On the heels of the Grammy awards show, everyone’s chattering about the stellar opening performance by Beyoncé and Jay Z. Commentators keep landing on one undeniable aspect of the scene: Beyoncé looks hotter than ever after her December 22-day vegan diet challenge.
Whether you’ve been vegan for 5 years, 5 weeks, or 5 minutes, you’re bound to find yourself in conversation with someone at some point about which celebrity has recently gone vegan, or stopped being vegan, or has written a vegan cookbook, or had a vegan wedding. Why does it matter to us what the celebs are doing?
Lots of celebs seem to go vegan—for a little or a long while—for the health benefits. (I’m looking at you, Bill Clinton.) While there’s nothing wrong with shedding some excess pounds (and cholesterol points), it can give people the wrong idea about what it means to be vegan. If celebrities are your only exposure to the so-called vegan world, you might overlook that there are other reasons to go—and stay—vegan.
Fortunately, there are some great celebrity examples of dedicated veganism. The next time you hear someone gossipping about which celeb is about to ditch leather or take up tofu, be prepared to add something to the conversation. Read on to learn about some of our favorite long-time vegan celebs in Hollywood.
A Few of Our Favorite Vegan Celebrities
Woody Harrelson has been vegan for over 25 years. He initially kicked dairy to clear up his skin, but soon found himself inspired to go vegan for ethical reasons. He’s also a raw foodist, which is probably pretty easy for a famous actor, but he claims raw food helps his body work its best. He’s super strict about the vegan thing, but not as strict about the raw foods and admits to occasionally being tempted by cooked food. Who isn’t?
Emily Deschanel went vegetarian in high school and vegan soon after and hasn’t looked back since. She uses her role on the TV show Bones to relay messages about the importance of veganism in a subtle, non-preachy way. Her character on the show is an outspoken vegetarian, and Deschanel frequently recommends animal issues to incorporate into the show’s plot. When she’s not filming the show, Deschanel is an ardent animal rights activist and has received several awards for her efforts.
Joaquin Phoenix might occasionally lose his mind, but he hasn’t lost his vegan ways. Raised vegan as one of five siblings, Phoenix stays busy working with Amnesty International, In Defense of Animals, and PETA. In 2013, he starred in a short film by PETA in which he appears to be drowning, in an effort to draw attention to the inhumane consumption of animal products.
Russell Simmons has been a fervent proponent of animal rights and nonviolence since he went vegan in the late ‘90s. Simmons works with a slew of organizations for animal welfare, ethics, and humanitarian efforts. He’s not shy about talking to his pals about the environmental and health benefits of going vegan, either. He recently hung out with Snoop Dogg to talk veganism and the two shared a vegan pastrami sandwich. Adorbs.
Mayim Bialik is a dedicated vegan and mom of two boys. If you’re a child of the ’90s, you probably think of her as Blossom (from the TV show of same name), but her TV roles haven’t revealed much about her personal ethics. Bialik wrote a parenting book in which she talks about her family’s vegan diet and blogs about her life as a vegan actress and mother. Bialik even persuaded the cast of The Big Bang Theory to use vegan (and kosher) pies in the filming of a pie-eating contest, which she said was more like a pie-face-smashing contest. Maybe they should have taken a bite of those delicious noms!
All this celeb talk makes me want to sit back, nosh some vegan pie, and watch some movies! Who is your favorite vegan celebrity?