Veganism is on the rise – The Telegraph in the UK reported last year that the number of vegans in Britain had risen by more than 350 per cent in the past decade. It’s supposedly a movement ‘driven by the young’ as the Guardian found that almost half of all vegans are aged between 15-34, with a small percentage (14%) aged over 65.
Certainly it’s a lifestyle choice that seems to be dismissed by many over 50s as ‘faddy’ – and there’s no disputing that millennials are influenced by social media and the hotpot of ‘clean eating’ advice and celebrity endorsement lurking therein.
Speaking of which, there are a lot of celebrities backing the diet (frankly, it’s hard to keep track of them)...
Alicia Silverstone isn’t a recent convert to veganism by any stretch, having adopted the diet years ago in 1998. She credits the switch with helping her insomnia, acne, and asthma, and told Oprah: "I used to have all those white marks on my nails and they were very brittle, and now they're so strong I cannot bend them" and "I feel like I look less puffy".
Ellen Degeneres is a former meat eater, and she decided to overhaul her diet after watching animal-cruelty documentaries like Earthlings and Meet your Meat – she even has an entire section of her website dedicated to vegan living in which she spotlights other vegan celebrities, and features recipes by people like Bethenny Frankel.
You may have seen Netflix’s What the Health, a heavily pro-vegan film co-produced by Joaquin Phoenix. The documentary featured some pretty outlandish claims – for example, that eating an egg a day is as bad for your life expectancy as smoking five cigarettes. Possibly the most steadfast of all his vegan contemporaries, Phoenix has been living the meat/dairy/fish free life since the age of three.
Woody Harrelson is an old timer, having done the vegan thing for over ten years. He gave up dairy as a struggling actor in New York, having been diagnosed as lactose intolerant. The rest followed, and now he’s the proud owner of the world’s first organic vegan beer garden, called Sage.
Animal-rights activist Miley has been a committed vegan since 2014. She was described as the ‘Veganest Vegan to Ever Vegan’ by PETA. She has a ‘V’ tattoo (‘Vegan for life!’) and pets that include a blowfish and a pig.
Actress Rooney Mara has been vegan for the past few years, as well as being gluten free because various family members’ experiences with coeliac disease. Yikes, what does she eat? She told InStyle she mostly sticks to produce: "I basically eat only fruits and vegetables. I’ve never felt better than I do now".
Pamela Anderson opened a 'plant-based' eatery in the South of France earlier this year, before pulling out shortly after. She's an active PETA member and thanks her diet for keeping her trim and youthful-looking.
This article first appeared on Grazia UK.