Youtube has been my loyal best friend—even though it takes my time, energy and attention from me as well as irritating me with ads.
I still love it for its educational and entertaining content.
And it actually helped me see a whole different perspective in life.
It was around late 2014 when I came across the word veganism. At that point in my life, I was getting more interested in organic farming and healthy eating, as I learnt that there’s a connection between what we eat and the state of our mental health.
So the YouTube algorithm won me over and showed me videos I had never watched before:
WHAT I EAT AS A VEGAN
Little did I know then, I’d be using that phrase a lot a year later.
I was thinking back to that time and what YouTube channels had inspired me. I couldn’t quite remember everything as a lot has changed in terms of my preference.
So I looked back at my old video about being a Muslim Vegan (my first time coming out to public as so, I suppose). In the description, I linked the resources for further study and also the YouTube channels that inspired me.
She’s an Australian woman who was documenting her vegan journey. Her then boyfriend Tim appeared most of the time. It was nice looking at what they eat and I guess they inspired me a lot with overnight oats and banana nice cream.
A year or two ago, she released a video saying she’s not vegan anymore and that created a whole drama on YouTube. This trend is not unique and it seemed that people (primarily Caucasians) were falling back from their vegan values or lifestyle.
The main reason being that they’re trying to cure a health condition.
In retrospect, I think that they put that on themselves as when they started eating a vegan diet, they went to extremes of trying a range of diet prior and during their vegan journey. They might have tried keto or paleo diet before and then did a high carb low fat diet or raw til 4 as vegans.
That probably confused their gut so much.
This is probably a topic of its own which I’ll dive deeper later. But yeah, Bonny Rebecca inspired me a lot when I first started and I can’t say I wasn’t let down when she decided to eat eggs again. I have since unfollowed her, not just because of that but also that her videos don’t serve me personally anymore. I’d only watch one or two videos from her from time to time when it pops up on my feed.
This is another drama in and of itself. It seems my journey into veganism was laden with drama that I was just an entertained spectator of. I’m glad that I’m not that kind of person to be put off by a drama and not being able to see the real subject matter i.e. veganism as an animal-rights and environmental movement.
So Essena O’Neill is another Australian who used to be best friends with Bonny Rebecca. They appeared in each other’s videos a lot. But then somehow there was a drama between them and also another set of people (point #3). I don’t quite remember what it was actually about but I think it was something to do with pictures…
But anyway, Essena O’Neill is still vegan (thank goodness!) and after her social media disappearance 4 years ago (the year I became vegan) she reappeared in the public online sphere last November on Tiffany Ferg’s youtube channel talking about her experience.
These ladies are twins from America. They mainly post about food and fitness. I remember they used to do entertaining challenges as well. I’ve long unsubscribed because their content had become too chaotic for me to handle lol but they are a fun pair.
They somehow got into the Bonny Rebecca-Essena O’Neill drama. Again, I can’t quite remember how. But I think they met up at one point and just didn’t vibe along well.
And this is not uncommon—vegans not vibing well with each other, I mean. We might essentially share the same values but at the end of the day, we’re still humans with different personalities and interests. We can’t possibly vibe well with every vegan out there, same as not all meat-eaters can vibe along with other meat-eaters if one of them don’t like what the other likes.
Nina and Randa are still vegan and I had a look at their latest videos. It’s great that they’re focusing more on fitness but still incorporating some food ideas as well.
Ooh, now we’re talking.
Gary Yourofsky is a notable figure in the vegan scene. To some, he might seem extreme. To me, he’s just realistic and straight to the point—something most humans are not used to, it seems.
His “Best Speech” video gained lots of traction and had turned people vegan overnight from watching it. It didn’t have that effect on me but it definitely moved me and set me on that path with no turning back.
He’s no longer active on the online sphere and he deleted all his videos from his page. But he was notable for releasing a short documentary called Seaspiracy. I’m not sure if the one on YouTube was his or he had published it somewhere else that I’ve not seen.
But basically, he highlighted the connection between eating fish or seafood with ocean degradation.
Fun fact: I had actually crossed paths with him in London in the summer of 2015. I didn’t even know him at that time and I was only starting to be aware of veganism. Apparently they did some sort of a demonstration at Trafalgar Square. There were people lying down in bodysuits that showed their ‘meat’.
6. JAMES ASPEY
He got known from doing the 365 days of silence for the animals. He didn’t talk for a whole year and then appeared on several media outlets to talk about his stance. He’s actually a really good speaker so the fact that he stayed silent for a whole year really impressed me.
He’s still advocating for veganism with his partner Carly. And I think they’ll continue to do so for many more years to come.
This channel is more of a science-based in-depth discussion about veganism. Expect some debunking videos even within the vegan bubble.
This is similar to Unnatural Vegan but probably a bit more controversial. I think I came across this channel when I was looking up whether honey is vegan or riding a horse is ethical (short answer: no). The discussions are really eye-opening and definitely shook my pre-existing beliefs.
9. TIM SHIEFF
OH MY GOD I ADMIRED THIS DUDE SO MUCH.
Mostly because he was a vegan parkour athlete and I was so into parkour at that time (still am). Sadly, he doesn’t do as much parkour now (he’s still an athlete of sorts) and he’s not vegan anymore.
It’s funny because he called himself the Vegan Prince and that name kind of stuck for some time.
He is known to have done various types of diets (see the pattern here?) and had drunk his own piss. Yes, true story.
He even co-founded an ethical clothing brand called ETHCS!
Ever since he announced that he’s not vegan anymore, he handed ETHCS over to his team and is no longer involved in that, which I think is a respectable move. I’ve since unfollowed him because I need to protect my energy and I just can’t follow people who fall back on their morals after advocating it for so long.
It’s like cheating on your partner.
To clarify, I do acknowledge that opinions change and I don’t necessarily dislike people for changing their beliefs. But in terms of veganism, especially when they’ve advocated the GOOD of it and ACKNOWLEDGED more benefits than harm, and then to FALL BACK on those beliefs—I’m sorry, I can’t.
Gosh, people in URL have played with my heart!
I first came across Jake Mace when I was searching about martial arts. He did Kung Fu and had many videos on that. I like him then and I like him now. He’s steadfast in his holistic view of life that food and fitness complement each other. That eating whole plant-based foods help the physical body towards peak performance.
And martial arts is a whole set of values that I think complements the vegan lifestyle.
He’s currently living his off-grid lifestyle which I’m aspiring towards one day.
11. HOT FOR FOOD
Looking at my list so far, I realised that I haven’t included one dedicated vegan cooking channel. That’s because with food, I pick and choose which videos I want to watch. And in terms of subscribing to a channel, I look for their variety of content and personalities.
But Hot For Food is different. It is a cooking channel but they also incorporated their personalities in it. It started with a couple Lauren and I forgot the other dude’s name but they broke up some while back and it’s now just Lauren’s channel. I like Lauren. I like the way she presents her cooking.
Since then I’m into other food channels but this was one of the first that I actually enjoyed when I first started my vegan journey. I think it’s where I learnt about scrambled tofu.
If you’re just starting out on your vegan journey or seem to be losing the drive, SEEK INSPIRATION. YouTube has no paywall as it’s governed by ad revenues so take advantage of that and subscribe to an inspiring channel. Keep educating yourself and discover all the vegan goodness!