For the premier post in this series, I wanted to start with some of my favorites (and one of my least favorites). I understand that some people will disagree with my comments and ratings. That’s okay. These are my thoughts and my ratings of these YouTube channels and personalities. I will try to update these as things change. If a channel changes, becomes defunct, or if the person quits veganism I will try to note those things. Feel free to send a message if I have factual errors.
Ryan and Anji are something like the aunt and uncle of the vegan YouTube community. They are happy, positive, and upbeat. They are an endearing couple, approachable and authentic. And I love how their response videos remain focused on the issue instead of devolving into personal attacks. I hope one day to meet these two.. so brilliant. This is definitely one of my favorite channels, and the one I’d recommend if anyone wanted just one vegan YouTube channel to watch.
As with all YouTubers I enjoy, my favorite thing about Mic. is how upbeat and positive he is in his approach. He comes armed with facts, and has studied at the Happy Healthy Vegan school when it comes to response videos. These videos are never attacks on the person, but stay focused on the subject. I’d like to see more vlog style and maybe cooking videos, but he’s doing an excellent job with what he’s putting out there.
JackoWacko is such a ball of energy and seems to be just loving his life. Even when he has tried to say something negative about some person or video, it is clear that he just doesn’t have that in him. And that is fantastic to me. I’m addicted to his videos when he is home by himself eating mock meat or doing responses of some sort, but when his young son is around he transforms. And for the better. JackoWacko seems to be in love with being a dad, and just loves that kid so much he just can’t seem to contain it. It makes his channel feel so special and honest. I can’t wait to see where he takes this. It helps that he is adorable.
Mukbang queen MommyTang has been a little more elusive in 2017, but I am absolutely addicted to her videos. She is amusing and so much fun. Her channel is all about her mukbangs where she makes herself lunch, often surrounded by her kids, and eats it while talking about life. Recipes are regularly Korean-inspired and nearly always she enjoys them while eating kimchi. This is another one who stays away from drama that plagues YouTube communities. While she used to release a daily video, they are more sporadic now. Sit with her and enjoy a meal.
This is a fairly straightforward cooking channel. Eli is working his way through the popular vegan cookbook The Veginomicon. He’s fun and engaging, and his instruction is easy to follow.
YouTube Channel: The Vegan Test Kitchen
The brainchild of Dr. Michael Greger, this is an absolutely genius channel. Because he does not have corporate sponsors, I feel like he is not compelled to mislead his viewers. Dr. Greger goes through all the latest studies to compile the latest nutrition information in a relatable way. He is only concerned with peer-reviewed studies that when complied can lead to a conclusion about how people are designed to eat. Along with his website, this is a must view for anyone interested in their own health. And while Dr. Greger recommends a vegan diet (and has worked with the Humane Society), this is not strictly a “vegan” channel. As far as this channel is concerned, Dr. Greger seems to neither know nor care what is going on in the world of pop nutrition studies (the sexy ones that tell you that your bad eating choices are fine) or the vegan community on YouTube… and that can be really refreshing
I have a love-hate relationship with Vegan Gains. When he is on message, I tend to agree with him. He makes well-reasoned arguments that are difficult to refute. And he clearly knows a thing or two about fitness. But his passion tends to tip to anger or rage more quickly than I’d like. I often feel uncomfortable watching his videos because he is threatening people (mockingly, but still). That is something I could get past, but what I have not been able to get past is the way he talks about social issues. There are some vegans who are dismissive of injustices facing people because of the immediacy of the peril animals are in. I can see how a person arrives art this conclusion using logic, but I believe we are capable at being properly outraged at all types of injustice. We are all better when we are lifting each other up and treating one another with respect. I don’t believe we need to exclude anyone from that. I do still occasionally watch Vegan Gains’ videos, but until I see a change toward the understanding and compassion he has for other species extended to other types of humans, I probably won’t recommend him.
So, there are some of my thoughts on a few vegan YouTubers. I’ll post new lists of seven periodically. Keep an eye out for that. I’ll also be adding a page in the future where I’ll list these channels in an alphabetical list with a rating of some sort. I think YouTube is an important resource for new vegans and for those needing a brain reboot for their veganism. The problems arise from the sheer number of channels out there, and it can be difficult to navigate these channels if you are looking for a certain type of video. Hopefully these little reviews will help with that.