ABOUT BLACK VEGANS ROCK
Black Vegans Rock was founded by Aph Ko after she wrote the first list that spotlighted 100 Black Vegans for Striving with Systems back in June 2015. She decided to research and compile a list of influential Black vegans who were doing incredible work to dismantle the stereotype that veganism was a “white person’s” thing.
After releasing the list, she received emails from Black vegans all over the world who wanted to be featured on the list as well. Some people told her that they had a vegan organization and they wanted to get it in front of other Black vegans. Since Aph didn’t want to add on to the 100 Black Vegans list, she decided to create a platform devoted to spotlighting incredible Black vegans every day.
The website and artwork are created by EastRand Studios.
Aph Ko is the co-author of a new book (published through Lantern Books) titled Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters. She has a B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies, and an M.A. in Communication and Cultural/Media Studies. Aph is an indie digital media producer, and she served as the Associate Producer for the documentary film Always in Season.
Pax Ahimsa Gethen
Pax Ahimsa Gethen manages the BVR Instagram page. Pax is a queer black trans vegan activist, blogger, and photographer. Pax is agender and goes by the gender-neutral pronouns they/them/their.
Pax has volunteered for food justice organizations, preparing and distributing vegan-friendly food to the needy. They believe that free access to healthy plant-based food should be a universal human right. Their approach to animal rights activism is based on the standpoint that animals are people, not property, and that veganism is a social justice issue, not a diet.
Pax lives in San Francisco with their partner Ziggy.
VEGAN FEATURE: KEVIN BLACK
I went vegan for ethics. The idea of eating another sentient being never sat well with me. Although I never had a dog, cat, or anything like that and I never grew up on http://www.blackvegansrock.com/blog/2019/5/3/feature-kevin-blacka ranch or near a farm, I loved animals and had an appreciation for all life.
When I became a freshman in high school, I joined a program called F.F.A. (Future Farmers of America). I began to learn much more about agriculture and animals in general. After around nine months of joining, I started becoming really depressed about being in the program. I realized that there was nothing “humane” about any of it. However, they kept labeling all their practices humane, even when you heard the animals crying and screaming.
After my freshman year, my family moved to a new city and I left my high school’s F.F.A. program and held that sadness of the “humane” aspect until my sophomore year. I didn’t know what to do and being vegetarian sounded too hard for me at the time. When junior year came, I still felt the same way. However, I became mad at myself for not trying to change my food habits. I felt lethargic and had constant heavy breathing problems every day. Due to this, I decided to change my eating habits for the better. Still, my weight problems didn’t go away and neither did any health problems that were arising.
When senior year came, I decided it was now or never. That September, I went vegan…for a week. Unfortunately, I genuinely forgot that I went vegan and ate a piece of fried chicken. It was a real low point in my life. Then, four months later in January 2016, I officially went vegetarian. As an avid meat eater and an overweight senior in high school, everyone laughed at the idea of me being vegetarian. However, I was determined – I decided to cut out my favorite meats first so that it would be an easier transition. I removed hamburgers from my diet – my all time favorite food at the time. Then I removed lamb, chicken, and more. I’m already lactose intolerant and hate the taste of cheese, therefore, the milk aspect was easy to overcome. A month and a half later, the last thing I cut out was eggs and I became vegan. Three years later, I am now a happy, more understanding vegan.