My Thoughts on Vegan Youtubers Falling off the "Bandwagon"
If you are a part of the vegan community, you may have already noticed that lately there has been a spike in “Why I am no Longer Vegan” videos popping up on YouTube. It has caused quite the uproar in the community as these types of videos can be detrimental to the vegan image. Everyone has a lot to say on the matter and rightfully so. It is absurd that individuals who owe their entire followings and livelihoods to veganism could turn a blind eye and return to supporting animal cruelty so swiftly. So it raises the question, what is going on?
The two major upsets that have happened recently are Yovana of Rawvana and Elyse of Raw Alignment, both accrediting their exit from the vegan community to a slew of health issues they were experiencing. They both claim that turning to a non-vegan diet was the only refuge they could find from their ailments. Elyse was even so bold to state that 8oz of salmon was the magic overnight cure to all of her mold-born illness symptoms she acquired on a trip to Hawaii. Another popular YouTuber I used to love following, Kalel, left the community months back and erased all of her old videos promoting veganism, most likely due to backlash. As a person who looked to the vegan YouTube community for guidance when I myself was transitioning to veganism, it is disheartening to know that some people may just be in it for the money and fame.
I won’t dive too deeply into the nutrition side of things because I am not an expert. However, I will say that I’m sad that Yovana and Elyse didn't try harder to stabilize their nutrients on a vegan diet before making the drastic jump to abandon their morals. It just goes to show that they may not have been vegan all along. If you are not aware, in the vegan community there is a divide between people who eat a vegan diet just for health (plant based diet) and people who live a vegan lifestyle for greater purposes such as the animals and the environment (veganism). I believe these ladies may have only eaten plant based diets for their health and maybe their hearts weren’t in the right place to begin with.
It is also important to note that both of these ladies have openly struggled with eating disorders in the past and perhaps are still struggling. It is my personal opinion that anyone struggling with an eating disorder should not go vegan. Perhaps that is a strange opinion for a vegan but hear me out; adding additional food restrictions on top of an eating disorder will most often not be helpful for the individual. Also, when you go vegan, you have to increase your food portions to meet caloric and nutritional requirements. You especially have to eat larger quantities of food when you go raw vegan, which both of these women claimed to be doing! Increasing portion sizes may be extremely hard for someone with disordered eating habits.
It is quite possible that both Yovana and Elyse have struggled with eating large enough portions on a vegan diet, leading them to caloric and nutritional deficiencies. I think they may have both turned to meat and dairy products as a way to more easily pack in their calories into smaller portioned meals. I hope all of the best for them and that they one day find their way to a well rounded, healthy vegan lifestyle.
This situation has been quite the hit for the credibility of the vegan community, however, I think the worst part about this is how it has affected their young impressionable follows. They both preached that their raw veganism, diets, and alignment with what they put in their bodies lead them to be the picture of good health. Both women profited off of diet plans, health coaching, and YouTube for years. It is extremely sad to know that they were both actually extremely ill from their under-eating styles. Both had over a million followers, how many young and impressionable fans fell victim to the faulty diet plans that these two women shared with the world? It is especially tough to watch Yovana admit in her video that she actually hasn’t been vegan for three months and was ill for months before that, all the while promoting her weightless programs.
Personally, I am sad to see these two women exit the vegan community. I don’t agree with their actions so I have unfollowed them for now, but wish them nothing but the best and hope they find their way. Down below, I will link a couple of videos I watched to gain clarity on both situations.
Had you heard about this? What are your thoughts?
Wander often & wonder always,