Being vegan has become quite the trend within the past couple of decades, but it's been practiced since the first civilizations. There are many things that can be attributed to the mainstream movement of veganism, like an increase in the availability of vegan products and celebrities endorsing the lifestyle. For younger generations, the influence has come mainly from small YouTubers whose content is based solely on living a successful vegan lifestyle. There are countless videos claiming that veganism can clear up acne, help with weight loss, and overall make your life better, making it sound like it's the magical cure to everything.
The vegan community on YouTube has come across countless scandals, such as being accused of depriving their young children of key nutrients and forcing their animals to eat vegan. The most recent scandal is that many of these Vegan YouTubers have been caught or confessed to eating animal products. This past week, Yovana Mendoza, also known as "Rawvana," was featured in a fellow YouTuber's video with a plate of fish clearly placed in front of her. This caused a massive backlash from both vegans and non-vegans alike. She then later made a video explaining the incident and admitted to having been consuming fish and eggs for two months now. The reason why she started eating fish again was due to the advice of her doctor. Rawvana isn't the first vegan YouTuber to admit to not being vegan anymore for health reasons. In January, a fellow Vegan YouTuber quit veganism due to skin and gut problems.
All these YouTubers have been faced with a heavy backlash from their viewers. I've read the comments section of their videos admitting to not being vegan anymore and comments such as "you support animal cruelty!' and "you're giving up so easily!" were peppered throughout. At first, I couldn't see why these so-called "supporters" were angry at someone for doing what was best for their health, but I quickly saw why that wasn't entirely why they were angry.
Much of the vegan YouTube community aren't certified health professionals, yet they like to push the notion that being vegan has no side effects and that it's the healthiest thing for your body. Now that some of these YouTubers are coming out and admitting that they themselves are facing serious health problems has left their most loyal fans to feel betrayed and even question if they should continue their vegan lifestyle.
I don't think that being vegan is a bad thing, in fact, I was vegan at one point in my life but decided to stop because I was lacking certain nutrients. My problem is that with veganism becoming more mainstream, there is a lack of accessible education on how to replace nutrients that were mainly taken from consuming animal products. Since YouTube is accessible to many people, so people turn to those who claim to be living a healthy vegan life. They blindly follow and copy these YouTubers lifestyles, not knowing that they were being kept from what happens as a result of that lifestyle.
The fact that a handful of vegan YouTubers have lied about secretly eating meat makes me wonder how many more of them are hiding their health problems connected to being vegan. While no one is obligated to share their health conditions, I think that if you are going to try and convince people to change their lifestyles and diets by making an example out of yourself, you should share the struggles you face, not just the good parts. By keeping up a false notion that you are completely healthy as a vegan can have the potential to harm another person's health. So please, vegan YouTubers, stop lying to us.