Whilst the recent announcement of Liam Hemsworth’s veganism set the internet abuzz, he’s not the first superstar to go vegan. This is great news for the promotion of a cruelty free lifestyle especially seeing that he is doing it for the animals. Celebs choosing a vegan lifestyle is nothing new however; Steve-O has been vegan for years now, he’s even due to spend 30 days in prison as a result of being a badass vegan activist. Let’s not forget the one and only Woody Harrelson who got vegan Twinkies made for Zombieland. Joaquin Phoenix, who’s been vegan since the age of three, had all of his wardrobe specially made of synthetic leathers for his role in Gladiator.
As committed as these stars are, celebrities turning vegan can have its dark side. While we should avoid berating our fellow vegans for their efforts, some just don’t make the cut. We need a clear distinction between ‘vegan’ and ‘plant based’ for those celebrities that only want to half-arse the change.
It is simple, ‘vegan’ is a lifestyle in which you do not consume, use, or wear animal products to minimise harm while ‘plant based’ is a diet which avoids animal products. Just take a short look at the poor effort Beyoncé (who run the world?) was praised for. That is not vegan; that is a goddamned plant based diet. Then we have the likes of Ellen, who has just released a new line of shoes… made of leather. She is also entering into talks to design lines of menswear with Kanye West, an avid proponent for the fur industry. Sure, these are the ones that give vegans a bad name but then there are those who try it and just fail, they get sick, then they go back to eating animal products because they think it is the better option.
There is a school of thinking that supports remaining a quiet achiever. There have been studies that show that even just telling people you are going to the gym is “good enough” for your brain, while you’re then less likely to actually go to the gym. I ask myself, is this also applicable to veganism? Does even just promoting oneself as vegan give you a sense of having actually done something for the animals? Or am I just too optimistic in thinking that most people ‘do’ vegan for the animals? Do most celebs just go vegan for the health and diet aspect? Of course I would never smack-talk a high profile person for not eating meat, but let’s just call it what it is; it is a plant-based diet, nothing more.