Queer + Trans Voices: Achieving Liberation Through Consistent Anti-Oppression is a project based on a simple premise: what does it mean to be an LGBTQIA+ vegan? Editors J. Feliz Brueck and Z. McNeill seek to answer this question by compiling this series of essays by LGBTQIA+ members of the vegan community. The essayists in Queer + Trans Voices span a wide range of identities, providing a plethora of valuable opinions on anti-oppression in the vegan community.
The vegan community is often criticized for its perceived lack of diversity. The mainstream animal rights movement is often seen as a vanity project of the white, upper middle class. Queer + Trans Voices highlights this perception, and many other topical issues, by promoting the voices of queer vegans, trans vegans, and vegans of color. Queer + Trans Voices is one of the few, if only, collections of its kind. Though all the essays approach the same prompt, there is a clear, independent voice of each writer. In no other essay collection will you both find the personal narrative of a Black Queer person comparing their social status to that of a mouse, as in Ikora Rey’s A Tale of Vermin, and a chronicle of the activist work of a Mizrahi living in Israel/Occupied Palestine, as in Shiri Eisner’s Queer Vegan Politics and Consistent Anti-Oppression.
As with all anthologies, some writing is stronger than others. However, collectively, as one element, Queer + Trans Voices is a solid piece of work and a comprehensive starter for those interested in expanding their knowledge of the links between the LGBTQIA+ community, anti-oppression, and veganism. Of particular note are the essays of Leah Kirts, who makes a compelling argument for the need to create an anti-carceral state, and Karla Galvez, who provides a beautifully personal narrative of the relationship between their Guatemalan heritage and veganism.
Queer + Trans Voices ends with an interview section in which current, influential vegan activists are asked one-on-one questions related to their veganism. Jasmin Singer is asked about her identity as a vegan and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Z. Griffler is asked about the relationship between nonhuman rescue and the social justice movement, and so forth. Despite its brevity, this final section proves to be a nice cap to the anthology. Well reasoned and timely, Queer + Trans Voices is a unique and worthy addition to any collection of vegan literature.