Veganism is growing and many celebrities have adopted the diet for personal, health, or environmental reasons, and are speaking up for this lifestyle. Take a look at some of veganism’s most prominent supporters below.
After undergoing quadruple bypass surgery in 2004 and a later stent surgery, the 42nd president adopted a vegan diet in 2010. He’s since lost 20 pounds, and has become an advocate for vegan and meatless diets.
“I like the vegetables, the fruits, the beans, the stuff I eat now,” Clinton told a CNN reporter “All my blood tests are good, and my vital signs are good, and I feel good, and I also have, believe it or not, more energy.”
Al Gore is the latest celebrity to hop on the animal and dairy free diet. Forbes broke the news last weekend, saying he’s a “newly turned vegan.” It’s unclear why the former vice president made the swap, but in doing so, he joins the 42nd president he once served in this dietary endeavour.
Long-time vegetarian Natalie Portman went vegan in 2009 after reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals. She even went on to blog about iton the Huffington post. “The human cost of factory farming — both the compromised welfare of slaughterhouse workers and, even more, the environmental effects of the mass production of animals — is staggering,” she wrote.
The actress reverted to vegetarianism during her 2011 pregnancy, US weekly reports, citing that her body was craving foods made with eggs and cheese. Post-pregnancy, Portman readopted the animal-free lifestyle. Her 2012 wedding was actually catered with an all vegan menu.
Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson turned vegan in 2010, and has since loss 100 pounds. “Becoming a vegan gave me another opportunity to live a healthy life. I was so congested from all the drugs and bad cocaine, I could hardly breathe, I had high blood pressure, was almost dying and had arthritis. And once I became a vegan all that stuff diminished,” said Tyson earlier this year on”Oprah: where are they now?”
Similar to Natalie Portman, comedian and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres switched to a vegan diet in 2008 after reading several books on animal rights and diets. “I do it because I love animals,” DeGeneres told Katie Couric “And I saw the reality and I just couldn’t ignore it anymore.” Degeneres’ wife, Portia de Rossi, shares the same diet, and their 2008 wedding featured a vegan menu.
Perhaps one of the more vocal celebrities on this diet, she even has her own vegan blog, “Going Vegan With Ellen,” and she and de Rossi are slated to open their own vegan restaurant, though its opening date is unknown
This “Clueless” star went vegan more than 15 years ago at age 21, according to Health Magazine. Prior to the dietary switch, Silverstone told Oprah that she had puffy eyes, asthma, acne and insomnia and constipation.
The New York Times reports that this lifelong animal lover made the switch after watching documentaries on the food industry. Silverstone authored The Kind Diet, a book on vegan cuisine in 2009, and offers other diet pointers and green tips on her website, The Kind Life.
This singer-songwriter-dancer went vegan in 2012, according to Mother Nature Network. His dad died of a heart attack in 2008, and RadarOnline reports that Usher is determined to take charge of his fate with this healthier diet.
Usher apparently tried to get his protégé, Justin Bieber, aboard the vegan train too, but he hasn’t stuck with it.
This award-winning actor has likely had the longest bout at veganism of any celebrity. “I was 3 years old. To this day it is a vivid memory,” Phoenix told the New York Daily News. “My family and I were on a boat, catching fish … The animal went from a living, vibrant creature fighting for life to a violent death. I recognized it, as did my brothers and sisters.”
This past February, he simulated the concept of a drowning fish in a controversial video for PETA’s “Go Vegan” campaign. PETA wanted to run the ad as a commercial during the Academy Awards, but ABC refused to air it, reports Business Insider.
World-famous track runner and Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis says he had the best race of his life at the 1991 World Championships, after he turned vegan to prepare for the race, Mother Nature Network reports. It was that year that he won ABC’s Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year and set a world record.
In the introduction to Very Vegetarian by Jannequin Bennett, Lewis explains that he went vegan after meeting two people, a doctor and a nutritionist, that inspired him to switch his diet. Though he acknowledges there were hurdles to cross, such as cravings for meat and salt, he found other substances like lemon juice and lentils to make his diet enjoyable.