Our Instagram feeds are carefully curated universes that we carry in our pockets, and with the click of a button, these accounts allow us to alter the way in which we see the world. For me, often this means amazing photographs of rainbow smoothie bowls, lavender and turquoise “unicorn” noodles, and leafy green salads. However, as a person of color (POC), I’ve noticed that my IG feed is not as diverse as I want it to be. Too often, vegans of color are underrepresented in animal-rights and food-justice conversations, a fact that mirrors the ways in which POC are portrayed in mainstream media. The seeming dominance of whiteness in the vegan sphere is particularly troubling because the plant-based community should unite people from all ages, genders, countries, religions, and ethnicities. To counter this unfortunate trend, I propose diversifying your IG feed with seven of my favorite accounts operated by vegan POC.
You might recognize Tracye McQuirter as the author of the 2010 best-selling book By Any Greens Necessary: A Revolutionary Guide for Black Women Who Want to Eat Great, Get Healthy, Lose Weight, and Look Phat, a groundbreaking health resource for black women. McQuirter, a certified public health nutritionist, has continued researching and educating the public on the healthful perks of plant-based diets: last week, her African American Vegan Starter Guide became available for free online download, and she is speaking at the 4th Annual Vegan Soulfest in Baltimore, MD, in August. As a woman over 50 and a vegan for 30 years, McQuirter is a walking advertisement for the health and beauty benefits of a plant-based diet; she and her 80-year-old mother look ravishingly youthful in a picture of the two of them, which McQuirter hashtagged “#blackdontcrack #vegandonteither.”
Earlier this year, Ashley Amanda began the podcast Crazy Urban Vegan to help make plant-based diets accessible to “people from all walks of life.” Rather than specifically focus on the intersections between race and veganism, Amanda uses her media channels to highlight other notable vegan POC, such as blog guru Shvona Lavette of The Pink Seed Vegan and chef Breck Oxford. Her Instagram account explores themes such as healthy food, yoga and meditation, fitness transformation, vegan motherhood, and body positivity. One of its biggest strengths is that, while the photographs are all beautiful, Amanda preserves the feeling that a real person, not a perfectionist blogger, is behind the account.
I’m not exhausted, just a Pitaya. :) #davinadavegan #vegan #vegansofig #vegetarian #whatveganseat #veganfoodshare #plantbased #pun #yum #nomnom #healthychoices #malaysia #hello #health #fruit #dragonfruit #pitaya #pink #beautiful #organic #eatlocal #nutrition #cleaneating #eatclean #food #instagood #instadaily
Plant-based fitness guru-slash-chef Davina Goh proves that vegan girls can kick butt, too. An advanced aquatics ambassador and kung fu student who eats entirely plant-based, this Malaysian native is a vegan-lifestyle advocate who guides people transitioning to a healthier diet. Given stereotypes about Asian diets being meat-centric and perceptions of Asian men and women as being less interested in fitness, Goh’s IG account simultaneously debunks narratives about the heterogeneity of the vegan community, plant-based fitness, and the difficulty of eating vegan internationally.
Founded by Aph Ko, this Instagram page highlights, promotes, and unifies black vegans who submit their photos and stories to the site (including VegNews’ own Richard Bowie). A sister account to the popular blog Black Vegans Rock, Ko’s IG allows viewers to see people’s diverse journeys, while showcasing the breadth and power of the community—did you know the Borough President of Brooklyn Eric Adams is vegan?
Even though mitú—a popular media outlet aimed at millennial audiences who identify as both American and Latino—claimed in 2015 that “being vegan or vegetarian in a Latino household is a struggle unlike any other,” Rudy Ramos’ account gives an fresh, plant-based perspective that is more positive—and mouth-watering. Seitan scrambles, tempeh tortas, and shredded jackfruit tacos are just some of the tantalizing Mexican dishes featured on Ramos’ Insta account. Often, these plates are adorned with toothpicks repping the country’s red, white, and green flag, a testament to the fact that Mexican cuisine and vegan food can be best friends.
I only thirst trap to get people to go vegan and stay vegan 😂 #veganstastebetter #whatvegansliftlike #tattedvegan #vegan #crueltyfree #plantbased #vegangains #veganfitfam #veganfitness #fitness #fitfam #sexyvegan #whatveganslooklike #vegansofig #veganfood #veganfoodporn #veganfoodshare #veganfortheanimals #plantbeast #veganfortheplanet #veganformyhealth #nycvegan #vegansofny #fuckfur #loa #lawofattraction #animals #animalrights #bikelife
Berto Calkins ditched animal products after reading an article in which music guru Russell Simmons (who has been a vegan advocate for approximately 20 years) discussed correlations between karma and plant-based diets. On his account, the personal trainer proves that not all vegans are thin white girls; fitness enthusiasts do not need to eat animal protein in order to make gains; and yes, even super-fit, healthy vegans are motivated by concerns for animal-rights. While his shredded physique might intimidate some viewers, Calkins’ positive captions remind us that we can achieve our fitness goals one step at a time, while photos of confetti doughnuts lead us to believe that even gym rats are allowed cheat days.
Farm workers at Golden Eagle Farms in Everett, Washington have been fired after asking for basic amenities in the berry fields, including having toilet paper and water in the bathrooms, an additional porta-potty (currently they have only one), and a $1.50 raise. Familias Unidas por la Justicia has joined these workers in days of strikes as they demand to be heard.⠀ Decent working conditions and fair pay are basic rights that should be protected for ALL people. Support justice for these workers today by calling the farm labor contractor who denied the workers’ demands, Sheila Monterey, at (209) 810-1941 or (559) 802-3380 and asking her to rehire the workers and meet their demands.⠀ #goldeneaglefarms #foodempowermentproject #foodjustice #justicia #foodispower #eatyourethics #vegan #vegansofig #humanrights #veganism #ethicalvegan #organize #farmworkersrights #civilrightsactivism #civilrights #activism #humanrights #berries #dignidad #respect #fairfood #farmworkers #farmworkerjustice #mexico
Instagram isn’t just about memes—the site is also a great educational tool, which is why this non-profit organization’s IG account makes our list. With a commitment to promoting food justice across diverse communities, the thinkers behind the Food Empowerment Project remind us that not all communities have the same access—and information—to fresh fruit and vegetables. By posting tips for how to choose responsible foods, information regarding charity auctions, and photographs of sustainable vegan companies, FEP unites the vegan community in its awareness of intersectionality to continue making veganism more inclusive.
Former VegNews Editorial Assistant Veronica Houk is a writer interested in veganism, travel, and the arts living in Beijing and New York.