Our Palestinian vegan food has been also stolen!
By Renan Qadi
Today as I was strolling around at the supermarket, I was shocked to see my favorite traditional vegan Palestinian meal (Mujadara) sold under the same name, but in Hebrew, and packaged by an Israeli company.
The heartbreak is unimaginable. This is not just food in a packet, this is my heritage manufactured at an Israeli company sold as their own creation. Growing up Palestinian, I got used to seeing everything I belonged to being taken away from me; my land, me having to apply for a permit to visit the stolen parts of my country, and other family members left on the other side of ‘the green line’. For a moment, I had the violations we have to go through every single day, natural resources being exploited, traditional Palestinian scarf, kuffiyah, seen as an Israeli fashion piece, crossing my mind. And then this, my food, that my great grandmother and grandmother cooked for their families and that my mother is cooking for me, now in a package, implying that it is no longer mine.
Mujadara is an all-time favorite traditional Palestinian dish that happens to be vegan, just like most of our traditional food that makes up the Palestinian cuisine. It is made with lentils, rice, spices, topped with fried onions, and served with traditional salad on the side, which has made this staple a favorite.
I believe that when we choose to be vegan, we automatically choose to boycott any cruelty. Being vegan is not about your choice of food only, but your choice of a lifestyle in which you oppose all forms of oppression, not just on animals, but on all beings. Isn’t justice for all?
This is where our part begins, taking a stand, furthermore a commitment to show solidarity, that vegan-washing is not acceptable, that Zionist work is not going to be promoted under the label “vegan”, and that true veganism means stop marketing Israel as a vegan empire!