Longtime animal advocates may be familiar with the term total liberation, but what exactly does this mean? Yvette Baker joins us today for an exploration of total liberation activism and its profound influence on her own animal advocacy. In our conversation, she sheds light on oppressive language commonly used when representing animals and urges everyone to unlearn and challenge it for the sake of progress. Yvette also tells how growing up in an Indigenous household impacted her perspective on animal activism, lending a unique lens to her advocacy work. We also explore the interconnectedness of various forms of oppression, illustrating how animal activism is an integral part of a broader continuum.
*We are thrilled to expand the accessibility of our podcast by offering written transcripts of the interviews! Click here to read Mariann’s interview with Yvette Baker*
Yvette Baker is a writer, educator, social critic, and animal liberation activist. Her work is devoted to exposing and analyzing the intersections of human and nonhuman oppression through an Afro-Indigenous lens. As a lifelong social justice advocate for human rights with experience in strategic grassroots organizing, she has become passionate about furthering collective liberationist frameworks and aims to empower the vegan movement as a movement for total liberation.
“Language is powerful, and we could learn a lot from other social justice movements by understanding the power of language and how it can help reframe the dialogue within society.” – Yvette Baker
Highlights for Episode 699:
- What total liberation activism means to Yvette and how it guides her animal activism
- How people can make a shift toward embracing a total liberation approach
- How local pressure campaigns fit into the puzzle of deconstructing animal exploitation
- Yvette’s journey into animal activism, veganism, and how her activism can be traced back to local civil unrest after the Rodney King assault
- Yvette’s upbringing in an Indigenous household and its impact on her animal activism
- The story of how Yvette became a vegan after helping to open an upscale plant-based restaurant
- Meat eating as imposed by colonizers rather than being a true reflection of Indigenous culture
- How we can represent animal activism as part of a continuity of oppression
- Examples of oppressive, problematic language when representing animals and why we should unlearn and challenge it
- The white vegan mindset and how it can be problematic for the animal liberation movement
- The goals and hopes for Liberation 360, an anti-oppression group aimed at empowering communities to create systemic change, and how the organization links to Agriculture Fairness Alliance’s vision
- Is This Octopus Having a Nightmare?
- After Years of Being Vegetarian, They Couldn’t Help But Eat Meat Again
- Fear of the Animal Planet
- Animal Resistance: When animals fight back and when humans listen
- FakeMeats.com coupon code HENHOUSE23 for 15% off Plant Basics products
Connect with Yvette Baker:
- Yvette Baker on Instagram
- Liberation 360
- Liberation 360 on Instagram
- Agriculture Fairness Alliance
- Agriculture Fairness Alliance on Instagram
Connect with Our Hen House:
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This episode is sponsored by Our friends at FakeMeats.com. Since 2011, FakeMeats.com has been your one-stop shop for meat substitutes, meatless jerky, egg replacers, seasonings, and more. They recently introduced their own product line called Plant Basics. The unflavored, soy-based Hearty Proteins come in ground, strips, and chunks, and they also offer a pea protein crumble option! This new line also included powdered Plant-Based Seasonings that can make anything taste Just Like Chicken, Just Like Beef, or Just Like Ham. They have been kind enough to provide an exclusive coupon for Our Hen House listeners to give them a try: 15% off Plant Basics products on FakeMeats.com using code HENHOUSE23 through July 2023, only on FakeMeats.com.
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.