There are many people that have an affect on us and make us change the way we see the world. For me, vegan influencers were a main part in getting me to go vegan. They make it attainable, effortless and easy for me to live the life that I do through their recipes, tips and tricks. Tell me who inspires you on your vegan journey!
6. Simnett Nutrition
Derek is a Canadian vegan YouTuber located in Vancouver, BC. He specifically focuses on a lifestyle related to vegan fitness. I know of Derek because my boyfriend is an athlete and watches him frequently. I appreciate Derek’s focus on being vegan for both health and the animals. He makes videos that show how to make healthy, easy vegan meals as well as content related to exercise and the gym. As someone who is not into weight lifting, I find that his work-out content seems doable and is explained in a way that could benefit any newcomer.
5. Liv B
Liv B is a vegan YouTuber, cookbook author and lifestyle influencer. She is best known for her simple, easy and inexpensive recipes that she shares on her platforms. She recently released her cookbook Liv B’s Vegan on a Budget: 112 Inspired and Effortless Plant Based Recipes. These recipes are all plant based and meant to be easy for someone to recreate. Some of my favourite content from Liv is when she does recipe videos that feature a certain topic. For instance, I found a lot of inspiration from her meal prep video where she shows different meal prep ideas on a vegan diet. Be sure to check it out!
4. Kurtis Conner
Kurtis is also a Canadian YouTuber. He also has his own podcast called Very Really Funny. Recently he has garnered a following of over one million on YouTube! Although Kurtis’ content is not specifically vegan-focused, he is vegan himself and talks about it occasionally. I enjoy watching him on YouTube and listening to his podcast not only because he’s a comedian. He also makes great commentary on social perceptions. For instance, his videos talking about how some people over-share their lives on TikTok like someone telling their kids they’re getting a divorce. Kurtis also put's a social-justice mind to some of his commentary, especially when discussing topics in a way that doesn’t hype up the inappropriate behaviour, but rather addresses it as something that should change. If you’re looking for a good laugh that’s relatable and keeps up with current trends, I recommend Kurtis Conner!
3. Earthling Ed
Ed Winters goes by Earthing Ed online. He’s a UK-based activist and known for his compelling speeches and approaches to veganism. He visited the University of Waterloo when I was an executive with the UW Animal Rights Society. We hosted him at our university where he gave a talk and answered questions from the audience. I wrote a whole blog post about the experiences that Earthing Ed shared called “Your form of activism is not superior.” It talks about some of the stories that Ed shared, quotes and the perspective that being vegan is a moral baseline. I find his speeches compelling and explore the idea more through that blog post. If you would like to hear the speech that he gave at the University of Waterloo, be sure to check it out through UW Animal Rights on Facebook.
2. James Aspey
James Aspey is an Australian animal rights activist. I met James in 2017 when he visit my university, the University of Waterloo. During his talk, he spoke about how he previously was so distanced from the thought of animals being sentient, as well as being unaware of speciesism. Speciesism is the idea that some species are discriminated against simply by being born into it. For instance, this can be seen by how we treat pigs differently (by eating them), as opposed to how we love and care for animals such as dogs and cats. Aspey is heavily involved in the Anonymous for the Voiceless scene, where they conduct “Cubes of Truth.” This is where activists stand in a cube formation with screens (laptops or tablets) in public places, that display the cruelty of animal agriculture industries. The activists that aren’t holding screens typically discuss with the public about their experiences. James approaches this in a calm manner, using a socratic method, by digging deeper into what the general public believes about these injustices. James Aspey keeps me motivated to continue being an activist, even when it gets tough - he always points out the real victims: the animals.
1. Lauren Toyota
Lauren Toyota is the creator of hot for food. She uses YouTube as a way to connect with vegans and non-vegans alike through her easy, creative and plant-based recipes. She frequently mentions how her recipes try to recreate non-vegan classic foods, but turn them into veganized versions for us all to enjoy. In 2018 she released Vegan Comfort Classics: 101 Recipes to Feed your Face, a cook book with exclusive recipes that aren’t on the blog or YouTube. During her #HotForFoodBookTour, she travelled and encouraged vegan cooking and trying new things. I have Lauren to thank for making veganism look so easy through her What I Eat In a Day videos on her vlog channel, as well as for creating classics such as calamari, cauliflower wings and spinach dip that my family and I enjoy all the time!
At the end of the day, there are so many different vegan influencers. Especially with the rise of veganism and social media usage, we will become ever-more apparent of these people being integrated into our everyday lives. Take some time to learn more about these particular influencers in a way that can benefit you. You can learn how to make a new meal, a new work out routine or just hang out, be entertained, and have a good time. If you have other vegan influencers that you think I just need to follow, please let me know. Leave a comment below and let me know a little bit about them!
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