Naked or Not, Famous Vegetarians Are a Passionate Bunch
By Laura Ferreiro Posted Nov 14th 2009 11:00AM
What could inspire Alicia Silverstone to strip naked in an ad, Natalie Portman to blog passionately and Morrissey to walk off stage at a festival? The answer might surprise you: vegetarianism. Countless actors, rock stars and folks from all walks of life have decided to take meat off the menu and go veggie for an array of reasons as colorful as their personalities.
Most of us know that Paul McCartney hasn't eaten meat for years (and his late wife, Linda, launched her own brand of meat-free products), but did you know that Red Hot Chili Peppers' Anthony Kiedis was voted the world's sexiest vegetarian by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), '30 Rock' star Alec Baldwin is a long-time veggie who campaigns for animal rights, and Woody Harrelson convinced director Ruben Fleischer to eat vegan while shooting 'Zombieland'?
One of the most outspoken vegetarians in recent weeks has been Silverstone, who's promoting her new book 'The Kind Diet.' The 'Clueless' star writes that eating a meat-and-dairy-free, plant-based diet can improve your health and appearance, increase energy levels and even help cure diseases. She also offers up scrumptious vegan recipes including healthy "chorizo" tacos, crispy rice squares and chocolate peanut butter cups.
Celebs Pose for PETA
'New Moon' star Christian Serratos poses for PETA's 'I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur' campaign.
Courtesy of PETA
"There's nothing in the world that's changed me as much as this," Silverstone says. "I know deep in my heart that when you eat this way you'll feel better than you ever have in your life. You get younger and stronger. When I went vegan, people thought I was glowing...I lost weight and felt like I was walking around the world a little lighter. You can heal yourself through eating this way. The cure is in the food."
Putting her money where her mouth is, the vegan actress took off her clothes for a sexy PETA ad promoting vegetarianism.
Jonathan Safran Foer's new book, 'Eating Animals,' takes an entirely different approach. The hot young author zeroes in on the questionable practices of the meat industry, writing about the deplorable and shocking conditions animals live (and die) in at factory farms after spending a year and a half visiting farms around the country. He argues that we are defined not just by what we do, but also by what we are willing to do without.
The non-fiction book made such an impression on Natalie Portman that it caused the Hollywood star to go from being a vegetarian to a vegan, eliminating all animal products from her diet such as milk and cheese in addition to meat and fish. "Perhaps others disagree with me that animals have personalities, but the highly documented torture of animals is unacceptable, and the human cost Foer describes in his book, of which I was previously unaware, is universally compelling," the star wrote in her Huffington Post blog.
Meanwhile, famed vegetarian Morrissey told thousands of fans at California's Coachella Festival this year that meat makes him sick. "I can smell burning flesh and I hope to God it's human," he said dramatically as the scent of barbecued meat from nearby food stands wafted through the air during his performance.
Celebrities including Casey Affleck, Joan Jett, Bryan Adams, McCartney, James Cromwell, Kevin Nealon, and Forest Whitaker have all participated in PETA's ongoing "I Am a Vegetarian" campaign in which they passionately express their personal motivations for eliminating meat from their diet. "Life is full of choices," Whitaker says, "and many years ago I chose to become a vegetarian. It was one of the best choices I ever made."
Silverstone adds that you don't necessarily need to become a vegan for the rest of your life, you can simply "flirt" with a plant-based diet and see how it makes you feel. "The flirting plan I created for people who say, 'OK, I've read all this information and I really want to do this. I really want these results, but I feel a little shy that I wont be able to do it all the way,'" she told the Wall Street Journal. "Then do it slowly. Flirting means you keep an open heart, an open mind. You're sort of dating a healthier lifestyle, and you're slowly adding new concepts and new foods to your life."
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