by MPD
Categories: Animals, Eats
Tags: .


Actress Hilary Swank recently told Marie Claire magazine that she gave up her 18-year vegetarian diet just two years ago because she didn’t believe it was healthy. The actress insists that vegetarianism was making her too thin and that she needed to gain weight.  However, Hillary still struggles with eating animals. She says:

“I just started withering away. I wasn’t getting enough vitamins or protein. (It was) very emotional.

“I sat over my plate and cried. I really had to work through it. It still makes me emotional. I don’t know if you have ever looked into a cow’s eye, but it is so soulful. So I don’t like it – but it’s something I have to do.”

Oh, goodness. Obviously one’s diet is a personal choice, but saying you can’t get enough vitamins and protein? That’s just silly. A plant-based diet is loaded with nutrients and plenty of protein-filled options. Eating an omnivorous diet is certainly not something one “has to do.” But wait a second – this story seems a little strange to me.

After winning an Oscar in 2005 (4 years ago), Hilary claimed to have celebrated with a burger and fries. Wait, what? The whole timeline just doesn’t add up. What do you think about all of this? Play detective and help us crack the case!

  • Heather

    This makes me sad, because I love Hilary Swank – but this is nuts! She needs to meet up with Alicia Silverstone…

  • Kirsten@Nexyoo

    To give her the benefit of the doubt, maybe she meant she celebrated with a _veggie_ burger and fries. It’s too bad she’s going around making false statements about vegetarianism! Too many people assume that a vegetarian diet can’t be fully healthy, but it can.

  • Whoever…


    I agree with you Michael when you mention that one’s diet is a personal choice but one also mustn’t make up things like this, especially if that person is a celebrity.

    One thing is someone who doesn’t have a balanced veg*an diet and thus gets ill, and a completely different one is saying that veg*anism isn’t healthy!

    Why is it that when people who have an omnivorous diet get ill, they don’t become veg*an or say that an omnivorous diet isn’t healthy?

    Besides, she is not the smartest tool in the shed: “The actress insists that vegetarianism was making her too thin and that she needed to gain weight.” – It took her 18 years to ‘realize’ that? It doesn’t make any sense… hum… peculiar… or was it something else that lately was affecting her in some way?


    • Samantha

      Yeah, this has always pissed me off.

      A malnourished omni is never criticized, but a malnourished vegan…well, must be the crazy diet.

      We are all responsible for our own health, and our own diets. A properly balanced vegan diet is the healthiest possible thing you can do for your body.

      This is exactly what we need – a high profile celebrity continuing this bullshit about protein issues with veg*nism.

      I’m vegan, so by mythical standards I should be severely underweight, when in fact, I’m considered overweight by the BMI.

      • Raw Vegan

        Yep, Bullshit is a good word for this kind of…. Bullshit. Though this… ignorance is common, I thing she was a poser who got caught.

  • jamie lynn

    a person’s diet is their own perogative; however, if one in the public eye chooses to speak about it, they should at least take care not to spread this kind of ignorance to readers who may not be as versed in nutrition as we are.
    “withering away”??? so was she a veg* when she filmed Million Dollar Baby? because her physique was idolized by many after that movie. she was either fully capable of bulking on a veg* diet, or else she’s been an impostor for many years now.

    • Raw Vegan

      I agree with “impostor”

  • Rachelle

    She’s a good actress but she’s full of sh-t…perpetuating the same old myths about vegetarians and protein, etc. I don’t know if she’s willfully ignorant about the vegetarian diet or being dishonest. Personally I know some FAT vegetarians…cuz they overeat…Maybe she needs to eat more PERIOD and stop blaming the vegetarian diet for her low body weight.

  • Misty Snatchwrath

    Thorough moron.

  • Stephanie

    What an idiot! I’ve been a vegan for 3 years (since age 16) and I’m completely healthy, normal weight with some curves, and have no nutrition deficiencies. She is spreading false information about vegetarianism. Also, I don’t think something is a “personal choice” when it involves harming or killing other living, feeling, sentient beings.

    • Samantha

      Exactly! A personal choice consists of something that affects only you.

      Who you do or do not consume is not “personal.”

      Congratulations on going vegan so young, great to hear!

  • Allen

    Behaviors that harm others are not “personal” choices. Eating animals is not a personal choice because it harms animals, and the environment upon which we all depend. Saying that eating someone else is a personal choice is like saying that beating your kids (or kicking puppies) is a personal choice.

  • Philip

    Hilary Swank is a great ape…like all humans are at least according to the reality based world of…. facts.
    We humans are meant to thrive on a vegan diet as are our great ape cousins do. I’ve never seen a skinny gorilla. If you add in the amount of un imaginable suffering an animal based diet brings upon non human animals of the world I think a few extra vegan pizzas can bring on the extra pounds and protein MS Swank so desperately claims she needs. Maybe she should stop running so much on the beach and meditate… in a sitting position on compassion and kindness and she might gain a bit of weight and insight.
    Human vegans live longer and healthier lives than the dead animal eating humans do. These are facts. Look it up on the interwebs.
    Sometimes even intelligent and intuitive people start believing crazy myths and beliefs about the world. Whether those myths are about their own bodies or about the nature of the universe people can start imagining things that are not even the slightest bit true. For instance here in the United States over 44% of your neighbors believe Jesus is coming down out of the clouds in the next 20 years…and will show off his magic powers and defeat the non believers in a battle in the valley of Armageddon. Enough said.
    I’ve been vegan for 20 years and I do have to eat a bit more to keep my weight. But as I grow older I find this to be a plus considering how amazing the vegan foods we have to choose from today are.
    Hilary is DEAD wrong about this issue and I guess now so will the new part of her food intake. Sad…


    • weightlifting omni girl

      Gorillas are the only great ape that NEVER eats meat. We are most closely related to Chimpanzees that DO eat meat on occasion in the wild. Most anthropologist think that eating meat is one of the keys to our development as humans and advanced communication, since obtaining meat selected for cooperation and communication skills.

      Anyway, we and the anthropoid apes diverged six to 14 million years ago, I think a few things can change in that time period!

      If humans are naturally vegan then why is it that none of the societies that live the most secluded, unchanged, and un influenced by modern societies eat vegan?

      • Raw Vegan

        What is your motivation for being such an ass? Do you own stock in Hormel?

  • Inga Ambrosia

    Poor thing. She just doesn’t know any better. She should visit vegan body building [dot] c o m

    • weightlifting omni girl

      veganbodybuilding dot com, this is a JOKE! I just spent a considerable amount of time on that site and it’s pretty sad. The men are much smaller then regular natural bodybuilders and the women are a TOTAL JOKE. I had much more muscle then any of them had after only 6 months of lifting! All that site did was prove that you can’t get a muscular physique if you’re a vegan, especially if you’re a vegan woman! I don’t see how you can be healthy if you can’t even gain any muscle, since when was “skinny fat” healthy?

      • Raw Vegan

        Since I’ve been to that site, I can tell you haven’t…..which showes you have an alterior motive.

        It’s actually “bodybuilding AND fitness” – most of them aren’t bodybuilders. If you saw their pics you’d have seen the site owner: Robert Cheeke….more muscle than 97% of the world’s people.

  • Erica

    Wow, an actress thinking she’s too skinny? That’s a switch…….

  • Kristin

    Apparently a veggie burger:
    “The 30-year-old actress, who was joined by husband Chad Lowe and a host of pals, tucked into a vegetarian burger in full view of other diners as her Oscar sat on the table next to her.”

    She is just making excuses. There is no reason she needs to eat meat to be healthy. And honestly, is she is worried about low weight,I can send a couple of vegan cupcake recipes her way. That should take care of it in no time.

  • Nick

    How many of you have been veg*an for over 18 years?

    • Israeli

      Nick, the health of plant-based diet is a scientific fact.

      By the way, in Israel there is an entire community (2000+ people) who is vegan since the early 70s. They live in the city of Dimona.

      This story is crazy, interesting how she will explain her great physique in “Million Dollar Baby” …

      • Nick

        You mean the African Hebrews? That is religion, not science.

      • Israeli

        No. It is a scientific fact regardless of these community.

        Regarding their religion, the fact that it is a religion does not mean they are not very very healthy.

    • Rachelle

      It’s been 25 years for me…with the last ten being EASIER thanks to more vegan products and cookbooks being offered on the market. :)

    • Calla

      Nick, I have been vegan 3 1/2 years and I was vegetarian 15 years prior to going strict vegan. So, you can do the math, that’s 18 1/2 years. I’ve never been hospitalized or seriously ill, with the exception of when I caught mono. When I had mono was the only time I had a blood test show up poorly. I’ve never had problem with vitamins (though I’ve been taking B12 supplements since going veg.), calcium, or protein. I have a healthy cholesterol, healthy blood pressure and my BMI is right smack in the middle of what is considered “healthy” for my height. There is absolutely nothing wrong with maintaining a veg*n diet for 18+ years. If you are trying to build muscle mass, you may need to increase your protein intake, but that can be done by drinking soy shakes every day and eating nuts and beans with every meal? Trying to gain weight? You can increase your intake of healthy fats by eating avocados, nuts, peanut butter. All of these foods contain essential nutrients and they are whole foods ones’ body can digest despite their high calorie count.

  • s

    hullo hillary? if you thought you needed to gain weight, have some carrot cake/apple pie. you don’t need meat. and hamburgers are disgusting. i ate one in middle school and i almost barfed.

  • OrganiKooK

    This just blows my whole image of Hilary Swank. Anyone who reads ANYTHING in any publication that even speaks remotely intelligently about being vegan, knows that what she is spewing in this article is ridiculous. My mother and mother-in-law think I am brilliant because I tell them everything I read in Veg News and Vegetarian Times, now this is just an estimate, appears on Good Morning America about 6 months to a year after I read it. Then they believe what they see. When I told them a year before, they just dismiss it. But when it is on GMA, it becomes gospel. If only we could get Rush Limbaugh to start coordinating with GMA, we could really make things happen!

  • herwin

    a meat diet is very personal for the person eating and for the cow !
    i cant believe anyone can say such moronic thing, but i guess she had to pack her meateating habit into some kind of sensitive tearjerker bullshit story.

  • VeggieTart

    Maybe she wasn’t eating enough calories, as Rachelle pointed out. And if she was veg during the filming of “Million Dollar Baby”, she didn’t look too skinny to me–she looked pretty fit.

    I’ve only been vegan 7-odd years, but I could actually stand to lose some weight.

  • Charlotte

    I really think that Ms. Swank’s comments are Million Dollar bunk! I think that her reasoning for reverting to eating animals is because she wants to eat them. She should be honest with herself and her fans, since she has chosen to go public with her decision.

  • Erik

    The restaurant where hilary swank ate her burger after she won her Oscar was at Mel’s Diner in Hollywood.. I don’t know what she ordered, but I do know that Mel’s veggie burger is prettttty delicious. If I were to win an Oscar and was craving a veggie burger, I would head to Mel’s as well.

  • Chloé Jo

    Seems like a phony to me. Protein? What an idiot… she obviously is a wackadoodle.

  • H

    Such BS. I haven’t eaten meat for about ten years and I am like 60 lbs overweight. You can get fat on any diet, it’s not what you eat it is how munch you eat.

  • H

    Was supposed to write: Much (obviously, Ive got the munchies :)

  • Pete –

    She ought to checkout I’ve been vegan for over 20 years now & since I started training with weights (in my late 30’s) I’ve steady gained over 40 pounds of muscular weight (before that I was a runner, so quite skinny). It’s simple to add weight with a little thought & dietary choices. A celebrity could easily afford a personal trainer & even a chief to teach them everything they need to know (hell they could hire me! a personal trainer who has nearly finished a nutritional consultancy course :-) hee hee.
    Right talking about gaining mass I’m off to eat :-)

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  • odograph

    There is a very good BBC radio series on nutrition and athletic performance. It says that “every body is different” and that the Olympic level athletes are getting very detailed tests to determine what works for their bodies. The series predicts that in future we’ll all have access to that kind of testing, and need it, because one diet does not fit all.

    I would have guessed, based on the original quote, that Hillary’s doctor ordered her into it. Why else would she do something so emotional?

    And if I’m right, and it was doctors orders, there are a lot of jerks above.

    • James

      but the above users are not doctors, they are nutritionists (or nutrition experts), so how could they be jerks?

      Reminder: the doctors are those who have no clue in nutrition.

      • odograph

        Did they review the patient’s bloodwork?

      • James

        yes, they did.

  • Anil

    Something must be wrong with her brain or else she must be planning to start a slaughter house business and all this is initial build up or rather cover story for her . I am from India now living in NY . In my country there are millions and millions of vegetarians who do not even eat egg. And these housewives are mostly overweight , ranging from 65 Kgs to 80 Kgs.just on an average height of 5 ft.5 inches.They are quite healthy and do lots of house chores and some of them even give birth to 4 to 5 children and breast feed them for pretty long. There is enough nutrition available for vegans too and of course celebs like Hilary S. can have the best of veg. diet. She should immediately give a clarification and ensure that such a false notion is erased out from readers here who are not aware of nutrition values in veg. diet. Mind you ELEPHANT is just a PLANT eating animal .


  • Rachel P

    Um… simple way to solve the problem of getting too skinny… EAT SOMETHING!

  • Van

    I think you guys are being a little harsh. It could be that for her body type and what she does physically on a daily basis, it was too difficult for her to remain a vegetarian. It is easy for some people to loose muscle when they aren’t combining the correct proteins. I have seen many a friend loose weight due to cutting out meat (even though they are eating non-stop) and I have seen friends gain weight from it. Everyone’s body is different and she didn’t say the being a vegetarian was unhealthy or bad, she said she couldn’t do it anymore because she personally was loosing too much weight. When you are shooting films you really don’t have any time to spend on making sure you are eating the correct combinations of foods, it’s either junk food, or “vegetarian” dishes. I recently worked on a movie where their idea of a vegetarian lunch was some spinach overcooked in oil on some bread..that’s it!

  • Felicia

    Um, who really cares? And you do need meat to get certain vitamins and protein that pills and vegetables just don’t have.

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  • Margie

    Maybe the posters on this site can help me.
    I’ve been trying for years to get some pointers on how to adopt a veg*an diet that I could consume … I can’t digest starch, it makes me physically ill and affects my body negatively in many ways.
    So without eating grains or legumes, how could I get sufficient protien and nutrients?
    I can eat some nuts, they must be without skin though.
    I would like to try but can get no advice.

  • Daria Wilanowicz

    so why all doctors and nurses are always telling me that is really good for me to be vegetarian. im 33 yo now and i don’t eat meat since i was 16. i’m perfectly healthy and never had any health issues… vegetarian diet IS healthy !!!