Dede's Green Scene: To Meat or Not to Meat? by Dede Tabak, October 15 2010, 1 Comment

Photo courtesy of Moyan Brenn via Flickr.

To meat or not to meat? That is the question. And that question is definitely getting an answer. It certainly is a frequent topic of conversation in the media these days. Celebrities are making big headlines with their choices to be vegan/vegetarian. Some for health reasons and some just want look good. Regardless of the reasons, switching to a plant-based diet is great for the environment!

There are numerous celebrities who have been or are vegan/vegetarians, but recently, some big names have jumped on the bandwagon. Former President Bill Clinton has admitted to being on a quasi-vegan diet (he occasionally eats fish). He first started the diet to drop weight for his daughter’s wedding. But he’s dropped 24 lbs and has since taken it on permanently for its great benefits against heart disease. Speaking of White House residents making headlines with their greener lifestyles, Michelle Obama has an organic farm in the White House.

Bill isn’t the only Clinton making vegan headlines. Earlier this summer, Chelsea Clinton got married and her wedding menu had vegan options (her meat option was grass-fed beef), and organic, natural flowers. We see Chelsea definitely had her 'something green' for her wedding day! And it turns out that Chelsea has been a vegan since childhood. She even received vegan cooking lessons from the White House cooking staff before leaving for Stanford. "Bones" star Emily Deschanel also had a fabulous vegan wedding. The entire event was vegan, including the delicious dessert, equipped with vegan s'mores!

Even Hugh Jackman may convert to a plant-based diet to get in shape for “Wolverine 2”. He hasn’t gone full vegan, but he’s enlisted the help of vegan professional Ironman tri-athlete, Brendan Brazier. Brazier has written a book called Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life, in which Brazier says, “so I went over to his place and we had a great chat and he told me how he was trying out veganism for environmental and health reasons and to set a good example for his kids. It’s not just for his own career anymore, which he wrote in the forward [of Brazier’s new edition to Thrive].” Jackman also admits in the forward for Thrive that, “there is every chance that I will be [a vegan] by the time you read [this].” Now that’s what I call an X-man!

Superstar Chef Mario Batali is doing his part by participating in Meatless Mondays. All of Batali’s 14 restaurants will feature at least two vegetarian entrees on Mondays. Another fan of Meatless Mondays is our favorite doctor, Dr. Oz! He's discussed the impact of excessive meat consumption and suggests Meatless Mondays as a good way to start a healthier lifestyle!

Another celebrity has been in the media recently about meat, and not because she’s going meatless, but for a meat dress. Lady Gaga received an award at MTV's Video Music Awards wearing a dress made up of 50 lbs of meat. This included a meat purse, a meat hat and meat shoes. The outfit has been quite controversial, to say the least, at first sparking a debate on whether or not the meat dress was actually real (which it was). The meat dress will eventually be turned into beef jerky and archived in Lady Ga Ga’s closet.

Famous vegan, Ellen DeGeneres, had Lady Gaga on her talk show to discuss the infamous dress.

“It is certainly no disrespect to anyone that is vegan or vegetarian," said Gaga on the show. She then added, “As you know, I am the most judgment-free human being on the earth. However, it has many interpretations. For me, if we don’t stand up for what we believe in and if we don’t fight for our rights pretty soon, we’re going to have as much rights as the meat on our bones. And, I am not a piece of meat.”

DeGeneres responded by giving Gaga a vegetable dress made out of kale and broccoli. The president of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk, also invited Gaga to a yummy vegan meal.

Inspired by Gaga’s gruesome dress, Kate Walsh went on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno wearing a dress made from sustainable sushi and sashimi made from plastic. She used the opportunity to promote one of her organizations, Oceana, which focuses on ocean conservation. She also auctioned off the sushi dress, and the proceeds went to Oceana.

So whether celebrities are becoming vegan, trying to be vegan, participating in Meatless Mondays or wearing meat, awareness is reaching the masses about how changing your diet can also change the planet (for the better!).