Al Gore has become the latest celebrity to jump on the vegan bandwagon. The An Inconvenient Truth creator has been a vegetarian since the making of his documentary in 2006 and now he’s gone the whole hog (definitely not literally) and committed to veganism.
Being a climate change fanatic, Gore’s reasons for his dietary change are probably environmental, which is admirable and honestly the only reason I would ever contemplate giving up meat (but not eggs, never eggs). Other celebrities on the vegan list cite different reasons for taking the step.
Russell Brand, one of my favourite people, was pushed over the vegetarian/vegan border by Forks Over Knives, a documentary exploring the negative impact meat has on our health.
But that’s not really fair is it, no offense Rusty but surely being sensible about the amount of meat you eat as well as the type of meat would be enough to keep yourself healthy (quality over quantity eh?). I’ve eaten meat my whole life and I don’t have diabetes.
The top reason for the move seems to be animal rights. Natalie Portman, formerly a vegetarian because she believes “animals have personalities” was turned onto the vegan view by Jonathan Safran Foer’s book Eating Animals (read an excerpt here). The book does make some good points about animal cruelty in farming:
“I felt shame for living in a nation of unprecedented prosperity — a nation that spends a smaller percentage of income on food than any other civilization has in human history — but in the name of affordability treats the animals it eats with cruelty so extreme it would be illegal if inflicted on a dog.”
But again, that’s not really fair is it. What about organic farming? Livestock that are treated, I won’t say lovingly, but with respect. Foer calls free-range food labels “bullshit”, accusing the guidelines of not being strict enough. This may be true in some circumstances, but surely that means farming welfare restrictions should be more highly controlled rather than cutting out meat from our diet altogether.
To each their own…personally I like a bit of beef tartare on a Tuesday afternoon.
- Gore goes vegan (nzherald.co.nz)
- 16 Vegan Celebrities Who’ve Given Up Animal Products For A Healthier Lifestyle (huffingtonpost.com)