- Million Dollar Vegan
- A 9-year-old vegan activist has challenged President Donald Trump to go vegan for 30 days as part of a campaign to “Make American Healthy Again.”
- Known as Vegan Evan, the boy is a leader in several advocacy organizations and hopes to run for president himself in 2048.
- If Trump accepts and completes the challenge, a nonprofit will donate $1 million to a charity of Trump’s choice.
- So far, the president has not responded, but the deadline for him to take up the challenge is December 31.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more.
President Donald Trump, known as a lover of fast food and processed meats, is one of the last people you’d expect to try a vegan diet, or one that eliminates animal products like meat, milk, and eggs.
But a 9-year-old activist known as Vegan Evan hopes to he does just that, and challenged Trump to go vegan for 30 days as part of a campaign to “Make America Healthy Again.”
If Trump accepts and completes the challenge, a nonprofit called Million Dollar Vegan will donate a million dollars to a charity of Trump’s choice. That money, according to a spokesperson for the nonprofit, comes from private donations from individuals and other activist groups.
So far, Trump has not responded to the challenge, but has until December 31 to do so, according to the organization.
Vegan Evan has been plant-based since age 5
Vegan Evan, who’s from Melborne, Florida, wasn’t always vegan. He told Insider he remembers deciding to make the change on the way to kindergarten one morning as his mom, already a vegetarian, announced she was going vegan. Evan, then 5, decided to join her.
Although Evan’s mom cautioned him that being vegan would mean cutting foods that kids typically love, like pizza and cupcakes, his determination held firm.
“I told her, ‘If the animals are being hurt and I don’t need it, I don’t want it,'” he said.
Since then, Evan has been vegan, and he’s been encouraging others to do the same for nearly as long through videos on his YouTube channel. He also travels the country with his family to promote a vegan diet.
Evan recently announced his challenge to the president in ads in the New York Times and elsewhere, as well as through a vigorous online campaign.
He hopes his message to Trump will raise awares of the benefits of being vegan, and encourage more people to try it for themselves.
“I think that veganism is a gift and it’s great to give that gift to people so they can be healthier and feel better, not hurt animals, and not destroy the planet,” he told Insider.
- Vegan Evan
A vegan diet doesn’t have to be limiting, Evan says
Evan said he doesn’t feel like he’s missing out on anything. Contrary to popular belief, “anything that anyone else could eat, we can eat a vegan version,” he said.
“Now I eat vegan cupcakes, and vegan pizza is one of our favorite foods,” he said. He’s also a big fan of quesadillas with cashew cheese, rice, vegan chicken, and spinach.
He said the biggest challenge most people face when going vegan is that they just don’t know what to eat instead of animal products. Once they do, “it’s not really that hard,” he said. “You just have to look around your grocery store a little bit.”
Evan added that the growing trend of plant-based meat substitutes has made it even easier and more accesible to eat vegan even if, like Trump, you’re a big fan of burgers.
“The Impossible burger is delicious, of course. It’s great because we don’t have to eat animals but can still have the same taste,” Evan said.
- Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock
Evan hopes the “Million Dollar Vegan” challenge will inspire more vegans and lead to a healthier nation
Evan said he’s wanted to challenge the president to go vegan for a while, and partnering with Million Dollar Vegan seemed like the perfect opportunity to raise some awareness. “He has a lot of reach to people; if they see him doing this, they might want to do it too,” he said.
Evan added that he also hopes to run for president in 2048.
Until then, he plans to continue promoting veganism. “It’s not only good for the planet and the animals,” he said, “it’s great for your health.”