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African American Vegetarian Refers To Soul Food As ‘Destroying Souls’

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Ishmael Shakur Is A Vegan Who Refers to Soul Food As 'Destroying Souls'

Ishmael Shakur Has Been a Vegetarian for Six Years

Ishmael Shakur is a 38-year-old has been a vegetarian for six years. He becomes upset when soul food — comprised of barbecued ribs, fried chicken and pork chops, ham, black-eyed peas and green beans with ham hocks, corn bread, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, and a delectable list of desserts — is labeled traditional African American food. “A lot of people think a real good, wholesome meal is when you sit back bloated and full and nod off,” he said. “To me, soul food is food that adds to your spirit, gives you energy, gives you life, and helps you feel vibrant.”

 Shakur is among a unique niche`of African Americans who are becoming vegetarian and vegan. Their diets contain a plant-based diet as well as grains, fruits, nuts, and seeds and exclude red meat, poultry, and seafood. Within those groups, there are subgroups such as: lacto vegetarians who eat dairy products but not eggs; ovo vegetarians eat eggs but not dairy products; lacto-ovo vegetarians eat both eggs and dairy products, and vegans who do not eat honey or any animal products whatsoever. Also, pescetarians eat seafood but no other flesh.
There are no firm numbers to indicate the popularity of the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles in the African American community; however, anecdotal evidence indicates a rising interest in vegetarianism and veganism among African Americans. There has been a growing list of Internet sites and cookbooks geared to those groups, including “By Any Greens Necessary” by Tracye Lynn McQuirter; “Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, & Creative African American Cuisine” by Bryant Terry, and “The Ethnic Vegetarian” by Angela Shelf Medearis.
Prominent African American figures who maintain the meatless lifestyle are athletes Hank Aaron and Carl Lewis; Hollywood’s Cicely Tyson, Angela Bassett, and Vanessa Williams; entrepreneur Russell Simmons, and musician Lenny Kravitz.

Staff

48 Comment

  1. He's entitled to the BS he's talking, but peas, greens, he need to go on with that BS.

    • HE IS TELLING THE TRUTH

    • BS

    • HE IS TELLING THE TRUTH, if you would take the time to research you will relaize it, its not the peas or greens thats bad its what you put in them, salt, bacon grease, salt pork , hamhocks, ham . all of that is bad . pork and beef are hard on the digestive systems. when you eat you are not suppose to get the itis . you are suppose to be full of energy.. i wish African Americans would research before making such foolish comments. oh yeah and all that frozen food with the longer shelf life BAD FOR YOU ALSO

    • Gary Shumlai well i guess you wont beleive it until your doctor tells your non black doctor tells you . you need to cut back on the salt and soul food . back in enslavement times yeah we ate all o that food, but we also worked most of it off in the fields. now its eat, tv sleep, eat , work in front of computer get in the car, eat, tv and sleep … NO PHYSICAL activity at all

    • BS,I don't think you know a lot about soul of blacks,and don't need a 10% er to give me a lecture.My comment was addressed to the writer,now I can get foolish and say something under your skirt;but I won't.I have grandparents in their 90's as of now.Your ass don't like my opinion speak on some one else,lil becky.Thank you.

    • Shay Watts For one thing my medical condition if good,and most sistas I know avoid the harmful treatment of "TREATED HAIR" and go for natural,as well as a voiding chemical foundation to pose for the camera.I really think your to young to be telling me anything.Thank you. Now ,I'm going to let it go.

    • He wrote a thoughtful article and your reply is BS. Why is it BS? Just because you say so?

    • Listen little pickaninny,I responded to the writer, not trying to answer to you.Everyone doesn't feel the same way about certain issues.Now every time a study comes out some of us jump on the bandwagon ,I do not.Now ,you may not like what I said but I know this kindly don't refer to me.

    • It's o.k. to have an opinion and not be rude. If you comment on a story people who read your response will reply to your comment, that's how this thing works. resorting to name calling because you can't properly explain your point is quite childish. Have a great day.

    • WOW' Now I know why a closed mouth gathers no feet.. SMH

    • Wow,once again, I was simply responding to the writer.there's no need for me to explain myself to you.You got called a name you deserved,now if I purposely called you out,that's different.That brotha in his own words has been a practicing "VEGAN" only six yrs.We don't know what the hell he's been doing prior to that.A true vegan abstains from any and all animal products,from the cosmetics that you desperately use to weaves that you purchase,uh huh,not let a lone furs and other garments.So,if you don't want to be called out your name,by me;miss me.I do believe I left the issue a lone with that other "go along bobble head heffa".

    • Yall quit arguing already please… TY :(

    • Oh boy ,now I know I haven't said anything to you.

    • Your ignorance is showing. No cosmetics, no weaves, thank you very much. I think your all meat diet is making you grumpy.

    • I see you have kids,seems like you're not totally void of meat yourself.

    • LOL!!! @ Gary… iono about other women but that's the kind of meat I like.. (that comment truly tickled my funny bone) lol

    • Well,at least you got a laugh out of it and even with that meat, sistas have to wrap it up,lol .See,I'm not a scoundrel,I just don't take no mess from folks bumpn they gums.Be blessed.

    • LOL!! Likewise.. We're defiantly not perfect at all (when all dust settle we just want to be treated equal no matter how we live our lives). If God forgives by giving us many chances then we all can move on from this seeing better days ahead.. Hope you have a blessed day! Mr. Shumlai and everyone else here.. :)

    • Brother (Gary) Are you racist??? This is why we can never get up, bcuz of the NIGGER mentality. How do u shun helpful information, then disrespect African Queens??? Brother u need to cleanse ur mind from all that soul food bcuz the way you speak to sisters prove that them ham hocks and everything else is messing ur mind up….u said 10% er….ur and 85er (Deaf Dumb and Blind) Especially if someone younger than you cant share their wisdom.

    • Dale Jackson Collier if he's black he's blind, if not, its understandable.

    • LOOK HOW U TALK TO BLACK WOMEN FUCKIN CLOWN. WERE U ABUSED AS A CHILD. U NEED HELP BROTHER. SMDH @ YOU. THESE WOMEN ARE MOTHER, DAUGHTERS, AND SISTERS. I GUESS U DONT HAVE ANY OF THOSE HUH…IM SPECIFICALLY TALKING ABOUT THE NAME CALLING BIRDS AS NIGGER. SISTERS TEHUTI CARES IF NO ONE ELSE DOES. HOTEP QUEENS.

    • First.egoo goo,I'm not your brother,second I don't use the "N" word,now if you're trying to score points with a couple of women,your desperation is manifest.Now if all you can do is equate "Soul food " with hamhocks,then it clearly show's the "WILLIE LYNCH ' syndrome is embedded in your meager ego and mind.It would had been a just favor if your mother would had performed oral on your make shift father and swallowed you.Maybe one day we can all see how you derived,maybe by me or the canine.You opened this up.Greetings.

    • I WOULD KEEP FEEDING IN TO U AND UR BS BUT I SAID WHAT I HAD TO SAY. LOL…..ANGRY BLACK MENTALLY ENSLAVED BOY WHO DONT EVEN KNOW BETTER. WHAT U SHOULD DO IS TELL EVERYONE WHY UR MAD….OH AND I WOULD RATHER GET DOPE FIENDS WITH AIDS TO GANG RAPE UR MOTHER THAN HAVE THIS CONVO WIT U SUCKA.

    • Yes ,Egoo goo,Tehutoo,your FB profile sounds a bit like a dating game,I'm stepping right to you as your "FATHER" boy!

    • LOL,LOL, I laugh at you TEHUTOO,I pulled you out of your element,"BOY"! LOL,LOL, "Your tongue ,is dipped in the depths of hell,and your lips help to swing the hinges on the bottom of the door", BOY! LOL,LOL,I laugh at you "Egoo goo.

    • NO U DIDNT LMAO @ U BUT UR TRYING HARD. IM SO FAR GONE. U LUCKY U JUST GOT THESE WORDS OUT ME WHITE MAN!!! GOOD DAY MORPHEUS.

  2. Good info brother,that what we survived on during enslavement is no longer necessary and is counter-productive to our health. Being that foods is a part ones cultural, Soulfood should be celebrated and enjoyed, but limited to monthly or holidays to be consumed…not daily or weekly….

    Foods that Kill Documentary: http://youtu.be/KNCGkprGW_o

    Forks Over Knives Documentary: http://www.filmsforaction.org/Watch/Forks_Over_Knives_2011/

    Fat Sick and Nearly Dead: http://www.filmsforaction.org/Watch/Fat_Sick_and_Nearly_Dead_2010/

    Vegetarian since Sept/2011, 60lbs lost since…..

    • congrats

    • Wow! Thank you for posting these links. I have created a page about Cancer cures and health. these will be VERY beneficial for me to share. Much love Chris Dotson! :)

  3. Good info brother,that what we survived on during enslavement is no longer necessary and is counter-productive to our health. Being that foods is a part ones cultural, Soulfood should be celebrated and enjoyed, but limited to monthly or holidays to be consumed…not daily or weekly….

    Foods that Kill Documentary: http://youtu.be/KNCGkprGW_o

    Forks Over Knives Documentary: http://www.filmsforaction.org/Watch/Forks_Over_Knives_2011/

    Fat Sick and Nearly Dead: http://www.filmsforaction.org/Watch/Fat_Sick_and_Nearly_Dead_2010/

    Vegetarian since Sept/2011, 60lbs lost since…..

  4. To each his own. But, I prefer to eat and drink what I choose to – in moderation.

  5. And stay tuned for tips, information and recipes from "Vegan Kitchen Goddess" A. Chef Ifayomi (EE-fah-YO-me) Victory creator and author of "The Victorious Vegan" a blog dedicated to assist and answer all your questions about transitioning into a vegan and/or vegetarian diet and lifestyle. Check us out at http://www.thevictoriousvegandotcom.wordpress.com. Looking forward to chatting with you! Peace!

  6. There's a related documentary coming out on PBS in January called "Soul Food Junkies" by Byron Hurt.

    Here's the trailer: http://vimeo.com/37075801…and the website:

    http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/soul-food-junkies/

  7. We just love to copy whatever white folks do….

    • Being a vegan doesn't have anything to do with "what white people do". There are many cultures that are traditionally vegetarian and vegan.

    • it's not a "black thing" to eat foods that will kill you by the time you're 45 yrs old, or have some debilitating disease that you have to take medication for (diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease), it's a stupid thing. anyone with common sense knows you can't eat that way everyday. that's just like eating fast food everyday…very unhealthy. you keep killing yourself…i'll eat healthy and be around for my husband and children.

    • ….which is Not die of high cholesterol , diabetes and cancer. We are number one on the list. "we" copied what the masters gave us as unhealthy scraps and made them taste delectable: chittlins',etc.

    • soul food is killing the black community…its terrible in the 21st Century that most black people wont quit this habit….we have watched our elders die from hypertension and high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease due to obesity…my very best male friend in the world ate himself to death…it killed him

  8. Terrific to see African-Americans going meat-free & focussing on food that makes them feel vibrant and alive, instead of sleepy, “fat, sick & nearly dead”. Red meat three times a day was not a traditional food of any culture a few centuries ago; possibly why these “modern diseases” were not around in the 1700′s & 1800′s. Africans are grossly over-represented in statistics on obesity, diabetes, heart disease and premature death. Kudos to those who stand for choice, freedom, individuality and great health.

  9. we're not vegetarians or vegans, but we do have meatless days 3 days a week in my house, just to try to keep or digestive system right. I'm not giving up the meat entirely though! but I would know how to prepare vegan meals if necessary. I recently made some coconut oatmeal cookies that had no eggs or dairy. they were pretty good.

  10. Raw veganism is a moral preponderance foremost, health and then environment. By the way, white people and every other race is campaigning for human rights and justice which means for all intended purposes, we're all connected. What is considered food as a mainstream is nothing more than dead flesh, high toxic chemicals, GMOs, growth hormones, refined and processed products in colorful & attractive packaging & more. We're only meat, fish, poultry & derivatives due to years of addiction, condition and tradition.

  11. Brother Shakur I am also 38 years of age, and while it's only been a year and six months it's true that I've been able to feel my body hum with joy since I stopped poisoning myself worth societies many lies.

  12. With…..sorry

  13. Wrong… this article has nothing to do with White people. Many cultures and religions eat vegan/vegetarian diets. Get educated before you make comments

  14. In the face of the whole lot that transpired, Ghana is still a
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  16. Vegetarian is the way to go. I quite eating meat long time ago.

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