Don’t ever forget this: the women who fuel, drive, and propel game-changing vegan and animal-rights initiatives are, and have always been, at the heart of why this movement is bigger and better than ever. The 20 names below are but the tiniest smattering of a world that’s ripe with countless female-identified activists, entrepreneurs, and change-makers. Open your IG accounts, and get ready to follow—and be emboldened by—these modern-day heroes.
Have names to add? Grab this image, hop onto to your favorite social media account, share your favorite vegan female-identified human, and hashtag #VeganWomenStrong.
1. Tracye McQuirter
Public health nutritionist and best-selling author Trayce McQuirter shows us what and who moves and fuels her to write invaluable resources such as “The African American Vegan Starter Guide.”
2. Danielle Konya
Veganism never looked so good, thanks to entrepreneur and Vegan Treats founder Danielle Konya, whose mic-drop cakes have long attracted wide mainstream attention, especially after famed comedian Jon Stewart sent one of her creations to the hosts of The View to prove that veganism is delicious (that, it is!).
3. Aryenish Birdie
The founder of Encompass—an it’s-about-time organization dedicated to bringing inclusivity to the animal-protection movement—Aryenish Birdie’s IG posts provide a keyhole into her life by way of thoughtful memes and hunger-inducing food inspo.
4. Jo-Anne McArthur
Longtime activist and celebrated photographer Jo-Anne McArthur—author of We Animals and Captive—gives us a glimpse into the war on animals through her harrowing, moving, and ultimately hopeful IG account.
5. Genesis Butler
Though still only in grade school, Genesis Butler is already changing the way people think about food, first through her gone-viral TEDx talk, and now through her outspoken work on youth empowerment, as evidenced in her eye-opening Instagram posts.
6. Susie Coston
Farm Sanctuary’s National Shelter Director Susie Coston—the embodiment of resilient and imperturbable—gives us front-row seats as she snaps adorable photos of some of the few lucky individuals who are rescued and rehabilitated at this iconic shelter.
7. Michelle Carrera
The founder of Chilis On Wheels—a non-profit organization that distributes vegan chili to the homeless—Michelle Carrera offers abundant inspiration through her posts about building community, vegan parenting, and helping those in need, be they human or animal.
8. Carol J. Adams
Author of the seminal 1990 book The Sexual Politics of Meat, Dallas-based activist Carol J. Adams offers a glimpse into the vegan-friendly Lone Star State’s offerings and details how the misogyny inherent in meat marketing has shifted over the years (and how it hasn’t).
9. Lauren Ornelas
Lauren Ornelas, an outspoken advocate for food justice, founded intersectional organization Food Empowerment Project in 2006, and her highly informative posts expose the complex issues that make up our food system and tense political climate.
10. Patty Shenker
Los Angeles-based activist Patty Shenker’s feed is a virtual roadmap of activism, sanctuary tales, and worldwide vegan travels that’s bound to motivate anyone who cares about helping to create a just and good world.
11. Miyoko Schinner
Nobody has veganized this world quite as fiercely and deliciously as entrepreneur, activist, and sanctuary-owner Miyoko Schinner, and the high-energy of her Instagram feed is like a day (after day, after day) in the life of this living hero and cheese-maker.
12. Isa Chandra Moskowitz
One of the most recognizable names in veganism, Isa Chandra Moskowitz has written more cookbooks than we can count, is the owner of Brooklyn- and Omaha-based eatery Modern Love, and is downright the funniest human we’ve ever almost met … as evidenced by her dynamic, witty, crush-inducing Instagram posts.
13. Jessica Schoech
Founder of the wildly popular and successful New York- and Los Angeles-based Vegan Street Fair and Vegan Street Fair Nights, working mom and native New Yorker Jessica Schoech offers a peek into her vegan festival work, as well as all the best LA vegan eats.
14. Caitlin Cimini
Adorable videos of energetic piglets and leaping goats mixed with heart-wrenching animal abuse stories come from Caitlin Cimini’s highly engaging posts, showcasing the true joy and heartbreak of working within animal rescue.
15. Monique Koch
From running the Brown Vegan podcast to working as a vegan coach, Monique Koch keeps busy, and her suprisingly simple approach to plant-based living is evident through her frequent, compelling snapshots into her life and advocacy.
16. Dr. Michelle McMacken
Michelle McMacken, M.D.—a NYC-based, board-certified, internal medicine physician—offers informative and accessible social content, dispelling health myths and offering a science-based approach to whole-foods, plant-based living like only a doctor could (now don’t you wish she was your doc?).
Grammy Award-winning recording artist and passionate vegan activist MYA encourages her devoted followers to try plant-based living by sharing colorful “What I Eat In a Day” posts, as well as recipe inspiration for raw vegan eating, plus a look into her volunteer work with animal-rights groups such as Mercy For Animals.
18. Evanna Lynch
Former Harry Potter starlet and current co-host of vegan-themed The Chickpeeps podcast, Evanna Lynch shares her passion for vegan fashion, activism, and her super fluffy cat Puff by way of her frequent photos … and we’re pretty much in love.
19. Jane Velez-Mitchell
Nobody says it quite as blatantly (and charmingly) as Jane Velez-Mitchell—the former host of HLN’s “Issues With Jane Velez-Mitchell” and the current host of the online Facebook show “Jane UnChained.” This author-turned-activist keeps things real (and really delicious) with her posts that will make you hungry for dinner and change.
20. Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart
Founder of the first-ever luxury vegan fashion brand VAUTE—an ethical business touting a firm commitment to sustainably and ethically produced clothing—former top model Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart has made a huge impact in the fashion scene with her gorgeous luxe-vegan coats and high-end accessories, all of which are reflected in her simply stunning feed.
BONUS: Vegan Lady Boss
For a peek into even more inspiring vegan women activists, check out @veganladyboss, a motivating and thought-provoking account that regularly features incredible changemakers whose work you should most definitely know about.
VegNews Assistant Editor Sarah McLaughlin (@sarahmclaughlin) and Senior Editor Jasmin Singer (@jasminsingerauthor) are long-time animal activists who are hellbent on working to create justice for all individuals—human and non-human—and are endlessly inspired by the women on this list.
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