March 8th 2023
10 Plant-Based Female Leaders Across the Globe BY Isabel Putinja
Vegan women across the world are working for change, inspiring others, and making a difference. Thanks to them, we’re moving towards a compassionate and sustainable vegan world.
Here are 10 plant-based female leaders we admire for shaking things up and inspiring change for the better of the planet.
1. Tracye McQuirter: Vegan author and activist
Tracye McQuirter is an African-American public health nutritionist, best-selling author, and vegan activist. A vegan for over three decades, she has inspired many to go vegan and has been credited by the New York Times as the catalyst for the rise of veganism among African Americans. She’s the author of two books, By Any Greens Necessary, and Ageless Vegan, and has a long list of accolades. She ran the first federally funded vegan nutrition program in the US, was declared a “New Food Hero” by Vegetarian Times in 2017, and was inducted into the US Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 2019, to name only a few. In 2020, she founded 10,000 Black Vegan Women, a movement aiming to inspire black women to go vegan.
Purchase Tracye’s book on Amazon: Ageless Vegan
2. Sofia Giampaoli: Building sustainable food systems
Hailing from Argentina, Sofia Giampaoli is driven by the goal to contribute to building a fairer and more sustainable food system by using new technologies as a tool to address the environmental impact of animal farming. She’s the founder and CEO of Alt Atlas, a start-up created in 2021 with the mission to provide AI-powered ingredients and solutions for the alternative meat and dairy industry. In 2019 she had founded Cell Farm/Granja Celular, the first cultured meat startup in Latin America.
3. Dr. Shireen Kassam: Promoting health through nutrition
UK-based Dr. Shireen Kassam is working to promote health through whole food plant-based nutrition. She switched to a whole food plant-based diet in 2013 when she discovered the power of nutrition to prevent and treat illness and disease. She then founded Plant-Based Health Professionals UK, an organization that advocates whole food plant-based nutrition for the prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses and diseases through evidence-based education. In 2021, she co-founded and launched Plant Based Health Online, a plant-based lifestyle medicine healthcare service.
Dr. Shireen Kassam
4. Alokparna Sengupta: Dedicated to ending animal exploitation
Alokparna Sengupta has a long track record as an animal “protectionist” working for an end to animal exploitation in India. She has managed a Be Cruelty-Free campaign aiming to abolish animal testing in the cosmetics industry and today is the managing director of the Humane Society International India. She’s committed to working towards abolishing factory farming and animal testing, and the protection of wildlife and street animals.
5. Dalal AlGhawas: Supporting alternative protein innovations
Kuwait-born Dalal AlGhawas is specialized in plant-based protein alternatives and future food technologies. She’s the program director of Big Idea Ventures, a venture capital firm based in New York and Singapore that supports alternative protein startups through a biannual accelerator program. Previously she had the role of program manager at Brinc, Hong Kong’s first food technology accelerator program which helped launch meat, seafood, and dairy alternatives in China and Hong Kong.
6. Carmen Hijosa: The inventor of pineapple leather
Carmen Hijosa is the inventor of Piñatex, a leather alternative made from pineapple leaf fibers, and the founder, Chief Creative and Innovation Officer at Ananas Anam. A Spanish citizen, she describes herself as a social entrepreneur, visionaire, and advocate for people and the planet, who’s dedicated to creating positive social and economic change. She spent years researching textiles and natural fibers after coming face to face with the impacts of the leather industry on a research trip to the Philippines. Piñatex is used a leather alternative by some of the world’s biggest brands, including H&M, Hugo Boss, The Hilton, and Zara.
7. Rachel Kabue: Animal and vegan activist
Kenya-based Rachel Kabue is the founder and CEO of the Vegan Society of Kenya, an organization working to push through legislative changes to guarantee a plant-based option on menus in public sector offices. She has also worked on initiatives to launch a vegan lunch program in rural schools, and to successfully ban donkey slaughterhouses in Kenya. She’s also the founder of the Nairobi Feline Sanctuary, a shelter for the city’s cats which also provides medical treatment and spay and neuter services.
8. Matilda Ho: Tackling the challenges of global food systems
China-based Matilda Ho is the co-founder and managing director of Bits X Bites, China’s first food tech venture capital company. The firm finances start-ups working towards sustainable solutions to tackling the challenges of the global food system. It has funded innovative companies developing alternative plant-based proteins, probiotic-rich kombucha, low-glycemic white rice, and indoor farming solutions, to name only a few. It has also invested in Israel’s Future Meat, Singapore-based Next Gen and their plant-based chicken product, and InnovoPro, a chickpea ingredient company founded in Israel.
9. Ori Shavit: Vegan crusader and author
Israeli vegan crusader, Ori Shavit, was working as a prominent restaurant critic for Israel’s best-known food magazine On The Table, when she caused a shockwave in Tel Aviv’s culinary scene when she announced she was going vegan. She decided to ditch her job and start a blog called Vegans On Top that quickly gained a wide readership and tens of thousands of followers. Today she’s one of the most prominent figures in Israel’s huge vegan scene, and has convinced many high-profile chefs to transform their menus, with some making the complete switch to plant-based. She’s also the author of a vegan guide and cookbook and has given numerous talks and cooking demos around the world.
10. Fengru Lin: Working towards the future of clean milk
Fengru Lin is the co-founder of Singapore’s TurtleTree, a company pioneering a cell-based milk alternative using precision fermentation. With the goal to end animal cruelty and improve food security in mind, she was searching for a milk substitute that’s cruelty-free and sustainable when she tuned into biotech and cell-based technology. The company is about to launch its very first product, bovine Lactoferrin, a dairy bioactive protein that’s set to revolutionize the future of food.