Singer Ellie Goulding was a vegetarian before making the switch to full veganism, something she says made her leaner and stronger. While she’s on tour, Goulding eats meals prepared by nutritionist and chef Mary Mattern, who serves up things like tofu scrambled eggs and sweetcorn or pea and broad bean burgers.
Vegan fact: The Vegan Society defines veganism as “a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”
BRAD PITT, VEGAN
Pin up boy of veganism, Brad Pitt, has avoided animal products for years and says it upsets him when his wife, Angelina Jolie, or children eat animal based products. Jolie briefly followed Pitt into veganism but went back to eating meat after a short time.
Vegan fact: If you’re vegan, you’ll need to stop eating animal foods such as meat, dairy, eggs and honey; stop using animal derived products like leather; and avoid products tested on animals.
SERENA AND VENUS WILLIAMS, VEGAN
Tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams both went vegan after discovering that Venus was affected by Sjogren syndrome, a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body’s white blood cells destroy the exocrine glands, specifically those that produce saliva and tears. Venus found that adopting a vegan diet helped her manage the condition and her sister signed up in support.
Vegan fact: According to the NHS, it’s perfectly possible to get the nutrients you need from eating a varied and balanced vegan diet. However, you do need to plan and may need to supplement B12.
ARIANA GRANDE, VEGAN
In 2013, singer Ariana Grande announced that she was going vegan. “I love animals more than I love most people, not kidding,” she told the Mirror. “But I am a firm believer in eating a full plant-based, whole food diet that can expand your life length and make you an all-around happier person.”
Vegan fact: It’s not known whether the donut Grande was caught licking had vegan icing. If you want to go vegan, you’ll need to be vigilant. Chances are, some of your favourite foods will contain eggs or dairy.
JENNIFER LOPEZ, PART TIME VEGAN
Whereas most vegans choose the lifestyle out of concern for the welfare of animals and the harm that the meat industry has on the planet, for some it’s all about the shape of their butt. Jennifer revealed that she lost 10 pounds by following a strict vegan diet for five weeks.
Vegan fact: An estimated 12 percent of Brits now follow vegetarian or vegan diets, rising to 20 percent for those aged between 16 and 24, according to analysts Mintel.
ELLEN PAGE, VEGAN
Actress Ellen Page is a committed vegan and frequently speaks out about her beliefs and her horror at the cruelty of the factory farming system. In 2014, PETA named her the sexiest vegan/vegetarian celebrity of the year.
Vegan fact: If you’re vegan, your diet will be made up of fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, beans and pulses. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to survive on salad; it’s easy to come by delicious vegan recipes, from pizzas and curries to cupcakes and pasties.
JARED LETO, VEGAN
When asked about his eternally youthful appearance, actor Jared Leto said: “I’m pretty healthy so I think that helps a lot. I’ve been that way for a long time. Twenty solid years of eating vegetarian or vegan and taking care of myself. That probably helps the preservation process.”
Vegan fact: The key nutrients you could miss out on if you don’t plan your vegan diet properly are calcium, iron and vitamin B12. Read on to find out where to get these from a plant-based diet.
BEYONCE, PART TIME VEGAN
After announcing that she was going vegan, Beyonce then backtracked , saying: “Now, you know, I still eat meat and it’s all about balance, but absolutely I make better choices.” Turns out, both Queen Bey and her husband Jay Z took part in the 22 Days Nutrition diet to kick-start their health, opting mainly, but not entirely, for plant-based foods.
Vegan fact: Calcium is vital for healthy bones and teeth. Non-vegans get most of their calcium from dairy but vegan sources of include green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and okra (but not spinach), soya beans, tofu, nuts and anything made with fortified flour.
PORTIA DE ROSSI AND ELLEN DEGENERES, VEGAN
Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres went vegan in 2009. Both have said the decision was based on concern for animal welfare. “I really love animals and I don’t want to be a part of harming them in any way,” said de Rossi.
Vegan fact: Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells. If you’re not getting your iron from red meat, you’ll need to eat lots of pulses, wholemeal bread and flour, breakfast cereals fortified with iron, dark-green leafy vegetables such as watercress, broccoli and spring greens, nuts and dried fruits such as apricots, prunes and figs.
MICHELLE PFEIFFER, VEGAN
Michelle Pfeiffer became vegan in her 50s, motivated by a desire to avoid getting sick. Pfeiffer says she was inspired by part-time vegan Bill Clinton and also by the book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, which advocates for a plant-based diet.
Vegan fact: Omega-3 fatty acids help maintain a healthy heart and reduce the risk of heart disease. Vegan sources include flaxseed (linseed) oil, rapeseed oil, soya oil and soya-based foods such as tofu and walnuts.
ALICIA SILVERSTONE, VEGAN
Alicia Silverstone has revealed that, age 18, her health was deteriorating and she was battling asthma, insomnia, acne and constipation. Once she switched to a vegan lifestyle, Silverstone says her health improved. “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 that have the same desire to live, are just as funny, just as cute as my dogs?” he said. Silverstone’s blog, The Kind Life, is full of vegan recipes and tips.
Vegan fact: If you’re lactose intolerant, your body will be unable to digest lactose, a type of sugar mainly found in milk and dairy products. Symptoms include gas, diarrhoea, bloating and stomach cramps. An allergy to lactose is more serious and symptoms may include a rash, wheezing and itching. Go to your GP before you diagnose yourself with either but if these symptoms sound familiar, a vegan diet could help.
Prince has said his aversion to meat began when he was a child and, in the 90s, he adopted a full vegan diet. The singer is strict about his veganism and his 1999 album, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic, closed with a quote from Gandhi: “2 my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being.”
Vegan fact: The World Health Organization has announced that eating processed meat such as sausages and ham causes cancer. Unprocessed red meat may also be carcinogenic. WHO now puts processed meat in the same category as smoking and asbestos, based on its certainty of a link with cancer, but has stressed that did not mean they were equally dangerous.
NATALIE PORTMAN, FORMER VEGAN
Hollywood star Natalie Portman went vegan for a while but decided to revert to vegetarianism. “I actually went back to being vegetarian when I became pregnant, just because I felt like I wanted that stuff,” she said in an interview with the Q100 Bert Show in Atlanta. “I was listening to my body to have eggs and dairy and that sort of stuff.”
Vegan fact: some vegans worry about iron deficiency. However, if you think you might be low in iron, get tested rather than self-prescribing a supplement as high levels of iron can be risky. In most cases, you should be able to get enough iron from greens and beans.
ANNE HATHAWAY, FORMER VEGAN
Anne Hathaway was once a strict vegan, always asking for “cruelty free food” on the set of her films. However last year she went back to eating meat, saying her body needed the energy. Instead, she switched to a Paleo-style high protein diet.
Vegan fact: Whether or not you choose to embrace a fully plant-based diet, eating lots of fruit and veg is crucial for health. The antioxidants found in fresh produce protect against cell damage and may even lower your cancer risk.