By Emily Feimster
To eat meat or not to eat meat? That is the question. With celebrities always looking to slim down, it seems that more and more are jumping on the veggie bandwagon. While some are more fanatical than others, many agree that it has helped give them the extra energy needed to keep up with their jet-setting ways. So just who are these famous vegetarians? Well, grab a bag of carrots and see!
One of Hollywood's most dedicated veggie lovers is Gwyneth Paltrow, who famously adheres to a macrobiotic diet. On her daughter Apple's first birthday, she did it up in style with a vegan buffet catered by Teany - the local eatery she co-owns with fellow vegan Moby. In fact, Gwyneth is so dedicated to eating healthy that it is rumored when she was directing the short film "Dealbreakers," she flipped out when she spotted a box full of Cup-A-Soup on the set. "I would rather die than let my kid eat Cup-A-Soup," she proclaimed dramatically. Boy, just think if it had real meat in it!
Luckily for Gwynnie, her husband, Chris Martin of Coldplay, also steers clear of the carnivorous. In 2005, he was selected as the "World's Sexiest Vegetarian" by PETA, whose previous winners include Carrie Underwood, Andre 3000, Lauren Bush, and Tobey Maguire. "Being voted the world's sexiest vegetarian is about as cool as it gets," said Martin. "It's not quite as cool as Brad Pitt, but it'll do." He was joined this year by winners Kristen Bell of "Veronica Mars" and Prince.
Another singer who adheres to a strict vegetarian diet, is country music star Shania Twain
. It is said that before and after every concert, she must stuff herself with fruits and vegetables of all types. Just don't give her any eggs! An insider reported that if the star has a pasta dinner it would be eggless dried angel-hair pasta and for dessert it would be eggless cobblers or cakes as well as a dozen eggless cookies and a dozen eggless muffins.
Vegetarian and environmentalist Daryl Hannah loves the veggies so much that she'll do anything to protect them. She and 40 others were recently arrested after protesting against a landowner who evicted people from an urban community garden to make room for a warehouse. Hannah climbed into a walnut tree, but authorities cut away branches and used a fire truck to bring down the "Splash" actress, who raised her fist as she was removed. Talk about dedication!
For many of our favorite vegetarians, their decision to give up meat came after witnessing some form of animal cruelty. Natalie Portman became a vegetarian at age eight when she witnessed doctors demonstrating laser surgery on a chicken while at a medical conference with her father. Joaquin Phoenix got into hardcore veganism as a four year old after witnessing live fish getting walloped over the head for lunch. And Josh Hartnett gave up meat when he was twelve due to a mishap when cutting a chicken. Um, yeah, that's gross.
We can see where Buddhist Richard Gere's vegetarian principles come from. The spiritual actor can't even bring himself to kill an insect. A similar belief is held by animal-lover Alicia Silverstone, who said she went from a "steak and doughnut" diet several years ago to pure veganism. "Nothing's changed my life more. I feel better about myself as a person, being conscious and responsible for my actions and I lost weight and my skin cleared up and I got bright eyes and I just became stronger and healthier and happier," she said. "I can't think of anything better in the world to be but vegan." Well, that might be pushing it, but we're happy to at least hear her skin is glowing.
Heck, even ex-"Baywatch" babe Pamela Anderson has proven she's more than just a sexy body by taking on the mighty KFC, accusing the franchise of abusing chickens and urging customers to boycott the fast-food chain. Anderson told reporters, "Every time we go by KFC, my kids ask me to honk and they yell 'Boo' out the window."
Other vegetarians and animal activists include Alyssa Milano, Kim Basinger, Penelope Cruz, who changed her diet after filming "All the Pretty Horses," Ashley Judd, and Nicollette Sheridan, who believes that any life, big or small, deserves the right to survive.
Then there are those folks who just feel it's better for your health. David Duchovny combines his strict vegetarian diet with hours of yoga and countless games of basketball. He also participates in triathlons along with his vegan wife Tea Leoni.
Having first gotten into vegetarianism through his late wife Linda, Paul McCartney continues to encourage more people to go veggie. "There's now a whole heap of science to show that vegetarians and vegans are healthier and live longer," he stated.
Well, he could be right. Just take a look at 82-year-old Bob Barker of "The Price Is Right' fame. "I think there's a strong possibility, had I not become a vegetarian, I would not be working now. I became a vegetarian about 25 years ago, and I did it out of concern for animals. But I immediately began having more energy and feeling better." Now he's got such folks as Ellen DeGeneres, Simon Cowell, Mos Def, Lenny Kravitz, Woody Harrelson, and Angela Bassett following in his footsteps.
So not only are allof these celebrities rich and famous, but apparently they're now also immortal. Well, good for them.