Don’t Just Take My Word For It

Some of the best and brightest are vegetarians.  Check out this A-list of famous vegetarians.

Scientists, Artists, Writers, and Philosophers

Albert Einstein – “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

Leonardo daVinci – “Truly man is the king of 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.”

Benjamin Franklin – “My refusing to eat flesh occasioned an inconveniency, and I was frequently chided for my singularity, but, with this lighter repast, I made the greater progress, for greater clearness of the head and quicker comprehension.”
“Flesh-eating is an unprovoked murder.”

The Dali Lama– “People think of animals as if they were vegetables, and that is not right. We have to change the way people think about animals. I encourage the Tibetan people and all people to move toward a vegetarian diet that doesn’t cause suffering.”

Thomas Edison – “Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.”

Abraham Lincoln – “I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.”

Mohandas Gandhi – “I do feel that spiritual progress does demand at some stage that we should cease to kill our fellow creatures for the satisfaction of our bodily wants.”
“I do not regard flesh-food as necessary for us at any stage and under any clime in which it is possible for human beings ordinarily to live. I hold flesh-food to be unsuited to our species. We err in copying the lower animal world – if we are superior to it.”

Buddha – “To become vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to nirvana.”

Cesar Chavez – “I became a vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry and unhappy like we do. I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom. It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings.”
“We need, in a special way, to work twice as hard to help people understand that the animals are fellow creatures, that we must protect them and love them as we love ourselves.”

Henry David Thoreau – “I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other.”

Leo Tolstoy – “Flesh-eating is simply immoral, as it involves the performance of an act which is contrary to moral feeling – killing.”

Confucius – “Anyone who has ever heard the scream of an animal being killed could never again eat its flesh.”

Pythagoras – “As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lowering living beings he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”

H.G. Wells, in A Modern Utopia“In all the round world of Utopia there is no meat. There used to be. But now we cannot stand the thought of slaughterhouses. And, in a population that is all educated, and at about the same level of physical refinement, it is practically impossible to find anyone who will hew a dead ox or pig… I can still remember as a boy the rejoicings over the closing of the last slaughterhouse.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson – “You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.”

St. Francis of Assisi – “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”

Vincent Van Gogh – “Since visiting the abbatoirs [slaughterhouses] of South France, I have stopped eating meat.”

Nikola Tesla – “It is certainly preferable to raise vegetables, and I think, therefore, that vegetarianism is a commendable departure from the established barbarous habit. That we can subsist on plant food and perform our work even to advantage is not a theory, but a well-demonstrated fact. Many races living almost exclusively on vegetables are of superior physique and strength. There is no doubt that some plant food, such as oatmeal, is more economical than meat, and superior to it in regard to both mechanical and mental performance. Such food, moreover, taxes our digestive organs decidedly less, and, in making us more contented and sociable, produces an amount of good difficult to estimate. In view of these facts every effort should be made to stop the wanton and cruel slaughter of animals, which must be destructive to our morals.”

Dr. Benjamin Spock, pediatrician and author – After having his own health problems and then going meat free, he updated the seventh edition of his famous Baby and Child Care book to recommend avoiding meat and dairy for babies.

Bill Clinton (as of 2010) – “I did all this research and I saw that 82% of the people since 1986 who have gone on a plant-based, no dairy, no meat of any kind [diet…] have begun to heal themselves. Their arterial blockage cleans up, the calcium deposit around their heart breaks up. We now have 25 years of evidence.”

George Barnard Shaw – When told by doctors in his 90th year that he would need to eat meat to survive, he responded, “I solemnly declare that it is my last wish that when I am no longer a captive of this physical body, that my coffin when carried to the graveyard be accompanied by mourners of the following categories: first, birds; second, sheep, lambs, cows and other animals of the kind; third, live fish in an aquarium. Each of these mourners should carry a placard bearing the inscription: ‘O Lord, be gracious to our benefactor G.B. Shaw who gave his life for saving ours!'”

Sir Isaac Newton
Plato
Socrates
Thomas Edison
Mark Twain
Charles Darwin
Albert Schweitzer
Martin Luther
Clara Barton (founder of the American Red Cross)
General William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army)
Henry Ford
Coretta Scott King (civil rights leader and wife of Dr. Martin Luther King)
Dexter King (son of Dr. Martin Luther King)
Alice Walker (author, The Color Purple)
Al Gore

Athletes

Football
Fred Dryer, NFL defensive end
Tony Gonzalez, NFL tight end
Joe Namath, NFL quarterback – “I have been a vegetarian for a few years. Fred Dryer of the Rams has been one for ten years. It shows you don’t need meat to play football.”
Ricky Williams, NFL running back
Montell Owens, NFL running back

Basketball
Robert Parish, basketball center
John Salley, basketball forward

Baseball
Hank Aaron, Hall of Fame baseball player
Prince Fielder, baseball first-baseman
Tony La Russa, baseball manager and former MLB player
Pat Neshek, baseball pitcher

Hockey
Georges Laraque, hockey player

Tennis
Peter Burwash, champion tennis player – “I’m no shrinking violet. I played hockey until half my teeth were knocked down my throat. And I’m extremely competitive on a tennis court. But that experience at the slaughterhouse overwhelmed me. I knew the physiological, economic, and ecological arguments supporting vegetarianism, but it was firsthand experience of man’s cruelty to animals that laid the real groundwork for my commitment to vegetarianism.”
Billie Jean King, champion tennis player
Martina Navratilova, champion tennis player

Running, Biking, Swimming, Triathalons
Scott Jurek, ultramarathon runner – 50-100 mile run
Carl Lewis, Olympic track star – 10 medals (9 of them gold)
Edwin Moses, Olympic track star – 2 gold medals in 400m hurdles
Dave Scott, record holder for most Iron Man World Championship victories ever – Iron Man= 2.4 mile swim + 112 mile bike ride + 26.2 mile marathon run.  Considered one of the most strenuous physical feats in the world.
Johnny Weissmuller, Olympic swimmer – won five Olympic gold medals and one bronze, won 52 US National Championships and set 67 world records.

Bodybuilding
Bill Pearl, bodybuilder and four-time Mr. Universe winner

Fighting/Wrestling
Daniel Bryan, WWE superstar, aka “The American Dragon”
Mac Danzig, mixed martial arts fighter
Mike Tyson, former heavyweight boxing champion, went vegan in 2010

Race Car Driving
Peter Brock, race car driver – “I desired the feeling of being healthy so that I could get the best out of my body.” “I always promote respect for all of creation.”
Leilani Munter, race car driver – “If I was just another vegetarian, tree hugging, biology graduate asking people to give up meat and stop using plastic bags, I don’t know how many people would be listening to me. But because I drive a race car, I have an ability to reach a new audience of people that most environmentalists are probably not talking to.”

Celebrities

There are so many that it’s impossible to list them all. Here are a few quotes and a list of names.

Paul McCartney – “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.”

John Denver – “Many things made me become a vegetarian, among them, the higher food yield as a solution to world hunger.”

James Cromwell – “If any kid ever realized what was involved in factory farming they would never touch meat again. I was so moved by the intelligence, sense of fun, and personalities of the animals I worked with on Babe that by the end of the film I was a vegetarian.”

Alec Baldwin – “Every time we sit down to eat, we make a choice: Please choose vegetarianism. Do it for animals. Do it for the environment and do it for your health.”

Richard Gere – “As custodians of the planet, it is our responsibility to deal with all species with kindness. People get offended by animal rights campaigns. It’s ludicrous. It’s not as bad as mass animal death in a factory.”

Bob Barker – “I became a vegetarian about 25 years ago, and I did it out of concern for animals. But I immediately began having more energy and feeling better.”

Woody Harrelson – “Yeah, milk does a body good – if you are a calf”.

Bryan Adams
Pamela Anderson
Andre 3000
Erykah Badu
Kim Basinger
Angela Bassett
The Beatles – The whole group, including: John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney, Ringo Starr & Barbara Bach, George Harrison
Ed Begley
Orlando Bloom
Michael Bolton
Bill Clinton (as of 2010)
Chelsea Clinton
Phil Collen & Rick Savage of Def Leppard
Common (rapper)
James Cromwell
Ellen DeGeneres
Andy Dick
David Duchovny
Bob Dylan
Melissa Etheridge
Micheal J. Fox
Jennie Garth
Jeff Giuliano, The original Ronald McDonald
Matt Groening & Lisa Simpson
Daryl Hannah
Woody Harrelson
Dustin Hoffman
Billy Idol
LaToya Jackson
Michael Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson
Steve Jobs
Ashley Judd
Ke$ha
Lenny Kravitz
B.B. King
Avril Lavigne
Tobey Maguire
Ziggy Marley
Ricky Martin
Steve Martin
Sarah McLachlan
Alyssa Milano
Alanis Morissette
Meatloaf – isn’t it ironic?!
Moby
Mos Def
Demi Moore
Mary Tyler Moore
Kevin Nealon
Olivia Newton John
Joaquim Phoenix
River Phoenix
Brad Pitt
Natalie Portman
Prince
Princess Diana
The Roots– The whole group, including: Black Thought (MC), Questlove (drums), Kamal (keyboard), F Knuckles (percussion), and Captain Kirk (guitar).
Jerry Seinfeld
William Shatner
Alicia Silverstone
Russell Simmons
Christy Turlington
Billy Bob Thornton
Shania Twain
Liv Tyler
Eddie Vedder
Keenan Ivory Wayans
Betty White & Rue McClanahan of The Golden Girls
Vanessa Williams
Reese Witherspoon
RZA, Raekwon, & Ghostface of Wu Tang Clan
Weird Al Yankovic
Forest Whitaker
Barry White

10 thoughts on “Don’t Just Take My Word For It

  1. Pingback: In Good Company « Powered By Produce

  2. David Ihde

    This is good info with some great recipes. I can find just about everything except how. How does one change to a vegetarian diet? There has to be some sort of loose structure for meal plans and health benefits. Enough of these, not too much of those, make sure you get a good balance for weight management………..

  3. Powered By Produce Post author

    David – You should look at this post about the four vegetarian food groups. For some easy vegetarian meal ideas, check out this post. And for some of the health benefits of vegetarianism, you can browse the Health section. But in general, you’ll want to eat a balanced diet just as a healthy omnivore would. Make sure you’re eating plenty of natural, whole foods including vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains.

  4. Mary Raymond

    I agree with the comments made by those great peoples about vegetarian foods. I know it very well that there are so many nutrition facts in veg foods. But what about those places where vegetables are very rare to get? Places like Antarctica, where vegetables are very rare and very costly too. What would you say about deserts? People living there have got no choice but to take non-veg foods. You should not take it as animal killing, because with the help of science, we know now that crops have got life too.

  5. Caleb Grillo

    You’re missing one football player: Arian Foster of the Houston Texans is a vegan. He’s also one of the best running backs to ever play the game.

  6. Powered By Produce Post author

    Arian Foster did go vegan for a while, but he has since said that he supplements his “mostly vegan” diet with the occasional piece of chicken or fish. He is awesome and a great advocate for a “mostly vegan” diet, but since he does eat meat, I didn’t add him to my list.

  7. Will Petio

    Thanks for the site. It would be great if you could source the quotes for those who want to verify them before passing them along. At the moment, I’m most interested in the source of the Cesar Chavez quote. Thanks again for spreading the word.

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