Food Cultures in Transition: Veganism, Intersectionality and Climate sustainability

Time: Wednesday, the 28th of November 2018 at 17:00-19:00
Venue: Think Corner’s Think Lounge (2nd floor).

Yliopistonkatu 4, Helsinki

Climate sustainability of everyday food practices has gained increasing visibility in the media. Veganism as an everyday political act has become more common, fostered by a range of campaigns such as the Vegan Challenge. Also markets for plant-based alternatives for meat and dairy have burgeoned. Although animal rights and the detrimental environmental impact of meat production have been long-discussed topics, societal transition toward more a sustainable and ethical food culture has been slow.

This event deals with social, cultural and political negotiations on climate sustainable foods and veganism: how are identities, norms and institutional practices negotiated when people switch to plant-based eating? Food, climate and species relations are issues that require a broader approach than natural sciences can offer. Cultural and intersectional analyses help to understand various forms of inequalities in the context of food production and consumption. Furthermore, questions of practical food provision and consumption need to be addressed when promoting climate sustainable food cultures.

The event is held mostly in English.


Kuura Irni, university lecturer and project leader, University of Helsinki: Welcome and opening words (FIN & ENG)

Recipe developer Lilli Munck, University of Helsinki: Ilmastokestävää ruokaa lounasravintoloihin – kokemuksia vegaaniruokareseptien kehittämisestä ammattikeittiöiden käyttöön (FIN)

Tania Nathan: Decolonizing our thinking – food justice for people of color (ENG)

Interview: The vegan movement and other social justice movements: cooperation and solidarity (ENG). Interviewees: Postdoctoral researcher Kadri Aavik, University of Helsinki and Tallinn University, and researcher Panda Eriksson, Åbo Akademi

Panel discussion and questions from the audience (ENG). Chair: Kuura Irni. Panelists: Kadri Aavik, Panda Eriksson, Tania Nathan and Lilli Munck.

  • The audience is welcome to ask questions and join the discussion during the panel.

Please note that there are some changes in the programme: Sanna Karhu's presentation and participation in the panel discussion have been cancelled.

The event in Facebook

The event is organised by the project “Climate Sustainability in the Kitchen: Everyday Food Cultures in Transition”. The project is funded by the Kone Foundation and carried out in the Gender Studies unit at the University of Helsinki in 2018-2020. The project is interdisciplinary, approaching the topic from feminist, sociological and environmental sciences perspectives. The project also develops climate sustainable vegan recipes for lunch restaurants in Finland.

ACCESSIBILITY: All Think Corner facilities are fully accessible. The fully accessible entrance is via the lift lobby at the corner of Yliopistonkatu and Fabianinkatu. There is lift access between the floors. The K1 floor has a fully accessible toilet.

Speakers of the event

Lilli Munck




Lilli Munck is a restaurant chef. She also studies home economics at the University of Helsinki. In her restaurant career, Munck has specialized in vegan cooking. She has developed vegan recipes for several food brands and restaurants. 

Tania Nathan

Tania Nathan is a writer, teacher and person of color who is interested in issues of food justice, sustainability and intersectionalism. She has worked as a journalist and writer in Malaysia, Australia and Finland and is interested in issues of accessibility to food across socio-economic groups, the sustainability of the food system, the effects of colonialism on food systems and accessibility of plant-based foods for all. Her interests are in accessibility of social justice movements, the issues of appropriation and how white fragility colors mainstream veganism.   

Tania Nathan currently works with migrants, young refugees and asylum seekers as a support teacher, in the city of Vantaa. She also writes and does spoken word about the experiences of being PoC in the Greater Helsinki region.

Panda Eriks­son

Panda Eriksson is a non-binary person, vegan and human rights and animal rights activist from Turku. They are the chairperson of Trasek ry, which promotes the interests and rights of gender minorities. Next spring they will teach the first trans studies course that has been organized in Åbo Akademi University. Additionally, they research hiv stigma attached to men who have sex with other men in the Minority Profile project at Åbo Akademi University.

Kadri Aavik




Kadri Aavik is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Helsinki and Associate Professor of Gender Studies at Tallinn University. Her current research focuses on studying vegan men and masculinities. She has previously studied the Baltic animal advocacy movement from an intersectional perspective and the views of feminists on veganism and animal liberation.