The number of celebrities and public figures who are saying goodbye to both meat and dairy and becoming vegan has hit an all time high. Since most of us can remember, different diets have come and gone from the limelight. The Atkins Diet, also coined the nightmare diet due to the outrageous amounts of bacon, cream and butter it recommends, is probably the one that received the most media attention over the past century.
But despite the fact that popular culture has inextricably linked an emphasis on slenderness and beauty with the choices we make about food consumption, people are now starting to realize that going vegan is far more than just another fashionable dietary trend for weight-loss obsessed teenagers and baby-weight weary soccer moms. (It's also no longer relegated to the anarchist/animal rights activist demographic that first vocally defended it.)
Here is a list of people you probably know (some of whom you may not expect!) who have made the decision to go vegan. Their reasons for doing so may make you think twice the next time you reach for that carton of milk!
1. Natalie Portman
Portman is one of Hollywood’s most famous actresses. Known for more than just her good looks and ability to make us smile while reading off a screenplay, this lady has some serious talent and has taken on heavy roles in movies like Closer and The Black Swan. She is also one of Hollywood’s most visible vegans.
Portman claims to have gone vegan after reading the book Eating Animals, by philosopher and acclaimed author Jonathan Safran Foer. For anyone who is even the slightest bit curious about where our meat and dairy come from, this is the book for you! After several years of research and investigation, Foer paints a detailed picture of what the meat industry is really all about. He even goes as far as to warn us that the supermarket-fresh taste we associate with chicken is nothing more than the flavouring added to the feces, blood and ammonia-polluted water absorbed by chicken carcases after electrocution.
It’s no wonder indigestion is so frequent in modern day society, and Pepto-Bismol such a common household commodity!
The popular San Francisco-based DJ has been living a vegan lifestyle for over two decades. Known for his sample-based, eclectic style of electronic music, Moby has sold more than 20 million albums during his almost 15 year career, and has been a vegan since long before his career took off.
Known for being a workaholic, this musician claims that a vegan diet is ‘like a fountain of youth,’ and attributes his never-ending stream of energy to his super-food filled lifestyle. Since cutting back on meat consumption can help improve people’s health and save the environment, Moby has taken it upon himself to write two books with the goal of educating people about veganism.
For Moby, there are a plethora of reasons for people to go vegan. For example, in 2009, the World Watch Institute declared that livestock production is responsible for 51% of greenhouse gases. Additionally, vegans are reported to have less cases of cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, arthritis and many types of cancer.
3. Tonya Kay
For anyone who associated going vegan with being weak, scrawny and lacking the protein to build muscle mass, pro-dancer and performance artist Tonya Kay makes us think again. This lady is known for her beautiful muscular body and vibrant good health. Made famous by her appearance on NBC's America's Got Talent, Kay impressed the country with her fire poi solo with Trey Knight's Stilt World dance company.
Having grown up in a rural area close to slaughterhouses, Kay became a vegetarian at the age of 11. After years without meat, Kay made the choice to go completely vegan for health reasons, and has recently started promoting both a raw and vegan diet.
Kay swears by veganism and claims it has helped her cure everything from acne to depression. She also asserts that a raw vegan diet allows her to recover quickly from any career related injuries. Kay’s incredible stamina and strength proves that most fears of protein deficiency are based on myth; especially considering that all foods but alcohol, sugar and fats have some form of protein.
4. Jón Þór Birgisson
The lead singer of the popular Icelandic band Sigúr Ros, is another vocal proponent of the benefits of a raw and vegan diet. He and his partner, Alex Somers, a visual artist and musician from Baltimore, have created a website where they publish video tutorials on how to prepare vegan recipes. The videos are shot in the garden of their Reykjavik home, and feature the beautiful and amusing couple with the glowing skin, made possible by the nutrients from their animal-free diet.
The singer, also known as Jónsi, claims to ‘see the animal’ every time he looks at a piece of meat, and says that he absolutely loves animals. This explains why the musician doesn’t want to drink milk from dairy cows, most of whom have been abused and forced to stand in the same position for days, while unnatural amounts of milk are extracted from their bleeding, infected bodies by machines.
If animal suffering isn’t enough to make you spend the extra few cents on almond milk, then nothing will be!
... And the list of vegan celebrities goes on and on. Other vegans who have graced the stage and hit the top of the charts are Fiona Apple, Morrissey, Olivia Wilde, Erykah Badu, Alicia Silverstone, Ellen DeGeneres, Alanis Morissette, Ozzy Osbourne, Joaquin Phoenix, Renee Olstead and Paul McCartney. Even Mike Tyson and Bill Clinton are known to be proponents of a lifestyle free of animal products!
So if you are curious about how to join the ranks of the stars and start a life free of disease, animal cruelty and environmental damage, take a look at this blog post from the New York Times on "How to Go Vegan." It's starting to seem like eating meat may soon go out of fashion!