Last week, U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey expressed his support for Encompass, a non-profit organization that aims to help the animal rights movement thrive through increased racial diversity and inclusion.
Encompass was just founded last year, but is already working on these worthy goals with major farmed animal protection organizations. One of Encompass’s aims is to provide advocates of color with a dedicated space that addresses the complex challenges they face as members of a movement that is predominantly white.
In addition to embracing a culture of inclusion and equity within the animal rights movement, Encompass plans to implement programs to empower vegans of color.
Senator Booker’s statement captures the essence of Encompass’s mission: “We need diversity in every great effort and indeed, animal welfare. We need to make this movement as inclusive as possible and I’m proud of Encompass’s mission of inclusion and their mission of a broader, more humane ideal of justice.”
Senator Booker is a longtime promoter of a plant-based diet. He had been vegetarian since 1992 when, in 2014, he vowed to go vegan for a year. That year has long since passed, and Senator Booker remains loyally vegan.
On his Twitter account, Booker has been known to post photos of vegan food, good-natured vegan humor, and witty statements in response to vegan shamers.
When one user Tweeted to Senator Booker about how she’d “never met or heard of a black vegan man,” he responded by saying that he believes there are entire websites dedicated to black vegans.
Tweets like this highlight the importance of the work cut out for Encompass, and of outspoken and influential individuals like Senator Booker, who’s quick to politely remind people that making ethical dietary decisions and advocating for animal rights are not race-specific activities.
In June of this year, in a speech given at VegFest in Asbury Park, NJ, Senator Booker remarked about how “the vegan consciousness is growing in our country.”
During this time of growth, the work of organizations like Encompass will ensure that everyone has their deserved place in movements revolving around veganism and animal rights.