The Atlantic

Vegan YouTube Stars Are Held to Impossible Standards

Vegans popular on social media often get bullied when they fall short of their fans’ diet demands.
Source: Viktor Kochetkov / Shutterstock

Stella Rae looks back at her old YouTube videos and cringes. These are the videos that built her career: At 19, she has hundreds of thousands of subscribers to her main channel, which she has dedicated to promoting veganism for several years. But her approach has changed dramatically. Today, she says, she wants to show people “that you can be vegan and just live your normal life.” But her earliest work was much less sympathetic.

Rae is one of dozens of young “influencers” who have amassed followings by chronicling their lives as vegans. Across platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, they share vegan recipes, beauty products that weren’t tested on animals, and even recommendations for vegan leather handbags. Like many people in this online community, Rae entered into veganism with evangelical flair:

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