Eating a plant-based diet has never been easier in India, and many Bollywood stars know that using their fame can help give animals a voice. Here are 18 celebrities who have one thing in common: compassion for animals.
1. Sonam Kapoor
A vegetarian for many years, Kapoor went vegan after learning she was sensitive to lactose. In an interview with DNA, she said: “I stopped eating meat four or five years ago. What has happened now is that I’ve stopped consuming milk and milk products.”
2. Alia Bhatt
Alia Bhatt ditched meat and adopted a vegetarian diet to stay healthy, according to Cosmopolitan India. She continues to enjoy vegetarianism with her father, Mahesh Bhatt. In an interview, she stated:
It’s definitely because of the heat that I am staying off meat, and I’m beginning to enjoy my new diet. I never was a hardcore non-vegetarian anyway. As of now, I am a vegetarian, and I hope it will last.
3. Shahid Kapoor
The Rangoon star was named “Hottest Vegetarian” by People magazine after the book Life is Fair by Brian Hines inspired the actor to ditch meat. According to mid-day.com, Kapoor went vegan in early 2017 and credited his increased stamina at work to his decrease in dairy products. Last year he also announced the launch of his vegan fitness app, V-Fit.
4. Ayesha Takia Azmi
Wanted actress Ayesha Takia Azmi has been vegan since 2011 and has participated in various campaigns for animal rights. She even got her sister and mum to join her! “Reading books on animal cruelty made me question everything I was consuming,” Azmi says. She also says she ate vegan throughout her pregnancy and felt her healthiest.
5. Sonakshi Sinha
According to The Free Press Journal, Sinha went vegan to fight animal cruelty. The Force 2 actress credits her vegan diet with speeding up her metabolism and helping her lose weight.
6. Kiran Rao
The film producer, screenwriter, and director decided to go vegan after learning about how unhealthy animal products were. After she presented this information to her husband, Aamir Khan, he went vegan as well!
7. Jacqueline Fernandez
Jacqueline Fernandez helped ban horse-drawn carriages in Mumbai. In fact, she is against all animal cruelty and has been vegan since 2013. The Sri Lankan beauty says she gave up meat for Lent and never went back:
I went vegan, and I’ve never felt better. Now, I want to share that wonderful feeling with everybody I know. Going vegan is the best thing you can do to help stop animal suffering, protect the environment and safeguard your own health.
8. John Abraham
Like Force 2 co-star Sonakshi Sinha, John Abraham is a staunch fighter of animal cruelty. Known for his muscular physique, Abraham proves you don’t need meat to get protein.
9. Adah Sharma
A lifelong vegetarian and animal lover, actress Adah Sharma went vegan while filming Commando 2. Sharma says she has knocked off 20 kg since steering clear of animal products, affirming that veganism helps keep her in shape. She has encouraged friends and family to go vegan to “achieve a healthy and fit body.”
10. Aamir Khan
After his wife, Kiran Rao, showed him a video on the negative health effects of meat and dairy, Aamir Khan switched to a vegan lifestyle. One of Bollywood’s biggest stars, Khan told India West about what had influenced his decision: “It is an hour-long presentation by a doctor on 15 of the most common diseases that cause death and how diet can prevent them. At the end of it, I was convinced that vegans are way ahead of non-vegetarians and even vegetarians.”
11. Kangana Ranaut
Bollywood actress and Queen star Kangana Ranaut went vegan in 2015. In an interview with DNA India, Ranaut stated:
Veganism as a way of life is deeply rooted in the Indian ethos. Whether it’s a puja or any spiritual occasion we always consume vegan food in keeping with the scriptures. Indians were the first ones to endorse veganism as a way of life. If you look at South Indian cuisine, almond milk and coconut milk are an intricate part of the cuisine served down south. It’s not that difficult to find the ingredients to follow a vegan diet. You can have fruits, nuts, homemade tofu and [nut milk]. I use nut milk to make all my smoothies.
12. Esha Gupta
After contemplating ditching cruel dairy products for some time, the fit Bollywood actress went vegan in July 2015. Already a vegetarian, Esha had advocated a meat-free diet as best for combating major health issues in India, saving animals’ lives, and fighting “the worst effects of climate change.” A source told The Times of India:
The actress has also decided not to consume milk and milk products as well as sweets made of milk and doing that has certainly brought positivity into her life. Esha is so happy with the results that she's encouraging many of her colleagues to turn vegan.
13. Neha Dhupia
The Bollywood actress protects animals by sticking to her vegan diet. The actress told The Times of India that, while she hadn’t been raised vegetarian, she’d always wanted to ditch meat and when she finally had, she’d felt better. Advocating veganism for health, she urges fans to combine a meat-free diet with regular exercise. Dhupia says, “I’ve realised that the benefits of eating plant-based foods include feeling energetic and succeeding to keep weight in control.”
14. Richa Chadha
The model-turned-actress has had an affinity for animals since she was a toddler, adopting many strays during her childhood. In a powerful article published in The Indian Express, Richa stated:
I can’t stomach the thought of someone cutting a buffalo’s throat, ramming a knife through a pig’s heart or cramming chickens into cages so small they can’t even spread a wing, let alone bear to ingest such misery.
15. Mallika Sherawat
Mallika Sherawat, vegan since 2011, told The Indian Express, "If I had to pick the very best thing about being vegan, it's my clear conscience.”
16. Monica Dogra
A vegetarian for a few years, actress and singer Monica Dogra went vegan after watching What the Health. She wanted to consume a healthier and more ethical diet.
17. Amitabh Bachchan
The legendary actor, known as the Shahenshah of Bollywood, went vegetarian in 2000 to live a healthier lifestyle. Now in his 70s, the actor is one of the most fit in Bollywood.
18. R. Madhavan
Known as one of the most dedicated vegans and a longtime supporter of animal rights, Madhavan was quoted in The Indian Express saying:
Animals feel pain, just as people do. They value their lives, just as we value ours. They’re terrified by the sights and smells of the slaughterhouse, and they fight for every last breath.
Want to switch to a compassionate and healthy plant-based diet? Click here to learn how.