Last weekend, my sister-in-law came to visit. She and her partner are both vegans, and I was struck with a challenge … how do I make meals without the use of some of our dietary mainstays like butter, milk, cheese, and meat? But you know what? It was surprisingly easy, not to mention affordable and healthy.
Ten years ago, a vegan diet may have been considered bizarre. But these days, there are more and more people embracing the no-animal-product diet, most notably celebrities.
Stars of all sorts, from rock stars to movie stars to big name politicians, are going vegan, and the newest members of the club albeit temporarily are Jay-Z and Beyonce.
“On December 3, one day before my 44th birthday, I will embark on a 22 Days challenge to go completely vegan, or as I prefer to call it, plant-based!” Jay-Z wrote on his Life + Times website. “This all began a few months back when a good friend and vegan challenged me to embrace a ‘plant-based breakfast’ every day. It was surprisingly easier on me than I thought.” His “good friend” is Marc Borges, who developed the 22 Days nutrition program, which aims for “optimum wellness through conscious nutrition.”
So what else did Jay-Z have to say about their vegan challenge, and what other stars refrain from animal products? Check out these 25 vegan stars right here:
Beyonce and Jay-Z 1 of 22
The newest members of the vegan club!
Jay-Z said of their project, "There's something spiritual to me about it being my 44th birthday and the serendipity behind the number of days in this challenge; 22 (2+2=4) coupled with the fact that the challenge ends on Christmas day." He added, "Psychologists have said it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. On the 22nd day, you've found the way," he wrote. "PS: B is also joining me."
Jessica Chastain 2 of 22
Actress Jessica Chastain, who is vegan, reportedly ate extra soy and drank lots of sweet tea in order to gain some pounds for her role in The Help.
Source: People Magazine
Natalie Portman 3 of 22
Natalie Portman has been going the vegan route for years. She penned a poignant piece for the Huffington Post on the topic of what made her go from vegetarian to vegan. Portman wrote in the piece, "Jonathan Safran Foer's book Eating Animals changed me from a twenty-year vegetarian to a vegan activist. I've always been shy about being critical of others' choices because I hate when people do that to me."
You can read her entire piece on the subject right here.
Source: Huffington Post
Al Gore 4 of 22
Source: Huffington Post
Bill Clinton 5 of 22
Former President Bill Clinton has been a vegan for more than three years. Clinton made the big change after his doctor advised him to do something after his 2004 quadruple-bypass heart surgery.
"I just decided that I was the high-risk person, and I didn't want to fool with this anymore. And I wanted to live to be a grandfather," Clinton said. "So I decided to pick the diet that I thought would maximize my chances of long-term survival."
Source: Huffington Post
Mike Tyson 6 of 22
Doesn't legendary boxer Mike Tyson strike you as a meat eater? But no, he is actually now a full-fledged vegan. He spoke to ABC News about his veganism and how he still wears animal products, saying:
"Listen, I was there. I've been to there already. I had my vegan clothes, my jeans, my shoes. It was just too strict. So I said I just won't eat you. I may wear you, but I ain't going to eat you. OK? Listen, when I go, I go. I'm to the extreme. But in order to be that way I have to realize my extremities [sic] can destroy my family so I'd have to say listen we all have to be vegans here. That was getting crazy so I had to say listen I'm going to have to take care of myself. And let me handle and worry about myself. It doesn't work for everybody."
Source: ABC News
Betty White 7 of 22
Wonder how Betty White stays so active at her age? Perhaps being a vegan helps with her stamina!
Source: E! Online
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi 8 of 22
Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi took on veganism as a team. Ellen said to the Washington Post of making the big change: "It's like anybody who's trying to make a change, especially a habit like eating food every day. It's hard to make a change."
Portia wrote of becoming vegan:
I always thought going vegan would be difficult, but I genuinely don't crave meat or cheese. And I feel happier, like I'm contributing to making the world a less violent place. Before that morning on the farm, I ranked an animal's value based on how 'human' it was. Now I don't judge other beings that way — every animal has its own intelligence and sensitivities. They're all lovely, worthwhile, and deserving of our respect."
Woody Harrelson 9 of 22
Woody Harrelson isn't just a vegan, but also adheres to a raw vegan diet. It helps that he lives on an organic farm in Hawaii.
Kristen Bell 10 of 22
PETA tried to award Dax Shepard with the title of one of their "Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrities," but he had to decline. "I'm really flattered to be named 'Sexiest Vegetarian' with â€ª@IMKristenBell, but sadly I can't accept in good conscience because I eat chicken," Shepard tweeted. He later added that he had been vegan for a year but gave it up. But his wife Kristen Bell is still a vegan and has been a vegetarian for years.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Carrie Underwood 11 of 22
Carrie Underwood recently said of being vegan, "I call myself a practical vegan. I like taking things that are naughty like pizza and making them healthy."
Russell Brand 12 of 22
Tobey Maguire 13 of 22
Tobey Maguire is a diehard vegan and recently told the Guardian, "...I'm a vegan. Maybe I eat a little too much sugar and wheat, but I'm trying constantly to refine."
Emily Deschanel 14 of 22
Bones star Emily Deschanel has been vegetarian since she was 13 and opted to go vegan a couple of years ago. Of staying vegan, she says, "I think planning ahead is really important and definitely worth it." But it's even more challenging for her, since she has a soy intolerance.
Source: Vegetarian Times
Lea Michele 15 of 22
Glee star defended her vegan lifestyle, saying, "People get confused, like, you know, I just eat grass."
Source: NY Daily News
Olivia Wilde 16 of 22
Olivia Wilde has struggled with keeping vegan but loves it when she can. "I have been a vegetarian since I was like... 12," actress Olivia Wilde told the Huffington Post. "But [being vegan] has been something that, for the past four years, has at times been consistent, other times less so." She added that "It helps if you have the right support system."
And she had some help. "The person who really showed me the best way to do it was Alicia Silverstone. We were shooting a movie called Butter and we were in Northern Louisiana — where there is no vegetarian food — and she cooked the most incredible recipes from the Kind Diet for me everyday. I have never looked or felt better in my life."
"[Being vegan] is not always easy and accessible," she continued, "but it's a way of life and makes me as a person feel really good and physically look better. My skin was better, energy was better."
Alicia Silverstone 17 of 22
Alicia Silverstone is one of the most outspoken celebrity vegans out there. She has a cookbook called The Kind Life and a website of the same name, both dedicated to the vegan diet. She did say that every now and then, she will slip and have a little cheese. "Usually it's after a glass of wine," she jokes. "Then what happens is I start to get gassy. My skin starts to break out. I start to look a little more chunky the next day. I don't feel well."
Brad Pitt 18 of 22
Brad Pitt has reportedly been vegan for years, but Angelina Jolie is not. She once said, "I was a vegan for a long time, and it nearly killed me. I found I was not getting enough nutrition.
Source: Vegans Health
James Cameron 19 of 22
Jared Leto 20 of 22
Jared Leto looks far younger than his age of 41. He told the British GQ of his looks: "I'm pretty healthy so I think that helps a lot. I've been that way for a long time 20 solid years of eating vegetarian/vegan and taking care of myself. That probably helps the preservation process."
Adam Levine 21 of 22
"Sexiest Man Alive" Adam Levine is very into yoga, but he also eats a mostly vegan diet.
"We're all extremely health-conscious and everyone [in the band] is really vegan-friendly. Adam ... in particular will eat, I'd say, about 85-percent vegan for health reasons," said Mickey Madden the Maroon Five bass player.
Source: Parade Magazine
Anne Hathaway 22 of 22
While shooting The Dark Knight Rises, Anne Hathaway decided to embrace a vegan diet, mostly to be able to fit into the Catwoman suit she had to wear. But she did slip from her new vegan diet, and it didn't go well.
"After I finished the rooftop fight [scene], I ate four slices of pizza and split a bottle of red wine with my guy. I hadn't eaten like that in months. I felt so ill. By the time the movie finished, I decided to give veganism a try. You can't go hog-wild as a vegan. You can eat a lot of pasta and have a few vegan pastries."
Source: Mother Nature Network
Photo Source: PR Photos and PacificCoastNews.com