Jane Velez-Mitchell builds a Vegan Media Empire
Over the past 9 years, journalist and CNN media host Jane Velez-Mitchell has developed a new media channel, UnchainedTV, focused on bringing veganism to the general public.
Jane grew up in a pescetarian household, and she had already become vegetarian when she interviewed fourth-generation cattle farmer turned vegan Howard Lyman, who gained notoriety after appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1996. She had developed her career working as a TV news reporter and news anchor in various TV stations around the country, and was working on a show called Celebrity Justice.
“I interviewed him and after, he and his publicist walked to my cubicle and said, ‘We heard you’re vegetarian. Do you eat dairy?’ I hung my head and said ‘yes,’ because he had just told me about mother cows being separated from their babies and baby boy cows being put in veal crates. He looked right at me and said ‘liquid meat,’” she says.
That was a wake-up moment for her, but it wasn’t until a few years later in 2014 that she saw an opportunity to marry animal rights with journalism. Her CNN show, Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell, was ending. Always an activist at heart, she told a friend that she now felt free to go to animal rights protests without having to report on them. She felt “unchained” and so started the series Jane Unchained, which enabled her to cover animal-rights events with her followers on social media. The show turned into a product powered by 40 different contributors covering stories related to veganism across the globe.
As streaming services were popping up and becoming popular, she saw the opportunity to develop a TV streaming channel, including many different aspects of veganism such as cooking shows, the lives of rescued potbelly pigs, and a documentary about the link between industrial animal agriculture and the climate crisis. Based in Los Angeles, another show explores the city’s vegan food scene. All the content seeks to show that veganism is a multisided lifestyle that anyone can participate in. It’s available online or as an app on your phone.
Showing people how mainstream the vegan lifestyle is becoming really helps increase its popularity. Keep up the good work, Jane!