As February came to an end, so too did Black History Month. It goes without saying that Black voices should be elevated for more than 28 or 29 days a year; it’s paramount to not just support and celebrate, but truly hear those voices all year round. And the vegan movement is no exception.
Despite the fact that Black Americans are three times more likely to be vegan than white Americans (with similar stats reported elsewhere in the world), Black perspectives are frequently left out of the conversation.
Importantly, it’s not Black creators’, or any Black person’s, responsibility to educate non-Black people on their experiences, or the racism that is still so deeply woven into modern-day society. It’s up to us to immerse ourselves in their content – books, podcasts, documentaries, social media pages etc. – to recognize our immeasurable privilege, to listen without speaking, and ultimately, to do better.
In light of this, here are nine people using their voice to help accelerate the vegan movement.
Genesis Butler’s achievements would be impressive for anyone, but add in the fact that she’s only 15 and things ramp up to a whole other level. In 2020, the TEDx speaker founded Youth Climate Save, a youth-led organization focusing on animal agriculture’s impact on the planet. She also founded Genesis for Animals, which raises funds for farm animal sanctuaries.
Butler writes on her website that she is vegan “for the animals, because they deserve to live in peace just like we do.”
Zipporah the Vegan
Zipporah also speaks out about the problematic nature of white veganism, and addresses concerns surrounding vegan living and privilege, accessibility, and accountability.
Activist Christopher Eubanks (aka Soul Eubanks) uses art – including photography, video, and music – to promote vegan living. On his social media platforms, Eubanks takes aim at animal exploitation, recommends plant-based foods, and helps bolster the voices of other influential Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
Also a musician, Eubanks says his hip-hop music “is a reflection of his experiences coming of age as a black man in America and chronicles the impact it has played on his development.”
Milton Mills might look familiar if you’ve seen the popular documentaries What the Health, The Invisible Vegan, or Vegucated. The vegan doctor, who is the Associate Director of Preventive Medicine with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), works tirelessly to debunk the myths surrounding food and health.
Mills advocates for a plant-based lifestyle, maintaining that eschewing animal products can lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer.
American actor and CEO Tabitha Brown has been vegan for nearly five years, but recognizes that veganism is a “constant journey” that involves continuous learning, she said to Mashed last year. It’s part of the reason she utilizes her sizable platform to help others make the change.
Speaking to a collective of nearly nine million Instagram and TikTok followers, Brown shares plant-based food tips, speaks about the health benefits of ditching animal products, and encourages people to make compassionate choices in their wardrobes and beauty routines too.
Sir Lewis Hamilton
Formula One star Sir Lewis Hamilton won his first title in 2008 and as a result, became the first Black and the then-youngest person to do so. But his accolades don’t stop there. The vegan athlete shares the joint-record of seven World Drivers’ Championships titles, and holds the records for the most wins, podium finishes, and pole positions.
Recognizing a significant lack of diversity in the motorsport industry, Hamilton helped create The Hamilton Commission, which seeks to remedy this by researching and recommending practical strategies.
Hamilton picked up a plant-based diet in 2018, and has since credited it for his continued top-tier racing performance. He often takes to Instagram, where he boasts 27 million followers, to advocate for vegan living and raise awareness of animal exploitation.
His only regret about going vegan? Not doing it sooner, he told Men’s Health.
Content creator Nzinga Young has been meat-free for more than 25 years, and adopted a vegan lifestyle in 2016. Now, she works to inspire others to do the same by sharing quick tips, plant-based recipes, and educational videos online.
Across her various platforms – which have upwards of 150,000 followers – Young opens up dialogue about animal agriculture, including its environmental and ethical implications, and explores the benefits of veganism.
Omari McQueen was just 12-years-old when he launched his first cookbook last year. Reportedly the youngest award-winning chef in the UK, McQueen is also the founder and CEO of a vegan dip company, Dipalicious.
The young vegan entrepreneur also hosts his own cookery show – What’s Cooking Omari? – on the BBC’s children television channel, CBBC.
On her website, holistic health and wellness coach Koya Webb explains that her “life mission” is to lift up every individual who “needs more love in their lives.”
In line with this goal, Webb uses her expanding platforms – such as Instagram, where she has 975,000 followers – to explore spirituality, mindfulness, nutrition, meditation, and yoga, among others.
She’s also the founder of Get Loved Up, a yoga and holistic health school that encourages clients to “practice daily self-care and make healthy living a priority in a fun and accessible way.”