Whitney LauritsenLos Angeles, CA

Social Media Specialist, Educator, YouTuber, Author

Whitney Lauritsen is an online content creator, social media specialist and healthy living crusader. She dedicates her time and energies to spreading awareness about how to develop a lifestyle in harmony with the body and the planet.

Whitney graduated from Emerson College in 2004 with a degree in film production. After several years of working in the industry she discovered a passion for journalism and launched the Eco-Vegan Gal website in 2008. She combines these skills and enthusiasms to produce video content on wellness and sustainability, which has resulted in a wildly successful channel on YouTube, acceptance into an elite Ford Motors program called The Fiesta Movement and cover of Laika Magazine. In 2014 she received the Ed Begly Jr. Environmental Activist Award. Whitney has also been tagged in social media circles as a rising star: Mashable named her one of the Top 75 Environmentalists to Follow on Twitter, and she was included in NBC New York’s list of Top 10 Eco Hotties on Twitter.

She has contributed to various health and green outlets. Her articles are published in VegNews, Organic Authority, Women’s Conference and Healthy Bitch Daily. She is the former host of Ecorazzi’s Good Gossip YouTube series, and she has appeared on shows such as Huffington Post Live. Additionally, her film background led her to assist the filmmakers behind acclaimed documentaries Forks Over Knives, FUEL and The Big Fix, and you can find her photography, videography and post production projects on sites like Sunwarrior Protein and Elephant Journal.

Originally from Massachusetts, Whitney lives in Los Angeles with her eco-vegan dog Evie.

Whitney is the creator of Eco-Vegan Gal, an online empowerment resource for people who, like you, are curious about how to be better to their bodies and the planet. Here you will find inspiration, support and guidance for your journey to becoming as healthy and happy as possible.

Through YouTube videos, written posts, contributing articles and public speaking engagements, Eco-Vegan Gal features recipes, in-depth stories and quick tips on how to discover and easily prepare delicious and nutritious plant-based food, while making eco-friendly lifestyle decisions everyday. Recommendations on the best green and healthy vegan products, restaurants, and experiences through video reviews will provide credible information to help you make informed purchases.

Eating an organic, whole foods plant-based diet can result in vitality, longevity, internal peace and overall wellbeing. Likewise, adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle can culminate in an appreciation for the planet, connection to other people and nature and a sense of contribution that will effect many generations to come. And most importantly, you can have fun while making a difference.

Areas of Expertise: Allergies, Gluten Free, Mood Stabilization, Raw Food, Weight Loss

Services: Coaching

Availability: Online

In May 2003 I visited my friend/animal rights activist Nik Tyler in NYC and a conversation we had about vegetarianism really sparked my curiosity. I was staying with my grandparents and when I returned from the city they fed me a plate of chicken, and I felt really uncomfortable eating it - that was the last piece of meat I had. 6 months later I gave veganism a try after reading up on it and it instantly resonated with me. I felt better on so many levels: internally, externally, compassionately, and environmentally. And I never looked back - how could I when I feel this good?

Going veg really wasn't difficult, even though I knew nothing about it at first and didn't know many people who ate like me. My family and friends were skeptical and didn't think it would last, yet they were impressed with how slender I became as a result. Luckily, I was living in Boston and found plenty of options at grocery stores, restaurants, and in college dining halls. I started cooking for myself, finding recipes off the internet, and got really excited whenever I learned how to veganize something like french toast. It has absolutely become easier to be vegan, once I became more confident, made vegan friends, and learned what foods I liked best. Living in Los Angeles made being vegan super easy because of the big network of people and all the dietary options, but it's certainly possible to find plant-based food anywhere in the world.

In terms of my contributions to the animal rights movement, the biggest thing I do is write, make videos, and talk about veganism through my website Eco-Vegan Gal. I love wearing vegan t-shirts (Lavish Lint is my fav), going to vegan events/fundraisers, and supporting the community via social media - whatever I can do to spread the word and bring awareness to animal rights. It's my goal to show that veganism is fun, easy, and rewarding - there's no need to use animals for food, clothing, or other products when there are so many cruelty-free alternatives.

I honestly love most of what PETA does, especially their fun stuff like their sexy campaigns and contests, t-shirts, Twitter account, and silly videos (especially when Sunny is involved!). I love it when a group can take a serious message and make it more palatable and appealing to reach a wider audience because it's a great stepping stone towards facing the harder content. I also love animal sanctuaries because they give us an opportunity to visit animals and remember why we are (or should become) vegan. I know amazing people at Farm Sanctuary, Animal Acres, Compassion Over Killing, and Stray Cat Alliance - all of these organizations are doing so many great things for the animals and I'm always eager to support them.

I have so many memories about animals from my childhood. I grew up on a horse farm where I had lots of amazing experiences with animals and I really learned how to interact with and respect them. For instance, we had turkeys and they acted just as smart, loving and faithful as our dogs - I couldn't eat turkey as a result. Animals seem to sense that I have a strong respect for them and I take the time to communicate as much as possible. It's always rewarding when I first meet an animal and I'm able to gain some sort of trust quickly. Best of all, I'm raising a vegan Jack Russell and we have an incredible bond with lots of trust and high regard for each other - it's amazing how deep a connection goes with animals when you give them your heart!

If you are considering going vegan, find a community, whether in person or online (social media, forums, meet-up sites, blogs, etc). These people will be there to give you advice on everything from food to clothing, and will support you when you're feeling weak or super excited. Don't give up and be patient with yourself during the transition and journey - I have evolved so much in the past 8 years and I'm continually learning how to be healthier and finding more ways to help the animals. Do your research (read books and websites) and question everything until you find an answer that's backed up by credible people - when I went vegan I learned that I was told a lot of false things by the media because they were trying to get me to buy products. Don't be afraid, especially of acknowledging the truth - part of being vegan is recognizing that they are a lot of cruel things happening in the world and we must educate ourselves on them in order to help stop it from happening. My favorite quote: "we must not refuse with our eyes what they must endure with their bodies" - it's up to us to be strong so that we can make a difference.