If you’re considering going vegan or plant-based, you’re absolutely not alone. The number of vegans in the United States is on the rising, moving from 4 million in 2014 to 9.6 million in 2019. That’s a pretty significant jump, and more celebrities being open about living a vegan and plant-based lifestyle could be a force in the change.
“The vegan diet excludes all animal products from the diet, including the animals/seafood themselves (i.e. meat, poultry, and seafood) plus animal-derived products (i.e. eggs, cheese, and milk),” Maggie Michalczyk, M.S., R.D. previously told Men’s Health.
These vegan celebrities may be onto something, as recent studies show that vegans may live healthier lives than most of us. Past research has linked plant-based diets to a decreased risk of cancer, heart disease, and blood pressure. A 2019 study in The Journal of Nutrition found that vegans have the most antioxidants in their bodies, probably because they eat more fruits and vegetables than most people. Go figure. Vegans in the study also had more omega-3 fatty acids in their bodies, a nutrient we usually associate with eating fish.
More brands are testing out vegan options, from McDonalds to Burger King, as the demand for plant-based alternatives grow. It’s definitely not surprising to find anything from vegan nuggets to full-blown vegan entrees in your local grocery store.
That said, here are 25 celebrities who are out and proud about being vegan.
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Academy Award-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix has been a vegan for most of his life, most recently partnering with PETA to encourage people to go vegan and “end speciesism”.
Phoenix previously shared that he went vegan at the age of three, after he and his siblings “witnessed fish being killed in a really violent and aggressive way.”
“It was just absolutely obvious that that was something we didn’t want to participate in and support. To me, it just seems obvious,” Phoenix told Brut.
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“Once you know that kind of thing and you see it, it’s really hard to go back,” she said, discussing the meat industry. “I just can’t go on in my life knowing what’s going on in the animal world and like, not doing anything about it.”
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“Honestly, ever since I found this way of eating I have endless amounts of energy,” Barker told Men’s Journal. “I can go all day, and after it all I never find myself getting tired.
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Seven-time world champion Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton has been outspoken about his plant-based lifestyle. After going vegan in 2017, Hamilton has encouraged his Instagram followers to go vegan, ditch leather, and boycott animal exploitation.
Hamilton is also behind Neat Burger, a plant-based fast food chain with 14 locations in the UK.
“When I switched to a plant-based diet, those highs and lows [of energy] decreased significantly,” he previously told Men’s Health. “The benefits keep coming, and I’ve honestly never felt better.”
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The Office star Rainn Wilson went vegan in 2017 after trying it with his wife for a month, promising that he won’t be ” one of those asshole vegans who is always talking about how they’re vegan” in an Instagram caption.
“I started to drop some pounds. And, bonus, it’s supposed to be good for the planet,” he added. Wilson also has two pet pigs, Snortington and Amy, which he credits helping him stop eating bacon, he said on Conan.
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Self-proclaimed “bop” star Lizzo has been vegan since 2020, becoming the reigning queen of vegan TikTok, sharing recipe after recipe on her account.
“Shout out to all my fat vegans—we look as good as we feel,” she said in a TikTok video addressing a body-shamer. “And to the haters, good luck chasing that narrow beauty standard.”
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Marvel star Benedict Cumberbatch shares that he went plant-based to get in shape for his role as Doctor Strange.
During a 2018 interview with Time Out London, Cumberbatch was asked if he had to eat anything “gross” like “egg whites” as part of his fitness regiment. He quickly replied stating that he eats a plant-based diet.
He explicitly called himself a vegan while promoting Avengers: Infinity War in Singapore when he mentioned trying the local food “as much as a vegan can.”
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In 2016, the music legend told AOL that he went vegan in 2014 for environmental and health reasons.
“I’ve been a vegan for two years, so that’s helped my already good-looking self,” he said. “I think that eating healthy is important.”
He loves veganism so much, he even sang about it with James Corden during Carpool Karaoke.
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Before going vegan in 2014, Peter Dinklage was a vegetarian for 15 years. In 2012, the Game of Thrones star was a celebrity ambassador for Farm Sanctuary and partnered with PETA in 2014 for their Face Your Food campaign.
“Animals in factory farms feel pain and fear just like the animals we share our homes with,” Dinklage said in the PETA video. “By paying for meat and egg products, you’re paying for cruelty.”
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Named one of the PETA’s Sexiest Vegans Alive in 2014, the Umbrella Academy star once tweeted: “Why are vegans made fun of while the inhumane factory farming process regards animals and the natural world merely as commodities to be exploited for profit?”
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Once vegetarian for personal reasons, Alan Cumming went full vegan in 2012. “I just don’t like meat. Rotten carcasses don’t feel good inside in my body,” he told Vegetarian Times in 2011. “I’ve also seen some horrible documentaries about the hormones and things that go into meat. On a health level, meat is so scary.”
An avid animal rights activist, The Good Wife star received the PETA Humanitarian Award in 2017.
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Pamela Anderson has been a longtime outspoken vegan, once turning down the the Ice Bucket Challenge, claiming the ALS Association tested on animals.
The Baywatch star has been vegan for over 30 years, appearing in multiple PETA campaigns. “Vegans make better lovers,” Anderson wrote in an Instagram caption back in January.
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The comedian claims he hasn’t eaten meat since he was 14 years old and “nagged into veganism by society” after watching Netflix documentary What The Health.
When asked by an audience member on tour why he decided to go vegan, Brand explained: “‘Oh, what? They do what in factory farms?” Y’know like, it was too brutal.”
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The queen of privacy happens to be outspoken about her seven-year vegan journey. In 2014, Sia tweeted that she’s “fully vegan now,” after appearing a PETA ad against animal homelessness in 2010.
The pop singer even appeared as a character on Scooby Doo and Guess Who? in 2019, serving a vegan sandwich to Shaggy and Scooby.
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Though she briefly stopped being vegan during her pregnancy, Portman returned to veganism in 2018, and credits her beauty to eating a vegan diet.
“Once I became vegan, my skin got great,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. Her favorite vegan foods? “Chips and guacamole, phyllo-dough puff pastries, and oat-milk cappuccinos.”
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Colin Kaepernick is in great shape, and his vegan diet could be a factor. He revealed to NBC Sports that was vegan for nine months at the time back in 2016.
The free agent NFL player also has a vegan Ben and Jerry’s flavor made in his honor: “Change the Whirled” with fudge chips and graham cracker swirls.
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The Spider-Man star was vegetarian since 1992 and went full vegan in 2009. He reportedly won’t even touch leather.
“It’s never really been that hard for me. I’ve never had any desire to eat meat,” he told Parade in 2008. “In fact, when I was a kid I would have a really difficult time eating meat at all.”
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The former Batwoman star has been vegan for several years, sharing the decision was once influenced by trying shark fin soup as a kid and learning how it was made.
“I thought that it was even worse that they just cut the fins off and the sharks were out there not able to move,” Rose said on the Shark After Dark recap show after appearing in The Meg. “That really scared me and I used to have nightmares that they were finless in the ocean and I couldn’t eat any fish ever again.”
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The 56 year-old DJ, musician, and animal rights activist has been vegan for roughly 34 years. He even celebrated his lifestyle with a huge “Vegan For Life” tattoo on the right side of his neck.
“Working for animal rights and animal liberation is my life’s work,” Moby wrote in an Instagram caption under a photo of his then-fresh ink. It’s safe to know he won’t be changing his mind about veggies any time soon.
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Black Eyed Peas member Will.I.Am made the switch to veganism in 2017 after a visit to the doctor. He told the Belfast Telegraph that he credits his lowered blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight loss to veganism.
“I thought about what I was eating [before going vegan]—I was gnawing on flesh, dead animal,” he said. “If you think about it, it’s kind of sick.”
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Hip hop mogul and long-time vegan activist Russell Simmons is passionate about living a plant-bsaed lifestyle. He shared with his Instagram followers in 2020 that he believes that “COVID-19 would not exist if the world was vegan.”
“The vegan diet was being discussed around me all the time,” Simmons said in a conversation with Al Roker back in 2015. “So finally, I just made the choice.”
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Clerks director Kevin Smith went vegan in 2018 after suffering a heart attack, and lost 50 pounds. He cites his daughter. Harley Quinn Smith, as a huge influence in making the change.
“I’m thankful I’m alive, and then I’m thankful for my kid who was like, ‘Yeah, go vegan,'” he said in a promotional video for Adopt a Turkey. “I’m thankful I got good advice. I’m thankful I followed it, to be honest.”
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A vegetarian since he was 18 and vegan over nine years ago, Rob Zombie is open about living a life without animal products. He even rescued six goats and lives with them on a farm.
“Whenever I was served pork chops or something it would just taste awful to me,” Zombie told GQ earlier this year.
“We’re all brainwashed from the moment we’re born that all the cows are happy and the pigs are happy and everybody’s so happy and it’s all ‘Old McDonald Had a Farm’. And then I saw a movie that was the first time I really saw how brutal and disgusting factory farming was. That’s when I was, like, ‘I’m done.”
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A fairly recent vegan, Queen guitarist Brian May shared with NME that he went vegan earlier in 2020. He also attributed the coronavirus pandemic to eating animals.
“To go vegan was just a decision,” he said, “I think it’s time to re-examine our world in a way that doesn’t abuse other species.”
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A vegan for over two decades, Sons of Anarchy‘s Theo Rossi told PEOPLE that he feels a “certain connection animals” that prompted him to go vegan at 22 years-old.
“I’m surrounded by animals,” he said. “They’ve kind of dictated my life. My dog is right next to me. I’ve always rescued dogs, and I’ve had cats, and hamsters, and snakes.” He even admitted that friends and family have made fun of his cruelty-free lifestyle.
“My friends make fun of me and they’re like, ‘Oh, are you going to eat your rabbit food or you’re going to eat this?'” he added.
Original posted at www.menshealth.com