Yovana Mendoza Ayres, better known as Youtuber Rawvana, is considered one of the most popular vegan social media influencers. With over 3.5million subscribers across her channels and 1.3million followers on Instagram, she was able to fully capitalize on the marketability of her vegan lifestyle. Now, that success is being called into question as she was caught on camera eating fish — a decidedly non-vegan dish.
Rawvana was seen with the fish dish while on vacation in Bali with fellow Youtuber Paula Galindo. A clip on Galindo’s Bali video reveals a telling view of Rawvana’s restaurant order. Fans immediately picked up on the fact that fish meat accompanied the salad on her plate. They also accuse her of trying to hide the plate from the camera with her tense body language:
Rawvana shortly released an apology on her Youtube channel. She owned up to the fact that she has switched from a plant-based diet to eating more fish and eggs due to health concerns. After suffering through extreme changes in hormone levels, anemia, low thyroid levels, digestive issues, and even small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) multiple health professionals and nutritionists urged her to add fat and protein back into her diet.
She shares that one of her biggest fears was the long-term harms if the effects would eventually make it more difficult for her to have children. This, along with the reality that cleanses and vegan alternatives were not working, was what pushed her to realize the gravity of the situation:
It took me a little bit to really understand that and understand the seriousness about it, and I needed to do something or I was going to pay for consequences later on.
Despite her explanation and apology, vegans continue to disparage the social media influencer. Their biggest issue is that she was able to profit from the lies she peddled to her audience, even creating a business out of vegan meal plans. Others question why she would continue to promote a diet that already made her drastically sick.
What do you think about this — should she be forgiven or held accountable?