Including Ariana Grande, Bill Clinton and Beneditch Cumberbatch
Before we get started, let us tell you, there are a lot of celebrity vegans.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. By now, it’d be pretty hard not to be well acquainted with veganism. As per the most recent United Nations (UN) figures, around 10% of the global population is vegan. That’s 78 million people.
So how have we gone from viewing vegans as sandal-wearing hippies to seeing 10% of humans on the planet take up the lifestyle choice in less than a decade?
Climate change, that’s what. You need only watch David Attenborough’s latest Netflix documentary, A Life On Our Planet, to face the harsh reality that we are killing the earth. Rainforests lie empty, no chimps to be seen, and once rainbow-coloured reefs sit bleached, dull, and lifeless. Over 15 billion trees are chopped down by humans every year, and half of all fertile land on Earth has one sole purpose—farming. Attenborough calls it his ‘witness statement’, and if that’s not enough of a wake-up call, quite frankly, we don’t know what is.
He predicts that 60 years from now, ‘global food production will enter a crisis as soils become exhausted by overuse.’ The answer? ‘We must change our diet. The planet can’t support billions of meat-eaters,’ Attenborough explains.
FYI, it’s a matter of opinion, but according to The Vegan Society, veganism is “a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” Some even swear by veganism for its weight loss benefits. So you know, there’s that, too.
While there are plenty of other ways you can show climate support—like saving water, recycling, and shopping more mindfully—these celebrity vegans have gone the whole hog and fully adopted a vegan lifestyle. Ready to do your bit, or just keen for a snoop at those who are?
Keep scrolling to discover which of your favourite singers, actors, presenters and athletes swear by eating vegan, aka, your complete guide to the most famous celebrity vegans.
22 celebrity vegans you didn’t know are plant-based
1. Miley Cyrus
Miley’s been vegan and proud for nearly six years, first announcing her transition to plant-based back in 2014. The decision is said to have been triggered by the death of her beloved dog, Floyd. Fun fact: she has two vegan tattoos, the Vegan Society‘s sunflower logo on her left arm and the words ‘be kind’ on her wrists. Although she did admit on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast last month that she has started eating fish occasionally again as ‘her brain wasn’t working properly.’
2. Natalie Portman
One of the longer term celebrity vegans and advocate for animal rights, Natalie Portman went vegan in 2009 after reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals (£7.78, amazon.co.uk). She was even the voice of the 2018 Netflix documentary based on the book.
During a talk she gave to 16,000 students last WE Day, she spoke passionately about the similarities between animal rights and other social-justice movements, sharing: “Only after I became active in women’s issues did I realize that my veganism was related to those very issues. Dairy and eggs don’t just come from cows and chickens, they come from female cows and female chickens. We’re exploiting female bodies and abusing the magic of female animals to create eggs and milk.”
3. Ellie Goulding
Similarly to Miley and Natalie, Ellie has been vegan for years now and has spoken candidly about her decision after transitioning from vegetarian to vegan in 2018. “Once I fully understood where meat came from … I found that concept quite hard to live with. If you don’t need meat to survive, I don’t see why you have to have it” she told The Cut. Although, she did share on Jessie Ware’s Table Manners podcast last month that, when she fancies it, she’ll eat organic dairy yoghurt.
4. Ariana Grande
Sure, Grande’s veganism may not be eco-motivated, but she’s still passed on animal products for the best part of seven years now. Speaking to The Mirror, she shared: “I love animals more than I love most people, not kidding.” Her biggest challenge? Making sure her meals out are 100% vegan, but she recommends sticking to what you know.
Now we bet you didn’t know the Queen of Pop is part of the plant-based celebrity vegans crew. The Cut reports that the pop megastar eats a rather specific vegan macrobiotic diet. That’s basically loads of cold-pressed juices, fruits, vegetables and wholegrain carbs, like quinoa.
6. Lea Michele
She’s long been a health icon, appearing as the Women’s Health cover star in 2016, and was commended by animal rights charity People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in 2010 for her work. She shares that embracing an 100% plant-based diet was half eco-motivated, and half for the health benefits it promises. “It’s about being good to your body and the planet. I’m a foodie, but I think it’s much more fun to find things on the menu that are good for me,” she shared.
7. Olivia Wilde
The House actress has been vegan for years. Did you know? In 2010, she even launched her own website on the matter, discussing her transition to a plant-based way of living, although it no longer appears to be live. She recently told Cosmopolitan magazine: “I actually really like healthy food. I’ve been hardcore vegan for years. When everything in my life became a little hectic, going through the divorce and everything afterwards, I was like, ‘I need some goddamn cheese.’ And so I had some cheese.” But she maintains that she follows a vegan diet 99% of the time.
8. Gisele Bündchen
The vegan supermodel has a whole host of reasons for ditching animal products from her diet. She’s keen to boost her health, sure, but also wants to set a good example for her kids. On turning vegan as a family, she shared with People magazine: “We all love it. It’s not only good for our health and makes us feel good, but it is also good for the planet.”
9. Pamela Anderson
Perhaps surprisingly, Pam is one of the longest-standing celebrity vegans. The former Baywatch star is passionate about animal rights, so much so that, 20 years ago, she shook up the world by posing naked for a PETA campaign. That’s one way of showing your devotion…
On the health benefits front, she’s said that when she finally omitted dairy from her already predominantly plant-based diet, “everything improved” – from her skin, to her digestion, to her hair.
10. Jessica Chastain
Chastain has been one of the celebrity vegans for over 15 years. That’s a pretty long time, hey. Of her dietary decision, the Oscar-nominee said to W mag in the past “[When I first went vegan], I just had more energy than I’ve ever had in my whole life. I was just listening to what my body was telling me.” Hear, hear.
11. Alicia Silverstone
The Clueless actress is another of Hollywood’s stars who’s been vegan for years. She’s been an activist on the topic for near two decades, and feeds her son, Bear, a plant-based diet, too. Why? Silverstone says that a vegan diet helped both her skin and digestion. Not bad.
12. Ellen Page
Best known for her roles in the award-winning movies Juno and Inception, Ellen Page was crowned one of PETA’s sexiest vegan celebrities in 2014. What a title. Her reasoning for saying no to animal consumption? She explains: “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?”. Well, when you put it like that..
13. Kate Mara
Another fun fact for you: both Mara sisters are vegan. House of Cards actress Kate explains that being vegan, for her, is one of her “personal truths.” She’s an animal lover and keen animal rights activist, known for her conservation work with chimps, in particular.
14. Jenna Dewan-Tatum
Rumour has it that it was actually an incident with a chicken finger that put Jenna off meat from a young age. Not long after, the actress found out she was lactose intolerant, and so opted for veganism. Interestingly, it seems like Jenna’s veganism comes from a place of medical need: she’s spoken publicly about how she wants her kids to make their own dietary decisions.
15. Michelle Pfeiffer
You can transition into veganism at any point, as Michelle proved when she decided to try eating plant-based at 62. Speaking to Urbanette on the matter, she said: “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.”
Singer Sia has been a vegan for six years, and also appeared part in one of 2018’s most shocking animal agriculture expose documentaries, Dominion. Stars Rooney Mara and Joaquin Quin were also involved.
17. Venus Williams
See, it’s not just actors and singers—there are plenty of vegan athletes who swear the diet helps them up their game, including award-winning tennis player Venus Williams. She originally adopted the diet after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, but now raves about eating plant-based for enhancing her performance and boosting her energy levels. We’re sold.
18. Benedict Cumberbatch
Another celeb we bet you didn’t know has been vegan for, well, a while? Benedict Cumberbatch. Oh yep, the Avengers star revealed during the promo for the film that he eats an 100% plant-based diet.
19. Zac Efron
You don’t normally correlate a vegan diet and lean muscle, but let me tell you one thing: that’s where you’re wrong. Example A: Zac Efron. The High School Musical star told Teen Vogue recently that he’s “been experimenting with eating purely vegan,” adding it has “completely changed the way that my body works, and the way that I metabolize food, the way it turns into energy, the way that I sleep. It’s been brilliant. It’s been great for my exercise, and great for my routine.” Now we’re seriously considering it…
20. Woody Harrelson
Another actor who’s not only one of the celebrity vegans, but who eats a predominately raw diet, too, is actor Woody Harrelson. Not we really wouldn’t have guessed that one. He reportedly convinced Liam Hemsworth to try veganism back in 2014 while they were filming hunger games together.
21. Joaquin Phoenix
He may have played the Joker but Joaquin’s commitment to veganism is no joke. Apparently, the actor has been vegan since he was three years old. We’re not even going to ask…
22. Bill Clinton
Yep, you read that right. Add the former president of the United States of America Bill Clinton to the list of vegan celebrities. Apparently he lost a whopping 24 pounds after turning to veganism after health issues. If it’s good enough for a president…