Tuesday, March 24, 2015

More black Americans are giving up meat and dairy

vegetarian Ishmael Shakur Ishmael Shakur holds a plate of fruit at his home in Toledo.


Say "soul food" and most people imagine a spread 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.

"That is not 'soul food,' " said Ishmael Shakur. Instead, to him, it is "destroying souls."
A vegetarian for six years, the 38-year-old who works with teenagers at the Zepf Center in Toledo gets upset when such a menu 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."

Mr. Shakur is among a rising number of black Americans who are becoming vegetarian and vegan, who eat a plant-based diet as well as grains, fruits, nuts, and seeds and exclude red meat, poultry, and seafood. There are several types of vegetarians: lacto vegetarians 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 do not eat honey or any animal products whatsoever. Also, pescetarians eat seafood but no other flesh.

While there are no firm numbers, anecdotal evidence indicates a rising interest in vegetarianism and veganism among black Americans. In fact, their interest has contributed to the growing list of Internet sites and cookbooks geared to that group, 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.

Read More: http://m.toledoblade.com/Food/2012/09/02/More-black-Americans-are-giving-up-meat-and-diary.html#oWS2D9LDKtxpYkTE.01

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