Former Gang Member Turns Into Vegan Activist

Now sober and vegan, Joey Carbstrong travels the world to advocate for animals.


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Former gang member Joey Armstrong (known online as Joey Carbstrong) eschewed animal products after spending six months in prison for illegal possession of a firearm. While on house arrest, Armstrong was inspired by raw-food educator Dan McDonald to make a lifestyle change. “Every experience I’ve had in my life has happened in a necessary sequence to prepare me for the next chapter,” Armstrong said. “I’m so grateful I have the chance to spread the light inside of me and to help to change the world into a more peaceful place for all.” Armstrong—who has been both vegan and sober for four years—creates street-style interview videos on his YouTube channel “Joey vs The Public,” where he engages passerbys in conversations about common myths pertaining to the meat and dairy industries. Armstrong now travels the world to train vegan activists to be more effective in communicating with omnivores. “I hope I left a spark of inspiration inside all of you,” Armstrong said on Facebook after completing a tour in Scotland. “We are all collectively starting to realize that just being vegan is great, but in the midst of what the animals are going through, being an activist is a moral imperative.” Now a lifelong animal-rights activist, Armstrong is currently on tour in the United Kingdom and will be speaking at the forthcoming West Yorkshire Vegan Festival.