International Women’s Day (IWD) is an annual event held on March 8th to appreciate and celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and cultural and political achievements of women [https://www.internationalwomensday.com/]. On this day, we not only reflect and celebrate all the progress we have made but also call for action to accelerate gender equality in our society.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, we would like to display special appreciation to some of the most empowering and inspiring women in the world today and from the past who are/were on plant-based diet!
1. Greta Thunberg
17 years old climate activist, Greta Thunberg has been nominated for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for her eye-opening work in recent years calling out the politicians around the world to take immediate actions against Global Climate Change. She has been on the front line of climate activism for quite some time now, inspiring the whole world to become aware of the climate crisis we are facing today. Greta Thunberg herself at a young age saw the link between climate change and animal agriculture and openly acclaimed to the public that she herself is indeed vegan.
“I am Vegan. I don’t eat animal products. I don’t use animal products because of ethical, environmental and climate reasons.”
2. Serena & Venus Williams
Two of the greatest tennis players in the world, the Williams sisters are both huge advocates of the plant-based diet. Venus William was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in 2011 and adopted a strict plant-based diet on the recommendation of her doctor. Venus Williams said: “I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and I wanted to maintain my performance on the court. Once I started, I fell in love with the concept of fuelling your body in the best way possible [through raw, vegan food].” Venus's sister, Serena Williams also began to eat a predominantly plant-based diet after her sister was diagnosed with autoimmune disease.
The Williams sister holds thirty Grand Slam titles combined!
3. Billie Eilish, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande & Sia
The 18 years-old, American Pop-star Billie Eilish swept the board at the Grammys this year, winning a total of FIVE awards, including best new artist and best song of the year. Billie has been very outspoken about Veganism, encouraging her 26 million followers to go Vegan for the animals and the environment. “Our earth is warming up and our oceans are rising” Eilish said
Miliey Cyrus, Ariana Grande, and Sia, the top female pop-stars of the 21st century, are also huge advocates of Veganism.
4. Joan Jett
Considered as one of the greatest female rock stars of all time, Joan Jett has been on that Plant-Based ride way before it became mainstream. She first adopted the plant-based diet in the late 1980s after reading the "Diet for a New American" by John Robbins. In 2018, Joan Jett told New York Daily News that she is "very close to vegan." She has been eating predominantly Plant-Based for more than 30 years now! Plus, Joan has always been very vocal about her diet and beliefs!
“A lot of things converged in my life then – musically, emotionally – but mainly it was my love of animals and spending so much time touring that made me decide I had to change my diet.”
5. Coretta Scott King (1927-2006)
King? Does this sound familiar to you at all? Yes, you could probably guess. Coretta Scott King, the wife of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, was in fact vegan herself. Like her husband, Coretta was also a civil rights activist and fought for racial and economic justice, carrying out Martin Luther King Jr's legacy after his death.
Dexter Scott King, the second son of Martin and Coretta, first became vegan when he was 7 years old after the death of his dad and persuaded his mom, Coretta to adopt veganism into her life. Coretta and Dexter believed that veganism was the logical reflection of Martin Luther King Jr’s philosophy of non-violence
Coretta once said veganism was "the next logical extension of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, philosophy of non-violence."
6. Rosa Parks (1913-2005)
Often referred to as the "first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement," Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her bus seat to a while passenger which ignited the whole civil rights movement, was vegetarian for almost half of her life. “For over forty years, I’ve been vegetarian. Growing up, my family had little money— I had health problems early in life because of poor nutrition. Eating healthy is a priority for me," said Rosa Parks.
7. Audre Lorde (1934-1992)
Audre Lorde described herself as a "black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet." She dedicated her entire life to confront the injustices of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia via her creativity. Moreover, she also fought for the rights of the animals by choosing to stop participating in the consumption of animal products. Audre once said, "there is no such things as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives."
8. Anna Kingsford (1846-1888)
Anna Kingsford was one of the first English women to obtain a degree in medicine. She was also a vegetarian and an opponent of vivisection. Anna Kingsford refused to participate in any animal experiments during her degree and became the only medical student ever to graduate without having to experiment on a single animal at the time. Her final thesis, L'Alimentation Végétale de l'Homme, was on the benefits of vegetarianism. Later in her life, Anna Kingsford founded the Food Reform Society to spread the awareness of vegetarianism.