Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Everyday Vegan Racism: Cinco de Meow

I'm not a betting woman, but if I were, I believe it would be a safe bet that this adoption promotion was designed by a white-identified person:

Adoption promotion that reads, "Cinco de Meow! $5 adoptions all day. Una Gran Fiesta" Shows a cat wearing a sombrero and a moustache while smoking a cigarello

And what are the odds that No Kill Learning, the website that promoted this image as a positive example, is operated by someone who is white-identified? Pretty good, I think.

The author writes:
[...] fun, creative adoption promotions, like the one [featuring the racialized cat], engage people, dramatically increase adoptions and save lives [...]
And finally, what are the odds that non-white people would be interested in adopting or joining a movement when their culture is stereotyped and mocked?

Place your bets.

The author continues:
As I have previously written, Engaging the Public is one of the most important aspects of animal sheltering and rescue. Without doing that, you basically can't do anything else. 
What public exactly?

This is a brilliant example of how white-centrism in animal advocacy creates significant disconnects, disconnects that disempower our message and aggravate the very social inequality we seek to dismantle.

Unfortunately, Google reaffirms that companion animal "shelters" are white spaces intended for white visitors:

And, no, just in case you were wondering, slapping a mustache and a sombrero on a cat is not "honoring" Mexican culture. It's stereotyping Mexican culture to appeal to a perceived white audience and nothing more.