Youtubers Going Un-Vegan

In 2015, I became fascinated with Youtube’s vegan community. The most popular internet vegans were (usually) Australian and (usually) blonde. You know the type, the Instagram models with perfect smoothie bowls. There was something enticing about the idea that with a High-Carb Low-Fat vegan diet, I might have the potential to magically transform into a blonde insta-model.



Although the message of animal ethics were usually put first, there seemed to be lingering drama throughout the various Youtube channels. Freelee the Banana Girl, who claimed to eat 30 bananas a day, would critique the diets of other influencers. There was even a vegan Youtube drama channel, The Vegan Cheetah, for the sole purpose of recapping the tension within the community.


Despite the conflicting personalities, the message of bettering one’s health and the environment was often a message of positivity. But with the passing of years, there seems to be a shift on Youtube veganism. Youtubers who built their channel on the theme of veganism are becoming “un-vegan”.


On January 14, 2019, vegan Youtuber Bonny Rebecca uploaded a video titled “Why I’m no longer vegan…” Over the month of the video’s existence, it has gained over a million views.



“I was vegan for just over 5 years, and it was kind of everything to me,” reveals Bonny, near the beginning of the 38 minute long video. “It was my whole life, my whole identity, it was the motivation behind my Youtube channel.”


Bonny explained that it was through health issues, specifically digestive problems, that led her to visit a plethora of doctors. With various tests and diet recommendations, Bonny and her boyfriend still struggled to feel properly nourished. One doctor revealed the imbalance of her Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio, imbalance in cortisol levels, and high inflammatory markers.


The doctor recommended adding fish and eggs to Bonny’s diet. She explained, “It turns out it’s not what animal proteins has, it’s what it doesn’t have - and that is fiber.” With her damaged gut, the doctor recognized that she may have been consuming too much fiber. Although veganism was obviously important to her life, now she recognizes that a single diet may never work for everyone in the same way.


Various comments on the video proclaimed that Bonny never was a vegan, or rather that she just was vegan for the money. When a channel is based on a lifestyle, it can be difficult for viewers to accept the change that persuaded them to subscribe.



It is easy to attack “ex-vegans” because the concept of veganism is often associated with the ethics behind the movement. I believe it is important to recognize no one is 100% ethical, but to appreciate the efforts that are made based on the individual’s circumstances. We can improve the planet without putting a fixation on perfection.


It is through respecting each effort that individuals make that can create a larger impact on the animals and the environment.