12 ex-vegan celebrities who quit being vegan and the reasons why

Author: Victoria Smith

Read Time:   |  9th August 2021

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Despite previously being passionate advocates, these ex-vegan celebrities who quit being vegan have taken a disappointing step backwards.


More people than ever before are going vegan. But despite previously being passionate advocates for the cause, these ex-vegan celebrities who quit being vegan have gone back to eating animals.

Can these ex-vegan celebrities get back on track and go vegan once again?

1. Miley Cyrus

celebrities who quit being vegan

Plant-based princess Miley Cyrus recently quit being vegan as she announced on a Joe Rogan podcast that she needed fish in her diet.

She told Rogan: “I was vegan for a very long time and I’ve had to introduce fish and omegas into my life because my brain wasn’t functioning properly.”

“My ex-husband cooked me some fish on the grill,’ she continued, “I cried, like, for a long time. I cried for the fish … it really hurts me to eat fish.”

“Now I’m so much sharper than I was and I think that I was, at one point, pretty malnutritioned. I remember going to Glastonbury [music festival] and that was a show that I loved—I loved my performance—but I was running on empty.”

This didn’t sit well with vegan Miley fans, as she had originally gone vegan in 2013 upon learning how intelligent fish were.

Moreover, health-wise there aren’t any nutrients specifically found in fish that can’t be gained from a plant-based diet.

Omega 3 can be obtained from algae-based supplements, chia and flax seeds and walnuts to name a few, while iodine can be found in fortified plant milk, seaweed and even cranberries.

Additionally, while fish was once hailed as a ‘health food’, unfortunately now the opposite is true. Fish of all sizes and varieties have been found to contain dangerous levels of mercury in their flesh, as well as microplastics and pollutants.

With oceans full of oil, plastic and rubbish, it’s no wonder that its inhabitants aren’t healthy.


2. Liam Hemsworth

celebrities who quit being vegan

The other half of the vegan power couple Miley and Liam also ditched a vegan diet recently due to ‘health reasons’. Hollywood actor Liam Hemsworth went vegan back in 2015, likely influenced by Miley.

He explained to Men’s Health magazine in 2019: “The first two years, I felt great. I felt my energy was high. I felt like my body was strong, cardio was high, everything felt really good.”

“But February last year I was feeling really low and lethargic and wasn’t feeling good generally,” he said. “And then I got a kidney stone.”

One of the causes of kidney stones (or calcium oxalate stones) is an excessively high level of oxalate – a chemical compound found in nuts, spinach, legumes and bran.

These were foods Hemsworth was consuming in epic proportions,  as the actor’s morning smoothie alone consisted of five handfuls of spinach, almond milk, almond butter and vegan protein.

It may be that the star had fallen victim to society’s obsession with vegans getting enough nutrients, and had overcompensated, resulting in an overdose of these vitamins.

3. Anne Hathaway

celebrities who quit being vegan

Actress Anne Hathaway first went vegan after filming for her role as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises and even had a vegan menu at her wedding to husband Adam Schulman.

However, while out for dinner at a Michelin Star restaurant in Iceland with Interstellar co-star Matt Damon and her husband, she ended her veganism.

She explained to Tatler magazine: “So then I was the only chick and I’m the vegan and everyone’s just going with the flow. So I asked [she puts on a small embarrassed voice]: “Is your fish local?” And they said: “Do you see that fjord?” So I had a piece of salmon and my brain felt like a computer rebooting.”

Her role in Interstellar required her to wear a 40-pound spacesuit, and she needed to get fit to be able to wear it all day on set. She claimed that while she was vegan, she “just didn’t feel good or healthy…not strong.”

Now, the star follows a paleo diet and eats animal products such as fish, dairy and poultry.


4. Simon Cowell


X-Factor judge Simon Cowell switched to a plant-based diet in 2017 following a health scare.

He explained to The Sun: “I cut out a lot of the stuff I shouldn’t have been eating and that was primarily meat, dairy, wheat, and sugar. Those were the four main things.

“It was way easier than you may think. Like, I used to have yoghurt in the morning and I changed it to almond milk yoghurts. I have almond milk in my tea.”

However, after a motorbike accident last year which resulted in a broken back, Cowell ditched his healthy vegan diet and indulged in ‘traditional English comfort foods and treats’ such as his partner’s turkey cottage pie while in recovery.

Want to know about real vegan celebrities? Find out more here: 

5. Mike Tyson

ex-vegan celebrities

Boxing champion Mike Tyson embarked on a plant-based diet in 2010, at the age of 44. At this point, he was five years into his retirement and suffering the consequences of his previous lifestyle.

For Tyson, switching to a fully plant-based diet was a decision motivated by health. He told Oprah Winfrey: “Becoming a vegan gave me another opportunity to live a healthy life.

“I was so congested from all the drugs and bad cocaine, I could hardly breathe. High blood pressure, almost dying, arthritis and once I became a vegan all that stuff diminished.”

However, Tyson recently went on the Joe Rogan podcast (never a good sign) and revealed that he had reintroduced red meat into his diet and was no longer plant-based.

He explained: “I stopped because of the training and because of what I wanted my body to look like and the strength that I wanted to possess.”

Has he not seen all the incredibly strong vegan athletes out there? Someone show him quick!

6. Waka Flocka Flame

Rapper Waka Flocka Flame has revealed to Paper magazine that he is no longer vegan. Flocka, whose real name is Juaquin James Malphurs, stated that vegans act “like the f—ing cops.”

He explained: “I’m at a crisis with myself. I’m at a battle with myself right now when it comes to this. What I call myself now is a conscious eater, meaning I’m conscious about the things I put in my mouth, and about the things that I drink.

“I think saying that I’m a vegan is like putting a title on me. I’m making myself sound like I’m better than somebody else. If I’m saying I’m vegan and you’re not vegan, what does that make you? A sloppy motherfucker? It fucks with me.

“Just to seem like, “Yo, you shouldn’t eat meat, that’s not good!” Like who’s to say you can’t eat meat? Technically, a plant has just as much life as an animal does, they just don’t have the common sense or mindset, but it’s the same power of life, it feels everything that we feel.

“When I started reading that vegans can’t eat honey, I was like, y’all going too far. Let me fall back.”

Perhaps Wacka should read this article to find out why honey isn’t vegan.

7. Samuel L. Jackson

66-year-old actor Samuel L. Jackson quit his vegan diet in 2015 after he was threatened by movie bosses to either gain weight or be sacked from his role in the live-action Tarzan movie.

“They threatened to fire me from the ‘Tarzan‘ movie if I didn’t gain 20lbs. I’d wound up losing 40lbs,” he explained on the radio show Breakfast Club Power.

“So I decided to go eat and now I’m not a vegan anymore. I have protein meals two to three times a week and eat vegetarian the other four days.”

With so much amazing vegan junk food around now, we can’t imagine struggling to gain weight on a plant-based diet! Beyond Meat burgers and Chicago Town pizza every night, washed down with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Non-Dairy? Yes, please!

Not to mention the fact that it’s easy to gain muscle on a healthy plant-based diet too. Maybe Samuel needs to take a look at our article to find some tasty vegan sources of protein.

8. Channing Tatum

Unlike his wife Jenna Dewan who went vegan in 2013 after being vegetarian for 22 years, Channing Tatum just couldn’t stick to a plant-based diet. Speaking to Women’s Health magazine, Jenna revealed:

“He really did try to be vegan for six months. The guy doesn’t like vegetables, which makes it tough. It was hard in the beginning because you want someone to be on the same page, but you’ve got to let people be themselves.”

We think Channing should check out Derek Sarno’s work at Wicked Healthy to see just how delicious vegetables can be when cooked properly.

His magically meaty mushroom recipes are enough to convince even the most ardent meat-eater to go vegan!

9. Zooey Deschanel

ex-vegan celebrities

The younger sibling of Bones star Emily Deschanel, Zooey, unfortunately, doesn’t share her sister’s dedication to veganism.

Speaking to Health magazine, Zooey explained: “My older sister has been a very, very committed vegan since high school. I wish I could be like that, but I’m not.

“I have a lot of food sensitivities — I can’t eat wheat or soy — and it was very difficult to eat and get enough calories. It was even impossible to eat at a vegan restaurant.”

It can definitely be a struggle to be both a gluten-free and a soy-free vegan! But with so many new vegan alternatives such as pea protein and now potato milk, there are plenty of swaps that can still be made. Maybe Zooey should give it another shot?

10. Carrie Underwood

ex-vegan celebrities

Like many ex-vegan celebrities, songwriter Carrie Underwood ditched her vegan diet while she was pregnant with her son.

She claims that touring around whilst being pregnant made her diet too difficult to follow: “I have been a little more vegetarian than vegan, especially with travelling, so it’s a little hard to order food from hotels and stuff when you’re vegan,” she told ET. “…I can’t just order steamed broccoli. That’s not going to cut it.”

Instead, the star ate egg whites for breakfast and dishes with cheese in restaurants. We can definitely understand the struggle of being hangry and not knowing where you can get vegan food, especially while pregnant!

Now, Carrie calls herself ‘95% vegan’ as she still eats eggs from her backyard hens in Nashville.

This is something we don’t agree with, as hens benefit from being given back their eggs and will happily eat them to restore precious calcium lost in producing the egg.

Moreover, any eggs that aren’t re-consumed can be given to neighbours, reducing the number of cruel eggs that they buy.

With so many great vegan egg replacements out there, there’s absolutely no need to take them from hens!

11. Ellen Degeneres

Chat show host and comedian Ellen Degeneres announced she was no longer vegan during a stand-up show streamed on Netflix in 2018.

Following a joke about struggling to find vegan food, she declared: “I was healthier than I’d ever been, I loved being vegan. But in the last year or two for no real reason, I started eating a piece of fish once in a while.

“Or I’ll eat eggs from chickens I know – if they are in someone’s backyard and they’re wandering around and they’re happy.”

This is such a disappointment as unlike other ex-vegan celebrities, Ellen doesn’t even have a reason to ditch veganism!

Fortunately, her partner Portia is still vegan, and we hope she can convince Ellen to revisit her plant-based diet.

12. Kristen Bell

celebrities who quit being vegan

Actress Kristen Bell ditched veganism for a similar reason to fellow ex-vegan celebrity Carrie Underwood, claiming she ‘needed more calories’ while pregnant.

She told TODAY: “During my first pregnancy, I was working and it felt like I needed more calories. I was pretty conscious of it.

While being pregnant does require higher calorific needs, there are plenty of high-calorie vegan foods that Kristen could have added to her meals to bulk them up such as nuts and nut butters, seeds, avocado, and tahini.

These foods would have given her an added energy boost while also providing extra nutrition.

She continued: “I, personally, very much believe in being a conscientious eater, so when I’m eating dairy and eggs, I like to know they’re coming from a place that has humane treatment.”

Unfortunately for Kristen, there is no such thing as ‘humane treatment’ on dairy and egg farms. She should read this article on why the dairy industry is past its sell-by date and this one on why free-range eggs aren’t ethical.

Unlike these ex-vegan celebrities who quit being vegan, there are many stars who are vegan for life. 

Here are 53 of Hollywood’s leading vegan celebrities

Featured image credit: CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images

Written by

Victoria Smith

Vic is a freelance writer and content creator, passionate about ethical and environmental issues. When she’s not busy scribbling away she can be found visiting the best vegan restaurants in the UK and making delicious dairy-free coffees at a café in Essex. Her favourite animals are dogs, cows and pigs and her lifelong dream is to open an animal sanctuary with an onsite vegan café. You can find Vic on Instagram @vicsveganeats

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