21 Celebrities Who Stopped Eating Meat Share Why They Went Vegetarian or Vegan
With more and more research confirming the benefits of plant-based diets, it’s not surprising to see the rise in popularity of vegans and vegetarians in recent years. Hollywood seems to be leading the way in the plant-based direction, with a number of celebrities choosing to ditch meat. Like anyone else, they have different motives for changing their eating habits, from health reasons and animal welfare to environmental concerns.
Bright Side brings you a list of famous people who openly talk about their diets and the reasons behind their decision.
1. Natalie Portman
Actor Natalie Portman has been a vegetarian since the age of 9 and went vegan in 2011. She said it all started because she felt a special connection to animals. Portman regularly uses her influence to fight for animals: ’’3 times a day, I remind myself that I value life and do not want to cause pain or kill other living beings. That is why I eat what I do.’’
2. Diane Keaton
Thanks to a plant-based diet, Diane Keaton stays healthy and beautiful in every stage of her life: "I do watch what I eat. I don’t eat meat, I’m a vegetarian and I’ve been a vegetarian for 27 years and I’ve stopped even eating fish. I don’t want to eat something that was an animal. It’s nuts.’’ She does, however, eat cheese and eggs.
3. Jared Leto
Jared has been an animal rights advocate and a vegetarian/vegan for more than 20 years. Aside from helping animals, his motivation is health and maintaining his good looks: “I’m pretty healthy — I’ve been that way for a long time. 20 solid years of eating vegetarian/vegan food and taking care of myself. That probably helps the preservation process.”
4. Kristen Bell
The Bad Moms star has been a vegetarian since she was 11 years old and went vegan in 2012 after watching a documentary about the negative effects of animal-based foods. But during her first pregnancy, Kristen Bell realized that a strict vegan diet wasn’t sustainable for her: “During my first pregnancy, I was working and it felt like I needed more calories.’’
Bell is now a vegetarian, though she supports those who follow a vegan diet: ’’I think being vegan is a wonderful way to live and it has great effects on the body and the environment,” Bell said.
5. Pamela Anderson
Vegetarian since the age of 10, the Baywatch star turned vegan in her twenties and has been a dedicated animal rights advocate since then. Aside from her love of animals, she believes a plant-based diet makes her healthier and is good for the environment: ’’I chose a plant-based diet because I wanted to be healthy. But I think the main reason that I did it was factory farming," she said.
6. Woody Harrelson
The famous actor has been a vegan for 30 years, switching to a raw vegan diet: “I eat vegan, but I eat mostly raw. If I have a cooked meal, I feel my energy drop. So when I first started shifting my diet, it wasn’t as much a moral or an ethical pursuit but an energetic pursuit,” Harrelson admits. However, he is known in Hollywood for being passionate about sustainable food, the environment, and animal rights.
7. Venus Williams
Venus Williams, the former world’s number one tennis player, switched to a raw vegan diet back in 2011 after she was diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome: ’’Not only does it help me on the court, but I feel like I’m doing the right thing for me,’’ Williams said. ’’I try to make the majority of my meals raw and vegan, but I’m only human and am known to cheat a little bit. I joke that I’m a ’chegan’ because sometimes I’ve been known to stray," she added.
8. Kate Mara
Kate Mara started following a plant-based diet for her health but then got interested in saving animals: “The animal activist in me just felt a responsibility to make choices about what I’m putting into my body and not just do whatever I want because something tastes good or something’s convenient,” she said.
9. Peter Dinklage
The meat you see Peter Dinklage eat in Game of Thrones is actually tofu. The actor had been following a vegetarian diet for 15 years before deciding to go vegan in 2014. An avid animal-rights activist, Dinklage supported PETA in several campaigns over the years.
10. Stevie Wonder
The famous musician, Stevie Wonder, announced back in 2016 that he has been a vegan since 2014. Wonder explained that he decided to go vegan due to health and environmental reasons. “I’ve been a vegan for 2 years, so that’s helped my already good-looking self,” he jokes.
11. Ariana Grande
The pop-superstar has been vegan since 2013 after simply realizing she loved animals too much: “I love animals more than I love most people, not kidding,” she explains. Since then, Ariana Grande has been an animal-rights activist. She talks openly about veganism and says, “I am a firm believer in eating a full plant-based, whole-food diet that can expand your life length and make you an all-around happier person.”
12. Elliot Page
13. Kate Winslet
After becoming a vegetarian later in adulthood, the Oscar-winning actress has been an active advocate for PETA for several years now. Together with her husband, who is a vegan, Winslet enjoys plant-based cooking but admits that it requires a bit more inventiveness.
14. Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde became a vegetarian when she was only 12. She later turned vegan but admitted that this lifestyle is ’’not always easy and accessible.’’ While going through a divorce, she had a moment of weakness and decided to treat herself to some cheese. She also put vegetarianism on hold during her pregnancy, but after her baby was born, Wilde was back to her plant-based diet.
Adele became a vegetarian back in 2011. In an interview with BBC Radio 1, she said, “Whenever I am about to eat meat, I always see my little dog’s eyes,” hinting that compassion for animals is one of the reasons why she stopped eating meat. Although she never confirmed she is vegan, The Sirtfood Diet that Adele followed for her massive weight loss is, indeed, a vegan diet.
16. Tobey Maguire
The Spider-Man star admits that he ’’never had any desire to eat meat. In fact, when I was a kid I would have a really difficult time eating meat at all," Tobey Maguire said. He has been a vegetarian since 1992 and a vegan since 2009. ’’I don’t judge people who eat meat, that’s not for me to say, but the whole thing just sort of bums me out," he says.
17. Ricky Gervais
After years of speculation, Ricky Gervais recently revealed that he is, in fact, vegan. The actor and comedian has been an animal rights advocate for years and he uses social media to raise awareness of animal cruelty.
18. Alicia Silverstone
Alicia Silverstone became vegan at 21 and says she felt better than ever after switching to vegan food. “Once I went vegan, I lost the weight I wanted to lose, my nails were stronger, and my skin was glowing. I feel great and I look better now than I did 11 years ago,” she said. Silverstone has also been a dedicated animal rights activist for years and was awarded PETA’s Mercy for Animals Hope Award.
19. Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck started his vegan journey in 1995 as a reaction to the cruel practices of the animal agriculture industry and has been an animal advocate since then: "I believe veganism can be beneficial for the individual and the world, and, of course, the animal,’’ the actor said.
20. Arnold Schwarzenegger
After producing and appearing in the movie, The Game Changers, which tells a story about several plant-based athletes and celebrities, Schwarzenegger got interested in plant-based food: “As I got older and I started reading up on it, I recognized the fact that you really don’t have to get your protein from meat or from animals, so I started going more in the direction of a vegetarian kind of diet.
And all of a sudden, I love it much more than the meat,” he said. His diet is now ’’99% plant-based’’ with eggs being the only non-vegan product he still consumes.
21. Michelle Pfeiffer
Michelle Pfeiffer follows a vegan diet for several reasons — for her health, but also to keep her skin youthful. She says, “Eating a vegan diet — it’s just so much healthier — and you avoid a lot of toxins that could age your skin and your body. I really noticed a difference in my skin not too long after switching to fully vegan. And I needed to eat fruits and vegetables to stay lean. It’s all about vanity, honestly.”
Some people say that veganism is just a trend and its impact on saving the environment is negligible. Do you agree or disagree? Let’s talk about it in the comments.