How Woody Harrelson Became a Vegan Idol

According to actor Liam Hemsworth, Harrelson’s Hunger Games franchise partner, Harrelson has been on a vegan diet for about 30 years. Hemsworth admitted that it was Harrelson who became one of the main reasons why he became a vegan. Hemsworth is one of many celebrities who went vegan after working with Harrelson. 

Woody often speaks in defense of animal rights and calls for changes in legislation. He works with vegan chefs and campaigns to get people on a plant-based diet, and talks about the physical benefits of a vegan diet. 

How Woody Harrelson Became a Vegan Idol

1. He writes letters to officials about animal rights.

Harrelson not only talks about veganism, but actively tries to make a difference through letters and public campaigns. In May, Harrelson joined animal rights organization PETA to try to end the “pig rodeo” in Texas. Harrelson, a Texas native, was shocked by the fact and approached Gov. Gregg Abbott for a ban.

“I am very proud of my home state and the independent spirit of my fellow Texas people,” he wrote. “That’s why I was shocked to learn about the cruelty that pigs are subjected to near the city of Bandera. This cruel spectacle encourages both children and adults to frighten, injure and torture animals for fun.” 

2. He tried to turn the Pope into a vegan.

In early 2019, the actor took part in the Million Dollar Vegan Campaign, which aims to engage the world’s most influential leaders on climate change, hunger and animal rights in the hope of making real change. 

Along with musician Paul McCartney, actors Joaquin Phoenix and Evanna Lynch, Dr. Neil Barnard and other celebrities, Harrelson asked the Pope to switch to a vegan diet during Lent. There is no definitive news yet on whether the religious leader will ever go on a diet, but the campaign helped raise awareness on the issue as 40 members of the European Parliament took part in the Million Dollar Vegan campaign in March.

3. He works with vegan chefs to promote organic food.

Harrelson is friends with vegan chefs and Wicked Healthy vegan food project founders Derek and Chad Sarno. He has hired Chad as a personal chef on numerous occasions and even wrote the introduction for the brothers’ first cookbook, Wicked Healthy: “Chad and Derek are doing an incredible job. They are at the forefront of the plant-based movement.” “I am grateful to Woody for supporting the book, for what he has done,” Derek wrote at the time of the book’s release.

4. He turns other stars into vegans.

In addition to Hemsworth, Harrelson turned other actors into vegans, including Tandy Newton, who starred in the 2018 film Solo: A Star Wars Story. In an interview with Harrelson, she said, “I’ve been a vegan since I worked with Woody.” Since then, Newton has continued to speak on behalf of animals. Last September, she requested that the sale and import of foie gras be banned in the UK. 

Stranger Things star Sadie Sink also credits Harrelson for turning her into a vegan – she worked with him in 2005’s The Glass Castle. She said in 2017, “I was actually a vegan for about a year, and when I was working on The Glass Castle with Woody Harrelson, he and his family encouraged me to go vegan.” In a recent interview, she elaborated, “His daughter and I had a three-night sleepover party. All the time that I was with them, I felt good about the food, and didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything.”

5. He joined Paul McCartney to convince people to give up meat.

In 2017, Harrelson joined with music legend and Meat Free Mondays vegan co-founder Paul McCartney to encourage consumers not to eat meat at least one day a week. The actor starred in the short film One Day of the Week, which tells about the impact of the meat industry on our planet.

“It’s time to ask ourselves what I can do as an individual to help the environment,” McCartney asks along with Harrelson, actress Emma Stone and his two daughters, Mary and Stella McCartney. “There is a simple and important way to protect the planet and all its inhabitants. And it starts with just one day a week. Someday, without consuming animal products, we will be able to maintain this balance that supports us all.”

6. He talks about the physical benefits of being vegan.

A vegan lifestyle for Harrelson is not only about protecting the environment and animal rights. He also talks about the physical benefits of eating plant foods. “I’m a vegan, but I mostly eat raw food. If I have prepared food, I feel like I’m losing energy. So when I first started changing my diet, it wasn’t so much a moral or ethical choice, but an energetic one.”

7. He promotes veganism by his own example.

Harrelson raises awareness about the environmental and ethical aspects of veganism, but he does it in an engaging and fun way. He recently shared a photo with actor Benedict Cumberbatch at London vegan restaurant Farmacy. 

He also promotes vegan board games and even invested in the first ever organic vegan brewery. Cumberbatch, Harrelson, board games and an organic brewery garden – can you handle this level of fun?

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