Petsch knows from her own childhood that pushing your beliefs down someone’s throat isn’t going to bring them around to your point of view. Growing up nonreligious, she says that some of her religious peers would try to sway her to their way of thinking, and the conversations would leave her feeling like she’d done something wrong. “That’s really stuck with me through my adult life,” she says. “Now when I want to spread a message about the environment or about veganism, I try to do it with positivity and by giving people the information to make a decision for themselves.”
She also wants to make veganism fun. In one of her YouTube videos, she and boyfriend Travis Mills attend a vegan food festival, which she says is her version of Coachella; in another, she gleefully prepares vegan cinnamon rolls. “People make it seem like it’s so difficult,” Petsch says. “I want to teach people how positive and easy it is to be vegan—I don’t want to make it seem like it’s this big feat.” Sure, there are downsides. It can sometimes be hard to eat vegan while traveling. “I had a really hard time eating in Paris,” she says. (And who wouldn’t, with all that butter.) But she makes it work by packing protein bars and green powder in her suitcase, and she always manages to find something. “There’s nowhere you can go that doesn’t have a plate of steamed vegetables,”she says, laughing.