As the holiday season kicks off, you'd better start bracing for the weeks of meat-laden feasts and creamy, decadent desserts on the way—but if you're vegan, it can be hard to navigate the onslaught. If it's any consolation, plenty of celebrities can relate. Sure, Beyonce and Jay-Z famously went vegan for only a lame three weeks, but numerous celebs have been committed to a vegan lifestyle for years, with no plans to give it up. Here, eight of Hollywood's most die-hard vegans.
The organic apple doesn't fall far from the tree. The actress is the daughter of a vegan chef and gave mom a pretty generous gift for her birthday a few years ago: a food truck called Seed on the Go that's currently serving up plant-based fare in Northern California. Chastain was initially vegetarian for 15 years before going vegan in 2007. “I don't want to torture anything," she said after being named one of PETA's Sexiest Vegetarians in 2012. "It's about trying to live a life where I'm not contributing to the cruelty in the world. While I am on this planet, I want everyone I meet to know that I am grateful they are here."
He may have a reputation for being a Hollywood bad boy, but Harrelson is quite disciplined when it comes to his diet. In addition to being vegan, he also stays away from sugar. And no, he won't cheat a little for the sake of a role. In a 2009 interview the actor revealed that while shooting the film Zombieland, in which his character is obsessed with Twinkies, production staff replaced the ubiquitous snack with a healthy version made of cornmeal. He's also an investor in the Culver City, California, vegan restaurant Sage, which boasts the world's first-ever vegan beer garden. That sounds more like it.
Not surprisingly, the hunky Australian actor holds the honor of one of PETA's sexiest vegans of 2016. Last year, five months into his vegan lifestyle, he told Men's Fitness that based on his blood type, a nutritionist advised him to eat more red meat, but the more he ate, the worse he felt. After looking at how well many friends (including Hunger Games co-star Harrelson) were doing on vegan diets, he made the switch. "After all the information I gathered about the mistreatment of animals, I couldn’t continue to eat meat," he said in the interview. "The more I was aware of, the harder and harder it was to do."
The billionaire hip-hop mogul is so happy as a vegan that he had a book published last year about just that: The Happy Vegan¸ a guide meant to help others make the move to a life of "mindful eating." In a video interview with The Atlantic, Simmons explained how he defends his diet against all kinds of counterarguments. What does he say when someone claims it's too expensive? "That's bulls***, too. If you're in the hood you can always go to a Chinese restaurant and get curry tofu … there's always a way out of eating animal products, even in the hood."
If you’re a friend or relative of the Oscar winner, you're going to have to get used to eating vegan at big family events. Case in point: Portman's 2012 wedding to Benjamin Millepied, when the couple served an entirely plant-based, animal-free menu. The actress credits her switch from being a long-time vegetarian to going completely vegan to reading the Jonathan Safran book Eating Animals. Though she reintroduced some animal products while pregnant with first child Aleph, it's not clear if she's doing the same this time around.
The longtime vegan and animal activist made headlines earlier this month when she brought a vegan lunch along with some vegan snacks to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition. The gesture prompted some to suspect that she had poisoned the food and murdered him. (Not to worry, that actually didn't happen and Pam is not wanted for homicide). And because wearing leather kind of defeats the purpose of going plant-based, the former Baywatch actress also has a line of vegan boots.
One of Hollywood's most vocal vegans, the Clueless star is also the author of the popular cookbook The Kind Diet and runs the blog The Kind Life. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey Silverstone admitted she was basically on a "steak and donut diet" until she went vegan at age 21 after watching a documentary about how livestock were raised and killed. "I just took a look at my dog and said, 'If I'm not willing to eat you, how can I continue to eat these other creatures?'" She credits the switch with clearing up everything from her asthma to acne to insomnia.
The Game of Thrones star became a vegan just a couple of years ago after following a vegetarian diet since childhood. It's not a hard choice to make, he insists. "I think it's so much easier now to become a 'veg' than when I was young ," he said in a 2014 PETA video. "There are so many more organic markets, soy products, restaurants. That's the funny thing. People think it's more expensive and harder to find, but it truly is less expensive and very easy to find."
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