Most people on the vegan side of Twitter know who AmyytheVegan is, and if you didn’t, you do now! If you’re considering veganuary, or have some questions about going vegan in general, then Amy is a great person to follow. Amy is in my opinion, Twitter’s most influential vegan activist. With over 31,000 Twitter followers, as well as a large Instagram and Youtube following, she has a massive reach.
Veganuary is all about people challenging themselves to go vegan for the whole month of January. In January 2019, a quarter of a million people signed up for veganuary, and half of them stayed vegan afterward! As far as New Year’s resolutions go, I think veganuary (and living greener) is one of the best!
Here’s what who is arguably social media’s most influential vegan activist had to say:
A Chat With: Amy the Vegan
Amy said she went vegan three and a half years ago for animal rights and for her health.
“I always wanted to go vegan because I didn’t like animal suffering but finding out it could relieve my migraines and PCOS is what pushed me over the edge to do it,” she said.
One of the more common routes into veganism is to transition slowly, rather than going cold turkey. People are more likely to stay vegan if they transition slowly leaping in is a shock to the system. Transitioning also gives time to plan and find replacements for nutrients that are in animal products. Amy transitioned over a month period from vegetarian to vegan. However, people should transition at their own pace.
Amy transitioned by using up left-over products that no one else wanted, and was advised transitioning was best for her health.
Coming Out as Vegan
“I found the hardest part honestly telling people I was going vegan and having to answer a million and one questions,” Amy said.
“As soon as I knew where I was going in shops and what I needed it was easy!”
Although everyone is familiar with the “judgemental vegan” stereotype, it can be a surprise to new vegans and vegetarians when friends and family, or even strangers on the internet, start poking holes in their new lifestyle!
The benefits of going vegan
“The benefits of going vegan vary from person to person some people find physical symptom relief, some find it helps them regulate weight, some say it is incredible for mental health!”
“As I’m not a doctor I wouldn’t like to say it can 100% help with X Y and Z but what it does 100% do is help the animals”
The vegan diet has been liked to lower risk of hearth disease and some cancers! Like all diets, veganism is as healthy or unhealthy as you make it. There’s a misconception that veganism is automatically healthier, but with all the vegan fast-food alternatives coming into the market from chocolate to burgers, vegans can still have an unhealthy diet. Back in the day before fake-meats and take-away options, veganism might have been healthier by default, but now it’s a case of everything in moderation.
It’s very important to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients.
The only micronutrient not found in any plant-based foods is B12, which is why you either need to take a B12 supplement or consume fortified foods like dairy alternatives and nutritional yeast. It’s also advised that vegans consume more foods with calcium and iron than non-vegans as plant-based sources of some micronutrients are not absorbed as well. Make sure to consult your GP and/or a nutritionist first. Although it’s better to get all your micros from your diet, if you need a supplement, then you need a supplement.
Social Media Activism
“I think social media is a massive help for making more people feel inspired and want to go vegan! It reaches a big audience and enables quick and easy conversations and I definitely feel the community support is something that people find helpful,” the vegan activist explained.
“I originally got into online activism as a means of finding friends and fellow vegans! As I spent more time on here I realised I can be a voice for the animals and help non-vegans too!”
On whether or not online activism and in-person as effective as each other, Amy thinks both are important as the general public responds differently to different things.
Social media is believed to be playing a huge role in the rise of veganism. An being an online vegan activist is just as popular, if not more popular than traditional forms of activism.
Is veganism for everyone?
“There are several reasons why people may struggle to go vegan and they are things that I am lucky enough to stand apart from!”
“Some of the main ones being poverty/accessibility and illness (including mental), in these cases it is a case of doing what you can! Whether that be meat-free Mondays, a couple of vegan meals a week, using public transport, going plastic-free, or living waste-free!”
“There are lots of things that can be done for the environment and there is no shame in doing what you can!”
Some people can’t go vegan or would find veganism too restrictive be it because of digestive issues or allergies to common vegan foods such as soy. While some people find that going vegan helped them recover from an eating disorder, others find it too triggering and restrictive. Going vegan shouldn’t mean sacrificing your health or mental health!
Advice for new vegans:
“My advice would be to get in touch with fellow vegans and don’t be afraid to ask for help! Going vegan is a journey which changes most aspects of your life and it is more than ok to want help or find support in others”
“Going vegan is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! It has made me experiment with food, find new eco-friendly products, meet people and grow as a person! Veganism can be incredible and you should deffo give it a go!