These Black Vegans Who Save Animals Inspire PETA

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18 min read

What’s the secret to glowing melanin? Eating vegan and ditching animal flesh, eggs, and dairy “products.” Countless vegans of color out there are choosing health and consciousness over animal exploitation and death—proving that going vegan is for everyone.

Here are some Black vegans who will absolutely inspire you:

Chris Paul

NBA all-star Chris Paul has been vegan since 2019 and is a Beyond Meat ambassador, inspiring others to go vegan for the animals, the planet, and their own health.

“I tell my son that my job is to fight for progress and to look out for the next generation. This starts with taking care of myself so I have the fuel to push harder. What I put in my body matters now, more than ever.” – Chris Paul

Cam Newton

NFL quarterback Cam Newton is “Built Like a Vegan,” which means he’s strong, fast, and fueled for competition—all with the power of plants.

NFL Quarterback Cam Newton Vegan PETA Ad

“I’ve seen such a remarkable change in the way my body responds to the food that I eat.” – Cam Newton

Charity Morgan

Charity Morgan is a Le Cordon Bleu–trained chef to the stars, including NFL athletes, and she’s the author of the cookbook Unbelievably Vegan.

“When tearing your muscles down daily, lowering [inflammation] aids in faster recovery and fewer injuries. It is proven that a plant-based diet assists with this. In addition, [the athletes] have a lot more energy, increased stamina—no dips during the day, more mental clarity, and better sleep (and glowing skin as a perk)!” – Charity Morgan via VegOut

Haile Thomas

Activist and cookbook author Haile Thomas is inspiring a new generation of Black vegans with her delicious recipes and thoughtful words. She published her cookbook, Living Lively: 80 Plant-Based Recipes to Activate Your Power and Feed Your Potential, when she was only 19, and she opened a vegan tea café, Matcha Thomas, in May 2021. We can’t wait to see what she’ll do next!

“Veganism was an entry point for me to truly understand our connectivity, change my mindset/morals, and adopt true compassion and respect for life.” – Haile Thomas

Choice Bison

Choice Bison is an artist who uses his talent to expose the cruelties of animal agriculture. He has teamed up with PETA on a compelling mural in Brooklyn to remind people that going vegan is a step toward social justice.

“It’s time to question the sanity in normalcy—especially when it comes to our relationships with animals.” – Choice Bison

Genesis Butler

Teenage activist Genesis Butler was named PETA’s Young Animal Activist of the Year in 2019 for her work in raising awareness of animal rights issues.

“The exploitation of animals for food isn’t just an animal rights issue, it’s a climate issue, it’s an environmental racism issue, it’s a social justice issue, and it’s a human rights issue.” – Genesis Butler

Jenné Claiborne

Vegan chef, YouTuber, and blogger Jenné Claiborne is the mind behind Sweet Potato Soul. She shares delicious vegan recipes and gives tips for living a healthy lifestyle.

“I love cooking because I love to eat. I’m inspired by the comforting soul food I’d eat as a kid, flavors from cultures all around the world, what I happen to see at the farmer’s market, and social media food trends. My personal cooking style is all about flavor and color. I want everything I prepare to be exciting and interesting, even if it’s something we’re all familiar with.” – Jenné Claiborne

Chef Joya

Adjoa Courtney, also known as “Chef Joya,” has been vegan from a young age, and she loves sharing soul-food recipes on her YouTube channel. She has also written four cookbooks full of flavor-packed recipes, all free of animal-derived ingredients.

“Being vegan has so many misconceptions and I’m here to break all of that down. As a vegan chef and influencer, I don’t transition others with the power of fear, I believe in the power of Love.” – Chef Joya

Pinky Cole

Founder of Atlanta restaurant Slutty Vegan Pinky Cole helped PETA kick off our food-justice campaign, which is an initiative to redirect meat, egg, and dairy industry subsidies toward incentives for grocers in food deserts to stock fresh vegetables, fruits, and other healthy, vegan foods.

Pinky Cole at PETA event

“We’ve made veganism fun and accessible at Slutty Vegan and are all about indulging in the little pleasures life brings.” – Pinky Cole

Soul Eubanks

Animal activist Soul Eubanks is behind Black Vegan Everything, which helps bolster Black-owned vegan businesses.

“If you want less discrimination in the world you can start by not supporting discrimination on your plate, go vegan.” – Soul Eubanks

Tyra June

Tyra June is the owner of Vegan Girl Gang, a clothing company with an activist message. She’s also the voice behind the podcast Kombucha Hour, tackling issues related to veganism, social justice, and intersectionality.

“All animals are worthy of the same human consideration and compassion we give to other animals that humans have deemed worthy. Who are we to determine which animals deserve to live and which animals deserve to die? It’s the social norm that is human supremacy and dominion.” – Tyra June

Tabitha Brown

Influencer and actor Tabitha Brown has inspired us all with her bright personality and delicious vegan food. PETA named her our Person of the Year in 2020 for showing her over 9 million followers how to create healthy vegan meals.

“I love people and animals so my mission is to get people healthier by not eating animals or animal products. The more people I get to try a vegan lifestyle, the more animal lives I save in the process! It’s a win-win.” – Tabitha Brown to Chowhound

Stewart Mitchell

Stewart Mitchell (aka “the Vigilante Vegan”) is an author and activist who has written two books geared toward children and young adults, Kayla the Vegan and Liberation Summer. He has also shown up at PETA protests and events, even helping us hand out free vegan Thanksgiving roasts at a food-justice campaign event.

ThanksVEGAN? PETA and ‘Vigilante Vegan’ Hand Out Free Meatless Roasts

“Sometimes it’s hard to get adults to listen to what we are saying in regard to animals and our planet, because they don’t want to do the work necessary to create change. Children’s minds are still developing, and they’re curious about the world around us. It’s our responsibility to give them the proper tools and knowledge to create positive change.” – Stewart Mitchell

Yvette Baker

Yvette Baker is an Afro-Indigenous activist who stands up for individuals of all backgrounds—including animals. She’s inspiring her followers to create a more inclusive world.

“As a fellow animal in a capitalistic society, I too know what it’s like to have your presence predicated upon profit—but for some of us, billions of us, it’s their entire existence.” – Yvette Baker

Dominique Williamson

Dominique Williamson is the author of the Vegan Hippie Sol cookbook, which is full of recipes inspired by her childhood growing up in the Deep South.

“I enjoy showing people how versatile vegan food is. My main objective with this platform is to eliminate the stigma surrounding veganism and introduce a vegan lifestyle to more people without judgement.” – Dominique Williamson

Tamearra Dyson

Tamearra Dyson is a vegan chef and owner of the restaurant Souley Vegan. She was even featured on an episode of Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay with fellow vegan chef Adyre Mason.

“So everything we serve is vegan and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want the world to see vegan food in a different light. It can be fun, exciting, delicious and filling.” – Tamearra Dyson

Dominick Thompson

Vegan athlete and activist Dominick Thompson is the creator of Eat What Elephants Eat, a nutrition and wellness program helping people fuel their bodies with vegan food.

“Please, consider going vegan if you haven’t already. It’s the best choice I have ever made in my life and I think it will be one of, if not, the best choices you will make in your life.” – Dominick Thompson

Jade Novah

R&B singer and viral sensation Jade Novah has a serious commitment to animal rights. When a leather company approached her for an endorsement deal, she turned it down, saying, “I won’t endorse anything that is not vegan-friendly.” Now that’s music to our ears.

Novah teamed up with PETA for a pro-vegan campaign that proclaimed, “Live in Color—Go Vegan for Life.” She speaks out for animals and also credits vegan living with helping her and her husband maintain their good health.

Black Vegans

“I think getting the information, watching the documentaries, really understanding the whole propaganda behind the meat industry and the animal industry in general—there’s so much corruption in it … gives you this mental clarity.”

Angela Means

Animal rights activist, star of Friday, and popular restaurateur Angela Means spreads compassion full-time by personally running Jackfruit Cafe, an all-vegan soul food spot in Los Angeles. Angela told PETA that she finds it fulfilling to bring these healthy options back to her community.

“Jackfruit Cafe was born in a little doughnut shop in the ‘hood. My home comedy club was there, so when I was able to come and help a Black community, that’s the one that I went back to.”

Cynthia Erivo

Nigerian British actor Cynthia Erivo pops up everywhere these days. You may know her from HBO’s The Outsider or from portraying American hero Harriet Tubman in the film Harriet. Before appearing on the big screen, she starred in The Color Purple on Broadway. Along the way, she’s picked up a Tony, an Emmy, a Grammy, and an award from PETA for her work. In addition to giving life to riveting stories of Black Americana, she is a regular at the gym and leads an active life that’s completely plant-powered.

“I don’t have dairy because I’m a singer and, quite frankly, I don’t want to mess around with my vocal [cords] and how those behave, and dairy is an allergen for me. I was cutting so many things out of my diet for health reasons—my body was letting me know that it wasn’t right for me—it ended up that being vegan was the most correct way for me to treat my body.”

Kimberly Elise

You may know Kimberly Elise from her roles in For Colored Girls, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, and The Manchurian Candidate. But did you know she’s also a PETA friend and enthusiastic vegan who has a blog about vegan recipes, health, and beauty advice? To kick the new year off right, we teamed up with her to release a radio public service announcement that promotes healthy and humane meat-free meals with the message “Live the healthy life you deserve—go on, try it!”

“[A]s I learned more about the abuses to animals and the way meat was brought to the table … it was just another motivation and reason for me to live the lifestyle that felt true to my soul and my spirit.”

Ava DuVernay

You may know Ava DuVernay, one of PETA’s Most Beautiful Vegan Celebrities of 2018, as the creative mind behind hit movies like Selma, 13th,  and A Wrinkle in Time. The barrier-breaking filmmaker has called going vegan a social justice issue for Black people.

“My mom always said to treat others like you like to be treated. … [E]veryone wants to be … respected and treated in a loving way.”

Kat Graham

Vampire Diaries star Kat Graham has worked with PETA to expose the filthy conditions that hens face on egg farms. She’s a high-profile supporter of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and a current member of GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). She’s helped create schools and clean wells across Africa, and she received an Emmy nomination for her short film about the Black Lives Matter movement. We’re honored to call such a kind, giving soul our friend.

“[C]ruelty and neglect are commonplace on egg farms all over the world. Please, please help these gentle birds and millions like them—it’s easy. Don’t eat eggs. They’re a product of intense suffering. You can help stop the abuse by going vegan like me.”

Persia White

Countless viewers went vegan after watching the shocking documentary Earthlings, and they can thank actor and singer Persia White, a co-producer of the film. Fun fact: White also portrayed Kat Graham’s mom on The Vampire Diaries. She is an active member of numerous animal rights organizations and was given PETA’s 2005 Humanitarian of the Year award. That’s vegan Black girl magic for you.

“Most people never see real animals dying nowadays, in modern society. People … wear and eat [animals] and contribute to such violence … every day … and the fact is, I think they should be shown.”

Styles P

Whether he’s solo or performing with the legendary LOX crew, hip-hop heads know Styles P as one of the greatest rappers ever. In recent years, Holiday Styles has also pushed for healthier eating habits in the Black community. He now runs numerous juice bars in New York with fellow LOX member Jadakiss.

“A plant-based diet kinda makes your soul lighter. I had a newfound respect for all life.”


Grey is a refreshing beacon in hip-hop and the animal rights movement. (Y’all remember that fire “Vegan Thanksgiving” rap he did that you made all your relatives watch?) After his partner, PETA campaigner and activist Nikki Ford, persuaded him to go vegan, he says his whole life changed.

“Once I started to understand what’s in the food that we eat and the effects it can have on the body, in addition to the obvious animal cruelty behind it—it was enough for me to start a new lifestyle.”

Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu is a soulful icon, longtime vegan, and advocate for healthy living in the Black community. In past interviews, she’s stated that her nutritious, vegan lifestyle helps keep her centered.

“The lifestyle that vegetarians lead automatically draws people’s attention to the vitality of the person. My vitality speaks for itself.”


The Wu-Tang Clan is for the children, and as the legendary RZA will let you know, living vegan is vital for a better tomorrow. The rapper, producer, and filmmaker (is there anything he can’t do?) considers animals, like his fellow humans, to be friends—and he urges everyone to go vegan.

rza, vegan celebrity

“I don’t need a dead animal or dead piece of flesh to go into my live body. There’s … nothing on this planet that doesn’t want to live.”

Dawn Richard

Singer-songwriter Dawn Richard grew up on crawfish and gumbo, but after her father was diagnosed with cancer, she decided to go vegan “cold turkey”—and hasn’t looked back.

Dawn, leather billboard

“It’s more than just food, it’s a lifestyle. … [M]y whole life has changed. I get up earlier, I want to exercise, I feel better, my skin feels better. … People [forget] that it starts with the animals, and we have misused them as if they are not like us.”

The multitalented musician first went vegan to improve his health. Since then, he’s spoken out regarding the immoral killing of animals for their flesh and corruption in the meat industry. Fans can hear his passion for living vegan in his lyrics. As he raps on “VIBRATIONS pt. 1 pt. 2,” “You eat the yellowtail—I’ma eat the plant-based. I ain’t chewing on no food with two eyes and a face.”

“For many years I would go to sleep and wake up tired. That’s because my body was processing God knows what type of crazy, wicked sh*t .… [T]here’s a force, a dark force, out there that is doing a very good job of keeping us all sick.”

Jermaine Dupri

Music mogul Jermaine Dupri is the genius behind some of the world’s greatest hip-hop and R&B albums ever. (TLC’s CrazySexyCool? You’re welcome.) He told PETA that going vegan over a decade ago improved his energy levels and left him feeling on point.

“[T]he vegan lifestyle, to me, is the best lifestyle. And I want to get the world into this.”


Singer-songwriter Mýa has starred in several PETA campaigns about living vegan and wearing animal-friendly fashion. She’s even published a free online guide to going vegan.

“I would definitely recommend [a vegan lifestyle], in every possible way, if you want to see a huge difference in your life. Give vegan a try—it’ll grow on you.

Babette Davis

Co-owner of the restaurant Stuff I Eat in Inglewood, California, world-class chef Babette Davis is an energetic inspiration who proves that true soul food can be healthy and completely vegan.

“This journey is not just about myself … it’s about all of us.”

Kirsten Ussery-Boyd and Erika Boyd

Kirsten and Erika co-founded Detroit Vegan Soul, a soul food restaurant that’s unapologetically vegan in a predominantly African-American and “meat and potatoes” city. The duo serves up vegan dishes familiar to the Black community, chipping away at the misconception that vegan food is intimidating or out of reach.

“For health, environmental, and ethical reasons, it’s imperative that we lose the baggage, drop the stereotypes, and begin to change our attitudes about what constitutes ‘good’ food.”

Tracye McQuirter

Inspired to go vegan some 30 years ago by PETA friend and iconic activist the late Dick Gregory, Tracye McQuirter has become a best-selling author (By Any Greens Necessary is probably the most dope title a vegan of color could ever name a book), public health nutritionist, activist, speaker, and vegan trailblazer. She founded the Black Vegetarian Society of New York, works on school-based initiatives to reverse childhood obesity, and has served as a nutrition consultant for the Black Women’s Health Imperative. To Tracye, being vegan is all about practicing love, freedom, and joy—not deprivation.

“[A]s a public health nutritionist, I can tell you that we’ve known for decades that plant foods are the healthiest foods to eat. The research has been clear and consistent for more than 50 years. Plant foods can prevent and reverse heart disease, our number one killer, as well as prevent and often reverse our other leading causes of death and disability, including stroke, diabetes, certain cancers, and obesity.”

Cory Booker

In 2013, Cory Booker made history by becoming New Jersey’s first Black senator. He’s known to promote his ethical vegan politics and even complained to President Barack Obama when Number 44 failed to offer vegan options at a cocktail party. He’s sponsored legislation to save animals’ lives, including bills that would reduce the number of primates used in wasteful experiments. And yes, the man is F-I-N-E—we’ve certainly mentioned that before.

“I want to try to live my own values as consciously and purposefully as I can. … Being vegan for me is a cleaner way of not participating in practices that don’t align with my values.”

Angela Davis

Best known as a longtime human rights activist, former Black Panther Angela Davis is also a committed vegan. She feels that animal liberation is the natural progression of empathy and urges her fellow activists to understand that all forms of exploitation and oppression—no matter the individual involved—are wrong.

“[S]entient beings … endure pain and torture as they are transformed into food for profit, food that generates disease in humans whose poverty compels them to rely on McDonald’s and KFC for nourishment.”

Aph Ko

Creator of Black Vegans Rock, a popular platform for vegans of color from all over the world to share their stories, Aph Ko has arguably done more to give Black vegans a voice than any other media outlet today. Her latest co-authored book—Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism From Two Sisters—has been called “a triumph for anti-racist and animal rights activism.”

“As I always say, the only connection between Black oppression and animal oppression is that both groups were smuggled onto a racial hierarchy that the dominant class created to naturalize their own superiority and the inferiority of everyone else.”

Colin Kaepernick

Perhaps the most popular protester of the 21st century, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest the police violence that systematically targets people of color. Given his powerful opposition to oppression and violence, it’s no surprise that he lives a vegan life.

“The Colin Kaepernick Foundation’s  purpose is to ‘fight oppression of all kinds globally through education and social activism.’”

Kyrie Irving

We can’t deny that Kyrie Irving’s “plant-based” Nike commercial was anything other than groundbreaking. He reportedly went vegan after watching the Netflix documentary What the Health. He also states that ditching animal parts improved his ball game.

“I’ve been on more of a plant-based diet, getting away from all the animals and all that .… So my energy is up, [and] my body feels amazing. Just understanding what the diet is like for me and what’s beneficial for me for having the highest energy out here and being able to sustain it at a very high level.”

John Salley

Former NBA player John Salley went vegan nearly 30 years ago. PETA had the pleasure of collaborating with him to promote the health benefits of living vegan—something he’s absolutely passionate about. He’s worked alongside the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, an organization of more than 12,000 doctors, to ask Congress to increase vegetarian meal options in public schools. When he’s not on the grind improving the health of others, Salley can be found running The Vegan Vine, a sustainable vegan wine company that he founded.

“I found out that most NBA players die of heart attack[s] or heart complications. You can’t have all that animal fat in your veins.

Carl Lewis

Hands down, one of history’s most talked-about Olympians—vegan or otherwise—is Carl Lewis. In his track career, he won 10 medals—nine of them gold. Only four other Olympic athletes have won that many gold medals.

33 years ago, Carl Lewis made Olympic history at one of LA's most iconic stadiums, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, home to LA 2028's athletics.

Posted by LA28 on Friday, August 4, 2017

“My best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet.”

Malcolm Jenkins

Like so many others, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins didn’t ever plan on going vegan, but he couldn’t deny the increased speed, heightened strength, and shortened recovery time that came along with his new lifestyle. He credits the documentary What the Health as his reason for going vegan but doesn’t want to be considered a “health nut.” He just knows how well the body does without meat and dairy “products.”

“I didn’t even tell anybody about it for a long while until everybody started realizing my plates didn’t have meat on them. They were clowning me for a little bit, until I was the old guy still running past everybody.”

Kendrick Farris

Kendrick Farris looks as though he’s eaten every person who ever asked about his protein sources. Of course, he hasn’t, as that wouldn’t be very vegan of him. He was the only American male weightlifter to qualify for the Rio Olympics in 2016. During the U.S. Olympic Team Trials that year, he broke American records by lifting a total of 831 pounds in the clean and jerk.

“I don’t agree with the way the animals are mass-slaughtered. So that’s one thing that kind of got me looking at what they call a vegan diet.”

Javale McGee

Los Angeles Lakers center Javale McGee wants y’all to know that being vegan is easy, especially once you experience the benefits. He lost 20 pounds after going vegan and became more agile on the court, thanks to his compassionate lifestyle.

“Once you find substitutes for things you like, it’s pretty manageable from there.”


Note: PETA supports animal rights, opposes all forms of animal exploitation, and educates the public on those issues. It does not directly or indirectly participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office or any political party.

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