Being a vegetarian means to completely omit all meat dishes and eggs from your diet. On the other hand, veganism is giving up the consumption of anything extracted from animals, which means that vegans also omit dairy products from their diet and replace them with plant-based alternatives. Both forms of diet have gained popularity in recent years as many people perceive them as healthier or want to pledge their support towards animals. These Bollywood celebrities have also become vegetarian or vegan in recent years, either for a healthier life or for other reasons:
1. Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan gave up eating meat in 2000 due to some major health concerns. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), an American animal rights organisation, gave him the title of Hottest Vegetarian Alive in 2002.
2. Shahid Kapoor
Shahid became a vegetarian in 2003 after reading a book Life is Fair by Brain Hines, during a flight. A gift from his father, actor Pankaj Kapur, this book inspired Shahid so much that he decided to become a vegetarian by the time his flight landed. The author, Brian Hines, was a member of Radha Swami Satsang Beas, an Indian spiritual organisation, which Shahid also follows now. Shahid has been seen in several PETA ad campaigns and in 2011, he was honoured by PETA as Asia's Sexiest Vegetarian Man.
3. Kangana Ranaut
Kangana Ranaut grew up in a traditional Rajput household where having meaty dishes was the norm. However, the actress gave up meat after joining the film industry, saying that non-veg was blocking her spirituality. She has moved to veganism since 2013, due to health problems related to dairy. She also holds the Hottest PETA title.
4. Akshay Kumar
Akshay Kumar, who is a fitness freak and has appeared in many action movies and sequences, has recently converted to vegetarianism, in 2018. The actor has always spoken about the need to have a holistic lifestyle and becoming a vegetarian seems to be a part of it.
5. Aamir Khan
Aamir Khan became a vegan in 2015, after turning 50. He attributes this change to his wife, director Kiran Rao, who is also a vegan and shared a long medical video with him about how a vegan diet can effectively prevent 15 common life-threatening diseases.
6. Anushka Sharma
Anushka Sharma, who is also a vocal animal activist, became a vegetarian in 2015 and won Peta’s Hottest Vegetarian Celebrity title that year. Many people were of the view that she gave up meat because her pet dog, Dude, did not like the smell of meat but she put an end to these rumours saying that Dude eats meat.
7. Alia Bhatt
Alia Bhatt stopped having chicken and meat in 2015 to beat the summer heat but then continued, saying her tastes had changed. She also stopped eating fish soon after and said that she felt lighter, cooler and happier as a vegetarian. Alia’s father, producer-director Mahesh Bhatt, is also a vegetarian. In 2017, Alia was named the hottest Bollywood Vegan Celebrity by PETA.
8. Sonakshi Sinha
Sonakshi is very vocal against animal cruelty and gave up meat as a result of her beliefs. After opting for a vegan diet, the actress also lost a lot of weight as the new diet boosted her metabolism.
9. Sonam Kapoor
Sonam Kapoor turned to vegetarianism in 2013 when she wanted to lose weight and be more fit. She eventually opted for veganism as dairy products were not suiting her health anymore. She was PETA India's Person of the Year for 2018.
10. Richa Chaddha
Richa Chaddha made the move to veganism in 2014 and wrote an article illustrating how vegetarianism was more suitable for the human body. Since then she has been a firm advocate of the vegan lifestyle and has launched a campaign, in collaboration with PETA, to influence more people to adopt veganism.
11. Jacqueline Fernandez
In 2013, actress Jacqueline Fernandez gave up meat for Lent and there was no going back. She became a vegan a year later and now posts vegan recipes on her Instagram account as she thinks it’s the best thing people can do for their health and for the benefit of animals and the environment. She won PETA's Woman of The Year title in 2014.
12. Esha Gupta
Esha Gupta fully embraced a plant-based vegan lifestyle in 2013, as she did not feel good about killing animals. Esha has endorsed several ad campaigns for PETA.
13. John Abraham
John loves animals and is a vegetarian by choice. He also manages to build muscle power and get the required nutrition and protein from his meatless meals.
There are many other Bollywood celebrities as well who have joined this trend for different reasons, including Neha Dhupia, Malika Sherawat, Ayesha Takia, Adah Sharma, Vidya Balan and others. While there are ongoing research studies, both for and against adopting a fully vegetarian and vegan diet -- and you should find out what works for your health and fitness before making any switch -- these Bollywood stars set a good example of being disciplined and having strong willpower to give up favourite food items and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Anyone looking to improve their health, metabolism, nutrition, etc. can follow and learn more about the lifestyle changes incorporated by these Bollywood stars with the help of their nutritionists, health coaches, etc. The most important thing to remember is that good health should be a top priority for everyone.