Amy Quichiz joins Our Hen House podcast co-host Jasmin Singer in this episode to tell us about an extraordinary collective she co-founded, Veggie Mijas, and how it started and how it has since grown. Amy was inspired to found this vibrant community, which has since expanded well beyond its original home on Instagram, because she wanted to show the Latinx community how they could access healthier foods, talk about their rights within the food industry, and bring their perspectives to the issues of animal liberation and environmental justice. As a woman of color from Jackson Heights, New York, Amy has witnessed the environmental racism that has given rise to a lack of resources and opportunity in Latinx communities, and is committed to forging social change.
Amy shares why veganism is a vital part of her worldview and heritage, and how white vegans can better center and include vegans (and prospective vegans) of color. Amy also discusses how the movement has changed and developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, how she and her colleagues prioritize their own mental health to continue supporting their community, and her hopes for the future. Amy feels that the work of Veggie Mijas as a social movement has the potential to inspire communities to organize for profound social change while maintaining the authenticity of Latinx culture.
In this week’s “Our Hen House Supports Vegan Businesses,” we’re supporting Maxine’s Heavenly, a vegan cookie company, and Veltree, a plant-based soul food restaurant located in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“It’s always about finding your voice, finding your passion
and finding what you want to change in the world.”
– Amy Quichiz
This Week in Our Hen House:
- How the Veggie Mijas collective expanded and grew, and the unique perspective that draws people to join them
- What “decolonizing your diet” means and why what you eat isn’t necessarily an independent choice
- How Veggie Mijas’ potlucks have been successful in building community, Amy’s favorite potluck thus far, and how the potlucks double as a safe place for vegans of color to be open and honest
- How Amy has steered Veggie Mijas during the pandemic
- How Veggies Mijas plans to move forward with advocacy and events post-pandemic
- The internal work that Veggie Mijas coordinators are doing to ensure they can continue to serve their communities, and the personal and collective goals the group is focusing on
- Why the collective is addressing veganism through a feminist, queer, leftist lens
- How the plant-based lifestyle aligns with food justice and provokes meaningful conversations
Connect with Amy Quichiz:
- Veggie Mijas Website
- Veggie Mijas Cookbook
- Veggie Mijas on Facebook
- Veggie Mijas on Instagram
- Amy Quichiz on Instagram
Connect with Our Hen House:
This episode is brought to you in part through the generosity of A Well-Fed World. A Well-Fed World provides the means for change by empowering individuals, social justice organizations, and political decision makers to embrace the benefits of plant-based foods and farming. Learn more at awfw.org.
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The Our Hen House theme song is written and performed by Michael Harren.