Category Archives: Veg Celebrities

Musician Travis Barker is passionate about his vegan diet

(Photo by Glenn Francis/Pacific Pro Digital Photography)

The 46-year-old drummer, Travis Barker, is passionate about his diet and health, and puts his money where his mouth is by financially backing vegan businesses.  Barker is also a music producer, entrepreneur, fashion designer and recently married Kourtney Kardashian.  He has been the drummer for the rock band Blink-182, since 1992, and also collaborates with hip hop artists.  Rolling Stone lists him as one of the 100 greatest drummers of all time.

He has been a vegetarian since the age of 15, but switched to a vegan lifestyle after being seriously injured in a plane crash in 2008.  Barker sustained second-degree burns on over 65% of his body and required numerous surgeries and skin grafts.  Barker told Men’s Health that going vegan was part of a promise he made to himself after the crash. The benefits have been significant for him.

“Honestly, ever since I found this way of eating I have endless amounts of energy,” says Barker. “I can go all day, and after it all I never find myself getting tired. No matter what kind of shows I have done, or workouts I do on top of it, I still have to force myself to sleep at night.”  

For Travis Barker, maintaining his vegan diet isn’t an issue. His Los Angeles location puts him close to many excellent healthy, vegan shops and restaurants, so he doesn’t have to worry about not having access to healthy foods. He is so passionate about his vegan lifestyle that he has even invested in a vegan restaurant in LA, Crossroads Kitchen.  He joins many other entertainment celebrities, such as Carrie Underwood, Billie Eilish, and rapper RZA.

Champion surfer Tia Blanco is a vegan

Champion surfer, Tia Blanco, choses a vegan lifestyle, and has found it to have a positive impact on her performance. As she grew up in California and Hawaii, Tia Blanco took to surfing at a young age, and by age 17, she was already winning national titles. She now lives in Southern California. She represented Puerto Rico as a pro-surfer in the Pan-Am Games, and continues to compete at a high level, ranking in the top 50 female surfers internationally.  

To maintain this level of performance, she trains daily, spending up to 8 hours a day in the water or working out on land.

She says, “I feel healthier on a clean, whole foods diet that is very simple — especially during competition. And since a plant-based diet is less calorically dense than other diets, I need to make sure I’m eating enough food so I up my portions a lot. I think of veggies as nutrition and water, not a food where I can get energy so I don’t even count veggies when I’m counting calories and nutrition. For energy, I go to potatoes, whole grains, and starchy veggies. I’m obsessed with carrots and sweet potatoes.” 

She also makes sure to consume plenty of legumes and nuts, along with protein shakes, although she admits that’s more because she likes the taste, as she doesn’t feel short of protein.

Having been raised vegetarian, Tia decided to go vegan in 2013 after thinking about her food choices carefully.  She recognizes the benefits of a vegan diet from both a compassion for animals, environmental and a health perspective, and has become active in promoting plant-based diets. Although she’s very open about her ethical beliefs regarding animals when it comes to veganism, and how a vegan diet has fueled her through her impressive athletic accomplishments to date, Blanco strives to keep her relationship with food and others positive — especially with so many other pro surfers adhering to meat-heavy Paleo diets.

“I definitely get my haters,” she says. “Even when I was vegetarian not everyone agreed with it, obviously. But I don’t push my beliefs on others. I express the benefits if people are asking, and in my case people were asking. I never tell people how to eat. Respect what’s on my plate, I’ll respect what’s on yours.”

Chris Paul, 12 year NBA all-star, credits plant-based diet

Chris Paul 2022

NBA veteran, Chris Paul, made his 12th appearance on the NBA All-Star team in February, and credits his plant-based diet with helping him gain energy and reduce muscle aches both on and off the court.  The 37-year-old Phoenix Suns point guard decided to give a plant-based diet a try in 2019, and after experiencing many health and fitness benefits, he chose to stick with it.

“When I first went plant-based, it was for performance purposes but once I saw how my body changed and how I felt—it was for life,” Paul said in an interview with GQ. “Years ago, I probably wouldn’t have even gone outside to run around with my kids and all the other activities because my body would be aching. Now, with the constant lifting and making sure that my body is always ready, it’s been a good lifestyle change for me.” 

Before he went vegan, Chris enjoyed foods including fried chicken and burgers, but his commitment to a plant-based diet has led him to try a lot of new foods.  He finds vegan versions of his favorite foods, such as chocolate chip cookies and pancakes, and uses substitute products such as JUST Egg and Beyond Meat sausage as staples in his breakfasts.  For lunch, he typically eats a salad or a veggie bowl, along with a protein smoothie, while his dinners are prepared by a professional chef using plenty of beans, grains and vegetables.

Chris has managed to convince his father to give the diet a try too, and Charles Paul noticed health benefits such as lower cholesterol since he replaced chicken eggs with JUST Egg.  In October, Chris will lead the Phoenix Suns in his 18th season of professional basketball – a feat that only a few have achieved.  We think his diet has something to do with that!

Country music stars who went veg

You might think that country music stars only eat meat and potatoes, and especially barbecue.  But in fact several of the top country stars have chosen to go meatless.

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood grew up on a farm in Oklahoma and didn’t think about the fate of the animals being raised until she thought to ask what happened to them. Once she learned that they were slaughtered, she removed meat from her diet. When she moved to California at the age of 22, she found it much easier to completely cut meat from her diet. As she became more famous, she became a vocal advocate for animal rights and adopted a fully vegan diet in 2011.

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Shaquille O’Neal goes vegan

Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O’Neal in 2017

Retired basketball star Shaquille O’Neal has announced that he’s going vegan, during a May 2 interview with Rip Michaels, host of the show Urban Eats & Treats.  He had previously followed a high-protein, low-carb diet, but he’s realized that following a vegan diet, including vegan versions of many of his favorite junk foods such as cheeseburgers, gives him many advantages, including enabling him to continue to eat the way he prefers, while avoiding packing on too many pounds.

At 7-foot-11, and 320 pounds, the former NBA star is now 50 years old and wants to look after his health, while still enjoying his favorite foods.  He has discovered that is possible, by frequenting a vegan restaurant in Atlanta where he can get a cheeseburger without the guilt.  He used to think that a healthy diet consists of salad, steak and fish, but finds that eating vegan food helps him feel lighter and more energized, and healthier than he used to feel.

For breakfast, he enjoys a vegan smoothie, with blueberries, peanut butter and bananas, inspired by vegan NFL star Tom Brady.  Shaq joins many other vegan athletes who have discovered the benefits of a plant-based diet, including female athletes such as tennis champion Venus Williams and soccer star Alex Morgan.

Viking star Sam Corlett is vegan

A Sam Corlett selfie!

Twenty-six year old Australian actor Sam Corlett went vegan while he was in acting school, “to live more in line with his values” he says.  While his body was not naturally muscular he needed to appear so, first as Caliban in the Netflix series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and more recently as Leif Erikson in Vikings: Valhalla.

In order to get as big as possible, he feasted on massive stir-fries that included microgreens, veggies, tempeh and kimchi, along with chickpeas, black beans or tofu, and relevant spices depending on the cuisine he was trying to create.  He also did heavy lifting sessions in the gym along with more restorative yoga practices, to help him bulk up. He was able to gain 22lbs and the expected physique of a Viking!

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Billie Eilish’s tour encourages fans to go vegan

Billie Eilish, a vegan pop icon, has just embarked on a world tour named “Happier than Ever”, the title of her 2021 album.  This tour is billed as eco-friendly and has a unique vegan twist in that as part of the tour, she is encouraging fans to choose at least one plant-based meal every day for the next 30 days.

To make this tour eco-friendly, she has partnered with Reverb, an environmental nonprofit which is working with Eilish to “green” her tours.  Reverb’s Music Climate Revolution program works to not only reduce the tour’s overall environmental footprint but also support initiatives eliminating greenhouse gases. These combined efforts aim to make the tour “climate positive,” meaning it goes beyond achieving net-zero carbon emissions and actively removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

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David Verburg, athlete and animal rights advocate

David Verburg

Runner David Verburg was a 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the 4×400 meter relay.  He’s also a vegan. It started over two years ago, because he was doing a lot of work with animal recues and became a big advocate for the animals. 

In 2018 in Clemont, FL, Verburg ran into traffic at an intersection to rescue a turtle that had wandered into traffic. A video of this went viral on social media and made him an unexpected star.  He subsequently started the Golden Tortoise Rescue Foundation in his home state of Florida.

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Actor Paul Wesley advocates for a vegan diet

Paul Wesley (full name Paweł Tomasz Wasilewski) went vegan over a decade ago, citing his compassion toward animals, and he has been a powerful advocate for avoiding animal products ever since.  He initially became known for his acting role in The Vampire Diaries, and subsequently went on to direct and then produce the series.  He has appeared in a variety of movies, including Mother’s Day, Convergence, and The Baytown Outlaws.  More recently, he joined the cast of the CBS series Tell Me a Story.

The news of his vegan diet became public when he co-hosted the Humane Society of United States’ H-Couture 2012 event, a fashion show that features vegan designers.  Since then, he has been seen attending a variety of animal-rights events hosted by Mercy for Animals and other organizations to help spread the word about veganism and the need for better treatment of animals.

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Sprinter Morgan Mitchell is vegan

Australian Morgan Mitchell went vegan at the age of 19, in 2013.  After competing in the 4×400 meters relay event at the 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Olympic Games, she switched focus to the 800 meters and rapidly improved to come in sixth in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games (held in July 2021).

She has appeared in the media talking about the positive impacts a plant-based diet has had on her performance.  She describes what she eats each day as focused on protein-rich meals like breakfast burritos, vegan chicken salads, smoothies, burgers and Buddha bowls.

But eating vegan is more than just about health and performance.  When asked about her diet, she says: “the life of an animal and the wellbeing of the environment means more to me than any amount of money or the career path I wish to take” because the lives of the farm animals and the future of the environment depend on what we do.

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