Ariana Grande, Serena Williams and other celebrities you didn't know were vegetarian

Joy Pamnani (JR)

Williams' fellow tennis champ sister Venus, and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres are some other celebs that have taken the meat-free plunge

Joy Pamnani (JR) |

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Ariana Grande is one of many celebrities that have adopted a plant-based diet.

In honour of World Vegetarian Day, which marks the beginning of International Vegetarian Week and Vegetarian Awareness Month, here is a list of celebrities that you might not have known are vegetarian. Is a plant-based diet the secret to their monumental success stories? You be the judge.

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande has gained at least one thing as a result of a plant-based diet - better health.

The popular American singer says it wasn't that difficult to give up meat and cheese, because she had consumed enough of it during her childhood.

"I love animals more than I love most people, not kidding. But I am a firm believer in eating a full plant-based, whole food diet that can expand your life length and make you an all-around happier person." she said in an interview with UK newspaper The Mirror

Thinking of going vegan? Here's how to get started

Ellen DeGeneres

Degeneres has been a vegetarian for a decade and is an avid campaigner for animal rights.
Photo: Reuters

You may recognise her as Dory from Finding Nemo, and probably follow her talk show shenanigans, but you may not have been aware that DeGeneres has long been an advocate of veganism.

DeGeneres switched to the vegan diet for ethical reasons in 2008. According to an article by Huffington Post, she had an epiphany that led to her decision.

"Someone mentioned 'If you knew what chicken looked like or you knew how chicken was made, you'd never eat it again,'" said DeGeneres in the interview. "Something snapped."

Since then, both DeGeneres and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, have committed themselves to vegan diets. DeGeneres also promotes veganism on her talk show and through various outreach activities in her free time.

How to make sure you get all your essential nutrients in a vegetarian diet

Jason Mraz

Jason Mraz is a vegan, and believes that it gives him more energy.
Photo: AFP

American pop rocker Jason Mraz is a vegan, too. In fact, he’s known for having tried many healthy diets over the years, always searching for one that maximises his health and performance.

Mraz recently blogged about the changes he felt after going vegan. "I ride longer distances on my bike, can do more pull-ups than ever, and my brain seems to have a larger capacity for new projects, problem-solving, songwriting and fielding random questions.

"My health and strength make me a better performer and all that combined gives me more confidence to go out in the world and shine my light.” 

Grassroots Pantry’s Peggy Chan dishes on how she founded one of HK’s most successful vegetarian restaurants

The Williams Sisters

Both Serena and Venus Williams believe their plant-based diets give them a competitive edge.
Photo: AFP

If you think athletes can't get the nutrients they need from meat-free diets, the success of tennis legends (and siblings) Serena and Venus proves otherwise.

The Williams sisters are both vegan for health reasons. However, they have also noticed the diets give them a competitive edge.

In 2011, Venus was diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome, an incurable autoimmune disease that causes excessive fatigue. Her doctors recommendeded she adopt a raw vegan diet, and her health improved.

While apparently less strict, Serena also follows the diet after noticing improvements in her sister's performance once she gave up meat.

According to an article by Irish Examiner, bodybuilder and doctor at Medichecks, Emil Hodzovic, believes the raw vegan diet gives athletes a competitive edge because they consume a variety of less calorie-dense nutrient-rich food. “You can’t afford to carry additional weight especially around the abdomen, as this impacts performance and strength.” 

Veggie eating made easy

Russell Brand

Russell Brand has been a vegetarian since he was 14 for ethical reasons.
Photo: AFP

According to environmental news website Mother Nature Network, British comedian Russell Brand has been a vegetarian since he was 14.

Over the years, he’s switched back and forth from the vegetarian diet to veganism, but he would convince anyone to become vegetarian by simply saying: “You shouldn’t eat animals, it’s mean to them”.

In 2011, Brand finally made the decision to go vegan after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives, a film that advocates low-fat, plant-based diets as the solution to obesity and many chronic diseases.