Vegan Influencer Dies of 'Starvation' After Promoting 'Extreme' Vegan Diet for Years

Haika Mrema | August 3, 2023
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Zhanna Samsonova, a vegan social media influencer who goes by Zhanna D’Art, died on July 21 after living on a raw plant-based diet for years

Samsonova, a 39-year old from Russia, would promote her extreme vegan diet including “ fruits, sunflower seed sprouts, fruit smoothies and juices” on her platforms. The influencer would also go on “dry fasts” and forgo eating and drinking for multiple days at a time. 

Her mother told Russian outlets that she died from a “cholera-like infection,” but the cause of death has not officially been determined. 

The vegan advocate gained over 27,000 followers on Instagram under the username @rawveganfoodchef. In a May 16 post, she shared that her lunch consisted of a “whole honey melon” and “fresh squeezed carrot juice.”



“Following a plant based diet will always bring you happiness and shower you with goodness because you didn’t kill anyone for your food,” she said in an Instagram post. “Happy World Vegan Day!” 

Related: PETA Uses AI To Rewrite the Bible To Be More Animal-Friendly

“Despite the fact that I cook fancy raw dishes, I eat very simple myself,” she said in another post. “My food is simple, no oil, no salt, no dehydrated food and no protein.Today for lunch I have delicious avocado kefir, sweet cherry tomatoes and ripe avocado. Bon appetit.”

Her friends and family did not approve of her diet and told outlets about their reaction to her “exhausted” appearance. 

“I lived one floor above her and every day I feared finding her lifeless body in the morning. I convinced her to seek treatment, but she didn't make it,” one friend said, according to the Daily Mail. 

Vegan activists have been championing diets similar to this one for years in the name of being “compassionate” towards animals. However, they fail to acknowledge that pushing for an unbalanced diet that deprives you of necessary nutrients, like protein, is not compassionate at all. 

Samsonova’s death sheds light on the dangers and realities of having a strict plant-based diet, whether vegan activists choose to recognize it or not. As an Instagram user put it, “She might have had an eating disorder but raw veganism killed her. Stop denying the dangers of veganism.”


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