Last Updated February 2013
There are many, many famous vegetarians and vegans. They're vegetarian for lots of reasons - health, beauty, animal welfare, religion, environment. Here are a few divided into film & TV stars; fashion stars; pop stars and great minds.
Film and TV Stars
Alan Cumming, Scottish
Daryl Hannah (vegan)
Elijah Wood (vegan)
Joaquin Phoenix (vegan)
John Gordon Sinclair, Scottish
Michael Clarke Duncan
Natalie Portman (vegan)
River Phoenix (vegan)
Samuel L Jackson
Woody Harrelson (Vegan)
Ru Paul, drag artist
Stella McCartney, designer
POP STARS AND MUSICIANS
Alanis Morissette (vegan)
Barry White (vegan)
Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr
George Harrison and wife Barbara Bach
Bobby Gillespie, lead singer and founder Primal Scream. Scottish.
Brian May of Queen
Bryan Adams (vegan)
Charlie Watts, Rolling Stones
Chrissie Hynde (vegan)
David Byrne, Talking Heads. Semi veg. Scottish
Emilie Autumn (vegan)
Jim Kerr, Simple Minds. Scottish
Johnny Marr, guitarist of The Smiths
KD Lang (vegan)
Morrissey, singer, also The Smiths (vegan)
Prince - Vegan
Dame Shirley Bassey
There have been many vegetarian great minds since 2,500 years ago to the present day. Wits, geniuses, leaders, writers, pioneers. There is a common thread that runs through them all - they were great philanthropists, exploding the myth that vegetarians only care for animals to the detriment of humans. Here are a select few of the most famous and entertaining.
Louisa May Alcott
Author of Little Women. USA. 1832-1888
Founded American Red Cross. USA 1821-1912
Visionary artist. Mystic. Poet. England. 1757-1827
"All wholesome food is caught without a net or a trap."
General William Booth
Founded the Salvation Army. England. 1829-1912
Author of Jane Eyre. England. 1816-1855
Spiritual teacher. India. Around 563-463 BC
"To become vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to nirvana."
"All beings tremble before violence. All fear death, all love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?"
The Poet who was "Mad, bad and dangerous to know". Wrote Don Juan. Scotland & England. 1788-1824
Naturalist. Wrote the explosive Origin of Species saying humans are descended from apes. England. 1809-1882
"The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man."
"There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher animals in their mental faculties. The lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery."
Leonardo Da Vinci
Artist of the 'Mona Lisa' and 'The Last Supper'. Multi-talented - the original Rennaissance Man. Italy.
"I have since an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men."
"Truly man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds them. We live by the death of others. We are burial places!"
Inventor of the light bulb and phonograph. USA. 1847-1931
"Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages."
Genius, physicist and mathematician. Invented the Theory of Relativity expressed by the equation E=mc2. Germany. 1879-1955
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
"Vegetarian food leaves a deep impression on our nature. If the whole world adopts vegetarianism, it can change the destiny of humankind."
Founder of the Ford Motor Company. Revolutionised transportation and industry. USA. 1863-1947
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One of the founding fathers of USA. Scientist. Author. Inventor. 1706-1790
"My refusing to eat flesh occasioned an inconveniency, and I was frequently chided for my singularity, but, with this lighter repast, I made the greater progress, for greater clearness of head and quicker comprehension. Flesh eating is unprovoked murder."
"Truly man is the king of beasts, for flesh eating is unprovoked murder."
Indian Independence leader. Philosopher. Spiritual guru. 1869–1948
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
"To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body."
Dr James Graham, Scottish (1745–1794) - was a pioneer in sex therapy with a genius for spectacle, best known for his electro-magnetic musical Grand State Celestial Bed. He was very enlightened and had progressive views on war, slavery, women’s education, farming, religious tolerance and - of course - a vegetarian diet.
Sir Isaac Newton
One of the most influential men in history. Discovered gravity. Scientist. Astronomer. Mathematician. England. 1643-1727
Notable Sufragette Campaigner. England. 1882-1960
Laid the foundations of Western philosophy. Greece. 428-348 BC
Mathematician. Greece. Around 580-500 BC
"Alas, what wickedness to swallow flesh into our own flesh, to fatten our greedy bodies by cramming in other bodies, to have one living creature fed by the death of another! For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap the joy of love."
Jean Jacques Rousseau
Writer and political philosophers. Inspired many from Gandhi to Mary Shelley. France. 1712-1778
"The animals you eat are not those who devour others; you do not eat the carnivorous beasts, you take them as your pattern. You only hunger after sweet and gentle creatures who harm no-one, which follow you, serve you, and are devoured by you as the reward of their service"
George Bernard Shaw
Wit. Writer of Pygmalion later made into the film My Fair Lady. Ireland. 1856-1950
"When a man of normal habits is ill, everyone hastens to assure him that he is going to recover. When a vegetarian is ill, (which fortunately very seldom happens), everyone assures him that he is going to die, and that they told him so, and that it serves him right. They implore him to take at least a little gravy, so as to give himself a chance of lasting out the night."
"While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth? Animals are my friends...and I don't eat my friends."
Wrote Frankenstein when she was 19. England. 1797-1851
One of the major Romantic Poets. England. 1792-1822
"If the use of animal food be, in consequence, subversive to the peace of human society, how unwarrantable is the injustice and the barbarity which is exercised toward these miserable victims. They are called into existence by human artifice that they may drag out a short and miserable existence of slavery and disease, that their bodies may be mutilated, their social feelings outraged. It were much better that a sentient being should never have existed, than that it should have existed only to endure unmitigated misery."
"It is only by softening and disguising dead flesh by culinary preparation, that it is rendered susceptible of mastication or digestion; and that the sight of its bloody juices and raw horror does not excite intolerable loathing and disgust."
Robert Louis Stevenson
Writer of Treasure Island, Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, Scotland. 1850-1894
“Nothing more strongly arouses our disgust than cannibalism, yet we make the same impression on Buddhists and vegetarians, for we feed on babies, though not our own.”
"We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear."
Henry David Thoreau
Writer and Philosopher. His essay 'Civil Disobedience' inspired Gandhi's and Martin Luther King's successful freedom campaigns. USA. 1817-1862
"One farmer says to me, "You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make the bones with," and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying himself with the raw material of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which, with vegetable-made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plow along in spite of every obstacle."
Author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Philosopher. Russia. 1828-1910
"As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields."
"Thou shalt not kill" does not apply to murder of one's own kind only, but to all living beings; and this Commandment was inscribed in the human breast long before it was proclaimed from Sinai."
Wit. Author of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. USA. 1835-1910
"It's just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions."
H G Wells
British author of War of the Worlds. The father of modern science fiction. England. 1866-1946
Romantic Poet of "A host of golden daffodils" amongst others. England. 1770-1850
There are of course vegetarians in many other walks of life. Sportspeople, dance, civilisations, religious groups, environmentalists etc.
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