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Beyoncé & Ellen prove we shouldn’t get too excited by “vegan” celebrities

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When a celeb goes team vegan, it’s easy to get caught up in how exciting it is to have their two million Instagram followers just reading the word ‘vegan.’ But time and time again, we’re let down by people who hijack the movement when they simply eat plant based for a short while.

Today’s cases in point; Beyoncé and Ellen Degeneres. Say it ain’t so!

Our Queen B may rock a kale sweatshirt and push a 22-day vegan meal plan, but news is circling that she’s as much a meat eater as ever. Disregarding that she likely never gave up animal products in her closet or makeup bag, and that she said once that she still eats meat “sometimes,” Munchies shared the news that she personally wracked up a $1,300 bill at a butcher shop during her latest tour. Steak, chicken thighs, and many other obviously non-vegan items were ordered and shared with her team. This wasn’t a one-off, with Caplanky’s deli in Toronto boasting a $3500 (CDN) bill earlier on the Formation tour, too. 

On the other side, Ellen has baffled vegans once again. Previously questioned for eating backyard eggs and endorsing a leather shoe line, this pseudo-plant based eater joked about eating fish at the premiere of her fish-centic animated movie, Finding Dory. NZ Herald released that at a press conference, she looked for a laugh when speaking about how she was eating fish in retaliation against film makers before they agreed to the Nemo sequel. She later insisted she rarely eats fish, doesn’t enjoy it, and wouldn’t go for blue tang (Dory’s species). She just keeps swimming…backwards.

So why should we care that never-really-vegan celebrities are being exposed for not being vegan? Well, we should care that they’re adding to the confusion the general public already has around veganism. How many Beyoncé fans thought eating plant-based was enough, and will now think eating meat sometimes is enough, too? How many of Ellen’s followers will call their next fish dinner “Dory” in jest? Neither scenarios help the movement.  

You don’t need a celebrity to show you how to go vegan. While some red carpet vegans exist, and are doing what they can to use their influence for change, it seems the majority are setting us back one publicity stunt at a time.

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  • Ed Gaughan

    It’s not new news with these two. They say they are vegan but that’s as far as it goes. I personally don’t give a rats ass what they do. Being vegan is not a choice. We are obligated to live and let live. The majority of people do not care about anything or any other sentient beings but themselves.

    • Nick

      It is a choice if you believe in free will…. How is it not a choice? That’s illogical.

  • stewart lands

    Those who use celebrity names in the effort to advance the cause bear responsibility for this humiliation. Of course, veganism is a condition, not a genetic trait, and so is likely to change. A great number of those who attempt a vegan lifestyle revert to animal consumption, so why should anyone be surprised?

    • AlpineDan

      A great number of those who attempt being vegan do it to get attention, to write an article to say how horrific it was even trying, and a hundred other bad reasons, and understandably endure only a week, a month, or a year.

      By contrast, the smaller number of us who go vegan because we internalize the best moral reasons for doing so stay committed for life with the greatest of ease. In fact, for many of us, it would be nearly impossible not to be vegan.

  • Dylan Wentworth

    It must be really hard to be a vegan if you’re as rich as Beyonce or Ellen. The fine dining restaurants where rich people eat are as unvegan as you can get. Steaks and seafood. Foie gras and stuff like that. Can you buy any car above a hundred grand that is available without leather seats? All those designer clothing brands sending you free stuff made out of dead animals. And that’s to say nothing of the environmentally unfriendly home furnishings such as granite countertops and walls and floors lined in exotic wood species that were most certainly logged from a rainforest.
    Anyway,i say thanks for the free celebrity endorsement, now drop dead.

    • Nick

      I don’t understand what you are saying with this post.

  • vegan truth seeker

    the problem with this type of celebrities is that unfortunately they are role models and many people (who don’t think for themselves) copy what they do!

    so when they they talk the talk and don’t walk the walk it hurts the vegan movement and thus animals (as always) are the ones getting hurt (tortured and slaughtered!)…

    as Ellen goes I expected more from her and so I’m quite disappointed, but then again these super rich people only care about money and fame 🙁

    they have information, money, and a lot of influence and so they could be a huge plus in the vegan movement but very few of them have the level of evolution and consciousness to fully commit to an ethical vegan lifestyle 🙁

    • Nick

      Do you think that Ellen eating eggs from cared-for chickens does harm to the vegan movement on a whole? If 10 people follow her and do the same as her, that’s 10 less people eating dairy and meat.

  • lilyroza

    It doesn’t bother me much if someone (celebrity or not) goes vegan, then occasionally strays from the path. 98% vegan is still a huge improvement. When omnivores know someone who’s vegan and then occasionally isn’t, it is easier for them to consider than if trying veganism is a lifelong change forever or else. Many if not most of those who consider themselves (mostly) vegan aren’t 100% perfect about it. And becoming vegan is not necessarily like flipping a switch. It comes more easily with experience.

    • Marshall Thomson

      Could not agree more with all of this! I’m a vego of 15 years, gradually more vegan every year but not 100%. I strive to give Vego/Veganism a good name in the community by being practical and flexible, and not allowing food (even already paid for meat) go to waste.

      • James Purcell

        What dietary item is stopping you from going vegan?

    • James Purcell

      Yours is the voice of reason I was hoping to read. I’d so so so so so much rather a celebrity that ate plant based “most”of the time, then a celebrity that didn’t even mention the word veganism.

  • Tatyana Valda Belinda Hill

    The comment about eating backyard eggs is a low blow and the sort of concern that fuels the carnivores’ propaganda that we are psycho fascists… Some kind people put a lot of time and effort (and money and love) into rescuing factory chickens that would otherwise have their throats slit and be made into tins of dog food. These chickens make eggs. The chickens are loved and cared for. There is nothing wrong with eating these cruelty-free eggs (which would otherwise be dumped). Please stop giving the propagandists reasons to convince those sitting on the fence that veganism and morally identical kind diet/lifestyles are not for them.

    • Jocelyb

      So feed the eggs back to the chickens…they need the nutrients. Don’t rescue hens and eat their eggs…you are prretrating the same abuse. Can’t have eggs without chickens being exploited. Even if you are “saving them”. Just give up the freaking eggs!!

      • Marshall Thomson

        Get off your silly soap box – you’re hurting more than you are helping!

  • pretty sure ellen has been eating fish for a long time.

  • Ky

    I agree with some of the comments posted below! I think that reasons for going vegan are very personal and deep. I wouldn’t judge anyone for the way they execute their diet any more than I would judge someone for their religion! Also, although these stars may not be perfect, they are still using their platforms and following as celebrities to raise awareness and that is a HUGE gift to the vegan community!

  • cattlewrangler .

    If I were with Beyoncé she’d be getting plenty meat every night, that’s for sure.

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