Whether you are reading this list out of curiosity, or for inspiration, or for your trivia tournament next Tuesday night, we welcome you. This list features fifteen of the brightest stars in sports, film, and music (with a couple dead scientists thrown in for good measure) who are committed to a plant-based lifestyle. If anyone on this list is a personal hero of yours, perhaps their example will inspire you to commit to a plant-based diet yourself!
1. Tom Brady
New England Patriots’ Tom Brady has won five Super Bowls and is one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of football. His strict plant-based diet is undoubtedly a factor that has contributed to his success. If it’s good enough for Tom Brady, it’s good enough for us.
2. Venus Williams
Venus Williams has seven Grand Slam and 49 WTA singles titles. She is one of the most accomplished female tennis players in history. Her commitment to a raw vegan diet is personal. She was diagnosed with an extremely debilitating autoimmune disease, Sjorgen’s Syndrome, in 2011. In her words, she “literally couldn’t play tennis anymore.” It wasn’t until she switched to a vegan diet that she was able to reach the finals in Grand Slam tournaments again.
3. Novak Djokovic
Djokovic has 12 Grand Slam titles and is currently one of the top three men’s tennis players. He says, “My attitude to food is, let the food be your medicine and the medicine be your food. That’s the approach I have. The more I explore things like fuel and energy for my body, the better I will be as a tennis player, and my general wellbeing and health.” He solidified his commitment to a plant-based lifestyle by opening a raw vegan restaurant, Eqvita, in Monte Carlo in 2016.
4. Kyrie Irving
Kyrie is one of the best players in the NBA right now and has only been improving his stats since he joined the Boston Celtics. He says the reason for his slimming down and his incredible performance on the court is that he’s “been on more of a plant-based diet, getting away from the animals and all that. I had to get away from that. So my energy is up; my body feels amazing.”
5. Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman has been committed to a plant-based lifestyle since reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer in 2009. She was inspired by the memoir to produce and narrate a documentary by the same name in 2017.
6. Liam Hemsworth
Liam Hemsworth has been a vegan since 2015. He told Men’s Fitness, “Having grown up with a love for and connection to all animals and having been educated on the health benefits of a plant-based diet, it only made sense for me to go vegan.” He said the biggest reason for him to go vegan was, “My own health… after all the information I gathered about the mistreatment of animals, I couldn’t continue to eat meat. The more I was aware, the harder and harder it was to do. So with the facts I was gathering, and then just how I was physically feeling, I felt like I had to do something different, so I adopted this vegan-diet lifestyle…. there are no negatives to eating like this. I feel nothing but positive, mentally and physically…. I feel like it also has a kind of a domino effect on the rest of my life.”
7. James Cameron
James Cameron, award-winning director of the film Avatar, went vegan in 2012 after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives, the same documentary that inspired our very own Rachel to make the switch as well. In a recent article written for The Guardian, he wrote, “Animal agriculture is choking the Earth, and the longer we turn a blind eye, the more we limit our ability to nourish ourselves, protect waterways and habitats, and pursue other uses of our precious natural resources.”
8. Jessica Chastain
Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain has been a vegan since 2005. She told W Magazine that after trying a vegan food-delivery service for two days, “Immediately I just had more energy than I’ve ever had in my life. Then when I finished it, it wasn’t like I’m going to be vegan. I went to the restaurant and I ordered fish and risotto and immediately I felt bad, like not emotionally but physically, and so I said okay, I’m going to just listen to my body now. Being vegan was not anything I ever wanted to be. I just really was listening to what my body was telling me.”
9. Peter Dinklage
Dinklage plays Tyrion Lannister in the hit show Game of Thrones. He became a vegetarian at the age of 16 and a vegan in 2014. Regardless of how violent he may be on screen, he says, “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.”
10. James Cromwell
Cromwell became a vegetarian after driving past Texas feedlots in 1975. But starring in the Oscar-award-winning film Babe in 1994 inspired him to go further and become a full-blown vegan.
11. Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande became a vegan in 2013. She says, “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-around happier person.”
12. Miley Cyrus
Miley is married to Liam Hemsworth and shares his vegan convictions. She has been a vegan since 2014.
13. Carrie Underwood
Seven-time Grammy winner Carrie Underwood has been a full vegan since 2011. She was vegetarian for a long time prior but went all the way after seeing her parents castrate calves.
14. Leonardo Da Vinci
Yes, we have included two very dead famous vegetarian scientists. This should prove once and for all that plant power really can fuel brainpower. Leonardo was the greatest creative of his era and was centuries ahead of his time, having sketched prototypes for the first tank, submarine, and motor vehicle. He was a mathematician, physicist, inventor, and artist. The evidence of his vegetarianism is circumstantial but strong.
15. Albert Einstein
Einstein needs no introduction. This Nobel-Prize-winning German genius is most famous for his theory of relativity. He wrote a friend, “Nothing will benefit human health or increase the chances of survival on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” If you’re already on a plant-based diet, you must be a genius too–great minds think alike!
We didn’t have space to feature every famous vegan or vegetarian but here are a few more of the plant-based stars in the news right now: Jared Leto, Brad Pitt, Serena Williams, Jennifer Lopez, Alec Baldwin, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, and Matisyahu.