To all those who think that one cannot bulk up in the gym unless their workout is complemented with meat protein, actors such as John Abraham and b are here to prove you wrong.
Kapoor gave up eating meat after he read Life is Fair by Brian Hines, Abraham on the other hand, is a vegetarian by choice, thanks to his love for animals.
Not just Indian celebrities, veganism is a global movement today. Even Beyoncé and Jay-Z were offering up free concert tickets for life (well, at least 30 years) to fans who commit to veganism (or, at least, a more plant-based diet).
Google Trends too bears testament to this fact—there has been an increase in the interest of veganism, the world over, from 2004 to 2018 evolving into a phenomenon from a fringe movement.
Going Vegan for Health Reasons
Health and weight management are the top reasons why celebrities are switching to the plant-based diet. A 2014 study by Loma Linda University’s Department of Nutrition concluded that vegan diets tended to extend life and to protect against cardiovascular diseases, some cancers, obesity, hypertension and type-2 diabetes.
Case in point is the new Netflix documentary The Game Changers that had also resulted in Google Trends showing a spike in the searches for the term 'plant-based' post the movie’s debut in October 2019.
From Olympic weightlifter Kendrick Farris, cycling champion Dotsie Bausch to top distance runner Scott Jurek and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the documentary chronicles several professional athletes who attribute getting faster and stronger and recovering from an injury to adopting a plant-based diet — specifically vegan.
Not surprisingly, the video was also an inspiration for Indian cricket team captain, Virat Kohli.
He took to Twitter: “Saw game changers on Netflix. Being a vegetarian athlete has made me realise what I have believed all these years regarding diet was a myth. What an amazing documentary and yes I’ve never felt better in my life after I turned vegetarian.”
Like Kohli, Kangana Ranaut has been a vegetarian for quite some time. However, the decision to shift to veganism came only after she realised that dairy products did not suit her and often resulted in acidity. “Veganism as a way of life is deeply rooted in the Indian ethos. Whether it’s a puja or any spiritual occasion we always consume vegan food in keeping with the scriptures. Indians were the first ones to endorse veganism as a way of life,” she was once quoted in an interview with a newspaper.
It is unlikely that you haven’t heard of Sonakshi Sinha’s weight loss story. A major contributor to her successful fitness journey has been her vegan diet. In one of her interviews with a daily newspaper, the actor had confessed that a vegan diet helped boost her metabolism.
Going vegan for the love of animals
While the health benefits are stellar, most celebs claim to have adopted the lifestyle or diet because of their undying love of our furry friends.
Actor Richa Chadha is all for animal rights and it was natural for her to switch to veganism. In November 2014 she made her choice known with an editorial in Indian Express arguing that “human dentition pattern and anatomy is actually better suited for vegetarianism.” “I highly recommend a shift to the vegan diet. Do good, be good and look good. Here’s hoping that together we can live in peace on this planet that we share, not just with each other, but will all the other beautiful species as well," she was quoted in an interview with a newspaper.
It wasn’t easy for Tamannaah Bhatia to give up on her meat-heavy diet. However, she decided to make the switch after her 5-year-old pet dog, Pebble’s sudden ill health. In an official statement, Bhatia said, “I am very happy adopting the vegan lifestyle. Sometimes you need to make sacrifices for the ones you love. When Pebbles got really unwell and suffered a severe paralysis attack,. I swore to forego something I loved and food happens to be that one thing. I wish I had turned vegan years ago because it definitely gives your mental make-up a new lease of life. It was hard to quit since my upbringing was in a typical Sindhi meat-loving, but it’s all about the willpower. What you eat as that is what you are."
Sonam Kapoor Ahuja turned to the vegan way of life after learning of her lactose intolerance. She gave up eating meat to strengthen her cause of animal advocacy. She eschews all animal products, such as leather, from her sustainable fashion line Rheson, co-owned with sister Rhea Kapoor. It is for this reason that Kapoor-Ahuja was even named PETA India's Person of the Year for 2018.
Going vegan for environmental reasons
According to research from the University of Oxford, switching to a vegan lifestyle could be the “single biggest way” to reduce your impact on the planet. It is for this reason that actor Esha Gupta who was raised a vegetarian hopped on the vegan bandwagon. She believes that to combat climate changes, and to save animal lives a meat-free diet is the way to go.
While Sri Lankan beauty, Jacqueline Fernandez has always been an advocate for animal rights, it was only until recently that she went the green way. After giving up meat for Lent in 2013, she has not gone back: “Going vegan is the best thing you can do to help stop animal suffering, protect the environment and safeguard your own health,” she mentioned in one of her interviews.
Lead image: Instagram