But that was before Paris Hilton. Reality television ushered in a whole new social system in which people like Hilton or the Kardashians could become famous for nothing more intrepid than going about their ordinary lives. And the Internet has taken the concept to a whole new level, with bloggers and vloggers and influencers who share their “wisdom” with thousands of followers who hang on their every word for no reason other than that they are generally young, good-looking and slim.
YouTube, for instance, has several channels run by vegans who have become famous for posting about their animal-free eating plans and lifestyles. Their online clips revolve around traveling, exercising and exhaustively revealing every plant-based morsel that crosses their lips. Recently, however, Vegan YouTube has imploded, as several of its most famous hosts have been caught eating animal protein after their way of eating has caused them to develop serious health problems. (Related: Whole health in holistic veganism -- letting the fat out of the bag.)
As reported by The Daily Beast, the rise of YouTube celebrity vegans really began with an Australian woman named Leanne Ratcliffe, known online as Freelee the Banana Girl. Ratcliffe claimed to have lost huge amounts of weight and beaten drug addiction by sticking to an extreme diet of virtually nothing but carbohydrates, including 50 bananas a day. She and her boyfriend, Durian Rider, eventually had millions of followers, but their star gradually waned after the media debunked their unhealthy eating plan and reported on some of their most controversial statements, including that fewer people would have died in the 9/11 terror attacks if so many fat people hadn't been blocking the stairwells. (Related: Vegans turn into cyberbullies, threaten high school students with pictures of dead animals.)
More recently, another famous YouTube vegan, Bonny Rebecca, confessed to her viewers that extreme digestive issues had forced her to change her diet and start eating meat again.
Then, another famous YouTube vegan celeb, Stella Rae, confessed that she, too, was quitting veganism because of bloating and digestive issues.
And then another famous raw food and vegan vlogger, RawAlignment, announced that she started eating fish back in December – though she only confessed after another famous YouTube vegan, Yovana Mendoza, known on YouTube as Rawvana, admitted that health problems had forced her to eat fish and eggs, but that she had continued to hide the fact from her thousands of loyal followers for months.
The Daily Beast reported:
[A] five-second video clip of vegan YouTuber Yovana Mendoza single-handedly brought down the luminous 28-year-old’s entire career. In it, you can see the raw food advocate, who goes by the name “Rawvana,” smiling at a restaurant in Bali as she prepares to tuck into her meal. But in an instant, the health guru’s face changes, as she realizes her friend’s camera is trained on her plate. She moves to cover it, but it’s too late. Internet sleuths watching the 10-minute vlog later would quickly deduce what Mendoza was trying to hide: a piece of fish.
Mendoza rushed to upload a video claiming she had only been eating fish for two months, as a remedy to the health complications she developed after six years as a vegan. But the damage was done. Former fans descended on her YouTube channel, Instagram and Twitter, posting emojis of fish and taunting her as “Fishvana.” Dozens of fellow vegan YouTubers posted horrified reactions to the scandal, unimaginatively dubbed “fishgate.”
Clearly, there is something “fishy” in the land of YouTube veganism. You really cannot trust a thing you see or read online anymore.
Learn more about the pros and cons of veganism at Nutrients.news.