(VEGAN/PHOTOS) Bill Clinton‘s recent switch from fast-food junkie to vegan delighted animal lovers. But Bill isn’t the only celebrity to have made the transition to take animals off the dinner plate. Read on to find out who is getting healthy and saving the animals, one meal at a time. — Global Animal
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Former fast-food junkie Bill Clinton has stunned the nation by announcing he has gone vegan to reverse cardiovascular damage to his body caused by years of burgers. From Oscar-winning Natalie Portman to PETA devotee Jane Lynch to ear-biting former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson, see photos of famous people who eschew meat.
Who knew a hip-hop mogul could go Zen? For Russell Simmons, it all began with yoga. “The teachings of my gurus, Sharon and David Life, are responsible for me not only having a newfound respect for my body,” Simmons wrote in a letter to the Ellen Degeneres Show, “but for changing my eating habits and quieting my mind through meditation.” Simmons is proud that while producing Billboard chart-topping albums, he can save 100 animals each year by eating vegetarian. “Up until this time, a hamburger was something stuck between two buns—not a cow. A wing was something you dipped in BBQ sauce—not a chicken. And milk was something you drank as a human, never realizing it was only meant for a calf,” he continued. Could this be the making of an animal cruelty–conscious rap song? Photo Credit: Charles Sykes / AP Photo
The actress is a staunch believer in the adage “Your dollar is your vote,” which is why she adopted a vegan lifestyle. Wilde feels strongly about ending the animal-abuse, meat-consumer cycle, and even started a website where she shares recipes and tips for other vegans. The Cowboys & Aliens star recognizes that people may protest, “But not all animal products come from the evil meat and dairy industries! What about the small farmers who massage their cattle to sleep every night and milk their goats with warm hands while singing lullabies?” But she says that, sadly, most of the products we consume do not come from “sweet, small family farms.” Photo Credit: Ian Gavan/Getty Images
She’s one of Hollywood’s most glamorous and impassioned non-animal eaters, a switch that occurred after the actress read Jonathan Safran Foer’s book Eating Animals, about the harsh treatment of livestock in the food industry. “Perhaps others disagree with me that animals have personalities, but the highly documented torture of animals is unacceptable,” wrote Natalie Portman for the Huffington Post in 2009. “And the human cost Foer describes in his book, of which I was previously unaware, is universally compelling.” The 20-year vegetarian then switched to full-on vegan, only to switch back again during her recent pregnancy. “I felt like I wanted that stuff,” she told the Q100 “Bert Show.” “I was listening to my body to have eggs and dairy. Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
He may have once had cannibalistic impulses, such as biting a chunk of boxer Evander Holyfield’s ear off, but the heavyweight champion is now a vegan. “I wish I was born this way,” Tyson told Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren. “When you find out about the processed stuff you have been eating. I wonder why I was crazy all those years.” It was only after his wife tried out the diet for weight-loss purposes that Tyson gave it a try, but now he’s done with meat for good. The strongman even tried a tiny piece of meat recently, but ended up violently ill. “I realized meat’s become a poison for me now,” he said. Maybe Holyfield will forgive him. Photo Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Jonathan Safran Foer
Ulf Andersen / Getty Images While Foer’s first two novels were critically acclaimed, the writer’s first nonfiction work, Eating Animals, gained a cult following and became the vegetarian’s bible. It was also the reason Natalie Portman went vegan. Foer had flip-flopped from vegetarian to omnivore and back ever since he was 9, but now follows a strictly vegetarian (and occasionally vegan) diet. “The older I’ve grown, the stronger the argument against eating meat has become in my eyes,” the author told The Young Hungry in 2009. Now a father of two, Foer believes falafel, rather than burgers, to be the ideal parent-kid meal. Photo Credit: Ulf Anderson/Getty Images
Although Jessica Simpson is famous for her fluctuating curves, the pop star turned entrepreneur claims going vegan had nothing to do with her body size. “Just so everyone is clear, this has NOTHING to do with weight!. It is about understanding my body through hydration and alkalinity.” The star switched to the extreme diet just before her 30th birthday in July 2010 and also began “cupping,” an ancient Chinese healing practice where suction cups are placed on the skin to remove toxins. “Has anyone ever tried cupping?” Simpson tweeted. “When u know you are doing something good for ur body the meditation creates intense visions. Love it!” Photo Credit: Christ Pizzello/AP Photo
Jane Lynch does more than just abstain from eating meat: the Glee actress is also an animal activist and does extensive work for PETA. “Having dogs and cats who I love so thoroughly has made me a better partner, has made me a better friend,” the 49-year-old told the animal-rights group in an interview. “And the love is so unconditional from the animals. I’ve just become a much better person because of my love for animals.” Lynch even refused to say a line in a Glee episode where she threatened Will Schuester that she was going to get a cat from the shelter, let him fall in love with it, and then kill it. “I’m not going to say that. I work for PETA. I can’t say kill the cat,” she told the show’s co-creator and writer, Ryan Murphy. Photo Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP Photo
The talk-show host and her wife, Portia De Rossi, became vegans together when they wed in 2009. They had been working toward the goal ever since their first date. “When Ellen and I first got together I was wearing fur and Ellen was wearing very expensive Italian calfskin leather,” De Rossi told Starpulse “She was giving me a hard time about wearing the fur and I said, ‘Why is a fox any more important than a cow?’ On Saturday, the funnywoman announced a new website dedicated to her vegan lifestyle. An offshoot of Ellen.warnerbros.com, “Going Vegan With Ellen” is designed to help others make the all-plant diet transition. Photo Credit: matt Sayles/AP Photo
All congressmen fight for citizens’ rights, but Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich fights for animals’ rights too. The former Democratic presidential contender and his wife, Elizabeth, are both vegan in support of their belief that “As a necessary component of the living world, we must extend compassion to one another and to every living thing.” The Kuciniches even held vegan potlucks and brunches as fundraisers during the 2008 Democratic primary. On the menu: cinnamon beignet, asparagus-and-wild-mushroom tofu omelet, strawberry-rhubarb crepes, and fresh orange juice. To the congressman’s dismay, the eggless omelet candidate had a little trouble appealing to the masses. Photo Credit: Cliff Owen/AP Photo
The story used to go that the former president couldn’t pass a fast-food restaurant without stopping for a bite, but Bill Clinton has since changed his eating habits. The politician has shocked the nation and gone vegan, to reverse the cardiovascular damage done to his body after years of burgers and doughnuts. “It’s turning a ship around before it hits the iceberg, but I think we’re beginning to turn it around,” he told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Reports of Clinton’s new diet began to leak after his daughter Chelsea’s wedding, where guests dined on vegan dishes and gluten-free cake. Veganism even earned the Arkansas native an award after PETA named Clinton its Person of the Year in 2010, estimating that his diet shift spared the lives of 200 animals a year. Photo Credit: Adam Bettcher/GEtty Images
The 89-year-old former Golden Girl looks years younger than her birthdate reveals. Could it be a result of years of laughter, or her vegan diet? The 20-time Emmy nominee is also an animal activist, and once told Barbara Walters she prefers animals over people. “They never lie to you. You know when they tell you something, they mean it. They love you unconditionally,” Betty White told the women of The View. Oddly, the actress allowed Pink’s, a hot-dog restaurant in L.A., to name their plain wiener after her; however, a portion of the proceeds from the “Betty ‘Naked in the City’ Hot Dog” did go to support the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services’ animal shelters. Photo Credit: Peter Kramer/AP Photo
February 19, 2012 — Correction: An informed reader reminds us that in the accurate sense, Mike Tyson is not a vegan, but practices a vegan diet. The formal definition of vegan includes rejecting all animal exploitation.