Dr. Christopher Carter joins us on the podcast this week to discuss his new book The Spirit of Soul Food: Race, Faith, and Food Justice. This groundbreaking work covers everything from the history of soul food to choosing how to eat in a way that helps us “live into our fullest sense of self.”
Dr. Carter shares why he centers the discussion on three fundamental principles for eating practices—seeking justice for food workers, caring for the earth, and soul-full eating—and describes how soul-full eating helps us understand the impacts of our diets on not just our bodies, but on the bodies of animals. He also dives into a deep discussion of the meaning and practices of Black veganism and why it is a movement that can and should be embraced by all.
Dr. Christopher Carter is an assistant professor of theology and religious studies at the University of San Diego and a pastor in the United Methodist Church. While working on his doctorate, his dissertation—Eating Oppression: Food, Faith, and Liberation—would be the foundation for his recent book, The Spirit of Soul Food: Race, Faith, and Food Justice. He is on the board of directors of Farm Forward, an anti-factory farming nonprofit.
“The concepts around Black veganism bring to light the purpose and guiding principles of not consuming animals as a way to call out the racism that’s in our food system.” – Dr. Christopher Carter
Highlights for Episode 641:
- What soul food looks like and tastes like for Dr. Carter, plus why it has a considerable part to play in preserving and promoting community and passing on a particular kind of Black ancestral wisdom
- Some of the challenges that white supporters of the animal rights movement might have in fully embracing the arguments in the book including the trauma of facing their own internalized racism
- Why we need to embrace the interconnectedness we have with both human and non-human beings to reach a sustainable, transformative, and healing liberation
- An ordained clergy member whose family history is intertwined with Christianity, food justice, and food sovereignty, Dr. Carter explores why his veganism is rooted in his religion and reimagines how soul food can help those who want to eat in a way that is consistent with their theological and social values
- The current role of churches in food justice and why The Spirit of Soul Food places today’s Black foodways at the crossroads of food, justice, and faith
- Dr. Carter’s views on how the anti-racist movement and the animal rights movement can work together to recognize that the food we grow, distribute, and eat disproportionately harms Black people specifically, and people of color among the global poor in general, and work towards decolonizing our diet in the US
- Dr. Carter explores why Black veganism forces an examination of how the language of animality has been used to justify the oppression of any being who deviates, by species, race, or behavior, from white cultural norms
- Whether white people can practice Black veganism and whether that authentically moves them beyond the stereotype of being an ‘animal lover’ and into the more complex arena of collective liberation
- Dr. Carter shares his definition of ‘flourishing’ as a goal for individuals, humans, and animals and how it intersects with Christianity
- Animal Rights protestor Zoe Rosenberg chained to basket at NBA playoff game
- Animal Rights protestor Alicia Santurio glued to floor at NBA playoff game
- Dutch Government Announces €60M Cellular Agriculture Fund
- My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, by Resmaa Menakem
- Meow Meow Tweet is offering our listeners 20% off
Connect with Dr. Christopher Carter:
- Dr. Christopher Carter’s Website
- Dr. Christopher Carter on Twitter
- Dr. Christopher Carter on Instagram
Connect with Our Hen House:
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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.