6 Vegan BIPOC Influencers to Follow on Instagram this Veganuary
BY CHOUROUK GORRAB
January is here, and with it comes its lot of resolutions. You may have started one of yours already now that Veganuary is here: switching to a plant-based diet. This one is not an easy path, but one of the quickest ways to reduce your contribution to greenhouse-gas emissions.
Veganism has been around for centuries among BIPOC communities, and has been appropriated way too many times to fit ‘Western standards’, but social media has also made it easier to find authentic posts from Black, Asian, Arabic, Indigenous backgrounds and influencers of colour who generously share their recipes and knowledge about veganism for free.
Whether you’re doing Veganuary to get healthier, eat more consciously, or find your vegan community, here’s a shortlist of BIPOC influencers reclaiming the vegan space and doing good for you and the planet. *
1. Ashley Renne Nsonwu
Ashley Renne Nsonwu is the mastermind behind the Instagram account of the same name. She is a professional video creator, keynote speaker, on-camera host, intersectional environmentalism advocate, and certified plant-based nutrition expert. Her blog ‘Travel Lushes’ shares plant-based and sustainable ways to help people have healthier bodies, smarter homes, and a greener planet.
Ashley Renne’s end goal is to build a platform that inspires people to bridge individual action with systemic change, to help end animal exploitation, protect our natural environment, and improve the health of our bodies through sustainable, plant-based lifestyle changes. This is especially meaningful within the BIPOC community as it tends to be disproportionately impacted by climate change and health problems.
You can find Ashley on @heyashleyrenne.
2. Queer Brown Vegan
If you’re part of the vegan community, you may already be familiar with Queer Brown Vegan. Behind the Instagram account is Los Angeles-born, full-time content creator and public speaker, Isaias Hernandes.
Growing up in a community that faced environmental injustices, Isaias grew at a young age an interest in learning about his environment through - among other things - a BS in Environmental Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His work is mostly centered on environmental justice with a localisation lens.
Isaias is a strong believer that the climate crisis is an educational crisis and that people need different forms of educators that do not exist within institutions.
You can find him on @queerbrownvegan.
3. Tabitha Brown
US-based, Tabitha Brown is an actress and vegan food influencer. Tabitha is known for her loving attitude, and her honest, viral, and comedic food reviews. With millions of fans tuning in weekly for her live cooking shows on Facebook, quick recipes on TikTok, funny stories, and inspirational posts on all of her social media platforms, Tabitha is the full package in the vegan space.
Tabitha is mostly happy when spreading love and light to all and helping others see the world and food differently. She travels the country speaking at different events sharing her story of how going plant-based saved and changed her life.
You can follow her on @iamtabithabrown.
4. Priyanka Naik
Priyanka is a self-taught Indian vegan cook who makes globally inspired dishes, and published her first cookbook in November 2021, called ‘The Modern Tiffin’. Passionate about food, animals, sustainable fashion, sustainable living, zero-waste cooking, and travel, she’s also the host of ‘Dish It Healthy’ (on Tastemade), a blogger, and a public speaker.
On Instagram, she runs an IGTV series called ‘Cook With Chef Pri at 3’, where she drops new vegan recipes every Sunday, and so much more.
You can find Priyanka on Instagram at @chefpriyanka.
5. Genesis Butler
Genesis is a Black, Indigenous, Mexican teen fighting for environment and animal rights, and one of the youngest people to have delivered a TEDx talk. At only 15 year-old, Genesis is everything we wish we were at her age. Her convictions and commitment towards the planet and animals make her a force to reckon with.
Going vegan at the age of 6, and having earned numerous awards and recognitions for her activism, Genesis is currently leading the Youth Climate Save movement, the first youth-led environmental organisation focusing on animal agriculture’s impact on climate change, where she aims to give all young voices a platform.
You can follow Genesis on @genesisbutler_.
6. Chez Jorge
George Lee is a Taiwanese cook from Taipei, Taiwan. Growing up, he witnessed the way Taiwanese food had passed through his life and shaped his identity.
In March 2020, as the pandemic raged on, he left university to live with his brother. While staying home in lockdown, he created his food page Chez Jorge. Starting off as an Instagram log of his everyday cooking, which often involved cooking meats, he introduced changes and started experimenting with plant-based dishes, specifically plant-based versions of Taiwanese dishes he was already familiar with.
You can follow him on @chez.jorge.
* Veganism is not for everyone. Please check with your GP before you start a vegan diet if you have underlying conditions.
Image credit: Tabitha Brown, Priyanka Naik, Chez Jorge Instagram