I’m responding as a queer black vegan who is concerned with social justice issues. Based on the evidence presented in Cowspiracy and other articles I’ve read, I personally am convinced that animal agriculture is the leading cause of environmental destruction worldwide. However — and this is an important caveat — I do not argue for animal rights from an environmental perspective. I argue solely from the perspective that animals are people, not property. Until humans fully embrace this mindset — that the “meat” they are eating is the body of a sentient being who wanted to live just as much as they do, and that milk and eggs belong to those who produced them — they will only promote the benefits humans can reap by reducing consumption of animal products, not the moral case for eliminating this practice all together.
I’m fully aware that not everyone is in a position to go fully vegan right now, and that there is a lot of racism in vegan messaging. I believe in cleaning up one’s own backyard before criticizing others. In the USA, those of us who have economic privilege should stop killing animals and work on increasing access to affordable, healthy plant-based foods for those who do not. I’m participating in an Intersectional Justice conference this March where social justice-minded vegans of color, including lauren Ornelas from the Food Empowerment Project and Aph Ko from the upcoming Black Vegans Rock, will be speaking on these and related issues.