By Hibah Khan|
February 4, 2022|
4 min read
Veganuary 2022 was backed by stars like Venus Williams and Joanna Lumley; whether for health, wellness, or ethical reasons, popular vegan celebrities are bringing veganism out of the fringes and into the mainstream.
We believe it is important to recognise celebrities who are using their platforms to highlight the benefits of veganism to the world.
Celebrities who use their voice to help the voiceless creates a big difference in our lives, which often goes unnoticed. From Joaquin Phoenix’s eloquent speech about animal rights at the Oscars, to Natalie Portman breaking stereotypes about Veganism in her documentary ‘Eating Animals’.
Regardless of why a celebrity is vegan, they wield enormous power to influence and shape societal attitudes. We have compiled a list of the top 15 celebrities who are doing amazing things for the vegan cause, helping to educate more people across the planet.
1) Joaquin Phoenix
Vegan actor Joaquin Phoenix doesn’t let Hollywood pressures get in the way of spreading the vegan message. In February 2020, the actor made headlines with his powerful Oscar acceptance speech slamming the dairy industry. Phoenix took the stage and urged people to adopt a plant-based diet in order to reduce the suffering of farmed animals.
The actor has been vegan since he was 3 years old.
2) Ariana Grande
Grande announced on Twitter in 2013 that she had been eating organically since she was a child and rarely ate meat, but that she was committing to becoming “100% vegan.”
In an interview with the Mirror, the singer explained what inspired her to become vegan.
“I love animals more than I love most people, not kidding.” She told the newspaper. “But I am a firm believer in eating a full plant-based, whole food diet that can expand your life length and make you an all-around happier person.”
3) Benedict Cumberbatch
The star of MCU’s, Doctor Strange, Benedict Cumberbatch, has mostly kept his vegan diet a secret, only revealing tidbits of information about it. When asked if he liked Nando’s in an interview, the actor responded with a chuckle, “Well, only if they have a vegan option.”
Benedict may not be as vocal about his diet as some vegan celebrities, but we love that he’s secretly helping animals.
4) Jessica Chastain
The actress has been a vegan since 2007 and frequently uses her platform to openly discuss her lifestyle choice.
In a 2017 interview with W Magazine, the actress revealed that she was a pescatarian before deciding to become a vegan because she was “really low on energy.”
“I found myself going to veganism because a friend of mine had a two-week vegan food delivery program she wasn’t going to use so I used it, and immediately I just had more energy than I’ve ever had in my life…” She explained to the publication. “I said okay, “I’m going to just listen to my body now. Being vegan was not anything I ever wanted to be. I just really was listening to what my body was telling me.”
5) Elliot Page
Elliot Page, best known for his role in Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy, has been a vegan for over a decade. The actor has previously spoken out against the mistreatment of farm animals.
In 2011, he asked his 1.9 million followers “Why are vegans made fun of while the inhumane factory farming process regards animals and the natural world merely as commodities to be exploited.” The tweet garnered a lot of positive feedback and many people praised him for speaking out against the stereotypes vegans receive.
6) Thandiwe Newton
Thandiwe Newton, the Star Wars actress, is just one of many vegan celebrities who credit Woody Harrelson with inspiring them to go vegan!
Thandiwe said she enjoyed having a vegan on the set of Solo: A Star Wars Story, the film she co-starred in with Harrelson. “I think it’s a good idea to have a vegan on board.” It’s great to see a vegan in a position of power. “I’ve been a vegan since I started working with Woody,” the actress revealed.
7) Woody Harrelson
When it comes to vegan celebrities, it’s safe to say that Woody Harrelson was way ahead of the curve! The Hunger Games star is passionate about animals and the environment, and has been vegan for over 30 years. Many vegan celebrities credit Harrelson with converting them to veganism.
The actor is so committed to veganism that he prepared and ate mock ‘Twinkies’ (an American treat) made from cornmeal while filming for the movie Zombieland.
8) Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish became a vegan several years ago after being a vegetarian for many years.
“Becoming vegan wasn’t like a huge deal for me because meat was never a thing in my life. It wasn’t like I missed meat — it wasn’t like I had something to miss” she explained in a YouTube series in 2018.
Eilish has frequently used her platform since then to raise awareness about the negative impact of using animals for food and fashion.
Most recently, the 20-year-old persuaded fashion designer Oscar de la Renta to abandon the use of fur. In exchange, Eilish agreed to wear one of the designer’s gowns to the 2021 Met Gala.
9) Travis Barker
The drummer for Blink-182, has been vegan since 2008, after surviving a plane crash which inspired him to prioritise his health. Barker, who has been a vegetarian since the age of 13, now follows a healthy vegan and gluten-free diet, with the occasional vegan treat!
The musician begins his day with an oat milk coffee and frequently dines at Crossroads, his favourite vegan restaurant. “I love vegan pizza, I’ll also have vegan sushi and Vietnamese vegan food,” Barker told GQ.
10) Venus Williams
With 16 Grand Slam finals under her belt, you can bet that the tennis champion is as passionate about her diet as she is with her serve when it comes to achieving top results on the court.
According to Vegan Life magazine, the star has been vegan for several years after being diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes excessive fatigue.
“Once I started I fell in love with the concept of fuelling your body in the best way possible.” The star said in a 2017 interview with Health magazine. “Not only does it help me on the court, but I feel like I’m doing the right thing for me.”
11) Tobey Maguire
The star of Spiderman, has been a vegetarian since 1992 and a vegan since 2009. “I’ve never wanted to eat meat. In fact, when I was a kid, I had a hard time eating meat at all,” he told Parade.
Actress Natalie Portman claims that Maguire inspired her to become a vegan in 2008 after they co-starred in the film Brothers.
Lizzo, the singer-songwriter, is one of the most recent celebrities to go vegan, having ditched animal products from her diet in 2020. The Juice singer had previously followed a vegetarian diet for seven years before deciding to go vegan in the summer.
Lizzo first revealed her vegan status to her 21 million TikTok followers in a video saying “As a new vegan I’m enjoying exploring flavours from plants & plant-based proteins! Every journey is personal & deserves to be celebrated.”
In October, the Grammy winner marked her six-month vegan anniversary with another TikTok video reflecting on her vegan journey. In honour of the occasion, she also shared some of her favourite plant-based recipes with her followers.
13) Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton, the five-time Formula One champion, has been a vegan since 2017. The British racing legend switched to a plant-based diet to improve his athletic performance while also helping the environment.
Hamilton has even opened a chain of plant-based burger restaurants, Neat Burger, in order to make the fast-food industry a kinder, greener place.
Lewis isn’t the only vegan in his family; his beloved bulldog Roscoe has also been feeling better since going vegan. His canine companion has had health issues in the past, which are common in the breed. Roscoe’s life has been transformed for the better as a result of his vegan diet.
For several years, Beyoncé and Jay-Z have both been linked to the vegan movement, with the singer sharing a video detailing her vegan lifestyle prior to her 2018 Coachella performance.
In July 2019, the mother-of-three uploaded a video to her YouTube channel titled ‘22 Days Nutrition’, which documented her eating and exercise regimen in preparation for her record-breaking performance in June 2017 after the birth of her twins, Rumi and Sir.
Months before, in collaboration with the Greenprint Project, the Lemonade star offered her US-based fans the chance to win free tickets to see her and Jay-Z ‘for life’ if they committed to eating more vegan meals.
15) Natalie Portman
The Black Swan actress has been a vegan since the age of nine and has worked tirelessly to dispel common misconceptions about the lifestyle.
In 2018, the actress released the documentary ‘Eating Animals’, which sheds light on the food production and factory farming industries.
Portman has been posting vegan cooking videos on social media throughout her quarantine. She told Jimmy Fallon that she enjoys demonstrating how varied a vegan diet can be. “I like showing that there are really delicious, varied, easy things that you can do at home that your kids will eat that are plant-based.”