Veganism: Can Famous Celebrity Vegans Convert You To A Cruelty-Free Animal-Free Diet?

Are you a vegan? Perhaps you’re still at the lacto-ovo vegetarian stage (i.e. a non-meat eater who will eat eggs and dairy products). Maybe, alternatively, you’re an unreconstructed carnivore? Or even none of the above – perhaps one of the strange new variants of ‘faddy’ eaters we seem to see more and more of these days – pescatarians, orthorexics, raw foodists, macrobiotic practitioners, you name it, there's a special diet to accommodate it! Still, going vegan may have crossed your mind.



But veganism often seems to be the non-standard diet of choice in Hollywood and the music business: every other week it seems like another celebrity declares their devotion to the animal-kind vegan lifestyle. Some even go as far as Alicia Silverstone and have their own blogs about it! Certainly the list is long and just seems to go on and on: Joaquin Phoenix, Casey Affleck, Alanis Morrissette, etc. etc.... (Is there any health-based rationale behind their devotion? Well, vegan and vegetarian diets have certainly been acknowledge to have high levels of some nutrients and a reduced risk of heart disease, although this might come at a price of reducing their intake of other micronutrients.2)


Of course, following an animal-cruelty-free diet doesn't always automatically mean that you're on a healthy diet, or even particularly concerned about healthy eating issues! Plenty of vegans, and possibly some celebrity vegans amongst them, can eat a vegan-only diet that is the most unhealthy, burger and fries and doughnut heavy diet you can possibly imagine. And – whisper it low – it's been rumoured in the past that some nameless famous folk have found a vegan diet quite compatible with copious quantities of alcohol and the ingestion of dubious pills and powders. But that's just scurrilous gossip!


If Celebrities Are Vegan, Does That Make It Cool?


If you're a non-vegan, how do the lifestyle choices of the rich and famous affect you in your decision of what diet to adopt? (And if you're already vegan, was that choice influenced by the espousal of veganism by celebrities whose careers interest you?) Is there anything wrong with being influenced to become a vegan by someone who has achieved fame and fortune? I guess we all take on board the opinions of people we respect and use them in making our own judgements, whether it's a judgement on the propriety of animal cruelty or eating meat, or actually going as far as to adopt a fully vegan lifestyle or diet.

Some may view it as the sign of a weak-willed, superficial or easily-led character, but I don't personally think there's anything wrong with taking note of the life choices of famous and respected individuals when we are at a crossroads and on the point of making our own choices. When looking for vegan food online, you can't help but stumble across the odd famous vegan too. There are so many of them! If it's someone you think is smart and cool and aware, then where exactly could be the harm in it? Just make sure it's your own choice you're making when you make such a fundamental decision!




References:


1. 'List of vegans.' Wikipedia.com 28/06/2010 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_vegans> Accessed on 86/06/2010.

2. WJ Craig. Health effects of vegan diets. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. May 2009. 89(5), pp 1627S-1633S.

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