20 Celebs Who Traded in Cheese For a Vegan Diet
Once a misunderstood diet, veganism continues to move more and more into the mainstream — it's even taken Hollywood by storm. Reasons for going vegan are probably more varied than you think: for some it's a sensitivity to meat and dairy products, while others cite animal cruelty or a strong dissatisfaction with factory farming. One thing most vegans can agree upon is that both their health and the planet's have improved since making the switch. Keep reading to find out which celebs have gone vegan and why they made the lifestyle change.
Natalie Portman was so impassioned about being vegan that she took to the Huffington Post to explain why she made the shift from a vegetarian to a vegan activist. For her, it was reading Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals, which sheds light on how animals that make it to our plate are raised, killed, and processed. Natalie briefly went back to a vegetarian diet during her 2011 pregnancy, but returned to a vegan diet after giving birth.
After making the move to the West Coast for her role on Glee, Lea decided to go vegan, too. For her, the decision was about living a healthy lifestyle that included a better awareness of the foods she eats, which results in "being good to your body and the planet." While she no longer considers herself a strict vegan — she's fluctuated between veganism and vegetarianism — she makes a point to focus her diet around plant-based foods.
After following a vegetarian diet for 15 years, Jessica Chastain told PETA that she made the switch to veganism in 2007. Since going vegan, Jessica said that she never has to worry about feeling healthy or lean. She's been known to travel with her own vegan meals to make things easier when she's on the go, and she recently bought her mother — a vegan chef — her own food truck.
Beyoncé and Jay Z
While technically not vegans, we have to give Beyoncé and Jay Z some credit for popularizing the lifestyle to the masses. To help them feel their best, the couple took a 22-day vegan challenge back in 2013 designed by their trainer. (Beyoncé has returned to the plan as recently as the Met Gala.) Adding proof to just how much faith the singer has in the diet was the recent launch of her vegan meal delivery service.
Like Beyoncé and Jay Z, Jennifer Lopez has also did the 22-day vegan challenge. She has since added fish to her diet, but said that primarily eating a plant-based diet has helped her feel better than ever.
Like good friend Kate Mara, Ellen Page is also committed to a vegan lifestyle. She is outspoken about her beliefs, often taking to Facebook and Twitter to speak out against factory farming. In 2014, PETA named her the sexiest vegan/vegetarian celebrity of the year.
Alongside Ellen Page, Jared Leto also holds top honors as PETA's sexiest vegan/vegetarian celebrity of 2014. Jared told GQ that he credits his 20+ years of following a vegan diet for keeping him healthy and looking much younger than his 43-year-old self.
In describing the late switch to the vegan diet (Michelle made the switch in her 50s), the actress told CNN she was motivated by a desire to live a long and disease-free life.
After being a vegetarian for more than a decade, Carrie decided to go vegan because she was lactose intolerant. Carrie took a brief break from the diet while pregnant with her first child, but has since returned to a plant-based lifestyle.
Despite husband Channing's love of barbecue, Jenna Dewan-Tatum fully embraces the vegan lifestyle — beyond her diet, she also makes a point to choose cruelty-free cosmetics and beauty products. Jenna also starred in a campaign titled "Leave Wildlife Out of Your Wardrobe," urging consumers not to purchase clothing or accessories made from animal skins.
Like many other vegans, Ellie was a longtime vegetarian before making the shift away from animal-based products. Ellie told Us Weekly she credits the diet for helping her feeling leaner and stronger.