#11: Food Sovereignty and Animal Liberation: Can We Have Both? w/Nassim Nobari
Does veganism inherently rely on a corporate globalized food system? Is it wrong to advocate just for animals without also advocating for exploited human farm workers? Are animal liberation and indigenous rights/food sovereignty at odds with each other?
There may not be a single easy answer to any of these questions, but I really loved discussing and hearing activist Nassim Nobari’s nuanced perspective on these issues and what she thinks a truly radical and progressive approach to creating a just and sustainable food system looks like. In today’s episode Nassim Nobari and I definitely go beyond all usual labels, “sides” and boxes that people are often forced into, as we discuss ethical dilemmas in the vegan and food justice movements, and how to navigate those tricky gray areas. Enjoy!
Nassim Nobari is a long-time human and animal rights activist who views the transformation of our food systems as foundational to redressing injustice, inequality and environmental degradation. She holds a master’s in psychology from the University of Lausanne, where she focused on the social representations of food and the ways in which social identity influences meat and milk consumption. After years involved in progressive causes, she became alarmed at the increased legitimization of animal exploitation by the food movement. In response, she co-founded Seed the Common, a grassroots organization dedicated to wresting food systems from corporate control and building just and sustainable alternatives that are independent of animal exploitation.
Nassim has brought together a growing network of farmers, activists, academics, and writers to create a new food system that benefits the planet and everyone along the food chain, including non-human animals. Under her leadership, Seed the Commons was especially instrumental in popularizing veganic agriculture and building a movement for a transition to plant-based agriculture.On the heels of these successes, Nassim saw her work being appropriated by a pro-neoliberal animal rights industry that simultaneously excludes and exploits grassroots organizers and radical thinkers, so she recently stepped down from her role as director of Seed the Commons to spend some time writing, traveling and enjoying nature and her dog’s company.
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