Celebrities are notorious for jumping on the bandwagon of whatever hot new diet emerges, and are often the ones who introduce various health or diet trends to the public eye. The baby food diet, juicing, insanely expensive meal delivery programs, kale – whatever you can think of, some celebrity has probably tried it. When it first came into the public eye, veganism seemed like one of those crazy trends – those strange beings in Los Angeles who were eating pizza with no cheese. However, veganism has been steadily growing in popularity and many celebrities have adopted a vegan diet for a variety of reasons.
Some celebrities adopt it for health reasons, saying that their bodies just began to feel better when they made the switch. While one has to be attentive to nutrition in any diet (a vegan diet won’t particularly benefit anyone if they’re just eating Oreos and white bread all the time), a vegan diet does cut out a lot of high calorie, fatty foods, and can thus have a positive impact on many individuals.
Other celebrities choose veganism for environmental and animal rights reasons. A vegan diet uses fewer resources, and allows celebrities to take a stand against entities like industrial livestock farms which treat animals harshly and put out food that isn’t always entirely real food. Many celebrities who become vegan start out as vegetarians and eventually take that extra step to veganism, whether this is because they are listening to their bodies and find it really does make them feel better to take the extra step, or because they want to be wholly committed to their support of the environment and animals and to show that support through their lifestyle choices.
Whatever their reasons may be, more and more celebrities are choosing a vegan diet. This list shows ten celebrities who are lean, green, no-dairy, no animal byproduct eating machines.
10 Carrie Underwood
After her time on American Idol, country singer Carrie Underwood dropped several pounds and transformed her body into the envy-worthy shape it’s in today. What’s her secret? A vegan diet. Underwood had been a vegetarian since her childhood, but eventually made the switch to a vegan diet and has been very vocal about its advantages. She cites her love of animals as the main inspiration for her switch to veganism. However, she’s also remarked that her diet is partially due to a concern for where her food is coming from, and also simply that it makes her feel happier, stronger, and overall better about herself. She’s acknowledged that certain scenarios make it difficult to keep up with a vegan diet – such as being on vacation, or on tour, something the super successful country star would know a lot about – but remains committed to keeping her vegan diet in order to keep herself in the best shape she can be, both physically and mentally.
9 Natalie Portman
Smart and gorgeous Natalie Portman has been a vegetarian since childhood, and has moved back and forth between vegetarianism and veganism. Author Jonathan Safran Foer’s bestseller Eating Animals reaffirmed Portman’s dedication to a vegan lifestyle; she read the book in 2009 and spoke publicly to the Huffington Post about her new stance as a vegan activist, and about why she felt a vegan diet was important to her as an environmentalist and animal lover. When she wed now husband Benjamin Millepied in 2012, she had an all-vegan wedding (something the vegan celebrities in attendance, such as Alicia Silverstone, were very happy about).
The couple recently moved to Paris and Portman expressed concern about the availability of her favorite vegan foods in Paris, compared to the ultra-vegan friendly Hollywood, but she’s staying strong with her decision to lead a vegan lifestyle.
8 Tobey Maguire
Spiderman star Tobey Maguire has been a vegetarian since 1992, but made the switch to veganism in 2009. He’s never been the biggest carnivore, he admitted in interviews, and a meat-free lifestyle consequently wasn’t a hard adjustment for him.
7 Jared Leto
Due to his recent role in critically acclaimed movie Dallas Buyers Club, actor and singer Jared Leto has been in the public eye a lot in the past awards season. While many commented on his charming hair bun, others were preoccupied with how on earth he was able to still look like he was in his twenties when he’s 42 years old. The answer? His vegan diet, according to Leto himself. For various movie roles he has shrunk down to an emaciated frame or ballooned up, but when he’s eating normally, he enjoys plant based foods and a lot of yoga.
6 Woody Harrelson
Woody Harrelson is committed to health in every shape and form, and is a vegan, an environmentalist, a raw foods enthusiast, and a certified yoga instructor. He’s an animal lover who has been involved with PETA over the years, starting in the 1990s. He credits his vegan diet to a chance run in with a woman on a bus in his early 20s: apparently, an ailment-ridden Harrelson (as he describes it, he had a runny nose, mucus, acne, and just general signs that his body wasn’t functioning at its peak level) was approached by a woman who told him that he was lactose intolerant and needed to cut dairy out of his diet. Harrelson heeded her advice, saw his health change dramatically within three days of cutting out dairy, and has since stuck to a vegan diet.
Wondering how he made it through the movie Zombieland, where his character was dedicated to Twinkies? He got fake, specially made Twinkies with corn meal rather than the pounds of dairy and sugar that are in normal processed Twinkies. Like many of the vegans on this list, he is passionate about animals and the environment, and of being conscious about what you’re eating and where it comes from.
5 Emily Deschanel
While Emily Deschanel might be confronted with a lot of flesh on her hit tv show Bones, it’s definitely not a part of her diet. She has been a vegan for a very long time, since high school, and claims that the book Diet for a New America: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness, and the Future of Life on Earth greatly impacted her decision. It convinced her that a plant based diet would be the best option, both for her health, and for her environmental and ethical beliefs.
4 Kristen Bell
A woman who loves sloths so much that they move her to hysterical tears? It's no surprise she decided to forego meat. This animal lover maintains a strict vegan diet. Though Bell switched to a vegetarian diet while breastfeeding in order to ensure she was getting enough calories, she has been committed to a plant based diet since childhood. She credits her love of animals and relative dislike of meat to her childhood decision, and supposedly made the switch to veganism after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives. She’s a big fan of spending time in the kitchen, and enjoys exploring vegan recipes and looking through vegan cookbooks to ensure that the food she’s putting on the table is both healthy and delicious.
3 Olivia Wilde
There’s one thing that Olivia Wilde most certainly is not wild for – meat. She claims her vegan diet is a huge contributor to her incredible body, rightfully asserting that meat is generally more calorie dense in comparison to its vegan alternatives. Like several of the women on this list, she did not maintain a vegan diet during her pregnancy, but has hinted that she will be resuming her diet of choice now that her son has entered the world.
She stated that fellow vegan Alicia Silverstone helped her with the transition to veganism by introducing her to a variety of delicious foods from her vegan cookbook when they were on the set of a movie together. Her vegan diet, Wilde claims, makes her feel and look better, giving her loads of energy and glowing skin.
2 Ellen DeGeneres
With a platform as big as a beloved daily talk show, Ellen has spread her love of animals to audiences across the world. She is also a strict vegan, and has been one for many years. She even launched a new section, entitled “Going Vegan with Ellen,” to her show's website. This section is a resource designed to help her fans, or anyone who might stumble across the page, transition into a vegan lifestyle by providing information about veganism, delicious recipes, and much more. She’s acknowledged that the switch was certainly not easy, but that it has impacted her life positively.
When making the switch, she hired a private vegan chef for her and wife Portia de Rossi to ensure they had delicious vegan food. Wondering what they ate? It’s pretty easy to find out as their private chef, Roberto Martin, came out with a cookbook entitled Vegan Cooking for Carnivores: Over 125 Recipes So Tasty You Won’t Miss The Meat, for which Ellen wrote the afterword and Portia wrote the foreward.
1 Alicia Silverstone
Alicia Silverstone is one of the most well known advocates of the vegan lifestyle, and has a website dedicated to vegan and vegetarian food and environmental issues at thekindlife.com. Though she looked gorgeous in her iconic film Clueless, her health wasn’t the greatest and she had a variety of ailments that were negatively affecting her life. She decided to forego her admitted “steak and doughnut diet” and adopt a vegan diet instead. Since then, she’s stuck with it, saying it has improved her health and overall well-being immensely. She is also an animal lover. Her switch to a vegan lifestyle, and her passion for her new diet, led her to create The Kind Diet, a vegan cookbook.