A new organisation has been set up with the intention of building a more inclusive vegan movement, with diversity at its core.
Encompass, a not-for-profit group, launched in early August stating: “Embracing diversity and inclusion is not just the right thing to do. It’s also the smart thing and, for our movement, it is the necessary next step.”
The vegan movement often comes under criticism for not being accessible enough to people from all backgrounds, and particularly for being too white-centric. In fact, according to Encompass, only 11 per cent of people who identify as vegan also identify as being non-white.
Encompass Executive Director Aryenish Birdie, speaking to Vegnews, said: “Encompass wants to strengthen our movement by making it accessible and positioning inclusion as a cornerstone principle.
“If we fail to adapt to the changing demographics of this country, we fact the threat of good talent leaving our movement — or never joining our cause in the first place — because these smart, passionate advocates don’t see themselves represented in our movement’s leadership, boards, staff rosters, or as spokespeople for the animals.”
The advisory council of Encompass is made up of professionals from diverse, ethnic backgrounds. It plans to start new initiatives to better involve people of colour in the animal rights movement.
“If we want our collective mission of reducing suffering to take hold,” Birdie explained, “we must reflect the country we are trying to change.”