Discussions about veganism, intersectionality and climate sustainability at Think Corner

On Wednesday 28th of November 2018 the project team of Climate Sustainability in the Kitchen organized an intriguing event called Food Cultures in Transition: Veganism, Intersectionality and Climate Sustainability at Think Corner. The event dealt with social, cultural and political negotiations on climate sustainable foods and veganism: how are identities, norms and institutional practices negotiated when people switch to plant-based eating? A focus on intersectionality involves paying attention to various forms of inequalities and power relations, including racialisation, in the contexts of food production, consumption and food politics. 

The event was chaired by Kuura Irni, who is the leader of our project and University Lecturer of Gender Studies at University of Helsinki.

The first speaker of the event was Lilli Munck, who has developed vegan recipes in our project. Munck is a restaurant chef and she also studies home economics at the University of Helsinki. Munck has specialized in vegan cooking. She has developed vegan recipes for several food brands and restaurants. In this event, she talked in Finnish about her experiences developing climate sustainable vegan recipes for professional kitchens.  

The next speaker was supposed to be Postdoctoral Scholar Sanna Karhu, but unfortunately she fell ill and was not able to participate.  

The second speaker was Tania Nathan, who currently works as a support teacher with migrants, young refugees and asylum seekers. She has also worked as a journalist and writer in Malaysia, Australia and Finland. She discussed questions of decolonisation and food justice from the perspective of racialisation. 

Finally, we had an interview with Kadri Aavik and Panda Eriksson. Kadri is Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Helsinki and Associate Professor of Gender Studies at Tallinn University. Her current research focuses on studying vegan men and masculinities, and previously she has studied the Baltic animal advocacy movement from an intersectional perspective and feminists’ views on animal liberation. Panda is a human rights and animal rights activist. They are the chairperson of Trasek ry which promotes the interests and rights of gender minorities. They also work as a researcher in the Minority Profile project at the Åbo Akademi University.

In the interview, Kadri and Panda talked about what intersectionality entails and what are the challenges in relation to the vegan movement, and what kind of cooperation and solidarity there is or could be between the vegan movement and other social justice movements.

We would like to thank the audience for joining the event and posing important questions!

Below you can find a recording of the whole event as well as links to the presentation files.

Lilli Munck’s presentation slides (in Finnish): Ilmastokestävyys keittiössä

Tania Nathan’s presentation slides: Decolonizing Our Thinking

Watch the whole event from this video!



Event photos taken by Milla-Maria Joki