If you follow me over on Instagram, you may have seen my #unlikelyvegan hashtag.  This is where I showcase others living this lifestyle, aiming to show the diverse faces of veganism.

Why the term ‘Unlikely Vegan’?

Many people have a stereotypical image of a vegan in their minds.  The cliché is different for different people.  Weak, skinny, hippy, weird, hipster, malnourished – these are all words that can come up. There’s often a bit of a misconception in society that in order to be a card-carrying vegan, you must live in a commune, avoid showering at all costs, and have a best friend called Tofu.

Hey – there’s nothing wrong with wearing tie dye & hugging trees, if that’s your thing – but I aim to show that there are many faces of modern veganism – yes, some may fit the above criteria, but most don’t.

Please check out the stories below of the people (celebs & non-celebs) who I’ve featured so far…

If you’d like to be featured in this series, hashtag your Instagram pics with #unlikelyvegan & tell me your vegan story.  I’ll also be releasing the short documentary film, ‘Unlikely Vegan’, later in 2015.

 

Unlikely Vegans

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Guys
Timothy AKA @mississippivegan on Instragram).

@mississippivegan on Instagram is an #unlikelyvegan. Unlikely Vegan Project on Claire Dicarlo - Compassion and Comedy www.clairedicarlo.com #unlikelyvegan #mississippivegan #brusselsvegan #veganblog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read His Story
@thumperb_

@thumperb_ #unlikelyvegan

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This is @thumperb_ (you’re welcome ladies). He says: “I became a vegetarian when I was at college. I was living with my parents and we got a new kitten, a posh pedigree one and it was absolutely beautiful. And then I saw this article on the news about people in China resorting to eating cats because they were poor and I was absolutely horrified! And so it got me thinking about the lambs who lived in the field just round the corner from my house and that’s basically how I made the connection. I stopped eating meat straight away and that was that for about 6 years when I met a vegan. She asked me why I still ate dairy and I asked her why I wouldn’t. So she explained it to me and again I was horrified! I did some research for a few months and gradually cut everything out that I was still eating. Some things were easy, obviously the cheese was the hardest. Didn’t take me too long though, only a month or so. And I’ve never intentionally cheated since then. I once ate a non vegan naan but apart from that I’m pretty 100%! That was November 2013 when I became fully vegan. I think most male vegans are quite unlikely, definitely British and American ones, I’m not sure about other cultures. But eating a big stack of ribs is seen as manly here for some unknown reason. It’s far from in my opinion.” I’d love to know – do you find it’s common that men face more stigma over living an ethical lifestyle than women? My fiancé is often made fun of at work for being vegan, whereas I haven’t personally faced much mocking behaviour from others. I do tend to meet many more female than male vegans in the UK & Australia. Would love to know your experiences!

David – AKA @a_fist_full_of_hummus

Unlikely Vegan - A Fist Full of Hummus - from www.clairedicarlo.com #veganfirefighter #veganfireman #veganstory #vegan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read His Story

 

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Girls
@jenniferbenisz

jenniferbenisz

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“April 2013 I just wasn’t feeling 100% and felt like I could feel better if I knew how to eat better. I was in a book store and saw ‘The Beauty Detox Solution’ by Kimberley Snyder. I bought the book and overnight decided to go vegan! Within 2 days of following the recommendations in the book I felt like a new person and haven’t looked back. It’s created a new passion for me, which is having an incredibly healthy diet and living in harmony with the planet and it’s creatures.” Did anyone else find that book helpful? It was actually the first one I read too! My first introduction to green smoothies…

@fruit_lover_me

fruitloverme

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“I’m a 23y.o. psychology student from Armenia. It’s about a year since I came to veganism. It wasn’t very difficult after watching Earthlings and reading The China Study. I was so shocked about all those things! Now I’m surprising people around me because veganism in Armenia is so unpopular – we don’t have any vegetarian restaurants, although there are so many excellent fruits and veggies here! Anyway, I hope that one day I’ll be able to open my own vegan restaurant and turn more people to veganism. Just need to show how amazing this lifestyle is.” Any other Armenian vegans reading this?! Check out @fruit_lover_me – would love to see you guys connecting ☺

@fruitupp

fruitupp

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“My name is Sasha & I am 23. I have been vegetarian since I was 2, and vegan for the past two years. I came to this lifestyle through health concerns and education and awareness of the injustices and violence perpetuated unknowingly by humans as species. I am an unlikely vegan because I come from a russian / Ukrainian heritage (in which meat is much too prominent), but my parents, two sisters, and two grandparents are all vegan” How rad to have vegan grandparents!!!

@karamalo_

karamalo

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“I have a full time job and go to grad school at night so I always have to bring food with me. My classmates always ask why I bring so many bananas to class.” Beautiful glowing face of a lovely plant based girl! Hopefully all those bananas will be good brain food for those studies!

@kaleingtime

kaleingtime

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“I’m an art teacher, & my students always ask, ‘Ew, what are you drinking?!'” Show her some love if you’d love to have a green smoothie drinking teacher!!!

Tegan Steele – AKA @vegiegirl_

Unlikely Vegan - Tegan Steele AKA Vegie Girl - She Tells the Story of How Her Mother Healed Crohn's Disease With a Vegan Plant Based Diet - From Claire Dicarlo - Compassion & Comedy www.clairedicarlo.com #crohns #vegan #unlikelyvegan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Her Story

 

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Celebrities

Betty White

bettywhite

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The former Golden Girl just celebrated her 93rd birthday with a yummy vegan cake. Betty has been a vegetarian for over three decades. Nowadays, she’s not just a committed vegan, but also a serious animal rights activist, saying she “could never see [herself] eating a best friend”. She still works as an actress and leads an active lifestyle at 93 years old. I hope I’m as healthy at her age!
 

Maggie Q

maggieqvegan

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I have a major girl crush on this actress and am loving the TV series ‘Stalker’ she stars in (along with Dylan McDermott – who’s my ONLY celeb man crush since 1997) 😉 Maggie was vegetarian for many years before becoming completely vegan a couple of years ago & in particular, she has championed a plant based diet in Asia (she’s half Vietnamese). I lived in Korea for a year & also spent time in Vietnam & SE Asia – I think it’s great that she’s spreading the meat free message there. Although Asian cuisine was traditionally high in veggies and low on meat, this has been changing in recent years as meat has become more of a status symbol of wealth, & Western fast food chains have moved in. I salute Maggie Q! Not only has she made her name by playing kick ass action heriones and doing her own stunts, but she also looks glowing and healthy. All powered by plants.
 

Sia

sia

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Sia is one of my favourite performers – and people! The voice behind hits like Chandelier, Breathe Me & Elastic Heart, & the songwriting talent behind hit like Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’ & Beyoncé’s ‘Pretty Hurts’. If you’ve never heard her perform live – YouTube it. Her acoustic, off-the-cuff version of Titanium on the Howard Stern show is mesmerising. Truly a raw talent and all around cool girl.

 

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Athletes

@theveganengineer

theveganengineer

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This is Johnny – AKA @theveganengineer He says: “I went fully vegan about a year ago, after a few months of being vegetarian. My wife and I have always been health conscious, so that’s what led us to a plant-based diet in the first place. We then began researching more about where meat comes from, as there was a clear disconnect between the food and the animal (as there is for most people). We couldn’t believe what was going on. Once we found out, we were no longer on just a plant-based diet. We began to remove cruelty from our lives entirely, from clothing to cleaning supplies, because we didn’t want to support that kind of behavior. I guess that’s the point when we actually became full-on vegan. As far as being an unlikely vegan, I guess people wouldn’t immediately assume I’m a vegan because I’m not small and frail, which is the stereotype (especially for men). I’m 6′-1″, 200lbs. I do yoga everyday along with either a run or lift, so about 2 hours of working out each day. My wife and I have been able to build muscle on a vegan diet with no problems, eating mostly raw fruits and veggies. I fully endorse the vegan lifestyle for everyone. I think new vegans should track the nutrients of all foods consumed to ensure that they’re hitting the proper values for their macro and micronutrients. But if you’re eating a variety of fruits and veggies, you should have no problem nutritionally being healthy, building muscle, or whatever your goals are.”
 

Meg Aro – @that.crazy.vegan.trainer

crazyvegantrainer

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“I’ve been fully vegan for almost a year now, before that I was vegetarian for a few months. I was raised in a house that ate meat and dairy regularly. For me it started out for health reasons and honestly convenience (cooking meat is a lot of work!). I noticed that whenever I ate dairy products my stomach didn’t really agree with me. I felt bloated, and had stomach aches. So I began to cut it out and do research. The more I learned about veganism, the more it made sense to me for multiple reasons (health, environment, ethics). I read a lot and watched a couple documentaries on our food industry and really learned how our food, specifically animal products, is handled. I was shocked. I had been so disconnected from the products that I had been buying my whole life in the supermarket, to the actual animal that it came from. I felt like I could finally see clearly. Abstaining from consumption of animal products was no longer just a choice, it was a necessity. Cruelty just isn’t appetizing. I’m a personal trainer, I know a lot about nutrition and how our bodies respond to the fuel we put in it. I can honestly say athletically I’m performing better than I ever have. I run, lift, and do yoga; I work out for about 2 hours a day, and I’m completely fuelled by plants. The misconception about vegans not being able to build muscle is just silly. Both my husband and I have been able to build muscle while being vegan. That being said our diet is extremely clean, consisting of mostly raw fruits and vegetables. It just comes down to food choices.”

@kestyoga

kestyoga

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“People think that vegans (& especially male vegans) can’t build muscle or become elite athletes. The phrase, “Where do you get your protein from?” is one we’ve all heard!” Well @kestyoga certainly proves that a diet of plants can indeed result in a buff bod and an athletic lifestyle!!

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Kids & Teens

@veganconnor

veganconnor

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This is @veganconnor & he says: “My name’s Connor and I am 14. I was in a very dark time in my life when I found veganisim. I started off for the health aspects of a plant based diet –  mainly to cure my extreme fatigue. Some days I could barely stand I was so tried. But shortly after, I also discovered the ethical reasons why we should not consume animal products.  I tried so many different things but never made the connection to plant foods. Today I have the most energy in my life. I ALWAYS feel alive and positive. So many people think of the stereotypical vegan being weak and tired. To me this is nothing but opposite. I am very fortunate to have had amazing supportive parents throughout my journey to health. I have learned more in the last year than in my whole life about who I am and what my true purpose is in life. Being vegan is definitely without a doubt the best thing I have EVER done in my life. #veganforlife️” What an inspirational young man Connor is – would love to hear about more teenagers who are living this lifestyle.

Vegan Kids

vegankids

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It’s still quite uncommon for kids to be vegan & I’m sure these parents all face their fair share of surprised looks when they share how their kids eat. Lovely to see how these children are thriving, & I’m glad Instagram accounts like this exist to inspire those of us who don’t yet have little mouths to feed.  Kudos to the parents for showing everyone another cute side to veganism ☺ Clockwise from top left: @ellenfisher’s little cutie Elvis enjoying some juicy mango @xwillfx’s girl Vivian sporting a fetching bubble beard @v_reich’s coconut loving daughter & @bakedbeansmakeyoufart’s son enjoying a nice potato feast
 

Indie

indievegan

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This is @kingcookdaily’s beautiful raw vegan daughter Indie! @kingcookdaily is an awesome vegan chef and his baby girl is thriving on her plant based diet. Here she is enjoying a yummy #greensmoothie ☺ A baby/toddler is not what most people picture when they think of a vegan, but it’s becoming more and more common to raise children on this type of diet. It’s certainly how I plan to raise mine!

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Parents

@rickardmelin

rickardmelin

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“So, I’m about to turn 35, and became a vegan when I was 16 years old. The reason was that I got involved in the animal liberation movement and that changed me a lot. Now, many years later, I still belive in all the ideals, but I feel more like the vegan lifestyle is a gift to me, and not a sacrifice. My lifestyle today is very active since I’m a single father of two little daughters and I love to work-out. Vegan food gives me the energy I need to maintain good health. One of the best choices I’ve made.” Don’t you just have massive respect for all the single dads out there?!

Stay tuned for more of these – will be adding new stories all the time! 

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