'Riverdale': Madelaine Petsch Doesn't Want to Be a 'Preachy' Vegan

madelaine petsch vegan
credit: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock.com

Here’s a joke for you: A vegan walks into a bar. I know, because they told everyone. 

Madelaine Petsch, who plays Cheryl Blossom on Riverdale, knows all too well how the vegan community can come off to other people, which is why she is careful in how she advocates for the lifestyle. In a recent interview with Elle, Madelaine went in-depth about her passion for veganism and doing her part to take care of the environment.

For Madelaine, a plant-based/vegan diet is all she’s ever known. She was raised by “environmentally-aware” parents who had their own family vegetable garden which provided them with a lot of their food. At a young age, her dad taught her about different plastics and instilled a sense of personal duty to help protect the environment.

As an adult, she continues to live this lifestyle and uses her platform to encourage others to do the same. However, she acknowledges that people can come off as “preachy,” particularly when they advocate for veganism, so she’s careful not to do that with her fanbase.

She said,

“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.”

Her angle? Making the lifestyle seem less extreme and more approachable.

Madelaine has a YouTube channel where she frequently shares vegan-friendly recipes that are both plant-based and delicious. She’s even shared her favorite cruelty-free makeup look.

She told Elle,

“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.”

In addition to advocating for veganism, she also encourages people to make environmentally-friendly choices. Madelaine serves as a board member of the Environmental Media Association, a non-profit with a mission “to provide a unified voice for our planet through entertainment, storytelling, and education.” For her, taking care of the planet is a no-brainer and is easy to do by making small conscious choices.

For example, when discussing plastic straws, she said,

“Just drink out of the glass—it’s very easy. What are you worried about? Smudging your lipstick? It’ll be fine” (a strong statement from the red lipstick queen herself).

Madelaine knows the likelihood of people totally converting to her “radical” lifestyle is low, but it doesn’t stop her from advocating for it. More than anything, she just wants people to “feel comfortable” enough to make little changes.

If all of Madelaine’s fans committed to eating one vegan meal a day or carrying their own utensils instead of using plastic cutlery, it would make a huge environmental impact. That’s how easy it is to start saving the planet.

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Ashley Ziegler
Aside from being a writer, Ashley is a mom of two girls and a wife to a passionate public school administrator. When she does have free time (cue laughter from working moms everywhere) she loves going to hot yoga classes, watching anything on Netflix that isn't a cartoon, and weaving her way through every aisle of Target while listening to one of her favorite podcasts.