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Famous Vegetarians

Think Vegetarianism is just a passing fad? Think again! There are hundreds of famous vegetarians of the present and the past. Here's some very interesting insights into the world of vegetarian celebrities.


Kristen Bell

Kristen Bell

This actress has a well-honed funny bone and a heart for animals

Landing her breakout role in 2004 as a crime-solving high school detective in the TV series Veronica Mars, Kristen Bell successfully segued into a movie career as the title character in 2008's Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Next up for Bell is the romantic comedy When in Rome, opening in January. A vegetarian for more than 15 years, the 29-year-old animal lover shares her home with three rescue dogs: Lola, Shakey, and Sadie. Bell first met Sadie, a Hurricane Katrina survivor, on a visit to the Helen Woodward Animal Center, a shelter she's active with near San Diego.

Q What introduced you to vegetarianism?

A I had a lot of quirks as a child. One was that I didn't like to eat meat: I didn't like to chew it, didn't like the taste or smell of it, and just wasn't having any of it. I was in the minority of kids who actually loved fruits and vegetables. My mom, who was a nurse, was very supportive of my choice to become a vegetarian, but said we were going to do some research. I'm constantly monitoring how colorful the food on my plate is, which is a trick my mom taught me. I make sure to eat really dark power vegetables, like broccoli and kale.

Q Do you get to cook for yourself much?

A I cook a lot. Cooking makes me feel calm, makes me feel empowered; it makes me feel like I'm a provider. One of my favorite things to do is to pick a food, like kale, and get some fresh from the farmers' market, then look up different recipes with it as an ingredient, make all those recipes, and decide which is best.

Q Is it true you have dessert after every meal?

A Yes, even after breakfast. I like having something sweet to finish a meal, and I'm not ashamed of that!

Q How much does your concern for animal welfare influence your vegetarianism?

A When I was little, I loved my dogs so much. Part of my becoming a vegetarian was that I would look at my burger, then look at my dogs, and I wasn't able to see a difference. But I think it was Milan Kundera, in [his book] The Unbearable Lightness of Being, who said something like you can really judge people's personalities based on how they treat those who are at their mercy—in other words, animals. That's a great way to live, because a lot of creatures in this world are defenseless and we have to be compassionate and aware.

Q You've said how hard it was to keep a straight face while filming [the 2009 release] Couples Retreat with funnyman Vince Vaughn. How important is laughter to you?

A It's vital, it's No. 1. Laughter provides so much to your emotional and mental health. And you have to be able to laugh at yourself. That's key. At a dance rehearsal for You Again [scheduled for release in 2010], I wasn't picking up the steps quickly. I just couldn't get the "booty shake" right. I looked over at the director and the choreographer, and they were cracking up and videotaping me. I'm sure it'll turn up on some blooper reel!


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