#117: The Evolution of Vegan with VegNews Magazine Co-Founder Colleen Holland

Gain inspiration and insight as Colleen Holland, co-founder of VegNews Magazine, shares how by putting her energy into her passion, she was able to reach the world, and watch it change, and now tell the story today of how the vegan scene has evolved over the past three decades.


Join the Plant-Powered People Tribe

Be the first to know when we release new podcast episodes and get insider content, information, stories, and inspiration from Toni and Michelle! 

Have you ever wondered how the vegan movement got to where it is today and what it's taken? In just the past decade or two, the vegan scene went from a niche kindness-based ideology often associated with hippie culture with very limited culinary options, to the flourishing vegan culture that exists today. 

Not only can people now pronounce the word "vegan" (yes— it's vee-gan—not veh-gen), but now there is widespread awareness about what a vegan is, why millions of people have gone vegan, and a flood of accessible food options and brands covering every category—from dairy-free cheese, to vegan meat, to clean cruelty-free beauty. 

One major force in the vegan movement is media, and at the forefront of that is the momentous VegNews Magazine that has covered the vegan world for 20 years. 

Co-founder Colleen has been vegan for nearly 3 decades and witnessed the vegan movement closer up than anyone else we know.

Since starting VegNews in 2000, Colleen has grown the media company into an award-winning international brand complete with a flagship magazine, digital properties, podcast, events, books, and even global vacations. A graduate of UCLA, Colleen has been named one of the country's top women in media. Through that she’s amassed a lot of wisdom, perspective, and wild stories, and joins us today to share her perspective on this fast evolving plant-based movement.

From starting as a newspaper, to reinventing as a magazine, and eventually as a digital publication, Colleen shares how VegNews has served as a major player in rebranding veganism. She tells her inspiring story of following her passion even without formal training, bootstrapping 100% to grow the publication organically, and transitioning through many pivotal moments in a changing world all while maintaining a steadfast mission.

Colleen gives the extraordinary journey of being there every step of the way as veganism grew, and highlights some game changers that paved the way to modern veganism, from exposés on factory farming to legislation, and documentaries to the profound role of social media to accelerate veganism and give a space for community. 

This episode is not just a fascinating glimpse into vegan history and a trajectory of the vegan movement, but a motivating story of how contagious kindness is, and how finding your passion and using your gifts matters so much, regardless of your training or background.

With love and BIG dreams,  

♡ Toni & Michelle


  • How VegNews started in order to tell a different side of the story
  • How finding your passions and using your gifts doesn’t necessarily depend on a specific background or education
  • What the vegan landscape was like 3 decades ago
  • Where VegNews magazine started and how it helped rebrand the vegan movement
  • How VegNews was able to bootstrap and grow organically
  • How VegNews drew in readers to help spread the mission of veganism
  • How design and marketing served as driving forces
  • How the evolution of VegNews has influenced readership and content
  • The extraordinary journey of being there every step of the way as veganism grew
  • Highlights and game changers that paved the way to modern veganism
  • The most impactful movements in our food system over the past few decades
  • How social media has accelerated the vegan movement and given a space for community
  • The role documentaries have played in awakening the “why” of kind food choices
  • Why it matters so much to follow your passion and do what you’re gifted in
  • Colleen’s advice for those just starting out
  • Colleen’s journey to circle back to health and some of her favorite recipes she’s created


Resources Mentions in the Episode:


EP. 114 - Reducing Waste with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau for Earth Month

EP. 115 - The Look-Great, Feel-Amazing, Age-Later Lifestyle with Victoria Moran

EP. 116 - Breaking the Cycle of Heart Disease with Dr. Columbus Batiste



Seed is becoming a huge leader in the field of gut health. They make a plant-based Daily Synbiotic with a combination of prebiotics and probiotics that are consciously-crafted and scientifically backed. And we love that they use sustainable packaging! The vegan capsules come in a refillable glass jar to minimize single use plastics. Get 30% off your first month’s supply of Seed’s DS-01® Daily Synbiotic by using code PLANTPOWERED at checkout.

LivOn Labs Supplements

When you want to be sure you’re getting enough Vitamin C to support your immune system, try LivOn Labs supplements. For the past 20 years, they’ve been offering a smarter Vitamin C supplement that supports absorption and the health of every cell. They also have a B Vitamin Complex, Magnesium, and more, all of which are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and made without any sugars or artificial flavors. Learn more and grab free samples of all their supplements here!








If you love our podcast and want to help keep this free resource alive for many years to come, you can become a supporter through Patreon with a donation as little as $2 a month or by making a one-time donation through Paypal. Can't donate? You can still be a huge support to us by subscribing and leaving us a review on iTunes! Either way, we're sending you massive hugs through the screen :) 

Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links, and we may earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that we've linked to these products purely because we personally use and recommend them and they are from companies we trust. There is no additional cost to you.



50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.