al gore
by Nell Alk
Categories: Environment, Vegan
Tags: .

Last November, in the week leading up to Thanksgiving, Al Gore was “outed” in a Forbes article as being vegan. Wrote staffer Ryan Mac of the former vice president, “Newly turned vegan Al Gore is also circling.” (The offhand comment was seemingly added casually, in reference to Hampton Creek,™ an innovative technology company pioneering “to make the egg obsolete,” which was at that time looking to raise millions in capital. The San Francisco-based brand’s debut product, an eggless mayonnaise simply titled Just Mayo, is available in Whole Foods Markets nationwide, with much more to come.)

While the startup venture is itself well worth paying attention to, it had long been garnering—and continues to garner—major and ample media exposure. Gore being vegan?! Until that piece was published, no one had heard a peep about the “Inconvenient Truth” author’s preference for plant-based cuisine. At least not anyone willing to spill.

And with that, the word spread like wildfire, social platforms aflutter with tweets and status updates heralding the fantastic news—including a newly minted Twitter handle to commemorate the momentous occasion. (We were pretty much thinking it was about time the vocal environmentalist aligned his habits with the earth. Like, duh?)

Now, for the first time since that passing utterance, Gore has come forward and spoken publicly, confirming he is indeed vegan. And loving it. In an exclusive interview with Medscape Editor-in-Chief Eric Topol, MD, which went live online yesterday, the politician made it crystal clear that meat, dairy and eggs are off the table. And we couldn’t be more thrilled.

“I know you’ve been on a vegan kick,” Topol offered, as part of a broader question, which for our purposes we’ll bypass quoting. To this Gore responded:

“Over a year ago I changed my diet to a vegan diet, really just to experiment to see what it was like. And I felt better, so I continued with it. Now, for many people, that choice is connected to environmental ethics and health issues and all that stuff, but I just wanted to try it to see what it was like. In a visceral way, I felt better, so I’ve continued with it and I’m likely to continue it for the rest of my life.”

Color us proud that Gore took a cue, this cue, from former president Bill Clinton, joining throngs around the world who’ve eschewed eating animal products. This is a spectacular step that anyone can take and it’s no surprise that people in power are adopting the healthy habit. It’s empowering! Individuals have so little control over most aspects their lives (and, for that matter, the planet’s goings-on), but what we put in and on our bodies is 100% up to us. No one makes us consume crap. That’s our own doing.

So, that Gore has with this transition joined fellow movers-and-shakers (from ex-presidents to athletes, business moguls to real estate tycoons, rock stars to Hollywood darlings) is nothing short of spectacular. Let’s hope he forever “feels better” on a vegan diet (we don’t doubt that he will, unless he subsists on French fries and Oreos) and dines this way “for the rest of” his life. Given Gore’s global influence and access, as a leader he is perfectly poised to inspire others to try life without a heaping side of horror and hypocrisy. And ideally this shift will further advance the vegan conversation. President Obama, are you listening?

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

About Nell Alk

Nell Alk is a writer, editor and activist. Originally from the Midwest but based in New York City since 2006, she loves the cosmopolitan lifestyle, plant-based cuisine and animal-free footwear (particularly by this brand). Beyond food and shoes, she’s an arts and entertainment enthusiast, as well as an all around avid vegan, with her finger perpetually on the pulse of this burgeoning scene. Beyond Ecorazzi, she’s written about culture, nightlife and other fun subjects for outlets like the Wall Street Journal, Soho House Magazine and Alicia Silverstone’s Kind Life blog. More on Nell and her journalistic and copywriting work here. You can also interact with her on Twitter: @NellieAbigail.

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  • Cortney Jackson

    Bill Clinton also went Vegan after his third heart attack& he lost weight &is healthy now. No more heart problems. That’s part of the reason I became vegan so I could cut out most of the bad saturated fat out of my diet & almost eliminate my risk of getting heart disease or having a heart attack.

  • John

    He is not Vegan. For heavens sake look up the difference between vegan and strict-vegetarian. He’s a strict-vegetarian because he adopts only a diet and I have no issue with that, but he will still use animal products in his toothpaste, wear leather and still use products tested on animals, he is NOT, repeat NOT vegan.

    • Olivia

      My god, so many terms regarding this. I know, veganism is not a diet, it’s a life style! Still, come on! Veganism can also be a diet! It has 2 sides: 1. ethics 2. science. If you say that he is NOT a vegan, but a strict vegetarian, most of the ppl will think he still eats eggs, diaries or products that might contain casein or so. No need to mislead ppl cause of so many terms. It’s good news, for ppl to actually start rationalising the idea of veganism! In all its honesty, it doesnt have to start as a lifestyle, as long as ppl start at least as a diet (for the scientific reasons).If you have the diet in humans, then the next step is extremity easy!

    • Lori Wheeler

      Don’t think he calls himself vegan. He says he eats a vegan/ plant based diet. Many people that start with a vegan diet also start to read about animal rights etc and end up living a vegan lifestyle. So thumbs up to him for starting this wonderful vegan adventure :)

  • tech_lvr

    Good for him and for the planet.
    Whether he is truly vegan or strict vegetarian is not the point. He is eating what he likes and what is ethical and cruelty free.
    If everybody could adopt just one day a week of no animal product, it could save California billions of gallons of water that we sorely need!

  • Jessica Parsons

    Gore says “Over a year ago I changed my diet to a vegan diet.”

    Nothing confusing about that, and there’s no point complaining about the media carelessly changing his careful wording because that’s how the media gets attention.

  • BC

    Thanks Al Gore. Another reminder, there are no more valid excuses. We either adopt a vegan diet, or admit to not caring about any of the big issues, mass cruelty to animals, climate change/environmental destruction and human starvation.

  • JoAnn

    Good for him. Now he’s actually doing something of value for the environment AND his health. I prefer to say I eat plant based, whole foods, minimally processed, no salt, oil or sugar (SOS). The term vegan is vague and can really be quite unhealthy.

  • Siraganda

    The essential thing is that he doesn’t eat meat! He is walking step by step, so this makes him a credible true environmentalist! I hope that other people shall make the same choice in adopting step by step a vegetarian and then a vegan diet, because when the buying stops, the killing can too!

  • JustVisiting

    Vegan, my ass! Gore is Soylent Green

  • Butterflies Katz

    Veganism is not a diet, remember. It is an ethical stance or position that seeks non-participation in animal exploitation, for food, clothing, products and practices. It extends beyond diet; as it is a consistent ethic. Sounds to me like Al Gore is eating a plant-based diet, which is wonderful, however not synonomous with being vegan, for the sake of clarity and for those who really want to understand the true meaning of veganism.