With nearly 60% of the population using social media it is no surprise that Animal Rights activists are using the power of an online presence to try and spread the vegan message. 

It cannot be disputed that through delivering passionate speeches, publicising slaughterhouse video footage and even showcasing the huge variety of delicious plant based food available today; these online activists will have influenced many to reconsider their lifestyle choices or even fully convert to veganism. 

Many activists dedicate hours a day to promoting a vegan lifestyle and bringing to light the cruel acts of the meat, diary and egg industry, often whilst facing a barrage of online abuse from non-vegans. Certainly not a job for the faint hearted! 

Over the years these activists have been adored by their followers, many grateful for the often unrewarding work that they do to help bring the vegan message mainstream, however, recently some influencers have faced criticism from within the vegan community. 


Many activists rely on donations in order to be able to continue to dedicate their time to projects such as content creation, attending/organising demonstrations, delivering speeches and in some cases hosting podcasts too.

With Covid-19 having impacted so many financially, many are arguing that now more than ever, donations should not be made to influencers, but instead made directly to animals in need and underfunded rescue sanctuaries. 

Some activists state that they also make donations to animals in need and their large platforms are simply a way to reach a larger audience, however, many of their followers feel that there can be a lack of transparency regarding how donation money is used. 


Australian activist James Aspey, most famously known for his 365 day vow of silence has recently faced a huge backlash over a request he made to his followers for donations in which he was not clear on what the donations would be used for. It later transpired that these donations were used to invest in a cryptocurrency. Many have accused James of being dishonest to his followers, by not stating beforehand that the donations would affectively be gambled rather than be used to help with the animal rights movement. This has lead to many sharing their disappointment online and calling for Aspey to refund his donations. 


Some activists such as Aspey have also faced criticism for not "getting their hands dirty" by rescuing animals themselves or directly supporting animal charities. Of course just like not all online activists campaign in the same way, some are more hands on than others too. Having already launched a non-profit vegan restaurant in 2018, in December last year Earthing Ed announced that he was opening an animal sanctuary called Surge, providing a "safe haven and forever home to abused and unwanted animals" 


Having been deeply moved by the documentary Earthlings, in fact this documentary is the reason we turned vegan, 

We feel strong that video footage and passionate speech can be a powerful way to reach many and be the eye opener needed to expose the extreme cruelty animals face everyday.

Online influencers can certainly help this message reach a much wider audience. 2021 saw the largest sign up to Veganuary ever, with the numbers set to grow year on year. 

You do not need to donate to influencers to admire and support their work, but it may well be worth digging deeper to find out how your money will be used before parting with your hard earned cash. 


We would love to hear your thoughts! Comment below and join the discussion!  



  • Hurtig Lane Team- Cerian: March 08, 2022
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    @Elisabeth I completely agree! I believe once money and fame come into things, sadly motive then becomes a bit of a grey area. I think it is possible that many have good intentions to start off with. When you stand by your pledge to remain flight-free and you turn down these offers, it is then clear that it is a cause you believe in and that you are doing it for the right reasons. 💚

  • Elisabeth: March 08, 2022
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    All these vegan celebrities / influencers are sickening me. Only Joackin Phoenix is humble and really does work for animal liberation. Earthlings opened my eyes too, in 2009, thanks to it I went vegetarian, and Cowspiracy along with Forks over Knives helped me go vegan later in 2016. I have met both James and Ed in Israel, at the biggest animal rights march in history. They are not humble. Especially James.
    He is a narcisist, very unstable personality. Ed…why didn’t he support the farm sanctuaries that already exist and struggle? I was in contact with him in 2018, while organizing the first official animal rights march in Athens, Greece. He first accepted to come talk but of course he wanted paid room and tickets. Then he went to the States, he became famous there, entered the unis and never answered again ever after.
    Humility is very important for me. I am not calling myself an influencer although I do affect many around me and people who I meet. I have denied to go and participate in conferences related to animal rights, because I find it so bad to take a plane and go somewhere for a day just to speak. I have pledged flight free since 2019 and all these vegan celebs who fly around the world to be present in places where people want them make me see only their egos get inflated.

  • Sarah : March 09, 2021
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    Ahhh, I don’t know how I found this, I was just google searching my video out of boredom I made about James Aspey and came across this. Feel free to give it a look. I had a feeling he was a con man as soon as he made the post asking for money with no saying why or what for. I knew something was wrong.


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