Celeb Parents Who You May Not Realize Are Vegan
From 2004 to 2019, veganism increased 30-fold in the U.S., while vegan food sales increased by 150 percent between 2020 and 2021, according to Food Revolution. While that is still only 6 percent of the entire population, it’s a vast increase, and it reflects the growth of the dietary trend worldwide.
Hollywood has always been the first to invent and champion lifestyle choices that lead to optimum health, beauty, fitness and well-being. So, it’s not surprising to find there are many moms and dads in Hollywood who have embraced a vegan diet for ethical reasons but also to improve their fitness, lose weight, help with skin conditions, and prevent diseases and conditions linked to meat and dairy consumption. With the rise of veganism globally, some of your favorite stars are embracing this lifestyle while also raising a family.
From Alicia Silverstone to Beyonce, these famous vegans are making the plant-based trend appealing to everyone — and in several cases, even their kids.
Alicia Silverstone wrote a guide to fertility, pregnancy and raising a family as a vegan in her book, “The Kind Mama.” The “Clueless” star is known for her animal and environmental activism, having also penned vegan recipe book, “The Kind Diet.” While she's proven controversial in doing so, she also speaks about raising her son, Bear, on a vegan diet.
She told Food and Wine magazine that she and Bear's father are trying to provide the best foundation for their son to be healthy. "If he were curious about eating meat, then I think he'd need to understand what it means to eat animals, where our meat comes from," she said. "When we don't know the real source of our food, we ignore the impacts of our choices."
Crediting her vegan diet for her post-baby weight loss in 2014, country music star Carrie Underwood has shown that a plant-based diet can do wonders for beauty and fitness. A long-time vegan, Underwood has also been an advocate of challenging fitness regimes and has even designed her own activewear. She manages to fit in weight lifting and cardio training around raising her son, Isaiah.
Preferring to snack throughout the day rather than have big meals, she's a fan of homemade muffins, protein bars and cereal. "I've always got cereal on me, like Kashi, because it's healthy and my son likes it, too,” she told SELF magazine.
More recently, she admitted to occasionally splurging on a piece of non-vegan birthday cake. We'll let it slide.
Dancer, actress and reality TV host Jenna Dewan became a vegetarian at age 11 and went vegan in her early 30s. "After going vegan, I felt so much better. My skin cleared up, I had a ton more energy," she told Natural Health magazine.
She is mom to Ever, her daughter with Channing Tatum (who she divorced in 2019). Of her favorite foods, she has said, "I think my daughter must eat her weight in hummus — and lots of avocado. We love Mediterranean and Mexican food. We're a big fresh-vegetable family."
Actress and human rights activist Natalie Portman has long been vocal about her vegan lifestyle and has also spoken out on raising her family vegan. Mother to Aleph and Amalia with her choreographer husband, Benjamin Millepied, Portman told Closer Weekly that, because it is the way the whole family eats, it is natural for them. "You tend to make one thing that everyone eats for dinner. We tend to eat vegan and vegetarian food in the house. It becomes like the normal stuff that kids get used to."
While Portman is vegan, her husband isn't. She told Closer Weekly that her son asked why she didn't eat certain foods that were in the house. "I talked to him about it, and it's really changed. I think it's very natural for children to relate to the stuff … you watch cartoons and animals have feelings and talk to each other. You think of them as emotive creatures, not as dinner," she added.
Arguably one of the world's biggest music stars, Beyonce has headlined music festivals, entertained the Super Bowl and broken new ground with her bold videos and magazine editorials. She and husband, Jay-Z are parents to Blue Ivy and twins, Rumi and Sir. Jay-Z referred to their initial 22-day vegan commitment as "a spiritual and physical cleanse."
Beyonce once invited her 112 million Instagram fans to join her in choosing a vegan diet; however, she hasn’t publicly spoken about whether her children also followed it. She dialed back the intensity of her vegan diet in 2020, adding seafood back into her diet for the omega-3s.
Initially, the 42nd U.S. president Bill Clinton chose a vegan diet to lose weight. After shedding 20 pounds when a cardiologist warned him his health was putting him at extraordinary risk of a heart attack, Clinton became a lifelong committed vegan.
Just prior to his daughter, Chelsea’s, wedding, he told AARP The Magazine, “I've stopped eating meat, cheese, milk, even fish. No dairy at all. I've lost more than 20 pounds so far, aiming for about 30 before Chelsea's wedding. And I have so much more energy now! I feel great."
It was his desire to see his daughter wed and raise her own family that inspired Clinton to maintain his vegan diet once he’d shed the weight that was putting his heart at risk. “I wanted to live to be a grandfather," said Clinton. "So, I decided to pick the diet that I thought would maximize my chances of long-term survival."
Clinton says his day begins with an almond milk smoothie with fresh berries, vegan protein powder and ice; followed by a lunch of salad and legumes, snacking on nuts and hummus with raw vegetables; and dinner usually consists of quinoa or a veggie burger.
The beautiful and eternally youthful actress, Michelle Pfeiffer, is a mother of two 20-somethings.
She told Urbanette Magazine she credits her radiant glow to being vegan. "You avoid a lot of toxins that could age your skin and your body. I really noticed a difference in my skin not too long after switching to fully vegan," she added.
She admits she was inspired to go vegan after watching an interview with Bill Clinton around the way animals are treated and the devastating environmental impact of farming.
This one-time "Baywatch" babe has become a staunch advocate for animal rights. Fans likely remember her posing for PETA campaigns and anti-fur campaigns in her birthday suit. With two sons to rockstar Tommy Lee, it’s been Pamela’s mission to eat, dress and live according to vegan principles.
Anderson, now in her 50s, once hosted an international media coterie at a vegan restaurant in Tel Aviv where large signs read "Thou Shalt Not Kill … Animals." She was also the first recipient of the Linda McCartney Memorial Award for her animal rights campaigning, presented to her by Paul McCartney in 1999. And she has ensured her sons' modelling contracts stipulate no fur, reported The Guardian. "They're both vegan too," she says of Brandon and Dylan, "but I never forced it on them."
Famous for her fashion and her leadership on environmental and humanitarian issues, Stella McCartney has established herself beyond being the famous daughter of Beatle Paul McCartney and proven herself an adept designer and businesswoman in her own right.
Stella not only eats a vegan diet, but refuses to use leather or animal-derived products in her fashion lines for adults and kids. She collaborated with Adidas to launch the first vegan Stan Smith sneakers last year.
Married to Alasdhair Willis, she has four children: Miller, Beckett, Bailey and Reiley. While McCartney has spoken of being a lifelong vegetarian, as was her mother, she has not spoken publicly about the diets of her husband and children.
Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard
Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell have said their choice to eat a vegan diet was more about health than ethics. "But it's compounded by the fact that I love animals and feel better not eating them," Bell told Women’s Health.
In 2018, after six years of a vegan diet, Bell chose to go vegetarian rather than vegan, as she felt it was more aligned with her health goals. Dax only bade it about a year of going vegan before giving it up for a more flexible vegetarian diet. Bell still loves to bake vegan sweets with her children, Lincoln and Delta, using organic coconut flour and applesauce. She and Dax also grow their own vegetables, including spinach, romaine lettuce and tomatoes.
Winner of PETA’s Sexiest Vegan Award in 2012, award-winning actor Woody Harrelson has been a committed vegan since his mid-20s after cutting out dairy to clear up his acne. And then he convinced fellow actor, Thandie Newton, to go vegan after they worked together in 2018. “I have been vegan since working with Woody for the last four months,” she told Plant Based News.
She has also been vocal in demanding an end to the production of foie gras in the U.K., due to its notoriously cruel treatment of ducks and geese prior to slaughter. And when she’s not standing up for causes, Newton is a mother of three — Ripley, Nico and Booker Jombe — with her husband, Ol Parker, a writer, director and producer.
A vegetarian for 15 years, Chastain decided to embrace a vegan diet in 2007. She told PETA that she'd never felt so healthy or lean. She said that because it's not always easy to access vegan meals on set, she brings her own vegan meals with her. Chastain's mother is also a vegan chef, who — thanks to her daughter's generosity — now has her own food truck.
Chastain and husband, Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo, are parents to baby Giulietta Passi Chastain. She has said of her dietary choices, that it’s only really an issue when eating with her husband’s family. She told TV host Jimmy Kimmel, “In the beginning, I’d say I’m vegan, which is the worst thing [in Italy]. I’d say, ‘I’m sorry I can’t eat that,’ and [my mother-in-law] would say, ‘No problem, we have fish!’”
Both Kate Mara and her sister, Rooney, are vegan. “If I could only eat three things forever, they’d be truffle fries, brussels sprouts and pizza,” Kate told Bon Appetit.
Mara married her “Fantastic Four” co-star Jamie Bell in 2017 and became stepmother to Bell's son with ex-wife Evan Rachel Wood. The two welcomed their first child together in late 2022.