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Who inspires you in the vegan world and why?

betiPT

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Who inspired you to become vegan or inspired you now that you are vegan? What is their underlying philosophy?

When I started this journey 30 years ago, I had no one to inspire me. It was a school lesson that exposed me to battery farming that made me stop eating meat. But now, especially with the internet, we see many examples of amazing people and organisations.

For me:

Chef AJ
She is vegan for ethical reasons but she transformed her eating to unprocessed and SOFAS Free to lose a bunch of weight.
She is an inspiration to me because she shows how you can make amazing delicious food while remaining super healthy... and all vegan!

Sea Shepherd
Bunch of very brave people who risk their lives to ensure our sea animals are safe.
They inspire me to the core because when governments don’t act, people should!

Animals Australia
Very smart people who are using the system (courts, advertising, marketing) to win the battle against animal cruelty.
They inspire me by showing that there is hope and change can be made!
 
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Lou

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Hmmm. I don't think anyone really inspires me. I'm not even sure if that is good or bad. I will have to think about it.
I suppose I inspire myself.

It was a newspaper article mocking PETA that probably first made an impression on me.

I was already well on my way on my Vegan transformation when seeing Forks Over Knives but that was my first info on WFPB.

I'm impressed with Leonardo DiCaprio. (and he is not even a real vegan).
I idolize Kip Anderson.
I have a crush on Ellen Page.
 
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TofuRobot

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Anyone who puts themselves out there as an advocate and does so with compassion is an inspiration to me. And the vegan athletes who are killing it on a plant-based diet...

Ed Winters
Rich Roll
The people at PBN
Chef AJ
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

And any "normal" human who has been vegan for decades and is living proof that you don't die if you stop eating animals, and that you won't freeze to death if you stop wearing leather, fur, and down.
And, all the people who have been vegan since birth - that is so awesome!

Actually, really anyone who is vegan and is always striving to be the best human being they can be (which would include you lot here). :)
 

Forest Nymph

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First of all, I pretty much tried as hard as a could as a child to be vegetarian, just from being myself, but my grandparents and mother kept telling me if I didn't eat meat I'd get sick or die until I was at least 11 or 12. My mom still doubts me, she thinks vegetarians/vegans should still eat fish (???)

My very first inspiration to actually go completely vegan was PETA, people seem to have a strange relationship with PETA sometimes even if they're vegan, but I loved them for their outlandish style even in my teens.

Consequently, I later as an adult came to admire Ingrid Newkirk.

The film Cowspiracy also had a huge impact on me, so I guess Kip Anderson then.

My favorite YouTube vegans are:

The Vegan Zombie (24 or 25 years as a vegan, vegetarian before that)
Emily Moran Barwick from Bite Size Vegan
Freelee (I really love her now, but respected her animal rights intensity even when I hated her banana diet)
Ghost Vegan/Ghost
Mic the Vegan
Footsoldier (when I started watching him he was still Vegan Footsoldier)

James and Suzy Cameron really inspire me that they have used their wealth to create vegan eco-schools.

I also love Moby, I find him utterly impressive, he was vegan back when it was super hard, he was even a drug addict and still stayed vegan and today is sober and owns a vegan restaurant and does activism.

My celebrity crush has been Jared Leto for a long, long time. Like Leonardo DiCaprio I'm not sure he's a real vegan but he promotes veganism, vegan butter (he said "I'd like to thank vegan butter..." when he accepted his award for Dallas Buyers Club), and made a video with Thirty Seconds to Mars called "Vegan Pancakes or Death" which was pretty cute.
 

betiPT

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Hmmm. I don't think anyone really inspires me. I'm not even sure if that is good or bad. I will have to think about it.
I suppose I inspire myself.

It was a newspaper article mocking PETA that probably first made an impression on me.

I was already well on my way on my Vegan transformation when seeing Forks Over Knives but that was my first info on WFPB.

I'm impressed with Leonardo DiCaprio. (and he is not even a real vegan).
I idolize Kip Anderson.
I have a crush on Ellen Page.
Is Ellen Vegan?
 

Emma JC

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I read The China Study years ago by T Colin Campbell and so that was my first exposure and I also read some animal cruelty awareness books at that time.

Then around 2012 I saw Dr Esselstyn on PBS and so that was the second kick at the can and we followed his advice for awhile and then fell of the wagon when personal issues made life challenging, although many of the habits stuck as they did from the China Study.

The final straw was hearing Dr McDougall on Coast to Coast AM in October of 2016. No going back after that.

Now I follow many of the vegan athletes and the families and couples that bring a joyful vision of life.

Family Fizz
Maddie Lymburner
High Carb Hannah
Eamon and Bec
Jon Venus and Kathrine Moen
Derek of Simnett Nutrition
Mic the Vegan
Ellen Fisher
Jane Esselstyn

Emma JC
 
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Lou

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As far as I know, she still is.

In 2014 she won the Sexiest Vegan award by PETA. (along with FN's crush)

Her most famous quote is "Why are vegans made fun of while the inhumane factory farming process regards animals and the natural world merely as commodities to be exploited for profit?"

I couldn't find anything about more recently.
 

Emma JC

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Ellen Page - from the googling I did it appears this Canadian is still vegan

Emma JC
 
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StrangeOtter

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When I was 18 years old, I got familiar with Animalia and Oikeutta Eläimille, but I don't know wether that was inspirational, or rather shock therapy. But it was a start.

Later, I met this vegetarian at my school. Before, I had tried to become a vegan, but I had a lot going on in my life and I simply couldn't organize what I ate and when... Don't ask, it's too complicated and a long story. But after meeting her and recognizing myself in her, I got more serious about trying.

In my dreams Elves, from Tolkiens universe, were vegan and I wanted to be one of them. They aren't vegan. But what can I do about my dreams.

Then, in 2013, I read about Sini Saarela (vegan), from Greenpeace. She was with the group that fought against oil drilling at the Arctic. She and Marco Weber got aboard Prirazlomnaja, the Russian oil platform and were shot water at with hoses. Multiple activist were arested and Sini Saarela was one of those who went to prision, in a pretrial custody, for two months, accused of piracy, but the accusation was later changed into huliganism.
When reading about Greenpeace and Saarela, I thought that when I grow up, I want to fight for something that has a meaning. And then I had to really re-think what I was doing in my everyday life, and how to be an activist, in a small way at first, before doing something more, or otherwise it would be only hypocritical.

Then there were, and are, these YouTubers: The Fairly Local Vegan, Bite Size Vegan and Unnatural Vegan.

Now-a-days, I'd definitely say Earthling Ed and all the vegans I meet online or in real life. Maybe Spock too, why not.

From the world of music, (I think, if I remember correctly) Andrea Haugen (Hagalaz Runedance and Nebelhexe) is vegan, and at least some of the band members of Omnia are vegetarian. I find both very inspirational.
 
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Emma JC

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Speaking of joyful videos - Mic the Video interviewed Dr Dean Ornish last week and it is a fascinating video about, not only the power of food, but of meditation, mild exercise, love and the lengthening of telemeres and living a longer healthier life...

Emma JC

 

Nekodaiden

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Life experience inspired me, but I got my final nudge from Gary Yourofsky, watching one of his videos. I actually didn’t agree with everything he said, but most things resonated. Mr. Yourofsky is a powerful speaker, but he wouldn’t have convinced me earlier in my life.

Prior to this I had heard of Veganism and was curious about it, but only knew 1 person in my life who was, and that from many years ago. He made a few comments but we never really talked about it in depth because I was not interested at the time and my cognitive dissonance was in full swing.

Intuitively I knew there was something amiss with what I was doing. I disliked and was disgusted by handling raw meat when preparing to cook it, I knew if I didn’t get enough fiber I’d be constipated, I knew eating too much or in combination with starch could seriously drain energy, I never thought ant-acids were normal, nor fatigue and energy drinks/ excessive caffeine to compensate. I knew I could get sick eating a lot of fruit immediately after a meat and starch meal. Through reading I developed some rules around animal product consumption. Some were off limits, others ok but not mixed with X and not before fruit or some other rule. All these things were speaking to me that something wasn’t right but because of habits, upbringing and certain wrong beliefs, they were whispers, and I continued.

Then I watched my partner die in her 30’s from cancer. She wasn’t a smoker or a drinker. What she did do was consume an exorbitant amount of dairy, in the form of milk and cheese, meat products, very little vegetables at all (she disliked them), and very little fruit. Grains, when eaten were always the stripped kind that have little nutrients and little fiber. She was also afraid of sugar like many overweight people so drank diet sodas.

After spending a lot of time researching health, I kept coming across similar suggestions – namely, to eat more whole plant food and lessen, if not eliminate animal products. I was afraid to give up meat entirely primarily because I thought I would be missing out on the vitamin and mineral content of it. This was partially true because most of the grains I ate were still refined grains – white rice and pasta, low fiber bread, etc, and it was rare that I’d eat seeds and nuts either. Whole grains and legumes were not a big part of my diet as a practicing omnivore.

I have watched numerous others in my life get sick, and some die, often in middle age but sometimes earlier, due to their diet. A lot of suffering usually precedes this – hospital visits, surgeries, chemo/radiation and dependence on pharmaceuticals.

I had already changed my diet for the better, but still eating meat. Then I met a vegetarian who tried vegan and found it difficult, primarily because in her words “there are too many things with dairy and eggs in them” - so basically another person who depended on processed foods. That was some years ago. Although not vegan, she was vegetarian and in great shape. My interest in veganism was given another plug. At that point I seriously considered either going vegetarian or vegan for her, but she moved on and I think that even that partial motivation would have been a mistake.

Some time later I watched a video by Gary Yourofsky and things just clicked. My diet wasn’t normal, my body wasn’t intended for it. It was also causing unnecessary harm, to myself, to other beings, and to the environment. So I gradually started eating more plant foods until the point where I was eating them almost entirely, still with meat here and there. Then came October 2017 where I decided to make an effort to ditch meat altogether.

And here I am. I think it’s safe to say that life experience largely brought me to try a vegan diet, with an initial helpful and informative video, then once I was doing it, more helpful videos from people like Mic the Vegan, Nutrition facts.org and many others.
 

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Lou

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Ellen PAGE. not Ellen Degeneres.
What is with you guys?
;)
 

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