Joanne Molinaro, a vegan food blogger known as The Korean Vegan, has responded to a string of racist messages following her response to someone telling her to “get Korea to stop eating dogs.”
The details: Molinaro received the message on Twitter on July 6, which she later shared on Instagram, in response to her video on how she went vegan.
Molinaro further explained in a TikTok video that the user continued to stand by their message and even suggested that Molinaro should “utilize her connections with the Korean government” to change the law.
Victim blaming ensues: Molinaro claimed that after sharing the story, many vegans defended the racist message and blamed her for “causing unnecessary division in the vegan community by calling a racist, a racist.”
Some allegedly defended accusations of racism by claiming the user was merely bringing awareness to the dog meat trade.
Molinaro’s response: Born and raised in Chicago, she noted that it was a “ridiculous notion” based on the “perpetual foreigner status” to suggest she should be changing Korean law.
She argued that it also perpetuates the “racist trope” that “equates Korea with dog-eating” — something she earlier pointed out was a practice in Switzerland as well.
She then raised the question of why Korean Americans are held to a double standard, using the example of how Italian Americans are not being berated for eating pancetta or the French Americans for their horse eating.
"As a child of immigrants and someone who has experienced racism, I knew that people would be skeptical of a diet primarily adopted by white people," Molinaro said.
While she hopes to turn that idea around and show people ways to adopt a plant-based diet without "cutting off their heritage," she noted that the vegans that spread the sort of hate she's received ultimately cause more harm to animals and the planet.
She ended her video with a final message to the vegans criticizing her for advocating more for human rights than animal rights: “My vegan food has made it into the homes and hearts of over three million people and I never had to be racist to do it.”
Featured Image via @thekoreanvegan
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