Written by Anya Lytvynenko Amorim

Do you ever scoff at the thought of people trying to sell you things on Instagram? Or better yet, your friends becoming “Instagram Influencers” over night? Because I always did, and then I realized — I had become one myself. 

Do you often notice yourself taking photos of your food when you go out to eat or cook at home? Then congratulations, you are qualified to be, you guessed it, an INFLUENCER. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t sell things on Instagram, but I am here to sell you the idea that the more we (as a collective community) talk about, share, post, experience, get excited about, and support with our dollars the vegan movement, the more “normalized” it will become in our society. Usually, humanity fears what it doesn’t know and tends to stay away from those things. Veganism may seem scary for people because they don’t think they can enjoy restaurants when they go out to eat, they think the food might taste bad, they don’t know what to consume for their everyday meals, they just don’t know where to begin in general. This is where we influencers come in, no matter how much of a following you have, we answer all of the above questions for them. We rave about how good plant-based eats are, we share our home-cooked creations, we make our families try stuff with us, we have those uncomfortable conversations sometimes. We DO IT ALL. 

The more people see that their friends, family, co-workers, celebrities, neighbors, and aunts and uncles enjoying and hopping on the plant-based/vegan bandwagon, the more likely they will too. Meanwhile, the demand for veganism will rise, making it more accessible for individuals who may not have had a lot of access to it before, which is the real issue, and squash the stigma that veganism is expensive or unattainable. 

Almost a year ago (in December 2019) I made a vegan Instagram blog page, @vegexpertboston, where I wanted to share my experiences as a vegan living in Boston. I made a list of places I’ve already been to that I had in my gallery, ready to post, and I am happy to say that I just finished posting all of those places. Meaning that the exposure has been shined on all of these wonderful businesses, friends have been made, networks have been created, suggestions have been given out, and dollars have flowed into the economy. The next step for me is finishing my free e-book and making it available to send to anyone who wants to be vegan but doesn’t know what to cook on a daily basis. 

Also, I have made a new list of places to visit, thank you to the network I have forged on social media, to continue my journey of advocating for veganism and reducing suffering in the world. I am so grateful for the friends I’ve made, which majority of the time starts with a simple conversation/reaction to a story that I’ve posted. Slowly but surely the community is growing and I want to pass on this feeling of gratitude to you, the influencer in disguise reading this right now, and urge you to also share your journey with social media because the outcomes ARE beneficial. The best example we can set is by, “being the change we wish to see in the world,” and sharing everything we know with one another!

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Anya is a 26-year-old double major of biology and psychology at Suffolk University in the heart of Boston! Migrating to the United States at age 9, she learned English as a second language, Russian being her primary, and is now actively learning Portuguese to be able to speak to her in-laws at her wedding at the end of 2020. When not busy planning a wedding, Anya truly enjoys creating vegan recipes in her kitchen, travelling the world with her other half, being in front of a camera, cuddling her cute dog @yodamorim and dancing Zumba! You can follow Anya on Instagram @anyalitvinenko.