Japanese-Bangladeshi personality Rola promotes veganism on social media

While there has been a smattering of vegan options in Japan, such as the recent Vegan Fair, or the Vegan Sakura Burger, it still hasn’t taken off like in other countries. In fact, if you’re not careful, you could find yourself accidentally ordering a “veggie” dish that’s still packed with meat.

Enter the Japanese social media influencer powerhouse, half-Bangladeshi Rola. With her bubbly ‘burikko‘ (excessively girly) character and voice, bleached blonde hair and perpetual contact lenses, she’s a recognicable figure on Japanese TV and across a wide variety of advertisements, promoting everything from instant noodles to laser hair removal. But she also has a strong social media following, which she uses to communicate with her fans – a predominantly young female audience – and to promote causes which are of personal importance to her as a person, not just a product spokesperson. She’s also known for experimenting with making her own super-healthy dishes, most notably using apple and avocado in interesting ways.

Rola is particularly prominent on Instagram, and she recently uploaded several snaps to her Instagram story showcasing vegan foods, including snacks, as well as a “vegan plate” she put together herself. The vegan plate consisted of a bunless, meatless plant-based burger, plus vegan cheese and a side of tomatoes and greens. She also uploaded a long piece of text where she explains the positive effects adopting a more plant-based diet can have on the environment, advising her fans to try to do what they can to choose more meatless options.

Also on Instagram, she posted snaps of herself buying quinoa from a Whole Foods in L.A., tagging her pic with #compostableplastic, promoting an alternative to single-use plastic to her fans. Japan is a country which tends to use a lot of plastic in its packaging for convenience and hygiene purposes.

We were curious about what regular Japanese people think of Rola’s eco-friendly message – while her Instagram comment section is mostly comprised of loyal fans, the reaction on popular news blog Hachima Kiko was more critical:

“This girl jumps on every fad going.”

“Doesn’t she wear leather clothes in her modeling? How is that vegan?”

“You can’t preach about animals while still using cosmetics that test on animals. Is all the makeup she wears in her photo shoots and stuff animal-friendly?”

Perhaps Japan just isn’t ready for the vegan movement that’s been sweeping the West. Regardless, what do you think of celebrities using their influence to promote veganism?

Feature Image: Pakutaso
Source: Hachima Kiko