Famous Vegetarians

Be a vegetarian and save animals… An interesting article about some celebrities who were vegetarians.


It is commonly heard that being vegetarian is getting trendy these days. People adopt a vegetarian regime out of curiosity, for health benefits, on embracing of a new religious belief or out of mere kindness towards animals. Historical truths show that being vegetarian has always been a lifestyle for some communities around the world. Some recognized communities that have always had a vegetarian way of life hail from India. There have also been some inspirational and famous die-hard vegetarians all over the world who have always sworn by their natural green intake. Here is a collection of names of popular persons across the world that prefers a green diet.

In fact, important figures in history have thrived on a plant-based menu for hundreds of years. What is to be learnt from famed vegetarians in history?

1. Pythagoras

This Greek scholar, known for his math theorem lived over 2500 years ago and ate a meatless diet, called the “Pythagorean diet” until the word vegetarian became popular in the late 1800s.

He said “as long as men kill animals, they will kill each other. He who propagates the seed of murder and pain can never reap joy and love.”

2. Leonardo da Vinci

Born in 1452, this Renaissance man was famous for his study of mathematics, aerospace, engineering, art, etc.

His vegetarianism has been credited to reading about the life of Pythagoras. He said, “My body will not be a tomb for other creatures.” So intense was his love for animals that he would liberate animals from meat markets.

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3. Percy Shelley

English author Percy Shelley may have become a vegetarian to be as different as possible from a father he hated. In 1813 he wrote “A Vindication of Natural Diet.” In this he dared the flesh eater to “tear a live lamb with his teeth and, insert his head into its vitals and slake his thirst with the hot blood.”

4. Mary Shelley

Another English author, Shelley is famous for her work Frankenstein and was a practicing vegetarian. She made the well-known monster of her classic book a plant-eater and wrote for him that “my food is not that of man, I do not destroy the lamb to flood my appetite; acorns and berries afford me sufficient nourishment.”

5. Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi turned to civil disobedience to lead a forceful movement for India’s independence. One of his powerful teachers was a Jain philosopher who stressed ahimsa or nonviolence to living things. Gandhi wrote that “to my mind the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. I should not take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body.”

6. George Bernard Shaw

Author of Pygmalion, Bernard Shaw received the Nobel Prize in Literature in the year 1925. He says his vegetarianism is due to the influence of Shelley and towards saving money on food during his lean years. He is most famous for saying “animals are my friends and I don’t eat my friends.”

7. Isaac Bashevis Singer

He became the second vegetarian recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature (after Bernard Shaw) in 1978. Adopting vegetarianism in 1962, he explained that “when you slaughter a living being, you slaughter the Lord.”

8. Dick Gregory

The 1968 US Presidential candidate is known for his humor and political activism. He wrote that “Martin Luther King taught us all nonviolence. We were told to extend nonviolence to the mother and her calf.”

9. Paul McCartney

Few living figures are as well-known as this Beatle who continues to perform music worldwide. He is known for his dedication to animal rights. He has done many ads for PETA and narrates a video with the famous line that “if slaughterhouses had see-through walls, everybody would be a vegetarian.”


10. Albert Einstein

Recognized worldwide, Albert Einstein embraced vegetarianism toward the end of his life. He believed that man was not born to be a carnivore and he said forcefully that “nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution of a vegetarian diet.”

11. Pamela Anderson

A popular Canadian actress and showgirl, Pamela Andersen endorses vegetarianism. She has been a campaigner on animal rights and one of the leading members of PETA. She is a vegan since her teenage.

12. Mike Tyson

A retired American boxer, he is the world champion in the heavyweight list. Mike Tyson vouches for a wholly vegan diet. He regrets that he was not a born vegan.

13. Amitabh Bachchan

He supports People for Ethical Treatment towards Animals (PETA) and meticulously promotes the ‘Go Green’ campaign. He has been a strict vegetarian for quite a substantial part of his life.

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Given below is a list of famous personalities, both past and present who adopted a vegetarian way of life.

Name of Personality Profession
Leonardo da Vinci Artist
Amos Bronson Alcott Transcendentalist
Confucius Chinese Philosopher
Albert Einstein Physicist
Aristotle Thinker
Plato Thinker
Pythagoras Mathematician
Socrates Thinker
Mahatma Gandhi Indian Leader
George Bernard Shaw Playwright
Sir Isaac Newton Scientist
Leo Tolstoy Writer/Author
Mark Twain Writer/Author
Michael Jackson Singer
Benjamin Franklin US Political Leader
Henry Ford Entrepreneur
H G Wells Writer/Author
George Harrison Singer
Charlotte Bronte Writer/Author
Charles Darwin Naturalist
Bryan Adams Singer
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Scientist
Rabindranath Tagore Poet and Painter
Paul McCartney Singer


Name of Actor Country
Pamela Anderson Canada
Jim Carrey USA
Amitabh Bachchan India
John Abraham India
Casey Affleck USA
Gillian Andersen USA
Alec Baldwin USA
James Cromwell USA
Tobey Maguire USA
Lisa Edelstein USA
Joaquin Phoenix USA
Brad Pitt USA
Alicia Silverstone USA
Billy West USA
Cristian Bale UK
Julie Christie UK
Sadie Frost UK


Name of Athlete Sport Country
Adam Myerson Cycling USA
Greg Chappel Cricket Australia
Martina Navratilova Tennis Czech Republic
Sachin Tendulkar Cricket India
Mike Tyson Boxing USA

A plant based diet is increasing in popularity and in some countries is well over 10% of the population. Many celebrities serve as role models for this movement. The positive impact of the expanding plant-based movement is a bright spot for the world.

The lists given above may be long but they shall always be incomplete. Many celebrities and commoners are turning towards vegetarian diet perpetually. It helps make you hale and hearty and animal friendly.

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