7 Vegan Celebrities Who Started Eating Meat Again
The stars open up about their controversial diet decision.
The benefits of following a plant-based diet are plentiful—for your body, the environment, and of course, for the animals themselves. But shunning meat, fish, eggs, and dairy entirely by going completely vegan comes with its own set of challenges. In fact, several celebrities who were once high-profile vegans are opening up about their decision to ditch their stringent meal restrictions. Read on to learn which seven stars now are eating animal products again, and why many have made the switch to a more moderate meal plan.
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For years, pop star Miley Cyrus was among the most vocal vegans in the celebrity world. But in 2020, she shared on a Joe Rogan podcast that she had recently added fish back into her diet, citing health concerns. "I was vegan for a very long time, and I've had to introduce fish and omegas into my life because my brain wasn't functioning properly," she explained, adding that she cried the first time she reintroduced meat to her diet. "Now I'm so much sharper than I was and I think that I was, at one point, pretty malnutritioned [sic]. I remember going to Glastonbury [music festival] and that was a show that I loved—I loved my performance—but I was running on empty," Cyrus said.
She added during an interview with the radio show The Edge (via Veg News) that this was not an easy decision to make—especially after so publicly promoting a vegan lifestyle. "I think when you become the face of something, it's just a lot of pressure. If I could learn to operate at 110 percent living a vegan lifestyle that would be ideal … I just didn't get there."
Cyrus's ex-husband and The Hunger Games actor Liam Hemsworth became vegan in 2015. But in a 2019 interview for Men's Health, the star shared that he had re-introduced meat to his diet after struggling with low energy. "The first two years, I felt great. I felt my energy was high. I felt like my body was strong, cardio was high, everything felt really good," Hemsworth explained. "But February last year I was feeling really low and lethargic and wasn't feeling good generally."
To make matters worse, Hemsworth then suffered a kidney stone, which required surgery. "Once you get one kidney stone, you have a 50 percent chance of getting another one if you continue eating the way you were eating," he explains. "Well, my particular kidney stone was a calcium-oxalate kidney stone. It forms from having too much oxalate in your diet. Oxalates are really high in a lot of vegetables, specifically spinach, almonds, beetroot, potatoes," the actor explained.
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Les Miserables star Anne Hathaway says she dabbled in veganism throughout her career, often in preparation for big roles. But while gearing up for the film Interstellar—shot in Iceland—she noticed her strength and energy waning. "I just didn't feel good or healthy," she told Harpers Bazaar in 2014.
While at a waterfront restaurant in Reykjavík with her co-stars, she decided to eat salmon "from a stream I could see from where I was sitting." The next day, she says, she "just felt better." While speaking with Tatler, she added, "my brain felt like a computer rebooting." These days, Hathaway reportedly eats fish, dairy, and poultry when she feels she needs to (and also abstains from alcohol).
Samuel L. Jackson
Fans noticed that Hollywood veteran Samuel L. Jackson began losing weight in 2014 while playing Nick Fury in Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier. "It's a new vegan diet," he told reporters at the time (via Veg News). "Just trying to live forever. Trying to finish out my Marvel deal," Jackson said.
Yet the following year, the star changed his tune after the change in his appearance became even more stark, nearly costing him a major movie role. "They threatened to fire me from the Tarzan movie if I didn't gain 20 pounds. I'd wound up losing 40 pounds," he explained on the radio show The Breakfast Club. "So I decided to go eat and now I'm not a vegan anymore. I have protein meals two to three times a week and eat vegetarian the other four days."
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Television host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres went vegan in 2008, after watching the animal rights documentary Earthlings. But in 2018, she shared during her Netflix special, Relatable, that she now eats meat from time to time.
"I was healthier than I'd ever been, I loved being vegan," she explained. "But in the last year or two for no real reason, I started eating a piece of fish once in a while." The star added that she's also open to other animal products, though she still steers clear of factory farms. "I'll eat eggs from chickens I know—if they are in someone's backyard and they're wandering around and they're happy."
Following the lead of his then-wife Jenna Dewan, Magic Mike star Channing Tatum went vegan for six months in 2013. But his dietary restrictions proved short-lived, Dewan told Women's Health in 2018. "The guy doesn't like vegetables, which makes it tough. It was hard in the beginning because you want someone to be on the same page, but you've got to let people be themselves."
Meanwhile, Dewan chose veganism when she was 10, and continues her meat-free lifestyle to this day. "It just stuck. I feel good about it morally and physically," she told the magazine.
In 2011, New Girl star Zooey Deschanel opened up to Health magazine about quitting her vegan diet. "My older sister, Bones star Emily Deschanel, has been a very, very committed vegan since high school," she said. "I wish I could be like that, but I'm not. I have a lot of food sensitivities—I can't eat wheat or soy—and it was very difficult to eat and get enough calories," she said, adding, "It was even impossible to eat at a vegan restaurant."
Later that year, she shared with New York Magazine that she broke her vegan streak while dining in a sushi restaurant. "At a certain point, you just have to go, 'You know, this gets in the way of my living too much,'" she reasoned.
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