• Sumo

Nothing is more fashionable these days than whatever the celebrities say is fashionable. Okay, I’m being dramatic, as that’s always sort of been the case, but at this moment we’re learning that when one famous person says something, a lot of non-famous persons respond by either doing the extreme opposite or falling in step. There is a growing trend for celebs to switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet and then come out and say that everyone should be like they are. Well then let’s play Devil’s Advocate: Should celebrities going vegetarian be a factor for you?

The list of green celebs keeps growing longer and longer, where someone will suddenly lose a bunch of weight and then inform everyone that it’s all thanks to a new crash diet or exercise routine, but every so often they’ll admit to being a vegetarian as if that’s suddenly a new thing that everyone should get into. Perhaps it’s just me, but a celebrity saying they’re vegetarian holds about as much weight as a kid saying they’re a fire fighter.

Sure, there are some celebrities that put their money where their mouths are, like Natalie Portman who happens to have been vegan for the majority of her life, but then there are the others who come out and make a spectacle of themselves for no other reason than to get the cameras flashing. The idea of a “new diet” to them is the less extreme version of the “we’re married” story they like to get in the media. So few celebrity marriages last more than a few years, so why would I believe them when they say they’ve given up meat?

It all comes down to the hesitation around “fad” diets. Vegetarianism isn’t what I’d consider a fad, but pointing to famous people and saying, “See! They’re vegetarian and they’re famous, so it must be a good lifestyle!” removes the personal aspect of the choice, which is really the core to a strong decision. If someone decides to go vegan because their favorite celeb made the shift, how likely are they to keep with it? If that celebrity slips up and backslides, or worse, becomes boring, then why would this hypothetical new vegan stay interested in the diet after that?

I’m a big advocate of personal choice and personal reasoning. I don’t see anything inherently wrong with celebrities going veg since it’s a net positive, but when I hear “so and so went veg” as an argument to become a vegetarian or vegan, that’s when things feel iffy. Why should someone else’s decision be a factor in yours? Isn’t “eating healthier,” “reducing environmental impact,” and “stopping the death of animals” enough anymore? Do we really want to add “Because Pam Anderson said it was better” to that list or legitimate reasons?

So now comes the question: Does a celebrity either changing their diet or speaking out in favor of vegetarianism/veganism play a part in your choice? Do you think it can be a valid reason? I’m truly curious, even if I seem to come off as jaded. What do you all think?