Today is International Women’s Day – a global event celebrated annually on March 8.
The day highlights the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, as well as marking a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
We have compiled a list of just some of the amazing vegan women who are changing the world through their inspiring actions (in no particular order).
Dr. Melanie Joy
Melanie Joy, PhD, is probably best-known for coining the word ‘carnism’ in her award-winning book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism.
She also authored Strategic Action for Animals and Beyond Beliefs: A Guide to Improving Relationships and Communication for Vegans, Vegetarians, and Meat Eaters.
The Harvard-educated psychologist is often cited in the mainstream media. She has trained vegan advocates around the world, and given a TEDx talk called Toward Rational, Authentic Food Choices (which has been watched more than 600,000 times).
Dr. Joy has won a number of honors, including the Ahimsa Award for her work on global nonviolence (previously given to the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela).
PBN’s Klaus Mitchell interviews Dr. Melanie Joy.Subscribe to PBN’s YouTube Channel here
Dr. Pam Popper
Dr. Pam Popper (Ph.D., N.D.) is recognized globally as an expert on nutrition, medicine and health. She is also a naturopath, and the Executive Director of Wellness Forum Health.
She serves on the President’s Board for the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington D.C.
The world-reknowned health expert will be a familiar face to many, following appearances in multiple films, including Processed People and Making a Killing and Forks Over Knives.
She has authored multiple titles – her most recent book is Food Over Medicine: The Conversation That Can Save Your Life.
Once on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list Angela Davis, who announced she was vegan in 2009, is considered the godmother of modern activism.
She has been advocating human rights and progressive justice since the 1960s. As a socialist scholar, she has lectured all over the world and held positions at a number of universities.
More recently, she discussed the connection between human rights and animal rights in a major speech at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, saying: “Sentient beings endure pain and torture as they are transformed into food for profit, food that generates disease in humans whose poverty compels them to rely on McDonald’s and KFC for nourishment.”
Angela discusses human and animal rights with equal fervour, bridging the gap between animal liberation and progressive politics by illuminating the need to stop devaluing lives based on prejudice and profit.
Angela Davis featured in PBN’s Most Influential Vegans series.Subscribe to PBN’s YouTube Channel here
Academic, author, and independent digital media producer Aph Ko founded the Black Vegans Rock project.
She is the co-author of the book Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters. Her work has been featured on The New York Times, Black Youth Project, Huffington Post, VegNews Magazine, and in Vegan Life Magazine.
Her film credits include Associate Producer for documentary film Always in Season by Jacqueline Olive. The film four communities in the U.S. grappling with the legacy of racial terrorism and lynching.
Ko also served as a consultant on the film The Invisible Vegan.
In 2017, Aph was nominated for the P.E.A. (People. Environment. Achievement.) award.
American singer, songwriter, and actress Miley Ray Cyrus is an outspoken vegan advocate who often uses her massive platform to spread an animal rights message.
Cyrus, who was recognized as the ‘Artist of the Year’ by MTV in 2013, was included on the Time 100 list of most influential people in 2008 and 2014 – garnering her a huge number of fans.
With nearly 76 million followers on Instagram, Cyrus is hugely influential as a celebrity vegan.
She has posted against abuse and hunting, as well as sharing vegan food ideas. Cyrus likes to support independent vegan brands – like shoe company Beyond Skin – by wearing their products in photoshoots and videos.
The singer is also famous for being part of a vegan ‘power couple’ – her fiance Liam Hemsworth (rumored to be her husband) also shares her lifestyle.
Miley Cyrus’ top vegan moments.Subscribe to PBN’s YouTube Channel here
Ingrid Newkirk is best known as the President and Founder of animal rights charity PETA.
Newkirk – who describes herself as an abolitionist – has authored a number of books including Save the Animals! 101 Easy Things You Can Do, and The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights.
PETA has achieved a number of milestones in the decades since its inception, including exposing horrific animal abuse in laboratories.
According to the organization: “PETA has also closed the largest horse-slaughter operation in North America, convinced dozens of major designers and hundreds of companies to stop using fur, ended all car-crash tests on animals, cleaned up wretched animal pounds, helped schools switch to alternatives to dissection, and provided millions of people with information on vegetarianism, companion animal care, and countless other issues.”
Golden Globe–nominated Australian musician Sia Furler was vegetarian for years before turning vegan in 2014.
She has worked with animal rights charity PETA on campaigns to help end animal homelessness as well as encourage pet neutering.
She has publically protested against large-scale pet breeding as part of a campaign known as ‘Oscar’s Law’ joining fellow singers Jon Stevens, Paul Dempsey, Rachael Leahcar and Missy Higgins.
Sia, who is also a supporter of the Beagle Freedom Project, was nominated for a 2016 PETA Libby Award for ‘Best Voice for Animals’.
Athlete Fiona Oakes
A vegan since she was six-years-old, Fiona Oakes is a British marathon runner, who holds three world records – despite losing a kneecap when she was 17.
Oakes runs the Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary, which provides a home for life to around 400 rescued animals, both domestic and ex-farm.
Whilst the Sanctuary deals with the symptoms of abuse and exploitation, Fiona has created The Fiona Oakes Foundation to strike at the root cause of what she believes is the biggest single issue facing the world in which we live in – sustainability.
Oakes is the subject of a new documentary called Running for Good, produced by What the Health co-director Keegan Kuhn.
Dr. Breeze Harper
Dr. Breeze Harper is creator of The Sistah Vegan Project.
She is also the editor of the ground-breaking anthology, Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society.
In 2016 she was nominated as the Humane Party Vice-Presidential Candidate and is currently working on another book titled Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches: A Critical Race Feminist’s Journey Through ‘Post-Racial’ USA’s Ethical Foodscape.
PBN interviewed Kat Von D.Subscribe to PBN’s YouTube Channel here
Kat Von D
Kat Von D – is an American tattoo artist, television personality, and make-up entrepreneur. She is also an outspoken advocate for animal rights and veganism.
Later this year, she will be releasing a line of footwear, ethically made from fabrics including mushroom leather, and designed for people of all genders.
Von D went vegan after watching documentary Forks Over Knives.
She says: “Veganism changed me. It taught me to look past myself—to consider how my choices affect others—the animals, the people around me, and the planet we live on.
“To me, veganism is consciousness.”