one who travels indefinitely, with no long-term abode, while avoiding all forms of animal exploitation and abuse as far as is possible and practicable
early 21st century; from vegan - ‘a person who does not eat or use animal products’, and nomad - ‘a person who does not stay long in the same place’
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The 5 Best Drama-Free Vegan YouTubers
9 min read
This post was written about 6 years ago, so most likely contains out-dated information.
The only drama the following YouTubers bring is on the animal agriculture industry.
There's a lot of vegan YouTubers out there nowadays, but it takes only a quick glance at the recommended videos for virtually any vegan clip to figure out that intertwined with a lot of the most prominent members of this online community is some serious drama.
It takes just as little time to realise that all this back and forth is nearly always just peddling petty soap-opera dramatics for the specific intention of attracting more views, because in the land of YouTube, more views directly equates to more money.
This guy responds to this, this girls reaction to that, this guy vs this girl and so on and so forth... Response videos have their place in activism, but so often it's just a shallow addition of pointless squabbling to what is otherwise a very important social movement.
But laying beneath the soap-opera are some seriously well-made videos.
So with the year slowly coming to its conclusion, I have collected below my favourite drama-free vegan YouTubers that keep calm beneath the storm, stay true to the cause, and continually put out useful, informative, original content.
Micheal Greger is the man behind the epic NutritionFacts.org website. It's his brainchild, he's running the show and it's his easily-recognisable voice you hear in every video.
I consider Michael Greger's videos to be essential. Not just essential for vegans, and not just essential for health-conscious vegans either, but essential for humans.
Nutrition Facts is a registered charity, and Greger and his team of researchers are very active. Together they read every nutrition-related study published in the English language and turn it into an educational 5 minute or less nutrition lesson. Which to me, sounds way better than reading the studies myself.
His channel has over 1,400 videos and counting, with new ones posted literally every day, so you can be sure they are steadily bringing us all the facts from all those studies they read.
If you already subscribe to his videos on YouTube or Facebook and see all the latest releases, it's easy to get lost in the sea of very specific, reductionist science, and lose sight of the main point of his channel: to advise people to eat as many whole plant foods as they can.
To people new to this channel, I can't stress how incredibly informative his videos are. Every statement he makes is backed up scientific literature, and the links to the references are included on his website (though not on YouTube) below every video.
Interspersed on his channel among all the 5-minute summaries are longer, more detailed videos (usually an hour or more) that he generally releases at the end of each year and serve as a summary of that year's most important findings.
I don't think it's an exaggeration at all to call his YouTube channel and website the most definitive and easily accessible collection of accurate nutrition advice on the internet. The good news for vegans is, in the words of Dr Greger himself, "the most ethical diet just so happens to be the most environmentally sound diet and just so happens to be the healthiest."
If you're vegan, and you talk to people, ever, then I'm certain there is something you can learn from Ed's videos.
Earthing Ed's channel is the best online example of street activism I've ever seen. By a long shot. There are some truly cringe-worthy examples of questionable activism on YouTube, even from very well established animal activists you wouldn't expect it from. But Ed has his style down to a "T".
Ed's deal is basically all about education and awareness. Which I resonate with wonderfully as I too believe the lack of awareness and education about where our meat comes from, and what it does to our bodies once it's in them, to be the root causes of carnism. This is why his channel is based on street activism.
Along with his world-class street activism, Ed's uploads are also scattered with more intimate v-log style clips and a couple "Reading Vegan Hate Comments" clips that are equal parts hilarious and educational.
If you're in the UK, you might also know him as the creator of The Land of Hope and Glory 45 minute video, which he describes as the "UK Earthlings".
Ed's interview style of asking questions 90% of the time, and giving facts the other 10%, make the person he's talking to feel like they are truly being listened to and understood - because they are - and not just being hit with a barage of statistics as most activists try to inflict on their victims with limp hope that some of them will penetrate the ego-armour of the listener and actually get understood.
But instead of pushing his compassionate views down their throats, Ed asks the right questions to get people to realise their own logical fallacies, which is a far more powerful way of getting people to actually listen to you than the more popular debate-style you see most activists doing.
Realising the true implications of something for yourself is really the only way to properly understand anything. You can continue to drop knowledge on someone until their head is bruised, but if you can't get them to look at those facts with open, willing eyes, then all you're going to give them is a headache.
Earthling Ed and his relentless activist work make him a real guiding light for all vegans. And considering he's only been vegan for about two years, I'm looking forward to unexpectedly grand things from him in the future.
I dunno about you, but I don't personally enjoy having to sit through 15 minutes of some "celebrity" chef with a half-way entertaining personality telling me something that can be told just as well in a snappy one minute video.
Enter BOSH TV.
They're London based cooking channel that cuts through the fat and delivers only the necessities in short, punchy well-edited cooking clips.
While being mostly known for their Facebook-famous ninety-seconds-or-less recipe videos, they recently expanded their delicious talents to YouTube.
They seem to understand that attention spans are short in this day and age, so they waste no time and bring every mouthwatering recipe quicker than their competitors. As such, they put out some of the best and concise cooking videos around, showcasing a different range of plant-based cuisine in a uniquely short time frame.
The BOSH Facebook page is already incredibly popular, with over 1.4 million likes, and it's not uncommon for their videos on there to get over 10 million views either.
But their YouTube channel is comparatively new, with the first video's only being uploaded three months before this blog post was made, so the view count there is quite lame in contrast. But this is okay, because the videos are exactly the same.
Only time will tell if their style translates as well to the YouTube platform, but their content is so legit, and they put out videos so regularly that I can see only positive things for the future of their YouTube page, and wish them nothing but success.
Mic the Vegan (pronounced Mike the Vegan) could be summarised as a younger Michael Greger, with a better beard, more jokes, and more engaging video editing... No Offense Dr Greger, you know I love you.
Overall Mic has much longer, more entertaining videos than NutritionFacts.org, and, like Michael Greger, he seems to cite all the articles and studies he references in his videos as well, so you can be pretty damn sure he's trustworthy. Mic the Vegan just has much, much fewer videos: 171 compared to 1141 at the time of writing this.
When you look at his stats, Mic is killing actually it though, with 171,000 subscribers for his 171 uploads, and it only takes a watch of one of his videos to know why: He's as entertaining as he is educational and keeps his videos visually engaging and very well paced. A perfect combination for success.
Mic the Vegan is legit, and he clearly knows what he's talking about - the science is on his side. His videos cover categories including: debunking diet myths, investigating disease causes and cures, environmental and ethical topics and vegan investigative journalism.
Mic describes himself as "a vegan science writer that covers a variety of topics from the health effects of a vegan diet and the environmental impact of eating animal products to the sociological phenomenon of casual animal exploitation.
"Based in the U.S., he regularly tackles debunking the myths that perpetuate harmful dietary and lifestyle behaviours - all with a drop of humour that only he thinks is funny."
I'm not sure why, but when I think of the term "vegan activist" I don't think of someone who writes articles or books, makes videos, has conversations with people on the streets or gives speeches - even though these all are very effective forms of activism - I think first of people who go into slaughterhouses and "ruffle some feathers." People who walk along the fine edge of the law to do what they know to be morally correct. I think of people who put themselves personally on the line for the animals.
Basically, I think of people like Joey Carbstrong.
Regularly sporting "Vegan Straight Edge" hoodies, flashing his vegan head tattoos to the camera and generally looking like the gang member he used to be, it's quite surprising when you first hear how respectfully and articulately he communicates with people from all walks of life.
Joey Carbstrong was initially one of Earthling Ed's (featured above) inspirations to do more vegan activism, as he says in the video below. Joey has more engaging video editing than most activists, regularly incorporating clips from doctors, undercover slaughterhouse videos and other clips into his talks to drive his point home stronger. Joey has said he bases his one-on-one talks on the same Socratic method as Earthling Ed, and you can see from their videos how similar their styles are.
Aside from one on one interviews, Joey attends many activists events like Anonymous for the Voiceless, truck stops, and films what goes on inside slaughterhouses so we don't have to go there ourselves.
Below is the latest video from Joey at the time of writing this article, where he and other activists storm a slaughterhouse and demand justice for a calf who was stomped by a worker.
Will all these YouTubers stay out of the drama, or as their channels age will they be forced to succumb to what so many others have already and start personally attacking other vegans just to "stay relevant"?