Important Figures- VEG Role Models

People from all walks of life can be vegan, and I’ll bet some of you will be surprised how many historical figures and celebrities are vegan or vegetarian.  I think a powerful message here is that you don’t have to have your life consumed or your profession revolve around your vegan lifestyle, it just means you see the Big Picture.the-periodic-table-of-vegan-and-vegetarian-stars_50ad3cb8f07cb_w1500

Categories: Medicine, Politics (US), Actor/Film Industry, Music Industry, Visual Artists and Authors, Civil Rights/Social Justice Leaders, Scholars, TV Personalities, Religious/Spiritual Leaders, Athletes, Scientists, Technological Leaders

I was aiming for a diverse range of gender, race, and age, but I recognize my sampling will be largely American biased (and some categories are more skewed within G/R/A also), as I don’t feel exposed enough to evaluate the fame of many non-American figures.  PLEASE leave comments if you have suggestions.  We need more VEGAN ROLE MODELS.

Also some of these figures are mentioned as “strict vegetarian” and not specifically vegan, and I’m giving a pass to all Pre-1940s outspoken vegetarians, because there is simply no way to confirm veganism or not.


1) George Wald, Nobel Prize winner 1967. 2) Umberto Veronesi- Oncologist, former Italian Minister of Health. 

Historical Figure: Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Hungarian Nobel Prize Winner 1937, discovered Vitamin C

Politicians (US)

1) Cory Booker, D-NJ. 2) Tulsi Gabbard, D-HI.

HistoricalFigure: Benjamin Franklin.


1) Alec Baldwin, Oscar winner and star of Film and TV  2) Natalie Portman. Oscar winner, Star Wars Queen and hipster demigod. 3) James Cameron, Oscar Winner, writer and director (also apparently deep sea diver?) 4) Hugh Jackman, Wolverine, duh.

Historical Figure: George Bernard Shaw

Honorable mention: Joaquin Phoenix, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Jared Leto, Jessica Chastain, James Cromwell

Music Industry

1) Erykah Badu, Grammy winning Queen of Neo-soul 2) Carlos Santana, Grammy winner and top 100 guitarists of all time 3) Russel Simmons, Def Jam co-Founder Hip-Hop legend  4) Prince, oh the joy when I learned Prince was vegan! Grammy winner.

Honorable mention: Paul McCartney, Jello Biafra, Jeff Mangum, Bryan Adams, Anthony Keidis

Visual Artists/Authors  

There have GOT TO BE more contemporary artists in this category, send them my way please!

1) Sue Coe, artist and activist. 2) James Spooner, tattoo artist  3) Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize winner 4) Isaac Bishevis Singer, Nobel prize winning author.

Historical Figures: Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Leonardo da Vinci, William Blake

Civil Rights/Social Justice Leaders

1) Coretta Scott King, extended the work of her late husband to include animal rights. 2) Cesar Chavez, rights for all and ethical farming practices. 3) Dick Gregory, comedian activist. 4) Rosa Parks, yeah thats right, ROSA PARKS, she split no hairs.


1) Angela Davis, professor and activist  2) Elie Wiesel, Nobel prize winner and Holocaust survivor.

Historical Figures: Plato, Arthur Schopenhauer, Albert Schweizer

TV Personalities

1) Ellen DeGeneres, beloved tv show host, comedian and gay rights and animal rights advocate.  2) Casey Kasem, Top 40 founder and NYeve host.  3) Leonard Nimoy, because Vulcans are smart.  4) Jane Vellez-Mitchell, CNN correspondent. 5) Ricki Lake, talk show host and actress.

Religious/Spiritual Leader

1) Deepak Chopra, new age author and doctor. 2) Ellen White, founder of 7th Day Adventists.

Historical Figure: Martin Luther


1) Venus Williams, Tennis MEGAsuperSTAR.  2) Mike Tyson, Heavyweight champion several times over, strange but true. 3) Jim Morris, body builder and former Mr. Universe


1) Einstein and his successors: Edward Witten, Alan Calverd  2) Brian Greene, String theory proponent, Physicist, Professor 3) Linus Pauling, Nobel Prize winning Chemist.

Historical Figures: Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton

Technology Leaders

1) Steve Jobs, Apple.  2) Henry Ford, yeah that Henry Ford.

Historical Figures: Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, furthering their rivalry perhaps?

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