Green Living: A Vegan Debates a Poverty Pimp

Green Living: A Vegan Debates a Poverty Pimp

By Sylvia Snowden


Recently, I talked with a pimp.

Now, this wasn’t a pimp in the sense that he dealt with ladies of the night.

Rather, this was the type of guy that many in the community refer to as a “poverty pimp.”

You know, pastor without a church, community activist or organizer, etc, who’s dressed really nice, and talks really smooth and is always on the move for “jobs and justice.”

Nobody around him ever gets a job or any justice, but that’s his thing.

When I talked with him I asked Mr. Pimp, “you talk about jobs and justice for our community, have you ever considered introducing a Green Lifestyle to us and see if that helps?”

He looked at me, and almost laughed and said “The Green lifestyle?  You mean like eating vegetables, saving the rainforest and hugging trees?  Young lady, that sounds real nice but our community can’t get to that until we address more pressing issues like hunger, violence and poverty.”

His dismissal of my suggestion that we embrace the green movement disappointed me, but it didn’t surprise me.

I’ve been laughed at, possibly looked down upon and certainly pitied when I tell people in the ‘hood that I’m a vegan who takes the bus to work, even though I own a car; I’m pretty used to it now.

I cannot help but be frustrated though, with the willingness to dismiss the green movement as someone else’s problem without realizing the green movement could help solve many of our own problems.

Let’s take hunger.  People are typically hungry because they don’t have the money to buy food, right?  What if one didn’t need money to buy food? One of the principals of the Green Movement is eating locally grown products.  If we taught agriculture, people, even young children could grow their own fruits & veggies.  All they would need is a box, some dirt, seeds and water.

That way, the impoverished could eat without relying on a Master Card, a Black Card or a Link Card.

And speaking of the youth, let’s touch on youth violence, which is a growing problem around our nation.

In a study done at the University of Whales entitled The impact of diet on anti-social, violent and criminal behavior,” David Benton asserts that “poly-unsaturated fatty acids decreased violence,” and “that vitamin/mineral supplementation reduced anti-social behavior.”

Yet, we continue to feed our children a steady diet of “Flamin’ Hots” and fried chicken, because we don’t think a green diet of fruits, veggies and vitamin supplements has anything to offer us.

Oh, and if you don’t believe anything Benton says, I offer that former Heavyweight Champion and infamous ear-biter, Mike Tyson, is now vegan #boom.

There are several other examples I could list, but I only have 500 words.  I’m not holding up going “Green” as the answer to all of our community’s problems, but therein may lie some real solutions to problems that we, using our traditional “jobs and justice cries” just haven’t been able to solve.


Sylvia Snowden

Sylvia Snowden






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    Just read your article Ms Sylvia Snowden. Although I am not a vegan, I am a strong advocate of eating clean and healthy. I think if we educate our society and more importantly our children about the benefits and value of taking care of one's body, we could eliminate a lot of the damage happening in our nation-- And let's look at the black community. I don't eat pork or beef (and slowly adding chicken to the mix too), I limit my intake of fried foods (if at all), and like the response you get when mentioning you're Vegan, it's as though I'm losing my Black Card!--- okay, maybe not that extreem. But, what a lot of our people don't realize is that many heath issues and diseases that plague our families ARE PREVENTABLE. We can't be afraid to change our diet... So in short, great article!

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