From Tofu to T-Bone: Celebrities Pull a U-Turn on Veganism

By Krystal Brown

While the popularity of veganism has soared, propelled by celebrity endorsements highlighting its numerous benefits, even the most dedicated advocates of plant-based living find themselves grappling with an array of challenges. Whether it’s navigating health concerns, addressing career demands, or managing personal factors, the journey toward sustaining a vegan lifestyle unveils the intricate and multifaceted nature of dietary choices. The complexities involved add depth to the narrative, underscoring that individuals, even with the best intentions, may encounter unforeseen obstacles on their path to embracing and maintaining a vegan way of life.

Carrie Underwood

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Country music star Carrie Underwood considers herself “95% vegan” but allows occasional indulgences at special events. She avoids cooking meat for her husband and focuses on preparing vegetables and sides instead. Although she loves cheese and refers to herself as a “wannabe vegan,” she tries to enjoy it in moderation. Additionally, she incorporates eggs into her diet, particularly when she is on tour, as they provide sustenance without feeling heavy before her performances.

Kristen Bell

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Kristen Bell, who has been a vegetarian since the age of 11, transitioned to a vegan diet in 2012 after watching the documentary “Forks Over Knives.” However, during her first pregnancy, Bell found that the vegan diet was not sustainable for her due to the increased caloric needs while working. As a result, she adjusted her diet to be vegetarian while expressing support for those who choose a vegan lifestyle, acknowledging its positive effects on both the body and the environment.

Channing Tatum

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Channing Tatum tried being vegan for six months but struggled due to his dislike of vegetables, according to his wife at the time, Jenna Dewan. Despite their differing dietary choices, she believes in letting people be themselves. Jenna recommends Channing explore Derek Sarno’s Wicked Healthy recipes, particularly the magically meaty mushroom dishes that might inspire even the staunchest meat-eater to consider veganism.

Zooey Deschanel

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Zooey Deschanel, speaking to Health magazine in 2010, revealed that she had stopped being a vegan. She cited food sensitivities, including an inability to consume wheat or soy, making it challenging to find suitable options and obtain enough calories. Deschanel further mentioned in a 2011 interview with New York magazine that being a gluten-free vegan was incredibly difficult, and she had only managed to sustain the lifestyle for about six months.

Mike Tyson

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Boxing legend Mike Tyson adopted a plant-based diet in 2010, which he credited with improving his health and addressing the consequences of his previous lifestyle. However, in a recent appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast, Tyson admitted that he had reintroduced red meat into his diet and was no longer following a plant-based lifestyle. He explained his decision by expressing a desire to attain a specific physical appearance and strength, seemingly unaware of the numerous strong vegan athletes in existence.

Waka Flocka Flame

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In 2014, rapper Waka Flocka Flame initially adopted a vegan diet to lose weight and improve his health. However, in a 2018 interview with Paper magazine, he stated that he had abandoned the vegan lifestyle, citing the negative perception and pressure he felt from the public. Waka Flocka Flame now identifies as a pescatarian and considers himself a conscious eater, making deliberate choices about his food and beverage consumption.

Ellen Degeneres

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In 2008, Ellen DeGeneres adopted a vegan diet for ethical reasons and energy purposes, as stated in a 2010 interview with Shape magazine. However, during her Netflix comedy special “Relatable” in 2019, she joked about being vegan but revealed that she had reintroduced fish and eggs from happy chickens into her diet in the past year or two, while still acknowledging the health benefits of being vegan during her eight-year vegan period.

Miley Cyrus

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After adhering to a plant-based diet for seven years, Miley Cyrus decided to introduce fish into her meals due to health concerns. In an interview on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, she revealed that she made the change to address issues with brain function. Although she now identifies as a pescatarian, Cyrus emphasized her continued love for animals despite the dietary adjustment.

Jaden Smith

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Jaden Smith’s family held an intervention when they noticed his skin turning grey due to his vegan diet, but it was later discovered that he was only consuming one meal a day. Concerned about his lack of protein intake, his parents convinced him to switch to vegetarianism. While Jaden has tried being vegan and occasionally eats vegan meals, he now follows a vegetarian diet.

Jenna Ortega

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During the filming of the popular Netflix show “Wednesday,” Jenna Ortega confirmed that she abandoned her plant-based diet. She explained that the challenge arose from limited food options available in Romania, where the production was taking place.

Anne Hathaway

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Anne Hathaway initially adopted a mostly vegan lifestyle around 2011 to prepare for her role as Catwoman in “The Dark Knight Rises.” However, during the physically demanding shoot for “Interstellar” in Iceland, she gave up veganism after feeling compelled to try fresh fish at a restaurant and experienced improved well-being. Since then, Hathaway has reintroduced meat, dairy, and eggs into her diet, citing better health and feeling stronger as reasons for the change.

Simon Cowell

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Simon Cowell, known for his role as an X-Factor judge, adopted a plant-based diet in 2017 after a health scare. He successfully eliminated meat, dairy, wheat, and sugar from his meals, finding suitable alternatives like almond milk yogurts. However, following a motorbike accident and subsequent recovery, Cowell temporarily abandoned his vegan diet and enjoyed “traditional English comfort foods and treats,” including his partner’s turkey cottage pie.

Samuel L. Jackson

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Samuel L. Jackson abandoned his vegan diet in 2015 after being pressured by movie bosses to gain weight for his role in the live-action Tarzan movie. Threatened with being fired, he decided to reintroduce animal-based protein meals two to three times a week and followed a vegetarian diet on the other days. However, with the wide variety of delicious vegan junk food available, it seems surprising that he struggled to gain weight on a plant-based diet.

Liam Hemsworth

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Liam Hemsworth, who had been a vegan for four years, had a health scare in February 2019 when he suffered from a kidney stone. The incident made him reevaluate his diet as he discovered that consuming high amounts of oxalate, commonly found in vegan foods like beans and spinach, had contributed to his condition. Hemsworth emphasized the importance of personal experience and finding what works best for one’s own body when it comes to dietary choices.

Natalie Portman

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Natalie Portman, a longtime advocate of veganism, temporarily shifted to a vegetarian diet during her pregnancy in 2011, stating that she listened to her body’s cravings for eggs and dairy. However, she later returned to a vegan lifestyle and confirmed in 2018 that both she and her children adhere to a vegan diet.

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