Veganism and the Media

Within the last decade veganism has gone from an “on the fringe” diet trend, to an extremely popular lifestyle choice. With concerns about the state of our planet, animal welfare, and our overall health raising globally, veganism has become an extremely popular option for those who are looking to live a cleaner and more health conscious lifestyle. While veganism used to be synonymous with simply eating a plant based diet, it is now a term to describe a person who chooses not to consume animal products in any part of their life from an ethical standpoint rather than a health standpoint.

While I personally consider myself to be plant based as opposed to fully vegan, veganism is important to me because I believe that our earth will not be able to function for much longer if we do not significantly decrease the amount of animal products we consume. I think that with the trend of veganism rising, people are becoming more conscious about their choices and begin to question where it is their food and goods come from.

While the concept of veganism is based in good intentions, it is no secret that it can be highly controversial and gain attention in the media for negative reasons more often than positive.  Youtube in particular has made veganism into something that resembles a cult more than a lifestyle. With Youtube creators such as Freelee, Raw Christina, and Ellen Fisher  dominating the vegan Youtube content, it often appears to be a lifestyle that is very strict with zero room for error.

While Youtube is a place that I often turn to for news pertaining to veganism (Specifically Unnatural Vegan), I think that it can be hard for users to find an information source who is realistic about the mistakes that can be made while living a vegan lifestyle and the challenges that it poses. Those living extreme vegan lifestyles are often those who show up first when looking for vegan Youtubers, which can be intimidating for those looking to live a more plant based lifestyle.

The Vegan Society is a vegan news source that does a great job of covering veganism in our daily lives and the impacts it is making on our world and our government. sharing many fact based articles about how veganism is making its way into legislative situations and the impacts it is having on our planet, it looks at veganism from a more refreshing standpoint. In this article discussing the need for veganism to have an impact on food and farming policies, The Vegan Society shows that veganism does not need to be something that is all or nothing but rather that every small step helps.

Aside from Youtube and The Vegan Society, veganism is becoming a hot topic on more mainstream news sources such as The Washington Post and BBC as well. While the health benefits are usually the driving force behind these articles, veganism is transitioning from something that was often criticized for being extreme to something that is becoming more widely accepted by traditional sources.

In addition to these sources, documentaries such as Cowspiracy and Earthlings have become considered essentials in the process of converting people to veganism. While I can’t downplay the effectiveness of these vegan documentaries, they play into the extreme sides of veganism by showing people the horrors of their animal products and shaming them for their consumerism. While everyone should have an understanding as to where their food and goods come from, going vegan can come off as an intimidating transition when people are faced with the fact that they have been participating in something they do not want to support for so long.

The way veganism is treated in the media is something that is far from perfect, but is definitely improving. While some may continue to give it a bit of a bad name, others are coming to embrace it and look at it as a necessary change that some will have to make for the sake of our future. Veganism doesn’t need to be presented in the media as something that is extreme or intimidating, but rather as something that is doable and on a learning curve with room for mistakes and error.