I have decided to blog a list of unlikely celebrity vegans. By this I mean people you wouldn’t expect to be vegan because they do not conform to the stereotype. Judging by the number of comments I get about ‘looking healthy for a vegan’, it’s fairly obvious that veganism needs re-branding. I haven’t worked particularly hard to put this list together: it’s basically a mash up of lists from Wikipedia and Happy Cow.
I’m going to start with actor James Cromwell, simply because he became vegan after playing Farmer Hoggett in Babe. Other vegan actors and actresses include: Woody Harrelson, Daryl Hannah, Casey Affleck, Ed Begley Jr, Joaquin Phoenix, Tobey Maguire, Olivia Wilde, Jenny McCarthy, Darren Boyd, Vanessa Williams, and Jared Leto.
There are also a lot of vegan musicians, many of which are punk or straight edge. I won’t go through all of these, but I will mention Tom Gabel of Against Me! simply because I adore him. Others include Bryan Adams, Brian Bell (Weezer), Johnny Marr (The Smiths, Modest Mouse, The Cribs), Michael Franti, Anthony Keidis, Jason Mraz, Adam Yauch (Beastie Boys), and Geezer Butler and Bill Ward from Black Sabbath.
‘Business type’ vegans include: Anu Garg (founder of Wordsmith.org); Gulu Lalvani (founder of Binatone); William Clay Ford Jr (Ford CEO); Russell Simmons (co-founder of Def Jam records); and Biz Stone (co-founder of Twitter).
Deceased vegans include River Phoenix and Cesar Chavez. There is also some dispute over whether Leonardo da Vinci was vegan. He certainly did not eat meat and also released caged birds, but it unclear whether he consumed eggs, milk, etc.
A couple of odd ones: Steve-O from Jackass has been vegan for a couple of years. Howard Lyman is a former cattle rancher and now a vegan writer and speaker. And Mike Tyson has been vegan since 2009.
And lastly to the sportspeople. The following people have chosen to become vegan for either ethical or health reasons, but there has been no negative impact on their performance due to their diet:
- Carl Lewis: track athlete, winner of 9 Olympic gold medals and 8 World Championship gold medals.
- Scott Jurek: ultramarathon runner, winner of: Hardrock Hundred (2007), Badwater Ultramarathon (2005, 2006), Spartathlon (2006, 2007, 2008), and Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run (1999-2005).
- Brendan Brazier: winner of Canadian 50-km Ultramarathon Championships in 2003 and 2006.
- Fiona Oakes: cycling and marathon runner, and former Olympian.
- Georges Laraque: recently retired Canadian ice hockey player.
- UFC competitors Mac Danzig and Luke Cuomo.
- Professional wrestlers Bryan Danielson and Taryn Terrell.
- NBA players Salim Stoudamire and John Salley (retired).
- NASCAR driver Andy Lally.
So there you go. By no means a full list: I have deliberately avoided unhealthy looking and more stereotypical vegans, but it is a growing celebrity and sporting trend. I think it is particularly encouraging to see the number of models and ‘fashionistas’ who are becoming vegan. Hopefully that’ll give a boost to more stylish vegan shoes (and clothing), and once again put fur where it belongs.