Many well-known people have adopted the vegan lifestyle over the past few decades. Undoubtedly, you’d definitely recognize many of them as frequent features in cinema, talk media, and even politics. “Celebrity” is an extremely broad title and famous vegans represents an extremely broad range of personality types. As this group of vegans in the spotlight continues to grow, it becomes interesting to watch the other personalities that join the crowd. You may even call them strange bedfellows, of sorts. What this array of personalities show us is that it does not take a particular type of person to make a vegan, it just takes a decision. Although this very short list represents only a fraction of the famous vegans out there, it is a fantastic cross section that really questions the stereotypes that may exist with regard to who actually participates in the vegan lifestyle.
1. Ellen DeGeneres
One of the most famous vegan celebrities is Ellen DeGeneres. Having initially become a vegetarian, she returned to eating meat 8 months later. However, after learning that 50 billion animals are killed per year for their meat and meat derivatives, she felt compelled to adopt a lifestyle that offered no support whatsoever to the financial exploitation of animal life. Ms. DeGeneres does not consider herself a political activist. Rather, she regards herself as a person of compassion who believes that by respecting animal rights we can create a more positive, happier society.
2. Joaquin Phoenix
Another individual who stands out among the most famous vegan celebrities is Joaquin Phoenix. He recalls how at 3 years of age he watched a fish that had been caught get thrown against the side of a boat and killed. He realized at that time that any animal killed for its meat in reality dies a violent, painful death. As he grew to adulthood, this awareness led him down the vegan path. He feels that by living his life with cruelty-free awareness foremost in mind that he can set an example for others to follow. He also feels that there are plenty of synthetic substitutes now available that eliminate any need for any type of product derived from the body of an animal.
3. Alicia Silverstone
Alicia Silverstone is one of the most famous vegan celebrities who admits that she grew up loving meat. While becoming a vegan was a process for her, Ms. Silverstone clearly states that it was her love for animals that eventually led her to this choice. Becoming aware of how much pain animals suffer prior to being slaughtered was the impetus for making what she initially thought would be a painful sacrifice. She was pleasantly surprised at how much the choice benefited her as much as the animals she helped to save. She began losing weight almost immediately, and she felt an immediate increase in energy.
Alicia recently wrote a book, The Kind Diet, which basically states that being kind to everything is being kind to yourself. She feels that a plant-based diet represents not just a diet, but a way of viewing the world, and a way of living, based on kindness, optimal health, and compassionate awareness.
4. Former President Bill Clinton
One of our most famous vegan celebrities on our list is one of the most famous people in human history. He is former President Bill Clinton. He recently announced in a CNN interview, which can be viewed in its entirety here, that he lost over 20 pounds by switching to a plant based diet. His primary motivations for choosing this path were recovery from recent heart surgeries and the desire to achieve optimal health in time to attend his daughter’s wedding. His favorite foods include protein supplements, almond milk, a wide range of fruits and vegetables, and various types of beans and legumes.
One thing is for certain, if you’ve been thinking about implementing more vegan habits into your life, now is the time. You’ll be in good company.
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM
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