What better way to start Women’s History Month than by learning about historical vegan women who were vegan before it was mainstream + modern-day vegans who keep making waves? These OG veg women paved the way for the modern woman to keep shattering glass ceilings and shaping history. 

They fought for animals before it was the cool thing to do. Many of these historical veg-heads lived a vegetarian lifestyle before things like oat milk and Beyond Meat existed. Regardless of the circumstances, they lived in accordance with their values, no matter what it took. Let’s recognize them during Women’s History Month.

Women’s History Month is about:

  • Remembering and honoring the women of the past
  • Celebrating the achievements of women throughout history
  • Understanding how women paved the way for the causes we fight for today
  • Fundraising for female-focused charities
  • Supporting women-owned businesses
  • Educating oneself on the women who helped get them where they are today

Here is Fil Magazine’s roundup of our favorite female vegan and vegetarian historical influences and modern-day vegan influencers to begin the celebration of Women’s History Month.

Angela Davis (January 1944-present)

Angela Davis Women's History Month

Dating back to the 1960s, Angela Davis has led a life filled with passionate activism for civil and human rights. Throughout her life, she has been a monumental spokesperson for animals. In many interviews, she connects the consumption of animals to capitalism as a way to advocate for the voiceless.

Davis is known for being outspoken on uncomfortable topics and even served time behind bars for her activist efforts. As a scholar and professor, she has composed over ten books. She has also given countless speeches on different social issues. She continues to fight for what’s right in the present day.

“I think there is a connection between … the way we treat animals and the way we treat people who are at the bottom of the hierarchy.” –Angela Davis

Rosa Parks (February 1913-October 2005)

Rosa Parks Women's History Month

Rosa Parks, famous for refusing to give up her seat on the bus, did incredible activist work during her lifetime. She is known as the Mother of the Modern Day Civil Rights Movement, as her civil disobedience kickstarted a bigger movement. She didn’t only fight against racial segregation. Rosa Parks lived as a vegetarian for over forty years.

“I have been a vegetarian for a few years. It was not hard at all to not eat meat. [Becoming a vegetarian] was something I wanted to do,” she said. 

Susan B. Anthony (February 1820-March 1906)

Susan B Anthony Women's History Month

Susan was passionate about equality for all, and was an icon during the women’s suffrage movement. She was president and founder of the National American Women Suffrage Association. She had a voice in abolishing slavery and fought for animal rights. In the 19th century, she spoke at the very first American Vegetarian Society meeting and made a toast to vegetarianism.

“Independence is happiness.” –Susan B. Anthony

Coretta Scott King (April 1927-January 2006)

Coretta Scott King Women's History Month

Coretta Scott King was a monumental influence on the Civil Rights Movement. She was also an American author, activist, leader, and wife to MLK Jr. In 1995, she went vegan after being influenced by her vegan son. They believed living vegan was coherent with Dr. MLK’s embodiment of nonviolence and justice for all.

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” –Coretta Scott King

Mary Shelley (August 1797-February 1851)

Mary Shelley Women's History Month

Mary Shelley was a famous science fiction writer who created ‘Frankenstein,” a vegan monster. While Shelley’s main character of Frankenstein was actually composed of meat from the slaughterhouse, the character refused to consume any animals at all. Mary was vegetarian for many years, as she shared the diet with her husband.

“My food is not that of man. I do not destroy the lamb and the kid, to glut my appetite; acorns and berries afford me sufficient nourishment.” –excerpt from Frankenstein

Modern Vegan Women

Ingrid Newkirk (June 1949-present)

Ingrid Newkirk Women's History Month

Ingrid is a world-famous animal activist and abolitionist who founded the nonprofit PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.) She has worked tirelessly to help billions of animals in every industry for over 40 years. 

Since its creation, PETA has raised awareness about veganism to hundreds of millions of people through activism. PETA has done more for animals than any North American non-profit. Their campaigns have effectively coerced major companies to drop fur and other products. 

They have shut down animal testing labs, slaughterhouses, kill shelters, and so much more. PETA has been making milestones since 1980 for the lives of animals.

 “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.” –PETA’s global slogan

Greta Thunberg (January 2003-present)

Greta Thunberg Women's History Month

By 18 years old, Greta won Person of the Year in Time Magazine and was elected as a spokesperson by PETA. Greta is an internationally known climate activist who became famous for her ability to articulate challenge those in power at various climate conferences around the world. 

She has accomplished various awards around climate mitigation, started a climate strike at only 15 years old, and continues to act as a voice of reason and change, especially for young people. 

“All we have to do is to wake up and change.” -Greta Thunberg

Carol J. Adams (1951-present)

Carol J Adams Women's History Month

Carol J. Adams is an American writer of over fifteen vegan-centric books. As an author, she takes on an atypical perspective of veganism, and digs deep into the “sexual politics of meat” is her most famous book. She is also a feminist vegan activist.

Women’s History Month is a Time for Reflection

When we take a moment to consider how women of the past have shaped the present, the results are uncanny. Who are the women in your life making great changes in the world one step at a time? Remember to honor them. Not only during Women’s History Month, but every single day. Without women, the world would stop turning.

If you enjoyed this post, check out this one on the Top 4 Black Vegan Influencers You Need to Follow Today.