Honoring 10 Amazing Vegan Women On International Women’s Day

Jo-Anne McArthur, photojournalist, WeAnimals.org

Today, we are celebrating International Women’s Day. Women are amazing for a multitude of reasons, and especially when it comes to demonstrating kindness and integrity. Research has consistently shown that women are more compassionate in general, and particularly when it comes to animals. We’re statistically more likely to have a problem with animal exploitation and experimentation, more likely to keep pets, and less likely to abuse them.

Likewise, women make up 75% of the membership of animal rights groups. In fact, feminists and animal activists have been working together for more than a century. Two prominent campaigners for women’s suffrage, Alice Wright and Edith Goode, lobbied the United Nations to give animals formal rights back in the 1940s—a proposition which is only just beginning to be considered today.

This International Women’s Day, we’d like to show our appreciation for just a few of the many incredible women around the globe who are using their voices and their talents to advance the vegan movement and to bring attention to the mistreatment and suffering of farmed animals.

Dotsie Bausch

When pro-cyclist Dotsie Bausch went vegan back in 2009, it was out of a desire to help animals, not to improve her athletic performance—but that’s exactly what happened, garnering Bausch a silver medal for Team USA at the 2012 Olympics. Since then, the Game Changers’ star has teamed up with her fellow athletes to found Switch4Good—a non-profit organization created to help educate the public about the benefits of ditching dairy and going vegan.

Sylvie Guillem

French ballerina Sylvie Guillem was the youngest “étoile” ever from Paris Opera Ballet and is widely considered to be one of the greatest dancers of our times. She became vegan eight years ago, when she “seriously questioned our habits and traditions, and realized the tragic impact and catastrophic consequences they have on animals, on the cultivated soil, on air, on water and on biodiversity.” Sylvie has been a dedicated animal activist ever since!

Xuxa Meneghel

Xuxa is a major Brazilian TV personality, who became famous for her 80s children’s TV show, Xou da Xuxa. In January 2018, after watching the acclaimed documentary Earthlings, she tweeted to announce that she had gone vegan as a result. Since then, she has become a vocal advocate for veganism through her social media channels and TV shows. She also participates in various animal rights campaigns run by different animal protection organizations.

Jesusa Rodriguez

Jesusa Rodriguez is a prominent theater director, actress, and performance artist in Mexico. She is currently also the Senator of the Mexican Republic. On the International Women’s Day of 2019 she said: “We must not forget the females of all species, who are being exploited. All females of all species deserve to live, they are equal to humans. We are all the same. We are all the same.”

Thanks to Jesusa, the Mexican Senate now serves plant-based options to its legislators and staff.

Natalie Portman

A vegetarian since age nine, Natalie made the switch to vegan in 2011 after reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s acclaimed book, Eating Animals. She then went on to both produce and narrate the documentary, Eating Animals. Natalie is a great advocate for the vegan lifestyle, particularly via her Instagram page where she often talks about the environmental and health benefits of going vegan, and shares many of her favorite recipes.

Jo-Anne McArthur

Canadian photojournalist, educator, author and animal rights activist Jo-Anne McArthur is the founder of We Animals Media —a global media agency dedicated to making visible the lives of animals trapped in the human world. Jo-Anne has been awarded a range of commendations for her impactful work, including the 2018 Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice award. She is the author of two books, We Animals (2014), and Captive (2017), and she spends six to eight months a year traveling around the world to document the stories of animals.

Evanna Lynch

Best known for playing Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films and for reaching the final on Dancing with the Stars, Evanna is not only seriously talented, she is a thoughtful and committed vegan. She never fails to speak up for animals in an encouraging, positive and inclusive way, including through her own ChickPeeps podcast where she tackles some of the thornier issues that vegans and the v-curious face.

Luisa Mell

Luisa is an animal rights activist​, actress and TV presenter in Brazil. She was a vegetarian for almost a decade before going vegan in 2013. In 2015 she funded the Instituto Luisa Mell, a non-profit organization that cares for street dogs and cats, and in 2019 she announced that construction had begun on her animal sanctuary for wildlife ​and farmed animals. Luisa is a tireless voice for the animals, who has participated in several animal rescues, supports our vegan food solidarity work, and continually inspires her fans to choose a kinder lifestyle.

Sofia Sisniega

Sofia is a Mexican film, theater and television actress. She is also a plant-based animal rights activist who regularly collaborates with prominent animal rights organizations. A few years ago, she spoke on behalf of Animal Equality in order to help promote their iAnimal virtual reality project; a project designed to show people the abject suffering that cows and calves endure in the dairy industry.

Señorita Bimbo

Señorita Bimbo is an Argentinian comedian who advocates for feminism, animal rights and against fatphobia. In an interview last year, she said: “People’s heads explode when they hear a fat woman talking about veganism. ‘But didn’t you lose weight?’ they ask. No, I eat all the plants that exist! Being vegan is a very specific ethical stance, and it translates into many aspects beyond food…. Veganism is here, now. You eat something different, and you start. Then, you generate something different; in your body, in the economy, and in reality. It is a very primitive act to eat an animal, and it has been proven that we no longer need to.”

There are many, many more vegan women we celebrate on International Women’s Day, and every other day, too.

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