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Photo Credits:-

Gorilla (Wikimedia Commons)

Mike Mahler
Mike Mahler)

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov (Wikimedia Commons)

Leonardo da Vinci self-portrait (Wikimedia Commons)

Here are some remarkable
Vegans and Vegetarians!

Spiritual Giants
Artists and Scientists and Politicians
Celebrities, Actors/Actresses and Musicians


You don't have to eat meat to be huge and strong!!

In the mammalian order of primates, to which we humans belong, the largest herbivore is the gorilla. Males are 135-180 kg or 300-400 lb.


The five largest existing land animals (Wikipedia) are all herbivores:-
  • Elephants (African Bush Elephant males average 5.5 tonnes or 12,130 lb)
  • Rhinos (the white rhinoceros can exceed 3,500 kg or 7,700 lb)
  • Hippos (average males weigh 1,500-1,800 kg or 3,300-4,000 lb)
  • Giraffes (average weight of males 1,600 kg or 3,500 lb)
  • Gaur (occasionally large bulls weigh up to 1,500 kg or 3,300 lb)
The largest land animals ever, the Sauropod dinosaurs, were herbivores. An example is the 80-100 tonne Argentinosaurus.

The longest living land animals are tortoises and most are primarily herbivorous. Herbivorous tortoise species claim the top five age records, from 165 to 255 years old (Wikipedia, accessed 8 December 2017).
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  • Gladiators. The diet of Roman gladiators was mostly vegetarian, typically wheat, barley and beans. Little meat or dairy was evident in the diet of these professional fighters. (BBC, posted 22 October 2014, accessed 24 October 2014)
  • Edwin Moses (track and field athlete, winner of two Olympic gold medals, 1955-)
  • Martina Navratilova (tennis player, former world number one, 1956-)
  • Tony Horton (fitness guru, 1958-)
  • Carl Lewis (track and field athlete, winner of nine Olympic gold medals, 1961-)
  • Herschel Walker (American football player and MMA fighter, 1962-) 
  • Mike Tyson (vegan boxer, former undisputed heavyweight world champion, 1966-)
  • Scott Jurek (vegan ultramarathoner, 1973-)
  • Mike Mahler (vegan strength athlete, kettlebell and hormone optimisation expert, ±1974-) He gives advice on how to get big, strong and fit on a vegan diet here and here (also see here).

Mike Mahler, strength athlete
Mike Mahler

  • Lita (Amy Dumas) (vegetarian, retired professional wrestler and WWE diva, 1975-)
  • Jon Fitch (MMA fighter, 1978-)
  • James "Lightning" Wilks (vegan MMA fighter, 1978-)
  • Virender Sehwag (cricketer, 1978-) 
  • Jake Shields (vegan MMA fighter, 1979-)
  • Patrik Baboumian (vegan strongman competitor, 1979-) He credits veganism with becoming healthier, heavier and stronger. His 2013 message: “This is a message to all those out there who think that you need animal products to be fit and strong. Almost two years after becoming vegan I am stronger than ever before and I am still improving day by day. Don't listen to those self proclaimed nutrition gurus and the supplement industry trying to tell you that you need meat, eggs and dairy to get enough protein.  There are plenty of plant-based protein sources and your body is going to thank you for stopping feeding it with dead-food.  Go vegan and feel the power!” [Sources: here (dated 2016) & here (posted 6 July 2016), accessed 10 October 2016)]  
  • Alexey Voyevoda (vegan bobsleigher [double gold medallist at 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi], armwrestling champion [beat John Brzenk in Pulling John], judoka, 1980-) Although not vegan when armwrestling, he believes we are frugivores [fruit eaters]. Also, he does not like to cause suffering to defenceless animals. He credits veganism and raw food for a body that is now cleaner, more flexible, and never gets ill. [Sources: here (posted 18 February 2013), here (posted 5 April 2013), here (dated 2014) & here (posted 7 March 2013), accessed 10 October 2016)]
  • Victoria Pendleton (vegan cyclist [Olympic double gold medallist], jockey, 1980-) She was vegan whilst competing at the highest levels. [Source: BBC, dated 2016, accessed 10 October 2016] 
  • Serena Williams (vegan tennis player [all-time great], 1981-) She was vegan when winning the highest competitions. "I think it's a great lifestyle for long-term stability." Sister Venus is raw vegan. [Sources: here (posted 4 January 2017), here (posted 29 June 2018), here (dated 2018), accessed 3 November 2018]
  • Nate Diaz (MMA fighter [beat Conor McGregor in 2016], 1985-) "I hear a lot of criticism from people saying you need meat to be strong and for recovery, and it's a bunch of bullshit, because I train harder than everybody. It's so easy to argue with these people. I'm like, 'Dude, have you done a tenth of what I've done?'" [Source: here (posted 23 March 2016, accessed 3 November 2018)]
  • Alex Honnold (rock climber, 1985-) As at 2018, the only person to have free-soloed El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.
  • Tim Shieff (vegan freerunner [world champion], 1988-) Here he allays concerns that going vegan reduces strength and stamina. And here (dated 2017, accessed 5 September 2017) he says "...of course we promote kindness and compassion and being nice to others to our kids but when it comes to animals there is a huge hypocrisy in our society and I am not one to live in denial once I see the truth."
  • Vegan athletes (BBC).
  • Can you guess which of these athletes are vegan? (BBC article/quiz).
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Spiritual Giants
  • Rama (avatar of Hinduism, born 5114 BCE)
  • Zarathustra or Zoroaster (founder of Zoroastrianism, c. 18th to 6th century BCE)
  • Gautama Buddha (spiritual teacher, from which Buddhism formed, c. 563-483 BCE)
  • Confucius (philosopher, 551-479 BCE)
  • Pythagoras (philosopher, mathematician, founder of Pythagoreanism, c. 570-495 BCE) Before the popularisation of the word 'vegetarian', a non-meat diet was called a 'Pythagorean diet' (BBC, dated 2017, accessed 30 March 2017). In Ovid's Metamorphoses, Pythagoras says it is "evil to swallow flesh into our own flesh, to fatten our greedy bodies by cramming in other bodies, to have one living creature fed by the death of another living creature." 
  • Saint Matthew (Apostle of Jesus and Evangelist, first century)
  • Apollonius of Tyana (Neopythagorean philosopher, c. 15-100)
  • Plutarch (Platonist, c. 46-120) "Can you really ask what reason Pythagoras had for abstaining from flesh? For my part I rather wonder both by what accident and in what state of soul or mind the first man did so, touched his mouth to gore and brought his lips to the flesh of a dead creature, he who set forth tables of dead, stale bodies and ventured to call food and nourishment the parts that had a little before bellowed and cried, moved and lived. How could his eyes endure the slaughter when throats were slit and hides flayed and limbs torn from limb? How could his nose endure the stench? How was it that the pollution did not turn away his taste, which made contact with the sores of others and sucked juices and serums from mortal wounds?"
  • Plotinus (philosopher, 205-270)
  • Kabir (mystic poet, 1440-1518)
  • Benjamin Lay (slavery abolitionist, 1681-1759) He would not wear or eat anything made from the loss of animal life or from slave labour. He did not regard humans as superior to animals. He was a philanthropist with a vision for a better world (BBC, posted and accessed 10 February 2018).
  • Gandhi (non-violent father of India, 1869-1948) "Cow-slaughter and man-slaughter are in my opinion the two sides of the same coin." - "To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body."
  • Krishnamurti (spiritual philosopher, 1895-1986)
  • A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, 1896-1977)
  • Omraam Mikhaёl Aїvanhov (spiritual master and philosopher, 1900-1986)

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
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Artists and Scientists and Politicians
  • Leonardo da Vinci (Renaissance polymath, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, writer, 1452-1519) "Truly man is the king of the beasts, for his brutality exceeds theirs. We live by the death of others: we are burial places! I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look on the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men."

Leonardo da Vinci self-portrait
Leonardo da Vinci self-portrait
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley (Romantic poet, 1792-1822) "It is only by softening and disguising dead flesh by culinary preparation that it is rendered susceptible of mastication or digestion, and that the sight of its bloody juices and raw horror does not excite intolerable loathing and disgust." 
  • Susan B. Anthony (American social reformer and feminist, played a pivotal role in the women's suffrage movement, 1820-1906)
  • Leo Tolstoy (writer, 1828-1910) "'Thou shalt not kill' does not apply to murder of one's kind only, but to all living beings; and this Commandment was inscribed in the human breast long before it was proclaimed from Sinai."
  • George Bernard Shaw (playwright, essayist, novelist, short story writer, critic, political and social activist, Nobel Prize in Literature, 1856-1950) "Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends" - "While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?"
  • Rabindranath Tagore (polymath, poet, painter, writer, Nobel Prize in Literature, 1861-1941) "We manage to swallow flesh only because we donot think of the cruel and sinful thing that we do. Cruelty... is a fundamental sin, and admits of no arguments or nice distinctions. If only we dont allow our hearts to grow callous, it protests against cruelty, is always clearly heard; and yet we go on perpetrating cruelties easily, merrily, all of us - in fact, anyone who does not join in is dubbed a crank." 
  • Isadora Duncan (dancer, 1877-1927)
  • Albert Einstein (physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1879-1955) "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." - "It is my view that a vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind."
  • Rosa Parks (African-American civil rights activist, "the first lady of civil rights", "the mother of the freedom movement", 1913-2005)
  • Tony Benn (politician, 1925-2014) His son converted him to vegetarianism in 1976 by saying, "If the world ate the grain instead of feeding it to animals and killing them, there would be enough food for everybody." (The Independent, posted 4 June 2006, accessed 5 September 2017; also see here)
  • César Chávez (American farm worker, labour leader, civil rights activist, 1927-1993)
  • Coretta Scott King (vegan American author, activist, civil rights leader, 1927-2006)
  • Dick Gregory (comedian, civil rights and vegetarian activist, 1932-2017) "Because I'm a civil rights activist, I am also an animal rights activist. Animals and humans suffer and die alike. Violence causes the same pain, the same spilling of blood, the same stench of death, the same arrogant, cruel and vicious taking of life. We shouldn't be a part of it."
  • Gloria Steinem (American feminist, journalist, political and social activist, 1934-)
  • José Mujica (President of Uruguay 2010-2015, 'the world's poorest president', 1935-)
  • Al Gore (politician, advocate, philanthropist, 1948-)
  • Jeremy Corbyn (politician, 1949-) He is considering becoming vegan.
  • George Monbiot (environmental and political activist, 1963-) He is vegan. "I don't want to be complicit in the destruction of these beautiful ecosystems."
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Celebrities, Actors/Actresses and Musicians
  • Paul McCartney (singer, songwriter, composer, 1942-) "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian."
  • Frida Lyngstad (lead singer of ABBA, 1945-) She opposes mass animal farming and has been vegetarian for over 25 years (DW, dated 2017, accessed 12 December 2017).
  • Joanna Lumley (actress, model, author, human rights activist, 1946-)
  • Susan Sarandon (actress, social & political activist, 1946-)
  • Christie Brinkley (model & actress, 1954-) She became vegetarian when aged 13. Then she got her whole family to be vegetarian. As one of the most attractive women of all time, and looking radiant at 63, maybe she can convince you too? 
  • James Cameron (vegan film director and producer, deep-sea explorer, screenwriter, editor, 1954-) "I want to challenge all of you as people of deep conscience, people who are environment stewards of the earth and oceans... By changing what you eat, you will change the entire contract between the human species and the natural world."
  • Hazel O'Connor (singer-songwriter, actress, 1955-)
  • Sam Simon (co-creator of The Simpsons, 1955-2015) "All animals have a dire destiny in the meat trade..." (Cited at BBC, posted and accessed 18 November 2014)
  • Alec Baldwin (actor, film producer, comedian, 1958-) He is involved with PETA and switched to veganism for the animals, the environment and his own health (see here, posted 19 January 2013, accessed 18 November 2014).
  • Kate Bush (singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, 1958-) "I just could not stand the idea of eating meat - I really do think that it has made me calmer... People's general awareness is getting much better, even down to buying a pint of milk: the fact that the calves are actually killed so that the milk doesn't go to them but to us cannot really be right, and if you have seen a cow in a state of extreme stress because it cannot understand why its calf isn't by, it can make you think a lot." Also see PETA. [Solutions: (1) Organic milk is better than non-organic. (2) Use small-scale more-ethical farming for milk and dairy products, where bulls and cows and calves are less exploited, not separated or killed. See Ahimsa (UK), Ahimsa (USA), The Calf at Foot Dairy (UK). Buy direct or urge your supermarket to stock them. Beware big corporation involvement, as we want fewer cows in vastly better circumstances. (3) Become vegan. Use artificial milk or a dairy substitute.] 
  • "Weird Al" Jankovic (vegetarian musician and satirist, 1959-) "It began in 1992 when a friend gave me a book called Diet for a New America, which makes a very strong argument for vegetarianism for ethical, health and socio-political reasons. After I finished the book it was hard for me to rationalize eating meat anymore, so I stopped. At first, I couldn't imagine not eating turkey at Thanksgiving, but it became pretty easy. I didn't miss it." (Rolling Stone, posted 25 July 2014, accessed 23 October 2014)
  • Woody Harrelson (vegan actor and activist, 1961-) His switch to veganism cured him of chronic acne and gave him more energy (see here and here, both accessed 18 November 2014).
  • Pamela Anderson (vegan actress and model, 1967-) "Being vegan is an aphrodisiac diet. It’s a win-win. Meat makes you impotent and unhealthy." (Daily Mail, posted 25 July 2018, accessed 26 July 2018)
  • Thandie Newton (vegan actress, 1972-)
  • Joaquin Phoenix (vegan actor, 1974-) He calls factory farms and slaughterhouses "some of the darkest, most unsettling places in the world." Images from there "are a searing reminder of our unpardonable behaviour towards animals and will serve as beacons of change for years to come." (The Guardian, posted and accessed 18 November 2020)
  • Russell Brand (vegan comedian, actor, radio host, author, 1975-) "You shouldn't eat animals. It's mean to them."
  • Toby Mcguire (vegan actor, 1975-)
  • Sia (singer songwriter, 1975-) 
  • Benedict Cumberbatch (actor, 1976-) When trying local food, he gets "as much as a vegan can". (PETA, posted 20 April 2018, accessed 16 May 2022)
  • Alicia Silverstone (vegan actress, TV and film producer, author, animal rights and environmental activist, 1976-)
  • Emily Deschanel (vegan actress, TV and film producer, 1976-)
  • Usher (vegan singer-songwriter, dancer, philanthropist, businessman, actor, 1978-)
  • Louis Cole of FunForLouis (vegan vlogger, 1983-) Became vegan in 2015 after watching Cowspiracy. Also see here and here.
  • Leona Lewis (singer songwriter, 1985-) 
  • Lisa Simpson (from the animated sitcom The Simpsons) It all starts in the 1995 episode 'Lisa the Vegetarian'.
Read more:-
Also see:-

Reasons for Becoming Vegetarian/

Diet articles

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Page last updated: 16 May 2022.