Veganism is a trend that is still on a roll. One survey in 2020 had 4% of European consumers state that they were vegan, and the explosion in sales of plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy and leather illustrate that many more are flexitarian.
Fewer people than in the past would now claim that the industries for animal products are anything but a disaster for the biosphere or the well-being of animals, with health probably remaining the most controversial aspect. Plants are already well-known to have benefits such as preventing and treating UTIs (cystitis) and generally maintaining bladder health, and while people are aware of the dangers of consuming a lot of red meat, many are still doubtful that eliminating other meats and animal products can allow for an optimal diet, or even be an improvement on one that includes them.
Here are some household names who are living proof that doubts about a vegan diet are unfounded.
Are vegans more likely to get sick from restricting their diet? Quite to the contrary, it turns out that there are cases where it’s the reverse! In 2011, Venus Williams was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, eventually finding that a raw vegan diet was part of the solution. Since animal products are known to be inflammatory, Williams is happy to report that it reduces pharmaceutical dependency: “[…] to be able to control as much as I can — what’s happening in my body, my inflammation levels — through what I eat is a godsend.” After years of struggle, in 2017 Venus made a huge comeback at 37 years old. Venus’ sister Serena also eats plant-based most of the time, only ‘cheating’ a bit on the off-season. Having between them two of the faster serves in women’s tennis and utterly devastating forehands, the Williams sisters prove that neither raw strength nor stamina are impeded by a vegan diet.
When it comes to playing high-stakes poker, you need to be alert and sharp. That’s something Daniel Negreanu found he got from ditching meat and turning to a vegetarian, then vegan diet. Earning the nickname ‘Kid Poker’ after winning the World Series at the age of 23, Negreanu has since gone on to earn tens of millions over the course of his career. Realizing his gut was in bad shape, the all-star found himself reaching more and more for plants from the start of the new millennium onwards, and while mocked by his peers at first, has since found much more support.
How does Ariana Grande maintain her energy on tour with a voice like that and looking as good as she does? Well, it looks like Ariana has found a vegan diet that gives her everything she needs on the nutrition side. After reducing for years, the singer announced she was going all-in on a vegan diet on Twitter in 2013. Ariana Grande is an animal lover whose diet isn’t so different from a Japanese macrobiotic one, including lots of healthy roots, beans, and fruit. Her favorite is strawberries, reportedly, but loves berries in general.
You might have heard that vegans are killjoys taking away others’ fun. To the haters may I present Jon Stewart, comedian, former Daily Show host, and father of two. Stewart isn’t as high profile when it comes to his diet as some of the others on this list. But mainly thanks to his wife, who is a committed animal rights activist, he switched over to a plant-based diet years ago and hasn’t looked back.
Clearly, going plant-based is a viable dietary option and may even improve quality of life. With vegan options becoming mainstays on restaurant menus and in supermarket aisles in many places, nowadays anyone can raise the stakes on their own health by following these famous people.