Celebs Who Got Called Out After Flip-Flopping On Veganism

While the vegan diet has been around for centuries, the term "veganism" was coined by Donald Watson in the 1940s. His goal? "To seek an end to the use of animals by man for food, commodities, work, hunting, vivisection, and by all other uses involving exploitation of animal life by man," per Gen V. Since then, various diets around eliminating animal flesh and by-products have grown in popularity and various terms to capture these meal plans have sprouted in the popular vernacular.

One such favorite is "plant-based." However, it's worth noting that this is not necessarily synonymous with veganism. A plant-based diet is exactly what it sounds like — meal plans revolve around plants but do not entirely restrict animal products. Conversely, veganism is a lifestyle rather than a diet, one that excludes any products made from an animal including meat, dairy, fish, poultry, and eggs, as well as the use of leather or other goods that contain animal byproducts.

Veganism has grown popular among celebrity culture as well, and we seem to hear all about it. Why? Partially it could be to set a good example. But as the old joke goes, there may be another reason – How do you know if someone's vegan? Don't worry, they'll tell you. Sanctimonious or not, all of the celebrities on this list have shared their love of veganism — only to be later called out for seemingly not being all that committed to the cause. 

Anne Hathaway ditched veganism because of Matt Damon

Anne Hathaway first went vegan during the production of "The Dark Knight Rises." However, just two years later, she quit while filming "Interstellar" in Iceland with Matt Damon — and even jokingly blamed the actor for it. During a 2018 interview with Tatler, she explained that a few of them were dining out at a Michelin-star restaurant when she got embarrassed about her high-maintenance order. Damon said that he'd have the chef's choice for dinner, so Hathaway caved. "So then I was the only chick and I'm the vegan and everyone's just going with the flow," she said. "So I asked [she puts on a small embarrassed voice], 'Is your fish local?' And they said, 'Do you see that fjord?' So I had a piece of salmon and my brain felt like a computer rebooting."

Fans were quick to call her out online, with one feisty Twitter user griping, "She is paleo now and eating murdered chickens and fish. I will boycott all her movies because she works against the animals." When another Twitter user posted an unverified quote attributed to Hathaway concerning her veganism, people were quick to pile in with their criticism regarding her flip-flopping. One user seemingly rolled their eyes, by responding, "As far as I know she's not vegan anymore. Said it was too hard to eat healthy or something like that." Meanwhile, another wrote, "Send her that [quote] as a reminder that she once had compassion before caving to her own selfish desires." 

Chris Hemsworth has waffled with veganism

Chris Hemsworth shocked not only fans but even his personal trainer when he went vegan while he was training for roles in "The Avengers" and "Thor." His gains guru, Luke Zocchi, spoke with "Today Extra" in 2018 (via Daily Mail) about how they managed it. "That was a big experiment. We tried to see if he could keep the muscle being vegan, and it actually surprised me ... because we're all in this mentality of, 'Gotta eat animal protein' ... but you can get a lot of protein from beans," Zocchi said, (via the Daily Mail).

Hemsworth's vegan diet didn't last, but he did revisit veganism for one day while filming "Thor: Love and Thunder" with Natalie Portman. In July 2022, Portman told CapitalFM why this happened. "The day we had a kiss scene he didn't eat meat that morning because I'm vegan," she said. "And he eats meat like every half hour. Like, that was so thoughtful." The "Black Swan" star added that smooching meat-eating co-stars isn't something that's ever concerned her. "That's not something I'm angry about or care about," she insisted. "He's just a very nice person."

However, fans online were conflicted about the gesture. While some argued that it was unnecessary for Hemsworth to go to such lengths, others put the onus on Portman, with one tweet quipping, "She shoulda ate a steak out of respect for his diet." We're sure Hemsworth had a big steak after his on-screen kiss.

Waka Flocka Flame said vegans are like 'cops'

Waka Flocka Flame became a vegan to lose weight. In a PETA roundtable discussion with Russell Simmons in August 2017, Flame admitted, "I'm trying vegan because I just want to be healthy." He said that he lost close to 34 pounds in two weeks. A year later, Flame told Paper magazine that he was no longer a vegan. "I think saying that I'm a vegan is like putting a title on me. I'm making myself sound like I'm better than somebody else," he said. Later, he agreed that vegans don't have the best reputation. "People are really scared of vegans," he joked. "They're like the f***ing cops." 

He elaborated that he was turned off from veganism when he found out that the lifestyle doesn't include honey. Instead, he explained that his approach to food was more of a mindset for him, one rooted in positivity and the life of all things. "What I call myself now is a conscious eater, meaning I'm conscious about the things I put in my mouth, and about the things that I drink," he explained. 

Fans were still disappointed to hear that he had changed his diet. One person tweeted, simply, "Waka Flocka's not vegan anymore," along with a sad face emoji. Meanwhile, another urged the star to reconsider his position, writing, "Filter out critical, negative people. It's about progress, not perfection." Others were simply hung up on the whole calling vegans cops thing. Well, it was certainly a memorable interview quote!

Lea Michele is 'sometimes vegan'

Lea Michele was really into veganism for a while there. In 2017, she told Us Weekly that all of the food in her house was vegan. "If you keep your home healthy, then, when you're reaching for snacks, you're not reaching for bad things," she said. "So, I stock it with fruits and vegetables." Still, the "Glee" star did admit she likes to change things up. "My diet changes often," Michele said. "I just did a three-day soup and juice cleanse, which was really amazing. It resets the system."

In 2018, Michele told Bravo's "The Feast" how she stocks her fridge. "I don't eat meat," she said. "I keep my home almost completely vegan. I make sure that I have the best, most healthy ingredients available to me all the time at home." However, Michele didn't stay completely strict with this diet. "Sometimes I integrate meat and sometimes I don't. Right now I am strictly vegetarian, sometimes vegan," she said, per Hello! Magazine

Pro-vegan fans weren't impressed with this news. "Breaking news: Lea Michele is not vegan anymore," someone commented on Twitter. "She literally has not been vegan since 2011," someone commented on YouTube on a fan video of Michele's quotes about veganism. Meanwhile, another Twitter user was a little more outspoken about the star's un-vegan credentials, writing, "She eats fish and wears leather. Everything about her is fake." Dang!

Natalie Portman got called out for Dior

Natalie Portmas is another famous vegan. However, she decided to lighten up on it slightly when she was pregnant with her two children, Aleph and Amalia, whom she shares with her husband, Benjamin Millepied. Having been vegan since 2011, Portman shared on "The Bert Show" (via ABC News) that she changed things up while pregnant. "I was listening to my body to have eggs and dairy," she said. Naturally, people shared their thoughts. "Natalie Portman not vegan while pregnant ... [because] basically she decided she needed to [be] healthy in that state!! Ha," someone mocked on Twitter

Portman returned to veganism after her children were born. However, her continued work with the luxury fashion house, Dior, whom she has represented since 2010, caught her heat online. "Very confused [about] Natalie Portman's veganism; she's a brand ambassador for Dior, particularly their makeup, which isn't cruelty-free," someone tweeted. "And she wears their handbags, also obviously not vegan." Sure enough, as of this writing, many of the bags listed on Dior's website are made of lambskin or calfskin. "I do not understand why Natalie Portman reps Dior," someone else added. "They def not vegan." 

While she may advertise leather goods for Dior, it would appear that she continues not to wear leather, herself. In 2018, the costume designer for Portman's turn in "Vox Lux," told Dazed that the star's extravagant, rock star wardrobe for the role had to be completely animal-free. 

Liam Hemsworth got a kidney stone

Liam Hemsworth had to quit veganism after a health scare. "I was vegan for almost four years, and then February of last year I was feeling lethargic," he told Men's Health in April 2020. "Then I got a kidney stone. It was one of the most painful weeks of my life." As Hemsworth explained, an individual needs to adjust their diet, based on the type of kidney stone they experienced, otherwise, they're more likely to get another one. He had a calcium-oxalate kidney stone, due to an excess of oxalate in his diet — found in foods like spinach, almonds, and beetroot. "Every morning, I was having five handfuls of spinach and then almond milk, almond butter, and also some vegan protein in a smoothie," Hemsworth explained. He added that it was mind-blowing to him that such a healthy diet could still lead to health complications.

Fans were quick to comment. When Vegan Posters shared an unverified quote of Hemsworth's on Twitter, which read, "There are no negatives to eating vegan. I feel nothing but positive, mentally and physically. I love it," someone quickly responded, "Liam Hemsworth is not vegan so maybe put this one in the bin." Another blamed his broken relationship, writing, "I knew he needed Miley Cyrus in his life." Meanwhile, The Vegan Sheepdog quickly did some damage control, writing, "Ignore the breaking news about Liam Hemsworth no longer being vegan. While I hate hearing it, it's not going to detail or detour to movement," they wrote. Sounds intense.

Miley Cyrus predicted the push back

Miley Cyrus went vegan in 2013 and stuck with it for six years, before deciding to reintroduce fish to her diet. On an episode of "The Joe Rogan Experience” in 2020, she explained why she changed her diet. "I was vegan for a very long time and I've had to introduce fish and omegas into my life because my brain wasn't functioning properly," Cyrus said. "Now I'm so much sharper." After Rogan quipped that the vegan community would give her flack for her decision, she responded, "[The vegans] are going to come for me and that's OK. I'm used to people coming for me."

Sure enough, people called her out on her change in diet. However, people weren't so much peeved about her quitting veganism, as they were with her suggesting that the vegan diet is free of Omega-3. The fatty acids can also be found in a variety of plant foods like flax seeds, walnuts, and edamame beans. 

"So today, Miley Cyrus went on the world's biggest podcast to say that she needed to start eating fish to get 'omegas,'" one person tweeted. "Vegan or not, you should be mad about scientific misinformation being spread to millions." Meanwhile, another Twitter user was extremely upset for giving vegans a bad name. "F*** her for spreading [misinformation] about how vegan Omega 3 works," they wrote. "Ugh, she has such a huge platform, what she's doing [is] incredibly detrimental to the cause." Well, Rogan and Cyrus were right about one thing, at least. 

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard aren't strictly vegan

Kristen Bell and her hubby, Dax Shepard were deeply influenced by the documentary, "Forks Over Knives" and became vegan in 2012. While they stuck with it for a while, they both ended up modifying their diets. For Bell, she started eating cheese again — a decision she made following her first pregnancy. However, she remained vegetarian. For Shepard, he admitted that he occasionally ate poultry. When PETA dubbed Bell and Shepard the Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrities of 2013, Shepard had to decline the award. "I'm really flattered to be named 'Sexiest Vegetarian' with ‪[Kristen Bell], but sadly I can't accept in good conscience because I eat chicken‬," he tweeted (via The Hollywood Reporter).

Naturally, people had a lot to say about the respective diets and lifestyles of the couple. When She Knows shared an interview on YouTube titled, Kristen Bell is One Low Maintenance Vegan, someone sneered in the comments, "She's not vegan, she is plant-based." Meanwhile, when YouTuber, Bananiac, published a video praising the couple for helping to bring stronger awareness to veganism, somebody suggested the couple maybe lacked sufficient education about the benefits of the lifestyle. "I wonder if they've learned the ethical side of it yet? Cause Dax went back to eating chicken," they wrote on YouTube. "They should [watch] 'Earthlings' or '101 Reasons To Go Vegan.'" Still, one commenter was at least able to see the positive side, writing, "I'm a fan of Kristen ... she's always been an animal lover and a vegetarian since childhood."

Ellen DeGeneres started eating fish and eggs again

Ellen DeGeneres is another celebrity who was vegan for a long time and then slowly began eating animal products again. In "Relatable," her 2018 Netflix stand-up special (via Us Food), she explained the change. "I'm not really vegan, I say it for the joke ... I was vegan for eight years and I really believe that it's great for you," DeGeneres explained. "I was healthier than I'd ever been, I loved being vegan. But just in the last year or two, for no reason really, I started eating a piece of fish once in a while." The comedian added that she'll also eat eggs from the chickens who happily roam around her friend's yards. 

On Twitter, many fans expressed their dismay at the news. "I hate that Ellen DeGeneres stopped being vegan," one person tweeted. "WTF is wrong with her?" When the Twitter account, The Mindful Vegan, shared a quote from DeGeneres about her reasons for going vegan, somebody corrected the profile to state that the comedian was no longer vegan — and also found the spare space to dump on Miley Cyrus in the same breath. "I heard [DeGeneres] was back to supporting cruelty just as Miley Virus is," they replied. "Apparently, neither one of them know what the true meaning of veganism really is." People were particularly heated about the topic, but that could be partially due to DeGeneres' waning popularity in recent years too.

Jared Leto calls himself a 'cheagan'

Jared Leto has a long history of eating vegan ... well, sort of. In 2013, the "Dallas Buyers Club" star theorized to GQ why he looked so young. In addition to abstaining from alcohol, Leto said that his diet likely helped. "I'm pretty healthy so I think that helps a lot. I've been that way for a long time — 20 solid years of eating vegetarian-slash-vegan and taking care of myself," he explained. When the Oscar-winner discussed his eating habits with "On Air With Ryan Seacrest" a year later, Leto noted that he could stick with a vegan diet but he cheated occasionally. "I'm a cheagan," he proclaimed. He said his recent cheat was a red velvet cake, so he'd dipped into dairy.

In the comments, some people were livid that Leto cheated on his diet occasionally. "If you are vegan you 100% will not eat an animal product, as veganism is an ethical standpoint not just dietary," one commenter wrote. "So, in him saying you can be a 'cheagan' really is a bit of a shame and doesn't make much sense." They pointed out that since Leto was a wealthy celebrity, he had the financial resources to eat vegan, where others might not be able to. However, other commenters found Leto's honesty refreshing. "Why are so many people slagging him off?" another wrote. "He's been vegan for 22 years, some butter gets into his sauce and suddenly he's a big phony. Give me a break."

Zooey Deschanel couldn't sustain it with food allergies

Zooey Deschanel gave veganism a try but had to alter her diet due to a variety of food allergies. Since her sister, Emily Deschanel, was vegan, Zooey thought that she could try it too. "In the back of my mind, I was like, 'It'll be easy! I can't have that stuff anyway.' But I didn't realize you have so few options in the end," she told Vulture in 2011. "To be a gluten-free vegan is, like, the most difficult thing you can possibly be. And I lasted, like, six months." Despite ditching a vegan diet, Zooey remains vegetarian. She told People that a motivating factor was how unclear meat sources were. "I really felt like I couldn't be sure where it was coming from most of the time," she said. "So I stopped eating meat."

An independent vegan cosmetics company appeared to take the news very personally, reassuring their Twitter followers, "Zooey Deschanel may have left our [vegan] team. I will not." Meanwhile, other fans were upset when the actor became the face of Pantene in 2012. As reported by the Humane Society, the company is owned by Procter & Gamble, who still tested on animals at the time, and some folk were quick to call her out on it. "So, Zooey Deschanel is doing commercials for Pantene? Made by P&G? Guess she's not an ethical vegan," someone tweeted. To be fair, she may no longer have been a vegan at this point, but was still a vegetarian.

Bob Harper was following his doctors' orders

Personal trainer and host of "The Biggest Loser," Bob Harper was vegan but stopped on the advice of his doctors. In 2017, he experienced a heart attack and decided to start eating fish. Always an avid social media poster, he shared photos of his meals, only to receive pushback for his latest options. After sharing a photo of a fishy feast on Instagram, many concerned critics suggested his new diet was a bad one. "You're going to have another heart attack if you eat like this," one commenter wrote. "There is only one diet in the world that is proven to reverse heart disease and that is a plant-based diet. We're not being 'hateful vegans.' We're trying to save your life"

Harper got so many negative comments from vegans that he had to address them head-on. In another post where he shared a photo of his veggie burger, he added a very reasonable caption. "[To] all the vegans out there that follow me and tell me that I'm gonna have another heart attack if I continue to eat fish, please refrain from posting those awful comments," he wrote on Instagram in March 2017. "They are just plain hateful and mean. I will continue to do what my doctors feel is right for me in my situation so please just unfollow me instead."

Fans blamed a Wendy Williams feud on veganism

Wendy Williams went vegan but decided it was best for her to change things up. She updated her fans in a since-deleted post on Instagram in 2020, writing (via Us Food), "Many are still thinking I'm vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc. I am no longer any of them," she wrote. "I eat what I want, when I want, [and] my doctors feel it's working for me. Plus, I've lost lots of weight during [quarantine]."

Williams admitted that weight loss had been a motivating factor for her and even when she wasn't eating vegan, she was still reducing her dairy intake. She also admitted that she had a little help. "I no longer believe in fad diets, crash diets ... yes, I did have a jump-start because years ago I did get the liposuction and a tummy tuck," she told Us Weekly. Some people got plenty salty about Williams' statement. On Twitter, one person sniped, "Wendy Williams is shaped like a paragraph symbol because of lipo and terrible plastic surgery. That's not veganism." Ouch.

When Williams started a feud with vegan star, Tabitha Brown, by criticizing the star's marriage during an episode of "The Wendy Williams Show" (via People) some people couldn't help but connect some dots. One fan provided some particularly funny speculation on Twitter, writing, "What if the underlying reason for Wendy Williams' beef with Tabitha Brown was because Wendy couldn't stick [veganism] out." Hey, it's a possibility.