Whether or not the men of this movement like to admit it, the fact is that women lead the way. The last statistic we had for this was from a survey conducted by The Vegan Society in 2016. It concluded that there are almost double the number of vegan women than men - You go girls! (I’ve never said that in my life).
So, who are these women? Most are respectfully under the radar and just go about their loving vegan lives, doing important local vegan outreach and encouraging their family and friends too – a huge shout out to all of you; you may not be seen but you are definitely being heard! Myself (Claire, @tokenvegangirl) and my friend Cath Kendall are working on a project to celebrate all the vegan women in the world. Keep a look out for that! Some female vegan activists do shout a little louder than others by showcasing their work online and inspire people to get active. Here are some inspirational vegan women that we love to follow here at Grow Up Vegan.
Juliet Gellatley – Founder and Director, Viva!
Of course, I have to start with no other than the vegan lady legend herself and not just because I work for Viva! as a freelance writer/creator, but because I genuinely respect all of her work and aspire to make as much positive difference as Juliet has done and still is doing! I really look up to Juliet and see her as a female vegan mentor who I, in all honesty, am quite in awe of. To follow in her footsteps and to make as many amazing changes as Juliet and her team have made, would be living a life of complete compassion and contentment.
Juliet who has a Bachelors Science degree in Zoology & Psychology and is also a nutritional therapist, founded Viva! In 1994, a whopping 25 years ago; Way before many of us had even heard of veganism. That alone is mightily impressive. Juliet made sure Viva! was at the forefront of the vegan movement and in my and many others opinion, we have her work to thank for the popularity of today’s vegan movement boom.
“The most powerful action you can take to end animal suffering, protect the environment and improve your health is to go vegan. Support us and help Viva! campaign for a better world.” – Juliet Gellatley
Get involved with Viva!’s campaigns HERE.
Fiona Oakes – Marathon Runner multi record holder & Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary Charity founder.
Fiona, to put it simply is an absolute grafter. If you aren’t sure what that word means, it roughly translates to - she works her butt off and doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty in the process! Being a Derbyshire girl myself, I feel like I instantly relate to Fiona, having been surrounded by farmland in the vast Derbyshire countryside, yet living an almost isolating vegan lifestyle from a young age. Admittedly Fiona at just six years of age went vegan much younger than I.
To list all of Fiona’s achievements would be near impossible, but to try and sum it up, she holds four, yes four, marathon running world records, she won both the Antarctic Ice Marathon and the North Pole Marathon and she runs the Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary! How does she find the time? She makes the time! Why? For the animals. In a Netflix documentary Running For Good, Fiona explains that whenever she feels pain whilst running and whenever she feels like stopping, or wants to give up, she thinks of the animals. She reminds herself that the animals don’t have a choice, that they can’t stop or opt out of their suffering, so she can push through the pain and carry on. This is something I’ve now started to do whilst I train for my first half marathon - just a drop in the ocean compared to Fiona’s impressive achievements! (I do technically have a broken foot though ha-ha!)
Watching her doc and many other videos, it’s obvious that not only does she have one of the strongest mentalities I have ever witnessed but she is so very modest. Nothing she does is about her, it is all a complete dedication to the innocent animals she wants to save and every run she begins is to end animal exploitation.
The money donated to the sanctuary goes 100% to the animals care - to help, click HERE.
Ingrid Newkirk – cofounder and president, PETA
Founding an animal rights organisation that is now the world’s largest, with more than 6.5 million members and supporters is more than incredible. I had the honour of meeting Ingrid at last year’s UK Vegan Camp-out, while I was hosting the main speaker’s stage. I found that not only is Ingrid a complete inspiration to so many of us, filling the room with a full audience, but she is so very humble and down to earth. Ingrid has spoken internationally on animal rights issues and listening to her talk right in front of me was very empowering. I offered to take the microphone out to the audience in case she wanted to do a Q&A and Ingrid very politely declined, then explaining why.
“you want to leave the audience with the talk you have given fresh in their mind. Doing a Q&A can bring the mood down, I like to leave the audience on a high and feeling empowered and passionate” – Ingrid Newkirk
I will never forget that piece of advice, and I hope she doesn’t mind me sharing it with everyone. It has helped me immensely when talking to not just crowds, but speaking with people one on one. I now always end a conversation or talk I am giving on an inspirational message. That way you know they have walked away with an uplifting and go-getting feeling both vegans and non-vegans need!
To support PETA click HERE.
Claire Palmer – Founder and International Director, Animal Justice Project
Claire is a very good friend of mine, but before I became friends with my name twin, I had bumped into Claire after she gave a talk at a the ‘World Day for Animals in Labratories protest’. I’m not sure Claire even knows this, but this was actually my first ever activism march and I would like to give her a well overdue thank you for organising such a fantastic campaign and inspiring me to march with the innocent animals in mind. Animal Justice Project, also well known as ‘AJP’ is an international, non-profit organisation dedicated to ending animal experimentation and other forms of speciesism.
Previously to founding AJP, Claire graduated with a Master’s Degree in zoology without using animals at all! She has well over 10 years of experience of all aspects of vegan activism, campaigns and undercover investigations. I have been lucky enough to work alongside Claire and I can tell you all with absolute honesty that Claire is on a continuous fight for the animals!
“I have totally devoted my life to animals. Vivisection is completely unnecessary, cruel and wrong in every way. Living a vegan lifestyle is the best decision you can make, but living an active vegan lifestyle is the best action you can take!” – Claire Palmer
To get involved with AJP, click HERE.
Asal Alamdari - Co-Founder, Anonymous For The Voiceless
Founded in 2016, Anonymous For The Voiceless, also known as ‘AV’ for short and ‘Cube Of Truth’ is probably the fasting growing vegan activism outreach group that has ever been formed. In just 3 short years they have grown from one small group (chapter) in Melbourne, Australia to having over 900 chapters in nearly 1,000 cities- since they last counted! The cube of truth was one of the first vegan activism demonstrations that I took part in and it genuinely has changed my life. I feel more empowered, I have a vegan team around me that feel like a family and I no longer feel isolated in the meat-eating society we still all currently live in.
Asal is a passionate vegan that speaks out every single day – this must be pretty exhausting but she never fails to keep those that are voiceless at the forefront of her mind and pushes on regardless. She is a truly strong women that won’t stop until every cage is empty.
Find your closest AV chapter HERE.
Judy Nadel – Co-Founder, Vevolution
Attending the Vevolution event recently, it was obvious that this vegan event was like no other. Judy and her partner Damien, in life and business, have a clear goal to bring people together, to support vegan businesses and educate everyone on veganism. I watched Judy up on stage and saw how happy and proud she was of the success of the Vevolution event. I was completely drawn into her obvious passion and drive to create a better world and it definitely reinforced my want to make a great change in the world that we all share.
Better yet, Vevolution have created another event that launches tomorrow, in London called ‘She Loves Plants’, creating an event and community to celebrate and empower plant powered women – how incredible is that? I’m hoping to squeeze in attending the first She Loves Plants event and if I do, I will be sure to report back and let you know all about it!
Check out the Vevolution events HERE.
Well, this has been quite a lengthy blog post, but once I started writing about all the vegan women that inspire me, I couldn’t stop. I could keep adding to the list of ladies who positively influence me every single day, but it is now way past my bedtime –in fact, it is now technically International Women’s Day already!! I truly hope that this post has given you that fire in your belly we need as vegan women and reinforced just how powerful and capable we are. And remember, support each other; we are all on the same mission!
Share this article with a friend who may need some fighting female inspo, subscribe to the blog for more posts like this and follow Grow Up Vegan on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Until next time girls!