The disturbed woman who turned a gun on herself at YouTube’s California headquarters after shooting three others was an aspiring internet star dedicated to spreading her extreme vegan lifestyle through both graphic protest images and bizarre parody music videos.
Nasim Aghdam on Tuesday opened fire on the tech giant’s San Bruno campus, shooting three people before taking her own life.
The 39-year-old San Diego resident left behind a twisted internet history, her online pages a mixed bag of modeling photos, vegan recipes and angry tirades about supposed YouTube censorship. Here’s a look at her extreme animal rights beliefs and bizarre online presence:
Aghdam was primarily dedicated to aggressively encouraging a vegan diet. As a child she began thinking about “the source of the meats that we eat” and opted to live as a vegetarian, according to a translation of her interview with an environmentally-focused Iran website, Phce.org. Several years ago, she adopted a full vegan life style.
She described “omnivorism” as the “worst mental disorder” and “slow suicide,” while veganism would result in “the fall of terrorism.”
“The human body is not made to attack meat or drink the blood of the animal while looking into its eyes,” she told Phce.org.
“Instead when a man sees a vine on a tree, he is excited and his saliva flows, then he can easily pick and eat grapes from the tree. When you see a dead animal on the road, would like to split it and eat it with your hands?”
In the months leading up to her deadly attack on the California YouTube headquarters, Aghdam claimed the video-sharing website was censoring and discriminating against her content.
In side by side images, she highlights a dip in her views between January and October 2016 as well as an apparent decrease in her revenue from the site.
She complained that her workout videos were age restricted despite the fact that videos for celebrities like Nicki Minaj were not.
“There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE, your channel will grow if you are the chosen one,” she wrote on her website. “Your videos will not get views if they don’t want to.”
Ismail Aghdam feared his daughter was en route to the YouTube headquarters when he first realized she was missing earlier this week. She “hated” the company, he told the Mercury News.
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Her strict vegan beliefs existed beyond the pages of her website. Aghdam’s social media profiles also include images of her protesting animal testing, the wearing of fur and advocating for animal rights in general.
One picture sees her standing alongside a pair of woman painted bright red, seated close together in a tub. “Scalded alive,” reads her sign, which specifically takes aim at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
In other instances she sports animal print jumpsuits, her face at times obscured with plastic masks.
“Stolen skins, perfect for bloody fashion,” another sign reads.
Aghdam also shared a photo of a tire with a nail in it: “My car attacked by anti-vegan animal business supporting animal criminals trying to harm/kill me because of animal rights awakening stickers on my car, America USA!!!”
Aghdam on her website touted herself as the “first Persian Azeri vegan female bodybuilder.” In an interview with Viva La Vegan she said she worked out at least an hour every day and bragged that her energy always “surprises the non-vegans.”
“The biggest misconception is that people think vegans have less energy and are weak because they only eat plants and have not enough energy,” she said. “This is not true.”
Her pages also feature images of Aghdam in skin tight workout gear, often times flexing with fruit or vegetable in her hands. In one picture the text “Go vegan” is splashed across her bejeweled abs.
She additionally offered vegan recipes and workout routines on her YouTube pages.
Taylor Swift and pop culture
On her personal Instagram page, which has since been removed, Aghdam describes herself as an “athlete, artist, comedian, poet, model, actor, singer, director, producer.”
Her feed is rife with images of her in flowing dresses and sparkly jumpsuits as well as close-ups that show off her detailed make-up and glittery jewels.
In what she calls a “Taylor Swift Parody” video, Aghdam attempts to marry her heated advocacy and her love of comedy and entertainment. The clip, which takes aim at those who eat meat, has little in common with the 2014 “Blank Space” music video it aspires to emulate.
“They’ll tell you I’m insane cause you know I hate meat & you hate change,” she talk-sings in a tune barely reminiscent of the ‘1989’ hit.
Aghdam additionally had a knack for misattributing quotes to the wrong famous figures, including a quote featured on site she wrongfully credits Thomas Edison with: “Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” It was said by Thomas Jefferson.