Danielle Rennard, Staff Writer
Being a vegetarian or vegan is one of the latest diet trends that can be most beneficial to one’s health. More and more people are omitting meat from their diet for a variety of reasons including health benefits and animal rights concerns. What many don’t know is that several influential celebrities have been vegetarians or vegans for quite some time.
Celebrities are constantly revealing how they keep their bodies in prestige condition and what their secrets are to looking stunning for the cameras. With fan bases that look up to many celebrities as role models, it’s important that they are considerate in what they disclose to be the ideal ways to stay in shape. So what’s their newest secret? Starting a plant-based diet.
According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, vegetarianism is on the rise, even in Hollywood. Polls have shown that about three percent of the U.S. population was vegetarian in 2009, up one percent from 1994.
The “Vegetarianism in America” study, published by Vegetarian Times, shows that 7.3 million Americans follow a vegetarian-based diet. Of those, one million Americans are vegans and therefore do not consume any animal products at all. Additionally, 22.8 million Americans follow a vegetarian-inclined diet.
Paul McCartney is a vegetarian celebrity that has been active in People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) since 2008. He stated, “Many years ago, I was fishing, and as I was reeling in the poor fish, I realized, ‘I am killing him—all for the passing pleasure it brings me.’ And something inside me clicked. I realized as I watched him fight for breath that his life was as important to him as mine is to me.”
Ellen DeGeneres took it a step further and became a full out vegan in 2008. She used to love enjoying her steaks and sausage with rice and beans but she stated that one day “something snapped.”
“If you knew what chicken looked like or you knew how chicken was made, you’d never eat it again,” said DeGeneres.
Besides the fact that people stop eating meat for the sake of the animals, many people also change their diets for health reasons. The American Dietetic Association stated that vegetarians tend to weigh less, have lower blood pressure and bad LDL cholesterol, and reduced rates of cancer and type 2 diabetes compared to meat eaters.
A prime example of someone who kicked meat out of his diet for health reasons is Bill Clinton. Although he loved his fattening fried foods, Clinton switched to a vegan diet in 2010, after two serious heart surgeries. His new diet doesn’t contain any meat, dairy, or eggs and almost no oil. Because of this diet change he’s lost 20 pounds.
“All my blood tests are good, and my vital signs are good and I feel good, and I also have, believe it or not, more energy,” Clinton told CNN.
The Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association are now working with 12,000 schools to promote exercise and healthy lunches to children so they can learn how to fight heart disease and develop healthy lifestyles.
Some other well-known celebrities that are vegetarians are Natalie Portman, Mary Tyler Moore, Russell Brand, Kristen Wig, Alicia Silverstone, Lea Michele, Forest Whitaker, Olivia Wilde, Carrie Underwood and Chris Martin. So if you decide to change your diet and become a vegetarian or vegan, you certainly are not alone!