It’s not always good to ‘be inspired’ by celebrities, as this could work the other way. However, vegans can sometimes feel a bit isolated in a world that often does not care. So here is a list of 20 vegan celebrities, to inspire you that you are not alone, even if there are not many vegans close to where you live. Most went vegan due to concerns over animal welfare and the environment. And it’s good to know that these celebrities use their status to help, rather than to encourage naval-gazing or advertising unethical products in the media
Novak Djokovic has been vegan for years, and even opened a plant-based restaurant in Monaco. A devout Orthodox Christian, his choice of food also stems from his faith, which he says is more important than his tennis career.
Ellen Pompeo is an actress from the TV series Grey’s Anatomy. She went vegan after reading a book how a plant-based diet is good for breast health, and says being vegan is far easier to prepare, than eating meat.
Benedict Cumberbatch is a popular actor, who played Sherlock Holmes. A practising Buddhist, he believes that how he eats affects both his body and spirit.
Jessica Chastain has been vegan for years. This beautiful redhead actress says going plant-based makes her feel better both emotionally and physically, with clearer skin and more energy.
Natalie Portman has also been vegan for years. She is from a Jewish family, with family in Israel, which is (after Germany) the most vegan-friendly nation on earth, with more vegans by ratio than anywhere else.
Mayim Bialik is the popular actress who stars in The Big Bang Theory. Raised in a Jewish household, this brainy woman is also a physicist, and author of a vegan cookbook: Mayim’s Vegan Table.
Actress Daryl Hannah has also been vegan for many years, and is a renowned environmental campaigner too. She says not just for animal welfare, but going plant-based is good for the planet, due to lower carbon emissions.
Serena and Venus Williams are both vegans, the latter transitioning due to being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease. This improved when she changed her diet to plants-only.
Woody Harrelson (the actor from Cheers) has been vegan for decades, and also is an environmental campaigner. He went vegan age 24 years old, after a lifestyle of ‘burgers and steak’.
Pamela Anderson is a vegan and animal welfare campaigner. She wrote the Canadian Prime Minister to ask him to keep his promise (he hasn’t so far) of banning the annual baby seal cull. She also launched Pammies, a range of vegan ugg boots, made from recycled electronics.
Moby is a renowned pop star and musician, and recently opened a vegan restaurant in California. His book The Little Pine Cookbook shares recipes from it.
Emily Deschanel has been vegan for many years. The Bones star has a family history of Quakers, a peaceful religion that does a lot of work in animal welfare.
Joaquin Phoenix has been vegan for years, and has worked on many animal welfare documentaries. He is known for his quote ‘It takes nothing away from a human, to be kind to an animal’.
Martin Shaw is a UK actor known for his work on The Professionals, Judge John Deed and Inspector George Gently. He works with many vegan and animal welfare charities like Viva!, and says that his daily meditation and faith is one reason behind his dietary choices.
Bryan Adams has been vegan for years. As well as being a successful songwriter, he is also a gifted photographer. He mostly follows a raw diet. He also promotes vegan shoe brand B Boheme.
The UK’s TV Show Made in Chelsea has spawned many celebritiy off-shoot shows and businesses. One is Lucy Watson, who has since launched her own vegan cookbook and desserts for the supermarkets. Her co-stars have each launched vegan sweet company Candy Kittens (all bar Eton Mess are vegan) and low-alcohol vegan gin.
Sara Gilbert who played one of the children in the popular TV series Roseanne has been vegan for years. She says ‘I’m totally self-centered. I would make everyone vegan, if I were President!’
Stella McCartney is the daughter of Sir Paul McCartney and his late wife Linda McCartney. This successful fashion designer refuses to use animal products, and has with her family just re-released her mother’s famed veggie cookbook, now entirely plant-based.
Joan Jett is the ultimate rock star, and has been lending her voice to the vegan and animal welfare movement for years. She wrote the blurb for the book Vegan With a Vengeance, which became the launch pad for the career of Isa Chandra Moskowitz, now one of the world’s top-selling vegan cookbook authors, and owner of two vegan restaurants.