Sun, Feb 08, 2009 - Page 8 News List

Luminaries on the red carpet are going green

By Jason Baker

Vegetarianism has officially taken root among celebrities around the world. Stars are embracing broccoli and giving beef the boot faster than you can say “tofu.” Pamela Anderson, ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, country music siren Shania Twain, and Hollywood heartthrob Joaquin Phoenix are just a handful of stars who have committed to vegetarian diets. Celebrities such as Faye Wong (王菲), Maggie Q and Barbie Hsu (徐熙媛, also known as Big S, 大S) have all embraced vegetarianism — and the list is growing.

Fresh off her roles in Three Kingdoms, Die Hard 4.0 and Mission: Impossible III, Maggie Q can only be described as hot. So it’s fitting that for her latest “role,” Maggie posed nearly nude in a bed of crimson chili peppers to spread the word that going vegetarian is the best way to “spice up your life” as well as help animals, your health and the environment.

Grammy winner Outkast’s dapper rapper Andre 3000, when asked how he would spend his last day on Earth, said: “I’d probably go for a great meal — some broccoli probably, because I’m a vegetarian.”

Eating green is much more than a treat for your taste buds. Name one vegetarian who misses the heart-stopping fat and cholesterol found in meat, eggs and dairy products.

“[I]f you are vegetarian,” vegan rocker Morrissey quipped, “you can look incredibly healthy, and if you eat animals, you can look as if you are dying.”

“I first went vegetarian when I realized I wouldn’t eat my dog,” said Hsu, a proud vegetarian. “I now feel reborn, stronger and healthier — and I became calmer inside.”

She has also said: “All animals should be respected, no matter how big or small, as the right to live is equal for everyone. Eating animal flesh means eating cadavers, and just the thought of this makes me feel sick. I’ll insist on vegetarianism.”

Tobey Maguire, a vegetarian, bulked up for his role in Spider-Man 2 by eating tons of tofu. When new mom Uma Thurman needed to stay energetic enough to breast-feed her son and train for her martial-arts movie Kill Bill, she refueled with tasty vegan foods such as soy lasagne, tofu and light peanut butter on whole-grain bread.

When vegetables get the red-carpet treatment, they reward their famous fans with unlimited versatility and verve.

Country music legend Willie Nelson credits his wife for introducing him to the joy of soy milk: “[S]he got me into rice milk and now soy milk, which I greatly enjoy. A soy mocha’s a fine thing.”

When Gwyneth Paltrow packs lunches for her vegetarian husband, rocker Chris Martin of the band Coldplay, she pops a bottle of soy milk into his lunch box. Pamela Anderson’s new Las Vegas nightclub, Lachapamela, will serve scrumptious soy-milk cocktails.

Actor Casey Affleck, a longtime vegan, has said: “When people ask me why I don’t eat meat or any other animal products, I say: ‘Because they’re unhealthy, and they’re the product of a violent and inhumane industry.’”

Ready to give vegetarian recipes a try? Start by “vegging up” meals that you already like to cook. Instead of using meat, make curry with tofu or pasta with tomato sauce. Replace the meat in your favorite recipes with beans, lentils, vegetables or tofu. Enjoy pizza — just chuck the cheese and sausage and pile it high with animal-friendly toppings such as peppers, mushrooms, artichokes and pineapple instead. The vegetarian recipes at GoVeg.com are a great source of inspiration. In time, you may grow to feel the same way that Morrissey does about eating green: “I’m never struggling at all, I’m never confused about food — how could I be after all this time?”

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