Celebrities have a lot of fame and power, which can be used to better the world or make it worse. I have come to find that there are quite a few celebrities that have a vegan diet, and a lifestyle that supports sustainability, animal rights, better ethical treatment of workers, and so on. Some celebrities are passively vegan – that is, they are not celebrities because of their vegan views, but became a celebrity as a result of something else like their music or roles in the film industry. Others are active vegan celebrities whose claim to fame is adding something of value to the conversation of a plant-based diet and lifestyle.
Let’s take a look at 100 Vegan Celebrities:
Let us start with a few individuals who have inspired my personal whole foods, plant-based journey. These are some vegan medical professionals that have decided to go against the grain of the establishment to promote a plant-based diet. As science evolves, new research is beginning to come to light that shows just how beneficial a plant-based diet can be. For example, it has been shown that a plant-based diet can help prevent prostate cancer and simply increasing the number of servings of fruits and vegetables can make you feel better. From there, the sky is the limit as we look at vegan celebrities in all corners of the career spectrum!
1). Dr. John McDougall, Doctor
When I began my plant-based journey a few years ago, Dr. John McDougall helped guide me in the right direction. By reading his book The Starch Solution and following the dietary guidelines he advised, in addition to other research on the topic of a vegan lifestyle, I found myself feeling better almost instantly. In the course of these 3 years I have shed 65 pounds and regained my health in a number of other ways. I will always be thankful for this guidance!
2). Dr. Michael Greger, Doctor
Another plant-based doctor that has inspired my personal journey is Dr. Greger. His book How Not to Die was also an influence on my life as it provides digestible scientific research that can make sense to your average person. I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Greger on the Holistic Holiday at Sea Cruise and found him to be a very pleasant and down-to-earth person. That is not always the case with people who have found fame, but it certainly helps solidify him as an influential part of my journey.
Related: Dr. Michael Greger's 2015 Reddit IAMA Excerpts
3). Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Doctor
Dr. Esselstyn has played a significant role in the promotion of a whole foods, plant-based diet. He has gone on to promote an even more specific dietary lifestyle which includes staying away from nuts and oils as well. At different points in his life, his research into this topic has been a point of public discussion. Former US President Bill Clinton has addressed his work as being valuable and the benefits of a plant-based diet notable. He was a doctor featured in the popular vegan documentary Forks Over Knives.
4). Moby, Musician
5). Jaoquin Pheonix, Actor
An actor you may quickly recognize for stunning portrayals in films like Gladiator and The Village, as well as for his peculiar actions in the public eye that led to the creation of the documentary I'm Still Here. It has been described that he can often be unpredictable, but with regards to his vegan diet he is steadfast. In an interview, he described the experience of immediately converting to veganism as a result of seeing what he viewed to be abuse (at the young age of 3) as he was on a fishing trip and saw fish being captured and killed. It is a simple but powerful image that he paints. This vegan diet was followed by his other siblings as well, most of which have had their time in the public eye, including his late brother River Pheonix.
6). Pat Neshak, Baseball Player
7). Emily Deschanel, Actress
8). Woody Harrelson, Actor
9). Casey Affleck, Actor
10). Carrie Underwood, Musician
Carrie rose to fame as a musician and vocalist due to her stellar performances on American Idol - the reality TV talent show where the winner went on to win a substantial recording contract deal. Over the years there have been many "idol" winners, but few have gone on to retain their fame for any extended period of time. These days, Carrie Underwood continues to tour the world and can even been seen popping up in television commercials. Going from a relatively unknown country girl to someone with so much star power must have been jarring, but by talking about important topics like her vegan diet; it has increased public awareness of something so important for all of us.
11). Al Gore, Politician
12). Russell Simmons, Music Producer
13). Sia, Musician
14). Evanna Lynch, Actress
15). Bill Clinton, Politician
I am sure we all have our personal opinions about Bill (and Hilary) Clinton. I am not a particularly politics minded person, but try not to take anyone (or anything) at face value. While there are certainly many things I don't agree with former President Bill Clinton on, it is nice to see that amidst all the power, wealth, and celebrity that being in such a position like the President of the United States, it is reassuring to hear someone from such great heights talk about veganism as a potential solution to our nation's health problems. He made a public transition in 2010 and says a vegan diet makes him "feel good."
Correction: Bill Clinton Should Not Be Considered a Vegan Celebrity
16). Natalie Portman, Actress
17). Mike Tyson, Boxer
18). Ellen Page, Actress
19). Lea Michele, Actress
20). Mayim Bialik, Neuroscientist/Actress
Mayim Chaya Bialik rose to quick fame as her ongoing portrayal of Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS's sitcom series The Big Bang Theory. Her personal background and rise to fame have always been unique, and she appears to have a very down-to-earth personality despite the sudden increase in popularity. It is comical to see her acting skills put to great use on the TV show, and to know that she is a real life neuroscientist is just icing on the cake. Her public stance on veganism is related to the value of the diet on health, as well as the focus on wanting to do away with animal cruelty. In doing research for this piece, I just found out she has a vegan recipe book as well: Mayim's Vegan Table. I will need to check this one out in more depth soon!
Related: Check out the Plant-Smart Living Digital Recipe Guide!
21). Steve-O, Stunt Performer/Actor
22). Ozzy Osbourne, Musician
23). Stevie Wonder, Musician
24). Wacka Flacka Flame, Musician
25). Peter Dinklage, Actor
Anyone familiar with the popular HBO television drama Game of Thrones will know Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, the cunning dwarf character. He is also a well regarded actor outside of television, having acted in great independent films like The Station Agent and comedies like Elf. Of course, many will note his small stature, but he has a big heart for the humane treatment of animals, which is a core reason why he has adopted a plant-based lifestyle.
26). Miley Cyrus, Musician/Actress
27). Liam Hemsworth, Actor
28). Bryan Adams, Musician
29). Jessica Chastain, Actress
30). Jared Leto, Musician/Actor
You may not recognize Jared Leto because he seems to always be changing his appearance. Whether he is going to some extreme for a movie production (as is the case with his portrayal of the Joker in the upcoming film Suicide Squad) or just wanting to have fun by changing his hair color, one thing remains the same: his dietary choice to be a vegan. At 44 years old, he looks as if he never aged past his 20's. He has stated to the press that he feels his vegan diet has been the reason why he has remained looking so youthful. Certainly this paired with an active lifestyle as the result of his conjoined career paths, as both a musician in the alternative rock band 30 Seconds to Mars and an actor in award winning films like Requiem for a Dream and Mr. Nobody, has treated him quite well!
31). Ellie Goulding, Musician
32). Jason Gillespie, Cricket Player
33). Pamela Anderson, Model
34). Berry Gordy, Record Producer
35). Ellen DeGeneres, Actress/TV Personality
Everyone knows Ellen DeGeneres these days. She is very popular for her simply named talk show Ellen. Of course, she is well known publicly for a variety of political stances she has taken throughout the years. Perhaps none are more important than her promotion of veganism due to the impact it has on everyone - you know - because everyone has to eat to live!
See also: The Top 5 Easiest Foods to Ease into a Vegan Diet!
36). Travis Barker, Musician
37). Glen E. Friedman, Photographer
38). Ariana Grande, Musician
39). Arian Foster, Football Player
40). Maneka Ghandi, Activist
Maneka Sanjay Gandhi is the Indian Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development in the Government of PM Narendra Modi. She is also an animal rights activist, environmentalist, and widow of the Indian politician Sanjay Gandhi. She has been a minister in four governments, and has authored a number of books in the areas of etymology, law and animal welfare. She has played a pivotal role in spreading the message of a whole foods, plant-based diet in this region of the world we often overlook from our cozy vantage point in the USA.
41). Bob Linden, Radio Personality
42). Ted Leo, Musician
43). Don Imus, Radio/TV Personality
44). Chris Hedges, Journalist
45). Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist Monk and Activist
With as rich a history as Thich Nhat Hanh, it is amazing to see his personal story unfold with such grace. While many among us hope for peace, few are able to actively promote it so well by simple actions noticed by many. Thich Nhat Hanh has been able to do just this as a peace activist. His vegan diet is grounded in the notion of peace towards non-human animals. Afterall, consuming meat and other animal products is much like spreading war to these other subservient species.
Fun fact: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. nominated Thich Nhat Hanh for a Nobel Peace Prize - but no prize was offered in that year. It is interesting to see how the Eastern and Western worlds can be connected so quickly by an exchange such as this!
46). Patrick O. Brown, Biochemist
47). Steven Harnad, Cognitive Scientist
48). Alicia Silverstone, Actress
49). Howard Lyman, Farmer
50). Darren Aronofsky, Film Director
Known for his often very serious and cerebral films such as Requiem for a Dream (in which fellow featured vegan Jared Leto starred), The Fountain, Black Swan, Pi, and the Biblical epic Noah, Darren Aronofsky is a vegan who has used his art forms at times to, apparently, display this message. After the release of Noah, many were up in arms not only because of the unique take on this part of the Bible, but also because how animals were portrayed throughout. Some have gone so far to call the movie "vegan propaganda" because no live animals were used or subjugated to physical harm. It is certainly a strange world where people will find just about anything to complain about. There must be worse things than a whole foods, plant-based diet to have a problem with given all the known positive effects it can have on a person's health!
51). Fionna Apple, Musician
52). Alec Baldwin, Actor
53). Gene Baur, Activist
54). Dr. Neal Barnard, Doctor
55). David Benatar, Philosopher
Well known in academic circles for his philosophical writings, David Benatar is a vegan. At times he dives into issues your average is certainly not considering, such as whether or not human beings should continue to procreate if they consider themselves "vegan." Other more existential writings are also in place as well, so if you are looking to stay on the happier, more upbeat side of life you may want to tread lightly; but there is no doubt that his unique take on the world has stuck with quite a few people who treasure his philosophical stances and his ability to truly "question everything."
56). Mirco Bermasco, Rugby Player
57). John S. Hall, Poet
58). DJ Qbert, Professional DJ
59). Nate Diaz, MMA Fighter
60). Steph Davis, Professional Rock Climber
I am happy to have stumbled across Steph Davis while conducting research for this article on vegan celebrities. She stood out to me given her niche celebrity status - you probably know her if you are into extreme rock climbing, but may not have heard of her in any other situation - and positive outlook on life. In an interview she conducted as a part of a partnership with the activist group PETA, she states:
"I started eating vegan because I noticed that it made me feel better and perform better. After a couple of years, I became aware of factory farming, and what exactly is being done to animals all day every day in our society in order to create cheap meat, eggs and dairy products that are not even causing Americans to be healthy or fit. Knowing what I know now, even if being vegan didn’t make me healthier, energetic and stronger (which it does), I would continue to eat this way purely in order to keep my dollars out of the system that perpetuates cruelty and abuse."
Her experience of transitioning to a whole foods, plant-based diet is similar to my own. We experience personal value in seeing our lives change before our eyes, then become inspired by this change to see it in others. As the meat industry is so intertwined with the food we are told to consume, it's no wonder many vegans become animal rights activists!
Related: How Lobbying Ruined the US Dietary Guidelines
61). Chloe Coscarelli, Chef
62). Damien Mander, Military Sniper/Activist
63). Luke Cummo, MMA Fighter
64). Matisyahu, Musician
65). Dr. Amie Breeze Harper, Scholar
Dr. Harper is the creator of the Sistah Vegan Project. She is an esteemed scholar and author known for her very unique perspective on veganism. This is highlighted well in her book Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society.
It is fascinating to see this perspective as vegans are a significant minority in the world which is paralleled by the African American community in the USA which is an ethnic minority as well. In order for a whole foods, plant-based diet to catch on, it needs to be taken in by people of all types. It is also worth noting that among African Americans, obesity rates are significantly higher than in white counterparts. This is a chronic health problem that plagues many people, and that can be resolved by changing diet and lifestyle. I have seen this change in myself first hand as I lost 65+ pounds since transitioning to a plant-based diet, and I believe the same could be experienced by others as well.
Related: Overeating on a Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet is Your Weight Loss Secret!
66). Molly Cameron, Cyclist
67). David Carter, Football Player
68). Jenny McCarthy, Actress
69). Sue Donaldson, Author
70). Brian Greene, Physicist
Brian Greene is an esteemed physicist and was a professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and moved on to Columbia University. He is well known for helping to bring the world of dense physics to the masses in far more digestible forms through talks and books such as The Elegant Universe, Icarus at the Edge of Time, and The Fabric of the Cosmos. He has also had a cameo in The Big Bang Theory in the episode "The Herb Garden Germination." He was a vegetarian from early on in life, and transitioned to a full vegan diet after touring Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York where he learned, "...about the dairy industry which was so disturbing that I could not continue to support it. Within days I gave up all dairy."
Related: Dairy Free is the Way to Be - 5 Benefits of a Dairy Free Diet
71). Heather Nicholson, Animal Rights Activist
72). Kim Stallwood, Animal Rights Activist
73). David Nibert, Sociologist/Professor
74). Alex Somers, Visual Artist
75). Robert Cheeke, Bodybuilder
Robert Cheeke is amongst the increasing ranks of vegan bodybuilders that show all of us how it is possible to get enough nutrition on the plant-based diet to sustain significant muscle growth. In an interview with Vegan Bodybuilding, he points out how vegans can get enough protein in their diets quite easily and how he approaches the question of "what is your favorite protein" by simply stating that there are many available that he enjoys. He also notes that he uses vegan protein powders as well, such as Vega, which is comprised of pea, hemp, and rice proteins.
Related: Q&A with Jonno - A Plant-Based Australian Powerlifter
76). Will Munro, Artist
77). Michelle Pfeiffer, Actress
78). David Pierce, Actor
79). Tia Mowry, Actress
80). Jason Mraz, Musician/Activist
You may have heard some of the catchy pop tunes from Jason Mraz, a well known singer-songwriter. Whether he is belting out the lyrics to his top hit "I'm Yours", involving himself in political activism for a wide range of causes (such as the environment, animal rights, and LGBT equality), he digs his roots deep around a plant-based lifestyle. He has stated that he eats mainly raw vegan foods, and that his vegan diet has been influential on the music he creates.
He has also put his money where his mouth is and invested in a vegan restaurant, Cafe Gratitude, in Los Angeles, California.
81). Jim Morris, Baseball Player
82). Morrissey, Musician
83). Shaun Monson, Film Director
84). Heather Mills, Model
85). Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Basketball Player
Taj was quoted in a 2008 article where she identified as vegan that the reason for this is because "I just wanted to make sure I had a healthy body because I wanted to continue playing for a longer period than most of my peers."
Playing basketball on a professional level requires much skill, practice, and a healthy diet and exercise routine to stay in shape.
86). Rooney Mara, Actress
87). Kate Mara, Actress
88). Robert Paterson, Music Composer
89). Jack Norris, Dietition/Activist
90). Wayne Pacelle, CEO - Humane Society of the USA
Wayne Pacelle is President and CEO of one of the most well known charities in the United States: the Humane Society of the USA. He has been active in this role since 2004, and the decade prior had an important role as a spokesperson for the non-profit as well. He has devoted much of his adult life to actively making a change in the world for ethical treatment of animals, which has included his personal dietary choice to become vegan. Most recently, Pacelle helped lead to the breakthrough with SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby that SeaWorld start to phase out their orca entertainment shows and end captive breeding of these killer whales. If your interested in more about Wayne Pacelle, check out his two best-selling books The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers are Transforming the Lives of Animals and The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them.
91). Peggy Oki, Artist
92). Prince, Musician
93). Neil Robertson, Snooker Player
94). Russell Brand, Actor
95). Carl Lewis, Olympic Athlete
Carl Lewis is a famous US vegan Olympic champion in the sport of running who won a large number of medals. He found significant value in a whole foods, plant-based diet which has led to him maintaining it for many years both on the track and off. He initially transitioned to a vegan diet in 1991 in preparation for the World Championships sporting event, and has maintained the diet ever since, stating that he ran the best meet of his life during this time. To solidify his vegan lifestyle, he wrote the foreword and presented the book Very Vegetarian by Jannequin Bennett.
Related: The Top 12 Olympic Athletes Who are Vegan and The Top 8 Foods That Keep Vegan Olympians Performing Their Best!
96). Matthew Scully, Author
97). Thom York, Musician
98). David Straitjacket, Escape Artist/Magician
99). Kat Von D, TV Personality/Tattoo Artist
100). James Cameron, Film Director
To end our post on these 100 vegan celebrities, it is worth taking a look at James Cameron, the film director best known for movies such as Titanic, The Terminator, Aliens, and Avatar (among others). While the fantasy worlds portrayed in his films, where loss of life and destruction are common place, are powerful; his personal decision to adopt a vegan diet as a method of "saving the planet" is equally, if not more, powerful than anything ever put to screen. He has used his life and celebrity to inspire others to do the same, and to live a life rooted in sustainability practices.
It's hard to resist the personal lure to James Cameron as well because he discussed gardening as the way of the future as well, something so many vegan celebs seem to overlook when discussing diet, health, and environmental sustainability. We can wrap this up with another quote from Cameron about the simplest thing you can do to sustain your health, your families health, and the world you live in.
There is an abundance of vegan celebrities in the world. One of my goals with putting together this list was not only to highlight vegan celebrity, but to highlight the diversity of the people on this list that have taken to this whole foods, plant-based lifestyle. These are men and women of many ethnic backgrounds that operate in a large array of careers. There are people on this list ranging from medical doctors to actors and musicians to physicists, philosophers, and professional athletes. It is no wonder that so many talented and intelligent people have decided to take to plant smart living when it provides so many benefits.
Veganism is on the rise in the United States and around the world. While you may not agree with all of the values each celebrity on this list has (I certainly do not), it is valuable to see how their lives can be used to positively impact our world through promotion - whether active or passive - of a plant-based diet. I hope you can find inspiration in the message these advocates for change teach.
The goal of Plant-Smart Living with Farmer Fred has been to expose the truth about how a whole food, plant-based diet can benefit you. It is a powerful tool that has led to drastic changes in many people who have adopted it. Today, we have looked at vegan celebrities and the power they have to teach about this lifestyle.
For Farmer Fred, this has meant a loss of 65 pounds of fat and a reduction of pain and cure for diseases such as angina, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and many others.
For more about Farmer Fred and the vision of Plant-Smart Living, be sure to follow us on Facebook and YouTube.
By the way...Let us know who your favorite vegan celebrity is! Did they make this list, or will we have to feature your favorite in another post in the future?