Vegan queso and revolution...
I walked down the street with my head held high, feeling a mix of delight and I-just-got-away-with-something magic. Mixed together, those feelings reminded me of pride. I held my prize tight in my hands and was briefly teased by the thought, "What if someone tries to take it?!" As if just by looking at it everyone else would be overcome by an overwhelming desire to have it for themselves. I was smiling under my mask.
"What is this thing?" you ask. "This thing that evoked that bounce in your step before you even got it home?"
Well, it was a hot-out-of-the-oven, vegan, Napolitana pizza from Pizza Posta on my street, ordered for pick-up via WhatsApp messenger, made from organic-flour, masa-madre dough, and topped with vegan mozzarella, vegan queso azul, rúcula, tomates asados, and my name.
A few points to get out of the way:
- No, even though it was vegan, this pizza did not fit into my usual whole-food plant-based (#WFPB) diet because it used white flour, oil, and vegan cheese made from who-knows-what.
- Yes, I love my #WFPB diet, and in general, I don't crave the things I choose not to eat, but like I said, this week my name was on that pizza and it was calling loudly for me to come get it.
- "You broke your diet?!?!" Yes, because (to quote Glennon Doyle in her astounding book Untamed) "I'm a grown-ass woman now and I do what the fuck I want."
I savored every sensual bite of that pizza, for dinner that day and lunch the next. Food. Joy. Enough said.
The next night I arrived home from a walk with one of my friends, and as I approached the door of my building there was an ambulance in the street, lights flashing, a small group gathered. Why was it called? Was it connected to the pandemic that has had the world fighting for our lives for the past few months?
Tonight, I walked home around eleven p.m. from another walk, and as I did I thought about the revolution currently going on in the United States. I thought about how I felt safe as I walked through the streets, and as I passed a group of four Spanish policemen standing together about how I belong to the demographic that is probably the safest from US police violence: white women. I thought about how Covid-19 has brought a fight for life to the whole world, and disproportionately to the Black, Brown, and Indigenous people in the United States, and how even before Covid-19 they had already been fighting for their lives for generations. And that fight continues now. It is a fight we should all be fighting because we are only one humanity, and we should be outraged and appalled that some of us are dying because of the way the racist system in the United States has taught us to value some skin tones over others.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "There comes a time when silence is betrayal." Now is the time to speak.
Angela Davis said, "It’s not enough to be not racist. We must be antiracist."
It's time for us to examine our comfort in our positions of privilege and use that privilege to do what we can to help with this revolution. Time to speak up, to vote, to hold our system and institutions accountable. It has been time for far too long.
Rest in power: George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. And so many before you. Black Lives Matter.