As the news rolls in that Beyonce will once again be “going vegan”, do we think it’s time that celebrities know the difference between a six-week plant-based diet and a dedicated cruelty-free lifestyle?
We don’t mind hearing that someone is going vegan for their health, the results on the planet, in the end, are the same. Veganuary statistics for 2018 show that the main reason people signed up to the 30 day vegan campaign this year was due to animal welfare, but close behind were reasons that included health and the environment.
It’s very common for people to get into veganism through health and food, and then to develop a deeper aspect of what being vegan is. Thanks to all the amazing documentaries floating around YouTube and Netflix, such as Cowspiracy and Land of Hope and Glory, the truth about animal cruelty is getting out there whether the farming industries like it or not.
Unfortunately, the same rule does not seem to apply to when celebrities go vegan – well with some celebrities anyway. The word “vegan” seems to get bandied about in Hollywood like it’s the new Atkin’s diet of 2018.
So why can’t celebs call themselves vegan, what’s the harm?
Beyonce has just announced, again, that “it’s vegan time” as she goes on a plant-based diet to get in shape for the Californian music festival, Coachella.
What these sorts of celebrities actually mean by “vegan” is a wholefood plant-based diet that will help them lose a few pounds and make their skin glow at the same time – fantastic as it is, but not the same thing!
It’s understandable that some people out there will be thinking, surely whatever gets veganism into the mainstream media is a good thing right? Especially when they are saying that the food that vegans eat can help you lose weight and make you look & feel great? Well yes, that’s correct, but it can also be damaging.
The problem occurs when said celebrity is tucking into their tofu salad wearing a leather jacket and a fur collar – what we have here is a clash of ideals. Going vegan is about causing no harm to animals, which also includes not eating or wearing animals, avoiding animal tested cosmetics, and so on and so on. It’s a way of life!
Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. (The Vegan Society definition)
One can only hope that people look upon said celebrity and see that he/she is just taking on a new diet, but unfortunately many people see the word “vegan” and associate from here on in as something famous people do when they want to lose weight so they can look more glam in their sheep skin boots and leather trousers.
With all these famous people being role models to the youth of the world, it’s kind of important that they get the message right don’t you think? “I’m vegan because I don’t want to cause pain or suffering to another living being” should be said loud and clear.
Many committed vegans might find it insulting too, when they spend their lives checking labels and the internet to see if a certain product has been tested on animals, compared to a “celebrity vegan” who may just pick up the same product and use it without any thought.
It was only last year that Robbie Williams had been reported to have some health issues and subsequently told the world that he has “gone vegan” so as to make a positive change – apart from eating burgers on a Sunday that is. Robbie, you can’t even call yourself “vegetarian” if you eat animal once a week.
Then there is Jared Leto who everyone thought – and hoped, let’s face it! – was vegan, until he went onto a chat show and told the interviewer that he is in fact a “chegan”, which is a vegan who cheats sometimes and has desserts with dairy & eggs in it. Nice word Jared, but unfortunately the word you are looking for is “vegetarian”.
Real vegan celebrities
Not all celebrities do this however, in 2017 Lewis Hamilton went vegan to help with his training, but he also mentioned publicly about animal welfare and the atrocities in the farming industry. Since then he has gone from strength to strength and continues to lead a vegan lifestyle.
Then of course you have celebrities who are just vegan through and through, the kind of people we wish all so-called celebrity vegans to be like, like Moby, Miley Cyrus and Bryan Adams. These guys quite regularly go into the limelight and say they how happy they are to be living cruelty-free and vegan. Moby even donates most of his profits to animal welfare charities.
Call a spade “a spade” if it’s a spade
So our advice is simple: if you are a celebrity who is eating mainly plant-based foods to get fit and healthy, then say you are going “plant-based”. Everyone knows what it means, it sounds pretty cool and you will not be judged for launching a make-up range that has been tested by being rubbed into the eyeball of a baby rabbit – well, OK, the last bit isn’t true, you will always be judged for animal testing.
But if you are a famous person, who wakes up one day and can no longer stand living each day funding and supporting the dairy & meat industries because you just love animals so much, and you also want to get fit and healthy too, then go ahead and call yourself vegan. Or better yet, don’t brandish yourself at all – just do it! Be the role model we hope you to be. Not everyone needs a label.