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Famous Vegans Explain Why They Chose Plant-Based Lifestyles

Russell Brand

Steak or sauteed tofu? You might think that the choice is obvious when you're a wealthy celebrity. But for the famous vegans described here, a plant-based diet is part of their lifestyle. Read on to learn why they made the switch, according to Care2 and U.S. News.

Usher: He's a caring coach on "The Voice," and a superstar when it comes to his music. But he's so convinced that a vegan lifestyle is worth it that he is trying to convince his protege Justin Bieber to tackle tofu as well.

Rosie O’Donnell: She shocked friends, family and fans when she almost died from a heart attack. Determined to save herself with the right foods, Rosie shifted to a plant-based diet and has become the queen of quinoa.

Bill Clinton: Like Rosie, he discovered he had life-threatening heart disease. He abandoned his high protein South Beach diet for a vegan lifestyle. " I live on beans, legumes, vegetables, fruit,” Mr. Clinton said. “I drink a protein supplement every morning — no dairy, I drink almond milk mixed in with fruit and a protein powder so I get the protein for the day when I start the day up.”

Paul McCartney: "Many years ago, I was fishing, and as I was reeling in the poor fish, I realized, 'I am killing him—all for the passing pleasure it brings me.' And something inside me clicked. I realized as I watched him fight for breath, that his life was as important to him as mine is to me.

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Russell Simmons: Determined to do his part for the planet, Russell went vegan, noting that the impact environmentally from eating meat is "mind-blowing."

Ellen DeGeneres: A known animal lover, Ellen was motivated to go vegan after watching the 2005 documentary “Earthlings,” about the suffering of animals for food, fashion, pets, entertainment and medical research.

Alicia Silverstone: Watching documentaries about the food industry that focused on animal products convinced her. She even authored a book about vegan lifestyles called "The Kind Diet."

Stephen Glover: "I have been really enjoying making a project out of seeking out an extremely healthy diet of raw, organic, vegan foods—and I plan on continuing to do so," he declared.

Kirsten Wiig: This slender actress eats lots of tofu, soy, water and cranberry juice.

Russell Brand: Meat-free since age 14, he comments: "You shouldn't eat animals, it's mean to them."

Carrie Underwood: She saw cattle and realized that "these cute little animals that were running around playing would become someone's dinner. Eating them made me feel guilty."