Keeping up with which celebrities are vegan can be pretty fun. It’s awesome to see people in the limelight making positive choices for animals, their health and the environment but, let’s face it, we also like to know we have something in common with our favorite stars. With names like Jared Leto and Tony Kanal joining ranks with Moby, Ellen Degeneres and Joaquin Phoenix, it’s fantastic to see such high profile Green Monsters making the decision to go animal-free every day. These celebrities all talk openly about their choice, making a case for compassionate living to the point that they begin to become synonymous with the phrase, “famous vegans.”
Then, there are the celebrities that bring to mind different phrases when we think of them. Phrases like, “bad boys,” “rough around the edges,” or just plain old “controversial.” These are the celebrities that make it into the tabloids for doing something wild, crazy, illegal or all of the above. They have tempers, bad habits and, in some cases, a penchant for violence, be it in real life or in the art that they make. They also, in the case of the five people below, happen to eat plant-based diets too.
What these celebrities represent are, well, a lot of us. They aren’t perfect. They aren’t necessarily trying to be role models or spokespeople for eating plants, and not animals. They’re humans who’re trying to do the best they can, be it for animals or merely for their health alone, and we can relate to that. Celebs like these provide an example of people that are going for it even though they seem, on the outside, like the last people that would. We appreciate anyone that makes strides toward plant based eating, no matter where they are on their path and these five vegan bad boys show that even the most unlikely and surprising of us can make daily choices that lead to a more compassionate world.
1. Kurt Sutter
The heavily tattooed, motorcycle riding, seriously outspoken creator of the “Sons of Anarchy” and “The Shield” is probably one of the last people that would come to mind when you mention the phrase, “vegan celebrities.” Often railing against the politics of Hollywood on Twitter in the most colorful ways possible and acting as head writer for a show that hands out violence like Valentine’s Day cards, Sutter lives with a stark duality. He’s well aware of it too, saying, “I live in two worlds. The right wing, gun-toting, meat-eating, Harley-riding, racist, homophobic, masochistic fantasy dynasty, that is SOA. And the centrist-liberal, anti-gun, vegan, Tesla-driving, gay-priding, civil-minded, pro-choice existence, that is my personal life.”
2. Billy Bob Thornton
Famous for his considerable acting chops, especially in creepy roles (did you see his latest turn in “Fargo?” Terrifying.), one wouldn’t necessarily leap to the conclusion all on their own that Billy Bob stays plant-based. The truth is, not only is he vegan but he’s also very committed to his health. “I’m vegan and I eat extremely healthy,” he said. “For me, something indulgent would be to cut up two bananas into my oatmeal instead of one.” We’d like to go on record here by saying multi-banana oatmeal is fabulous.
3. Rob Zombie
It seems surprising that the man behind “House of 1000 Corpses” and “The Devil’s Rejects,” who recently confirmed that he and his wife are vegan in his Reddit AMA, would abstain from eating animal products, but it’s true. “The only thing I ever really care about is animals-animal causes,” he said of his animal activism. “I don’t really care about people that much, but animals, I feel like they always need to be protected.” He’s worked with PETA and supported fundraising efforts for animal sanctuaries, even participating in a campaign around Thanksgiving to raise awareness for the treatment of turkeys in factory farms. He was also recently featured in an episode of “Cupcake Wars“ where four bakers competed to win him over with their vegan treats. We’re with you Rob, we think vegan cupcakes are scary good too.
4. Mike Tyson
We refuse to make the easy joke about ear biting. We absolutely refuse to do it! What we will do is point out that sometimes in life we are able to finally make positive change after we’ve accumulated some years, and the wisdom that accompanies them. Mike Tyson is a perfect example of this, deciding that it’s never too late to try and turn your life and health around. So yes, he’s done a lot of terrible things that we absolutely do not condone (drugs and violence against women being just some examples), but we do appreciate that he seems to be making an effort to turn a new leaf. “Becoming a vegan, it just gave me another opportunity to live a healthy life. I was just hard wheel, so congested from all the drugs and bad cocaine, and I couldn’t hardly breathe, high blood pressure, almost dying, and arthritis,” he told Oprah of his transition. “Once I became vegan, all that stuff, it diminished.” Losing over 100 pounds, Tyson seems like an entirely different person now that he’s made such a profound change for his well-being (and hopefully for those around him).
Rocketing to fame by stapling his tender bits, being shot with a BB gun and generally trying to break his entire body during his tenure with the “Jackass” franchise, Steve-O is lucky to be alive for more reasons than we can count. As if the physical torture he put himself through wasn’t enough, addiction almost finished him off before he decided that he needed to make a change. “When I was doing drugs, I kept hearing voices telling me I was going to have to answer for things I do to cause suffering … that was my original motivation,” he said. Now, MTVs wildest wildcard feels healthier than ever since going vegan and has even done a video touting its benefits for Farm Sanctuary. It seems that his diet is one of the ways that Steve-O won’t harm himself!
Did you know that these celebs were vegan? Have any other examples of unlikely plant-based peeps? Let us know in the comments!