Vegan and plant based diets have been gaining popularity in celebrity tabloids, but for some celebrities, veganism is all but a fad diet. Here are ten celebrities you probably didn’t realize were dedicated vegans.
1. Woody Harrelson
Woody Harrelson, who you may know as Haymitch from The Hunger Games, or as the charming bartender on the sitcom Cheers, is a die-hard vegan of over 25 years. In his 2009 film Zombieland, he was filmed eating custom-made vegan twinkies for the role. Many also don’t know that he co-owns a vegan restaurant. Harrelson claims that the switch to a vegan diet helped him get over a number of health problems, including chronic acne and allergies.
2. Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin has remarkably lived a vegan life since the age of three, and was inspired by a fishing trip he took with his family as a child. Phoenix, who recently starred in the Academy Award nominated film, Her, is passionate about animal rights and has contributed to PETA’s “Go Vegan” campaign, as well as producing and narrating the animal rights documentary Earthlings, which paints a painfully truthful picture of the various ways that animals are exploited and abused in order to be used for food, entertainment, and luxury.
3. Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman has been vegan for five years, citing the book Eating Animals by Johnathon Safran Foer as her inspiration. She has since commented on the staggering effects of the animal agriculture industry on human welfare and the environment. She even offered completely vegan catering at her wedding in 2012 to Benjamin Millepied, with whom she starred with in Black Swan.
4. Ellen Degeneres
Ellen Degeres and her wife, Portia de Rossi, both share a vegan diet and lifestyle. Degeneres is a self-proclaimed animal lover, and says that she felt the need to adopt a vegan lifestyle after learning about the practices of the meat and dairy industries. Ellen even runs a vegan blog, and has spoken out about her lifestyle several times on her talk show.
5. Russell Brand
After a long run with vegetarianism since the age of 14, actor and comedian Russell Brand decided to make the switch to vegan in 2011. He was prompted by the popular documentary Forks Over Knives, which examines the long term health benefits of a plant based diet.
6. James Cameron
James Cameron, ocean explorer and filmmaker, known for his direction in the movie Avatar, has also adopted a vegan diet, and has remained true to the lifestyle since 2012. Cameron was honored last year by the National Geographic Society, and proclaimed about veganism during his speech, “I felt like I was waking up from a long sleepwalk. I believe we are all sleepwalking off a cliff if we don’t do this.”
R&B singer and dancer Usher has also been vegan since 2012. He has mentioned that his father died of a heart attack in 2008, and the lifestyle change was an effort to take charge of his health and well-being. Usher loves vegan food and frequents many vegan restaurants in New York City. He’s claimed that his plant based diet keeps him energized.
8. Alicia Silverstone
Clueless star Alicia Silverstone adopted a vegan diet when she was just 21 years old. Motivated by her health and her compassion, Silverstone has become a rising star in the vegan movement, publishing a vegan cookbook titled The Kind Diet as well as writing about her green lifestyle on her blog, “The Kind Life”. She has also offered seminars where she has talked about her lifestyle and encouraged others to get on board.
9. Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson, former boxing champion, went vegan four years ago and has never looked back. Since the switch, he has lost over one hundred pounds. Tyson says that before he went vegan, he was suffering from high blood pressure, arthritis, and the lasting effects of drug addiction, and says that his lifestyle change cleared up all of his previous health problems.
10. Al Gore
Former vice president Al Gore has long been a pioneer in environmental efforts, receiving a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his work. After facing years of criticism for continuing to eat meat and dairy despite his own statements that these industries are destroying the environment and contributing to climate change, he finally adopted a completely vegan lifestyle last year.
* “15 Vegan Celebrities…” www.huffingtonpost.com
* Peter Feld, “Woody Harrelson’s Fake Vegan Twinkies…” brandchannel.com
* “‘Forks Over Knives’ Turns Russell Brand Vegan,” www.mnn.com
* “James Cameron Advocates Vegan Diet…” www.huffingtonpost.com
* “Usher Embraces Vegan Diet,” www.mnn.com
* “Al Gore Goes Vegan,” www.huffingtonpost.com