Whether you are glancing at a tabloid in the checkout line or watching your favorite film, it can be easy to forget that celebrities are people not so different from ourselves. Sure, they may be more famous or athletically inclined, but at their core, they are still humans who have to balance their mental and physical health the same as the rest of us.
Diet is no exception. The vegan diet, in particular, has seen a spike in popularity in recent years due, in no small part, to the many celebrities that have endorsed the lifestyle and remarked on the transformative effects it has on their mental and physical wellbeing.
These stars might promote veganism in different ways and for different reasons. Still, they all agree that there are many benefits to becoming vegan, and it has unquestionably changed their lives for the better.
Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain is a long-time vegetarian and has been vegan since 2007. Unlike other celebrity vegans, she initially just started the diet to support a friend who was doing a vegan meal delivery service.
After a few weeks of going from vegetarian to vegan, she began to notice that she had more energy than she had ever felt in her life. She felt that her body was telling her something, so she decided to make the switch right then and there, and she hasn’t looked back since.
Tennis fan or not, you have probably heard her name. Venus Williams is a powerhouse of an athlete and a formidable tennis player. But there was a time when it almost came crashing down around her.
In 2011, Williams was diagnosed with Sjögren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes dry eye and dry mouth as well as significant joint pain. As you can probably imagine, the symptoms took an immense toll on her physical and athletic performance.
After having to withdraw in just the 2nd round of the 2011 U.S. Open, Williams knew she had to make major lifestyle changes if she was ever going to be able to play on the court again. So, as she took time off to receive medical treatment, she also made the switch to a raw vegan diet. It was a choice that helped her get back up on her feet and return to playing.
Williams remarked that being able to play once again was life-changing in and of itself, but the fact that she could contribute to the environment and live off of cruelty-free products? For her, veganism was a no-brainer. Since then, she has been a strong advocate for the diet and promoted vegan products like soy and almond milk.
If you were on the hunt for a die-hard advocate for veganism, your search is over. Oscar-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix is your man. As if his talent wasn't enough, Phoenix, clad in his cruelty-free Stella McCartney tux, actually prefaced his Oscar acceptance speech by advocating for vegan diets and condemning the mistreatment of animals and the ecological scars left by the meat and dairy industries.
Phoenix used the pinnacle of his fame to speak out for a cause he believed in, and for that, we applaud him. His devotion makes sense too.
Phoenix has been a vegan since age 3, and his sentiments about the lifestyle have only grown stronger over the past four decades. Phoenix says that he doesn’t intend to force a vegan diet upon his children. However, he intends to educate them about the realities of the industries and allow them to choose their paths from there.
Speaking of stars with a few decades of veganism under their belt, Woody Harrelson has been on the scene for quite a while. Not only has he gone out of his way to uphold a raw vegan diet, but he also promotes several plant-based businesses that are advancing the spread of the vegan lifestyle through new and innovative products. That’s something that all of us here at MiiRO can certainly get behind.
Harrelson has also been known to mentor fellow stars in their adoption of the diet and helped his contemporaries invest in multiple vegan and eco-friendly business ventures. Harrelson has about 30 years of vegan living under his belt, and he has made the most of every moment. He hasn't limited his advocacy of veganism to lip service, either.
He has done everything from making major donations to protesting with PETA in Texas; he even wrote the foreword for a vegan cookbook! His dedication and generosity have been a serious boon to the vegan community, and we could all stand to take some notes.
Harvard graduate and accomplished actress Natalie Portman was an easy choice for this list. Like Joaquin Phoenix, Portman started a vegetarian diet as a child due to her love for animals. Later, after learning the disturbing truth about the egg and dairy industry, she decided to go full vegan.
Portman has certainly been one of Hollywood's most outspoken advocates for veganism, which she considers to be on par with other social justice movements taking place in America and around the world. Her eyes were opened to the hardships of the animals in the industry as she became more involved in women's issues. When she dove into the struggles that women face every day and the way that they’re often disproportionately mistreated, she noticed similarities in the ways that animals were treated.
After all, in the case of the egg and dairy industries, it is the female animals that are used as resources and thrown away. Portman was deeply affected by this parallel and used it to fuel her voice in the vegan community.
Ten More Notable Vegan Celebs
These are some of the big celebrity names in the vegan world, but tons of other notables choose to avoid animal products. Their choice to go vegan might be in the name of reducing animal cruelty or supporting animal rights, or because they are a firm believer in the research that a vegan diet can expand your life length and make you a happier person.
- Ariana Grande: The singer has been vegan since 2013 when she decided she loved animals too much to eat them.
- Alicia Silverstone: The actress from Clueless has been vegan for over 20 years.
- Mayim Bialik: The new host of Jeopardy and former Big Bang Theory star became a vegetarian at age 19, and a few years later, became fully vegan.
- Travis Barker: This Blink-182 drummer was spurred to go on a vegan diet due to a promise he made to himself after surviving a deadly plane crash.
- Peter Dinklage: This Game of Thrones star went fully vegan in 2014.
- Lizzo: Unlike some of the other stars on this list, Lizzo is a relatively new vegan.
- Leona Lewis: This singer was a vegetarian for a long time before turning to full veganism in September 2012.
- Evanna Lynch: The former Harry Potter star is fully vegan and even founded a vegan beauty subscription box.
- Kevin Smith: This filmmaker almost died from a heart attack in 2018 and afterward was convinced by his daughter to adopt a vegan diet.
- Madelaine Petsch: The Riverdale star has been vegan since she was a child, and she says this has truly shaped her adult life.
Should You Go Vegan?
Celebrities aren't the only ones who can get out there and make a difference. Sure, they may have a wider platform, but you don't need that to positively influence the world around you. By doing things like recycling, composting, and, of course, going vegan and spreading the word, you can reduce your impact on our environment and help make our planet a happier, healthier place.
Whether you are a long-time vegan or a prospective new vegan, there are tons of resources available to ensure that making the world a better place can be healthy for your body and taste fantastic!
If you are looking for a place to start, our magazine and MiiRO TV have tons of good meal ideas. We recommend the desserts in particular. Try our keto and vegan chocolate cake! It’s mouthwatering and unapologetically chocolatey. Throw in some of our vegan baking chips and make it a party. You won’t be disappointed.