Culture, Feature Story

How Celebrities & Organizations Are Positively Encouraging Plant-Based Living

With the rise of veganism, more people are starting to adopt a plant-based lifestyle for health and spiritual reasons. Many years ago, veganism was thought to be an extreme way of life and you found more negative commentary on the subject than positive.

But in today’s time, we are seeing a more positive acceptance of veganism. According to the New York Post, last year OnePoll conducted a study and discovered 52% of Americans were trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into their daily lives.

People are also researching veganism more. According to The Vegan Society, “going vegan” was predicted to be the biggest trend in 2018. Vegan gets almost 3 times more interest than vegetarian and gluten-free searches on Google.

CELEBRITIES WHO ENCOURAGE PLANT-BASED LIVING

Celebrities and community leaders are starting to encourage people to become more conscious of their food and health choices by leading a plant-based lifestyle.

MYA

Grammy Award-winning R&B singer Mya, for instance, uses her celebrity platform to raise awareness for healthy life choices.

On her Instagram account @myaplanet9, Mya often shares posts about her plant-based lifestyle. The singer likes to share the health benefits of veganism, healthy food challenges, and vegan recipes.

View this post on Instagram

#November30 / #December1 Hope your #Friday was fabulous! It’s been back to back nonstop for me these past 3 days on no sleep. If I weren’t on a raw or alkaline vegan challenge, I’d probably be sick. But feeling great & maybe a lil’ too much energy. I just look crazy right now (swipe left)🤪. How are you feeling?! What’s been the biggest challenge & greatest reward for you so far? Sending you love & congrats on this home stretch. Next challenge starts Dec 3rd. You choose the time. Details on myamya.com/lifestyle FREE STARTER GUIDE ON MYAMYA.COM/LIFESTYLE 📖🤓 #AlkalineVegan Challenge #Day27 recap: ~🍐🥭🍈🍓Pear / ~Lychee, mango, orange, honeydew melon, strawberries, (no seedless grapes, grapefruit or watermelon) {seedless = GMO} / ~🥬Arugula salad w pumpkin seeds, onion, olive oil, sea salt (no beer – acidic) / ~🌰🥥1 Turmeric chickpeas w / coconut yogurt cucumber (minus white rice) / ~🌶Red pepper, olives, olive oil, hummus (minus the carrots, radish, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes for me)/ #progressnotperfection #fountainofyouth #healthiswealth #healthyfood #healthylifestyle #compassion #crueltyfree #soulfood #saturday #transformation #friday #foodshare #mya #planet9 #myaplanet9 #challenge #worldveganmonth #2018

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In an interview with Vegan Life, Mya said when she after she became a vegan it changed her life in a positive way.

“Spiritually, I feel more calm, at peace, better aligned with myself and divine order, knowing that I am not contributing to another living being’s pain and suffering,” the singer said in the interview.

AVA DUVERNAY

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay is also a vegan and she uses her platform to help spread awareness about plant-based living.

In a November 2017 Twitter post, Ava tweeted a New York Times (NYT) article about “Black Vegans Step Out, for Their Health and Other Causes”.

DuVernay’s tweet read: “Like many food trends that seem new, black veganism has historical roots. For a lot of black people, it’s also about social justice and food access. The food we’ve been eating has been killing us.”

The NYT article is a great read and discusses the reasons why some African Americans choose to be vegan.

For instance, some African Americans are vegan for religious reasons while others choose a plant-based lifestyle for health reasons or for animal welfare.

BEYONCE & JAY-Z

On January 30th, the star couple announced a contest where they would give fans a chance to win free concert tickets for life if they adopted a vegan diet for one month. The challenge is in collaboration with the Green Print Project.

OTHER CELEBS + COMMUNITY LEADERS WHO ADVOCATE FOR VEGANISM

Erykah Badu, Pamela Anderson, Mena Suvari, Ne-Yo, Andre 3000, Kristen Bell, will.i.am, Senator Cory Booker, Ellen Pompeo, Venus Williams, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Samuel L. Jackson, Ellen DeGeneres, and Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA.

skyn ICELAND is a vegan-based beauty line. (Photo credit: Anthropologie)

CRUELTY-FREE + VEGAN BRANDS FOR EVERYDAY LIVING

Vegan doesn’t just mean plant-based food. There are many products that are made for everyday living that are vegan-based. For instance, there are many companies that make vegan beauty and hair care products.

I use a few vegan-based makeup products such as EcoTools, SheaMoisture,and Tarte eye shadow. All three brands are cruelty-free, as well. I’ve been using EcoTools makeup brushes for 8 years now and I love them!

HERE ARE A FEW MORE VEGAN BEAUTY BRANDS

Anastasia Beverly Hills

skyn ICELAND

SheaMoisture (another beauty line I love to use)

The Lip Bar (a Detroit-owned company)

Unicorn Hair (hair color products)

You can find an ultimate guide to cruelty-free and vegan beauty brands HERE if you like.

Mrs. Meyer’s is a popular vegan-based cleaning brand. (Photo credit: Mrs. Meyers)

VEGAN CLEANING PRODUCTS

Mrs. Meyer’s

Seventh Generation

Method

Dr. Bronner’s

Here is a list of cruelty-free and vegan cleaning brands.

Nosh Pit Detroit features Vegan food options. (Photo courtesy Nosh Pit Detroit – Facebook)

DETROIT, TOP VEGAN-FRIENDLY CITY IN THE U.S.


Last year, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) listed Detroit as one of the top 10 vegan-friendly cities in America. PETA ranked Detroit #6 on their list saying, “Detriot is gaining a reputation as an oasis of vegan cuisine.”

A FEW DETROIT RESTAURANTS THAT SERVE VEGAN FOOD:

Detroit Vegan Soul

Moor Herbs

Dilla’s Delights

Russel St. Deli

Buddy’s Pizza

Check out the Metro Times list of 70 restaurants in Detroit that feature vegan dishes!

V313: DETROIT’S PREMIER VEGAN CELEBRATION

Now Detroit has its own annual vegan festival: V313. This March will mark V313’s second year and it’s an event that promises to be both entertaining and informative for vegans and non-vegans alike.

On Thursday, March 7th, V313 will hold its annual vegan celebration at Eastern Market. The event will feature a variety of things for you to do such as shopping for plant-based foods and products, watch a cooking demonstration, enjoy live music by Sean Blackman and friends, and attend informative presentations vegan experts such as Dr. Joel Kahn.

Last Friday, I spoke with John Batdorf, the event organizer for V313, to learn more about the big celebration. Bartdorf, who has been a vegan for 6 or 7 years, said he created V313 because there really wasn’t a major vegan event happening in Detroit.

“I’m a vegan and I’ve been involved with other vegan events and activities,” said Bartdorf, “and I thought it would be a really good idea to do something in the city of Detroit, which has an active and growing Vegan community.

V313 will have educational presentations featuring vegan experts like Dr. Joel Kahn.
(Photo of V313 in 2018)

V313 IS AN EVENT FOR EVERYONE, NOT JUST VEGANS

V313 isn’t just for vegans. The event is a celebration which welcomes everyone. If you are on the fence about transitioning to a plant-based life or you don’t know how to start learning about veganism, then the V313 event will be perfect for you.

“This event is good for people who aren’t vegan. All the products and services of the program are vegan. It’s definitely not just for people who are vegan,” Mr. Bartdorf told me.

“We’re just trying to get people to learn about being vegan and steps you can take to do that. It’s about people heading in a direction hopefully rather than being an advanced vegan.”

V313 in 2018 (Photo courtesy of V313)

V313 is about building relationships and community. Last year, was the first year V313 premiered and the event was well-received. With close to 2,000 people attending last year’s celebration, Bartdorf expects this year’s event to sell out.

“One of the things we’re real proud of is that we have the major vegan groups, plant-based groups in the area, and many of the leading animal welfare groups and rescues and farms involved,” Bartdorf said.

“It’s really a good opportunity to have a large number of groups. It’s nice to have them all together in one place. You can get connected through a lot of resources that way.”

There will be 12 concession vendors at V313. All of the food will be plant-based.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT V313

This year the emcee for the event will be 5-time USA National Champion boxer and comedian Cam F. Awesome. He is a vegan and is passionate about advocating for a plant-based lifestyle.

Awesome’s accolades also include being a 4-time Golden Gloves National Champion, 2-Time Olympic Trails Champion, and Captain of the USA National boxing team.

TICKET PRICE: Tickets for the event cost $15 and include a $5 concessions voucher. Advanced tickets will include door prize entries. All tickets include free parking. You can purchase your tickets HERE.

EXHIBITS: There will be over 50 animal-free product and service providers. A wide variety of specialty foods, beauty products, and more will be featured at the event. You will even have the opportunity to sample products, participate in giveaways and door prizes, and take advantage of specials.

EDUCATION: V313 will feature a full, fast-paced schedule of local and national vegan experts. Dr. Mills from PCRM and Dr. Joel Kahn are just two of the many experts who will be speaking at the education workshops.

There also be cooking demos with “Cooking with Que” and Jessica Carter.

EDIBLES: Twelve concession vendors will be at the event including Nosh Pit Detroit, Plum Market, and GreenSpace & Go. All of the food options will be vegan.

There will be over 50 exhibits featuring animal-free products and service providers.

SO… ARE YOU ABOUT THAT PLANT-BASED LIFE?

Transitioning to a vegan diet and lifestyle can seem very overwhelming at first, but there are many experts and resources that can help you. Attending an event like V313 is a great place to start because you will find just about all of the resources you need.

Educational workshops, cooking demonstrations, and plant-based businesses will be featured at V313 to guide you with any concerns or questions you may have.

Your favorite celebrities and community leaders who are vegan are also great resources for understanding a plant-based lifestyle.

Just remember, when making a decision to go vegan, you need to first speak with your healthcare and provider and second…DO YOU! Make a life decision that you know is right for you and not just a trend for the moment.


For more information about V313, pleases visit the website by clicking HERE.

Special thanks to John Bartdorf for taking the time to interview with Good Life Detroit!

All V313 photographs are courtesy of V313/MI Green Team.


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