effective anti-oppression movement we must do our best to address all issues of oppression, not casting aside those that don't strictly fit in with our chosen issue. FEP does this beautifully, tying together the intersectionality of oppression in a way that is easy to understand and much more accessible to a greater portion of the population than most other organizations.
I am impressed with FEP. This organization succeeds at empowering people to bring about positive change on all of the following issues: human slavery, animal suffering, climate change and other forms of environmental damage, public health, and worker rights. It's a breathtaking range of issues, but the connections are there, and FEP brings those connections to light.
I have been analyzing FEP for my dissertation work, which focuses on critical food geographies and pro-vegan organizations. FEP is a superb example of solidarity, collaboration, and compassion. Food Empowerment Project’s goals are ‘race-conscious’, ‘class-conscious’, non-human animal compassionate, and green. FEP reveals how USA product marketing tends to conceal the social, economic, and geopolitical relations that undergird even food commodities. For example, they are working hard to expose which chocolate companies are sourcing from countries that use child slavery in the cocoa plantation. FEP fights to create a food commodity chain without (1) perpetuating racism, sexism, or poverty and (2) abusing and exploiting animals or the environment’s resources. FEP represents a vegan space that seeks solidarity with all oppressed and exploited beings and resources. FEP’s political and economic activism for exploited Latin-American laborers who harvest produce for vegans under cruel conditions. This challenges the assumption, promoted by PETA Cruelty Free Vegan Shopping Guide, that produce is vegan, therefore is ‘cruelty-free’. I have learned through FEP that ethical consumption amongst the USA status quo, obscure how race and ongoing legacies of colonialism have greatly affected the landscape of food production and who has access to purchase foods that have been labeled as "ethical," "moral," or "vegan." I also learned through FEP that organic produce, a tenet of ethical consumption philosophy, is not necessarily ethical when it comes to its reliance on the exploited Latin-American laborers. These laborers are collectively paid wages so low in the USA, they cannot even afford to buy the very organic "ethical" foods they harvest and process for ethical consumption movement dominated by socio-economically privileged American consumers . As a pro-vegan scholar and activist, FEP has also taught me that individual consumption of vegan commodities is simply not enough to create an ethical and just food system, healthy planet, or ‘cruelty-free’ commodity chain. Instead, FEP seeks to understand the limits of vegan ethics if it is within the confines of neoliberal capitalist global economy.
Food Empowerment Project is the most effective organization that addresses the impact of our food system on people, animals and the environment.
Food Empowerment Project is an amazing organization. Their work is so crucial for our age because they question some of the most entrenched beliefs, but manage to do so in a way that is respectful and helps people to change. Not only are they an extremely effective organization, but they manage to pull off an amazing amount of work with very little funding. Hoping they come upon a great windfall soon.