Announcing People’s Harvest Forum

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Exciting times are here! Millahcayotl is organizing the first People’s Harvest Forum, an annual event on addressing food injustice and building food sovereignty.

The past few decades have seen the increasing takeover by Big Ag of all parts of our food systems – from the land and seeds to grow food all the way to retail points and the packaged processed goods they sell. The results have been dire for everyone save those at the top who reap the profits.

Food sovereignty is a powerful concept that aims to bring this system back to the base. It’s about building our food systems from the ground up, to first feed people, not line pockets. By reclaiming the food system where we are, we work in solidarity with farmers, workers and eaters everywhere.

To honor the location of our first forum and to celebrate and contribute to the food struggles that exist in the Bay Area, we will focus in particular on urban spaces. Many urban areas in the US see extreme disparity in access to healthy food and ensuing health problems along lines of race, ethnicity, wealth and class. Right to food is a basic human right, and yet many in the US and in the Bay Area do not have access to fundamental nutrition.

We want to multiply projects to “grow where we are” – grow the foods that we need and build the ecology of our surroundings. Food sovereignty is about more than access however: it is about reclaiming ownership of one’s food system, starting with the land to grow it. And while we take inspiration from rural movements from around the world, urban spaces have their own set of unique challenges. A garden can make healthy food available, but how long will it benefit a community undergoing gentrification? At the forum, community organizers will help us envision a more comprehensive approach to community health and resilience.

This is an important event for food justice, but it’s a seminal event for animal liberation.

As we look to create the food systems we want, we do so without defaulting to the dominant norms that position certain animals as farm animals. Until now, there hasn’t been a strong vegan or animal rights component to the food sovereignty and local food movements. We would even say that as these movements have become more popular, the fact that they default to a model that depends on farm animals has served to delegitimize veganism. Our forum will actively redress this false dichotomy, sharing ideas and skills to build biodiverse food systems within a framework that eschews animal exploitation.

We are currently stuck between conventional agriculture and a range of alternatives that favor animal agriculture. At the People’s Harvest Forum, we’ll speak about animal agriculture in alternative food movements as well as the reasons that consumption of animal products is growing around the world, so as to better understand the social dynamics at play in our food habits. In addition to gardening workshops, a discussion will be held on other ways to promote veganic farming – to start removing animal exploitation not only from our plates but also from our fields.

People’s Harvest Forum is building up to be an incredibly rich and unique experience – we invite you to join us!

To hold this first-of-its kind event, we need your support. Please contribute to our fundraising campaign and share it widely: http://pplsharvest.causevox.com/

Register: http://peoplesharvest.brownpapertickets.com/
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/156460844702530/

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