Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) was a well-known English philosopher and social reformer.
Regarding animals: “The question is not, ‘Can they reason?’ nor ‘Can they talk?’ but ‘Can they suffer?’”
Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) was a well-known English philosopher and social reformer.
Regarding animals: “The question is not, ‘Can they reason?’ nor ‘Can they talk?’ but ‘Can they suffer?’”
Patrick Baboumian (b. 1979) was born in Iran but now lives and trains in Germany. He is considered the strongest man in the world and “a plant-based beast.” Citing compassion as the driving force behind his choice, Patrick Baboumian was happy to find that a vegan diet actually benefitted his athleticism. Since becoming vegan, he has inspired athletes all over the world to examine what they eat and to adopt a plant-based diet for health, performance, and compassion.
Almost two years after becoming vegan I am stronger than ever before and I am still improving day by day. . . Go vegan and feel the power!
Zac Efron (b. 1987) is a prominent American actor who started his stage career at the age of eleven. He is best known for his lead role in the High School Musical trilogy and has since featured in many big screen projects. A recently turned vegan, Efron, credits his plant-based diet for his improved health and lifestyle.
Zac Efron on turning vegan ”I’ve been experimenting with eating purely vegan. That’s completely changed the way that my body works, and the way that I metabolize food, the way it turns into energy, the way that I sleep. It’s been brilliant.”
Mayim Bialik (b. 1975) is an actress, neuroscientist, author, longterm vegan and a staunch supporter of animal rights. Her book, Mayim’s Vegan Table, contains more than 100 recipes for vegan starters, dinners, and desserts. Bialik also writes blogs on parenting as she is raising two boys that have been vegan since birth.
To me, being vegan is a way of making the world better, one meal at a time.
Sir Paul McCartney (b. 1942) is an English musician, singer-songwriter, composer, and vegetarian activist. He is the former member of the rock band, the Beatles. Paul co-founded the Meat Free Monday organization with his daughters, Stella and Mary.
“If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat. That’s the single most important thing you could do. It’s staggering when you think about it. Vegetarianism takes care of so many things in one shot: ecology, famine, cruelty.”
Neil Robertson (b. 1982) is an accomplished and record-breaking snooker player who became vegan in 2014. He holds the record for most century breaks in a snooker season, compiling 103 century breaks in 22 tournaments during the 2013–14 snooker season. Other vegan snooker players include Aditya Mehta, Liam Highfield and Peter Ebdon, who put Robertson onto the vegan diet.
In an interview with Great Vegan Athletes, Robertson said: “I felt I needed to eat healthier to give myself the chance to get the most out of my career. I was pretty interested in the vegan diet for months before I decided to give it a try through speaking to [fellow snooker player] Peter Ebdon.”
Richard Claxton Gregory (1932-2017), more famously known as Dick Gregory, was an American comedian, civil rights activist, writer, and social critic. Gregory used his stand-up comedy platform to bring bigotry and racial injustice issues to the forefront. He went on several hunger strikes in the US and abroad to raise his voice against injustice caused by events such as the Vietnam War. A long-term vegetarian, Dick Gregory, credits his diet for keeping his cancer at bay and in remission. To ensure more people benefited from the vegetarian diet, Gregory founded a nutrition center called the Dick Gregory Health enterprises.
“Because I am a civil rights activist, I am also an animal rights activist. Animals and humans suffer and die alike.”
Miley Cyrus (b. 1992), a child star, actress, and teen idol, gained popularity from her Disney hit show, Hannah Montana. Over the years, she has become a world-renowned singer in her own right and has been listed on the Time 100 list of the most influential people multiple times. Miley Cyrus has been a singing coach on The Voice and is an animal rights activist, having become vegan in 2014. She actively supports thirty-nine well known charities ranging from Make a Wish Foundation to Habitat for Humanity.
“Be the voice of those who can’t say ‘stop’, who can’t say, ‘that hurts,’ who can’t say, ‘I’m so afraid to die.’ Be the voice of the animals!”
Alice Walker (b. 1944) is a highly acclaimed novelist, essayist, and poet. She is best known for her 1982 novel, The Color Purple, which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
“As we talked of freedom and justice one day for all, we sat down to steaks. I am eating misery, I thought, as I took the first bite. And spit it out.”
Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920) was an Indian mathematician who made significant contributions to the field of mathematical analysis despite having no formal training in pure mathematics. He discovered many novel theories that prompted future research in mathematics. Born in a Tamil Brahmin family, Ramanujan was a strict vegetarian all his life.
“An equation means nothing to me until it expresses a thought of God.”
Alec Baldwin (b. 1958) is a world renowned actor, producer and comedian that has starred in countless commercially successful films. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the movie The Cooler. In 2011, he turned vegan for health reasons but sticked to the diet after realizing its many benefits.
His advice on why people should turn vegan, “a shift to a more plant-rich diet can help save the planet.”
Martina Navratilova (b. 1956) is one of the most successful female tennis players of all time, having won 59 Grand-slam titles during a career that spanned four decades. For her inspiring and notable tennis career, Sports Illustrated declared Navratilova one of the “Top Forty Athletes of All-Time.” A vegetarian for most of her career, Navratilova credits a plant-based diet for the longevity of her tennis career.
“I believe that moving towards a more plant-based diet, was the major reason I was able to continue playing professional tennis throughout my forties.”
Dexter King (b. 1961) is the son of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Chairman of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change. Besides playing an active role in promoting his father’s legacy of non-violence, Dexter King has also pursued a career in media and has played numerous roles in films and television shows. His animated movie Our Friend Martin was also nominated for the Emmy award. An animal rights activist and dedicated vegan, Dexter King credits his vegan diet for giving him strength to further the goals of equality and justice. He played a major role in influencing his mother, Coretta Scott King, to take up vegetarianism later in life.
“Veganism has given me a higher level of awareness and spirituality, primarily because the energy associated with eating has shifted to other areas.”
Philip Glass (b. 1937) is a famous American music composer and pianist whose works includes operas, film scores, and chamber music. For his compositions, Glass has been nominated for the Academy Award three times. A vegetarian for 63 years, Glass commends his diet, exercise and sleep as the reasons behind his healthy and disciplined way of life.
Natalie Portman (b. 1981) is an actress, film producer, director, and animal rights activist. As an actress, she received an Oscar and two Golden Globe awards, and her influence on raising awareness for the vegan diet has affected many in a profound way: In 2017 she—along with 70 rabbis worldwide—signed a declaration that encouraged Jews to go vegan as “an expression of our shared Jewish values of compassion for animals, protection of the environment, and concern for our physical and spiritual well-being.” A film about the impact of factory farming on the environment, called Eating Animals, was produced and narrated by Natalie Portman and released in June, 2018.
“Three times a day, I remind myself that I value life . . . That is why I eat the way I do.”
Woody Harrelson (b. 1961) is an American actor, comedian, and playwright who has been nominated for the prestigious Academy Awards three times. He has played important roles in many blockbuster movies. Besides being a well-known actor, Harrelson is an environmental activist and follows a strict raw vegan diet. Harrelson continues to advocate for veganism and gives his diet credit for his energy levels and anti-aging. More recently, he was featured in Sir Paul McCartney’s Meat Free Monday campaign film, One Day a Week.
“In this world that is spinning madly out of control, we have to realize that we’re all related. We have to try to live harmoniously.”
Persey Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) was one of the most influential English Romantic poets, still known for his classic poems such as “Ode to the West Wind”, “Adonais,” “Mont Blanc,” and “To a Skylark.” His non-violent political and economic thought is said to have influenced the likes of Karl Marx, Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition to writing about non-violence, Shelley wrote on the subject of vegetarianism, having turned vegetarian himself at the age of 20. In his essays, “A Vindication of Natural Diet” and “On the Vegetable System of Diet,” he explained how a meatless diet was an ideal mode of consumption for living a healthy, disease-free life.
“There is no disease, bodily, or mental, which adoption of a vegetable diet and pure water has not infallibly mitigated, wherever the experiment has been fairly tried.”
will.i.am (b. 1975) is a singer, songwriter, producer, and founding member of The Black Eyed Peas. As the frontman of the Black Eyed Peas group, will.i.am has sold 31 million albums and 58 million singles worldwide. For his exemplary contributions to the world of music, he has been awarded the Grammy seven times. In addition to his music career, will.i.am is committed to supporting underserved children to stay and excel in school through his i.am.angel foundation. A newly turned vegan, will.i.am urges his fans to transition towards the plant-based lifestyle and to join his V.Gang.
On being asked why he identifies as vegan, will.i.m says, “I am fighting for a healthier me and a healthier planet.”
Emma Stone (b. 1988) is a world-renowned actress known for playing starring roles in movies like Easy A, Birdman, The Amazing Spider-Man and Crazy, Stupid, Love. For her strong performance in La La Land, Stone won the Academy Award for Best Actress. A vegan, Emma Stone starred in Paul McCartney led anti-meat campaign video called One Day a Week.
“Almost a third of all land on Earth is used for livestock production– Just try a day and go meat free on Mondays.”
Serena Williams (b. 1981) plays professional tennis and has been ranked No. 1 in the world eight times so far (2002-2017). She has won the most grand-slam titles ever. For health reasons, both Serena and her sister, Venus, eat a raw vegan diet. Serena has also launched a vegan clothing line “to empower women.”
“My fridge is really just vegan: coconut water, Gatorade (my favorite!), cucumbers, mint, kale, vegetables, ginger, and wheat grass.”
Coretta Scott King (1927-2006), wife of Martin Luther King Jr, was an American author, activist, and civil rights leader that advocated for African-American equality and led the Civil Rights Movement along with her husband. Even following Martin Luther King’s death, Scott King continued to support many causes such as labour issues, gender equality, and LGBT rights. Scott King believed that animal rights were a logical extension to anonviolent lifestyle which is why she went vegetarian later in life. For her extensive advocacy work, Scott King was awarded the prestigious Gandhi Peace Prize by the Indian government.
“I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others.”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist and scientist that contributed greatly to modern physics by developing theory of relativity. For discovering the law of photoelectric effect, Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1991. A super genius, Einstein, is said to have become a major proponent of vegetarianism after having followed the diet himself for health reason.
“Vegetarian food leaves a deep impression on our nature. If the whole world adopts vegetarianism, it can change the destiny of humankind.”
James Cameron (b. 1954) is arguably the most popular and talented contemporary filmmaker, best known for directing blockbuster movies Titanic, Avatar, ET and The Terminator. Additionally, Cameron is also the first person to solo dive to the deepest part of the ocean in the Deepsea Challenger submersible. Unknown to many, Cameron turned vegan in 2012 for moral, environmental and health reasons and has since become a passionate advocate of the diet.
“It’s not a requirement to eat animals, we just choose to do it, so it becomes a moral choice and one that is having a huge impact on the planet, using up resources and destroying the biosphere.”
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was a painter, sculptor, architect, inventor, military engineer, and draftsman who is widely considered one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have lived. Leonardo da Vinci, widely known as the authentic “Renaissance man,” was a leading artist and intellectual of the Italian Renaissance. The Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, Vitruvian Man, and Salvator Mundi are some of his most celebrated artworks. His life remains exemplary even 500 years since his passing. While da Vinci’s artistic accomplishments are well known, what is less known is that he was a devout vegetarian and publicly opposed killing animals for meat, making him a vegetarian even before the term “vegetarian” was coined.
My body will not be a tomb for other creatures
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a Russian philosopher and writer who is often regarded as one of the greatest writers of the 20th C. He is most well-known for his realist novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Interestingly, Mahatma Gandhi was greatly influenced by Tolstoy when in his youth; while living in South Africa, Gandhi founded a community that he named “Tolstoy Farm.”
“A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.”
Virat Kohli (b. 1988) is an international cricketer and captain of the Indian cricket team. Time Magazine included Virat Kohli in 100 most influential people in the world list. ESPN announced him as one of the Top 10 famous athletes in the world. Besides an enormously successful cricket career, Kohli runs the Virat Kohli Foundation (VKF) that raises funds for education and health of underprivileged children in India. In 2018, Virat Kohli turned vegan and says, “I am now feeling stronger than before.”
Dame Jane Goodall (b. 1934) is a world-renowned primatologist, anthropologist and humanitarian, best known for her pioneering research on wild chimpanzees. As a vegetarian and animal rights activist, she travels the world speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, environmental crisis and her reasons for hope. Through The Jane Goodall Institute, she encourages people to reduce their meat consumption as she makes them aware of the negative impact food choices have on the environment, other humans and animals.
Until we have peace and harmony with the environment, we will never live in a world of peace
Kyrie Irving (b. 1992) is a professional basketball player, currently playing for the Brooklyn Nets team. He has been named an All Star player six times, has represented the United States in the Olympics, and has been part of an NBA championship winning team. Irving switched to a plant-based diet in 2016 and has reportedly observed positive changes to his game.
For his plant-based diet, Irving has said, “my energy is up and my body feels amazing.”
Lewis Hamilton (b. 1985) is a British racing driver who is often regarded as one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport. Racing for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Hamilton has won the Formula One World Championship five times. On winning the 2007 Spanish Grand Prix at the age of 22 years, Lewis Hamilton became the youngest driver to lead the world championship. Hamilton famously turned vegetarian on realizing the exploitative nature of the meat industry. He claims the diet has improved his performance and has made him feel “the best [he has] ever felt physically and mentally.”
Hamilton on being vegan: “There are no negatives to eating like this. I feel nothing but positive, mentally and physically. I love it. I feel like it also has a kind of a domino effect on the rest of my life.”
Rosa Parks (1913-2005) was an American rights activist who is known as “the mother of the civil rights movement.” She is most famous for the Montgomery bus incident during which Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat to a fellow white passenger. For her contribution to the American society, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal among many other accolades. Besides being an advocate of peace and justice, she was also a staunch follower of the vegetarian lifestyle.
“I have been a vegetarian for a few years. It was not hard at all to not eat meat. [Becoming a vegetarian] was something I wanted to do.”
Pythagoras (570 BCE – 495 BCE) was a philosopher and mathematician that is most famous for his Pythagorean theorem (a2 = b2 + c2). His philosophical ideas influenced those of Plato & Aristotle. Believing that all beings had souls, Pythagoras’ vegetarianism was founded on ethical and religious practice.
“As long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace.”
Yuval Noah Harari (b. 1967) is a historian, professor, philosopher, and best-selling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2014), Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2016), and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (2018). His books have collectively sold more than 19 Million copies worldwide. Professor Harari is a vegan and practices meditation for two hours daily. He claims that meditation provides him with the necessary “focus, peace and insight” required to finish his books.
On turning vegan, Professor Harari writes that, “While writing ‘Sapiens, I became familiar with how we treat animals in the meat and dairy industries and was so horrified that I didn’t want to be a part of it anymore.”
Venus Williams (b. 1980) is an American professional tennis player. She has the second highest number of singles titles on the Women Tennis Tour, only behind her sister Serena Williams. For health reasons, Venus, switched to a raw vegan diet but decided to stay on as “[she] fell in love with the concept of fueling [her] body in the best way possible.”
“Not only does [the vegan diet] help me on the court, but I feel like I’m doing the right thing for me.”
Erykah Badu (b. 1971) is an American singer, songwriter, author and actress best known for her soulful music style. Her work has showcased in Grammy Award-winning albums such as Bauizm and Live. She is often credited to having started the “neo-soul” movement in the music industry. In addition to her critically acclaimed music career, Erykah Badu has also been one of the most visible and outspoken promoters of the meat-free lifestyle amongst other African American entertainers. She attributes the longevity of her career to thinking, living, and eating clean.
“Vegan food is soul food in its truest form. Soul food means to feed the soul. And to me, your soul is your intent. If your intent is pure, you are pure.”
Ariana Grande (b. 1993) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and social media influencer. A superstar, Grande, has been named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Besides being an international music star, Grande is a well known philanthropist and animal rights activist that has raised millions of dollars for numerous charitable causes.
“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-round happier person.”
Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was a Serbian-American engineer, inventor, and futurist who is best known for advancing the field of electricity and magnetism.
“That we can subsist on plant food and perform our work even to advantage is not a theory, but a well-documented fact. Many races living almost exclusively on vegetables are of superior physique and strength.”
Moby (b. 1965) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and producer who has sold an estimated 20 million records worldwide. His album Play was a big hit and had one of its songs featured on the US Billboard Hot 100. Besides being a famous musician, Moby is a vegan and animal rights activist and has even released an album called Animal Rights. Moby donates all profits from his small Los Angeles based vegetarian restaurant, Little Pine, to organizations that support animal rights causes.
“I am a vegan because I like animals and I do not want to be involved in their suffering.”—“Also, it’s better for my health and for the environment.”
Frederick Carlton Lewis (b. 1961), best known as Carl Lewis, is a former track and field athlete that won the United Sates nine Olympic gold medals, one Olympic silver medal and ten world championships. At the peak of his career, Lewis topped the world rankings in the 100 m, 200 m and long jump category. For his accomplishments, he has at some point in his career been voted World Athlete of the Century, Sportsman of the Century, Olympian of the Century and Athlete of the Year by various respected organizations. Lewis has often credited veganism for his outstanding career and athletic performance.
“My best performance as an athlete was when I was 30 years old, and was a vegan.”
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was an Irish playwright, philosopher, Nobel Prize winner, and activist for the vegetarian lifestyle.
“A mind of the caliber of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows.”
Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) was an American inventor and entrepreneur who is credited to have changed modern life by inventing a host of products such as the light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera. He converted to vegetarianism later in his life, having realized the benefit the diet had on his health and well-being.
“Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.”
Peter Dinklage (b. 1969) is a famous American actor and producer that has starred in many blockbuster movie series such as The Chronicles of Narnia, Avengers and X-Men. He has received immense praise for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones for which he has won a Golden Globe and three Emmys. An animal rights advocate and long-time vegetarian, Dinklage has supported organizations such as Walk for Farm Animals and PETA.
“I like animals, all animals. I wouldn’t hurt a cat or a dog or a chicken or a cow. And I wouldn’t ask someone else to hurt them for me. That’s why I’m a vegan.”
Pino Caruso (1934-2019) was an Italian actor and director that worked in more than 30 films. In addition to being an actor, Caruso was an author that wrote numerous columns for local newspapers and journals. He was also a lifelong vegetarian.
“People eat meat and think they will become strong as an ox, forgetting that the ox eats grass.”
John Salley (b. 1964) is a retired professional basketball player and one of the two players in NBA history to have won three championships with three different teams (Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, and LA Lakers). Salley’s professional basketball career spanned three decades, a feat that only one other player has achieved. In addition to being a NBA veteran TV show host and producer, Salley is a vegan and wellness advocate that has famously supported legislation that would increase vegetarian options in meals served in public schools. Today, Salley is a chef that curates and creates exquisite vegan cuisines utilizing plant-based foods and various ethnic segments.
“As a former athlete, I know that the nutrition of the food I eat has a direct impact on my physical and mental performance on the basketball court. More fruits, vegetables, and other vegetarian foods help you stay healthy, fit, and alert.”
Evanna Lynch (b. 1991), famous Irish actress, is best known for her role as Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter franchise. She became an Ambassador for Veganuary in 2015 and in 2018 launched her own vegan podcast called “The Chick Peeps.”
“I think the root of this whole lifestyle is Compassion. It’s a daily reminder that we are all one. I believe veganism is what will heal this planet.”
Henry Beston (1888-1968) was an American writer and naturalist. His most notable work is The Outermost House that has been printed worldwide multiple times. He wrote extensively about nature which is why he is considered one of the fathers of the modern environmental movement
“For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.”
Image Source: Henry Beston website, 2010
Colin Rand Kaepernick (b. 1987) is a former American football quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. Besides being known for his athleticism, Kaepernick is popularly known for kneeling during the US national anthem as a form of protest against racial inequality in the country. In 2015, Colin Kaepernick decided to go vegan for ethical reasons.
In an interview to GQ, he noted that he switched to veganism as “he cannot be silent during a time when oppression is present anywhere, whether that be human or non-human oppression.”
Mena Massoud (b. 1991) is a Canadian actor who is best known for his portrayal of Aladdin in Disney’s 2019 live-action remake of the original Aladdin movie. Besides being a full-time actor, Massoud is the founder of a plant-based food movement called “Evolving Vegan.” Through this mission, Massoud aims to break the stigma around veganism and make the transition to veganism easier for those new to the lifestyle. He does so by touring North America’s best plant-based establishments, restaurants, and chefs and highlighting the same in his lifestyle book and TV series.
Massoud says that his “Evolving Vegan” platform “[is] about evolving in the right direction so that we can help save our planet, our bodies and our fellow living souls.”
Cesar Chavez (1927-1993), a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, was a Latino American civil rights activist that is best known for his non-violent, yet persuasive, fight to unionize Californian farmworkers. He played a critical role in ensuring inclusion of Hispanic workers within the broad union of American workers. His famous slogan “Sí, se puede” inspired President Obama’s “Yes We Can” campaign slogan. In addition to being an advocate for human rights, Chavez was also an animal rights activist and encouraged individuals to convert to vegetarianism. For his exemplary work in the animal rights field, Chavez was awarded the In Defence of Animals (IDA) Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life, will we have learned to live well ourselves” – “I became a vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry and unhappy like we do.”
Joaquin Pheonix (b. 1974) is an American producer and actor best- known for his portrayal of Commodus in Gladiator. During his career, he has been nominated for an Academy Award three times and has won an Emmy award for the film Walk the Line. Phoenix, a widely known animal rights activist, has been a vegan since the age of three and is often credited to have encouraged celebrities around him to convert to veganism. He was awarded the Humanitarian Award at the San Diego Film festival for doing narration for documentary Earthlings.
“It takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal.”