World Vegetarian Day 2012: Celebrities Who Embrace A Meat-Free Lifestyle

While we tip our hats to the meatless population every Monday, this upcoming week is particularly significant: October 1st is World Vegetarian Day, kick-starting Vegetarian Awareness Month.

Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or “weekday vegetarian," going veggie-friendly can be good for both your physical and mental health. Science Daily notes that a vegetarian diet is associated with low blood pressure and cholesterol, better heart health and even lower rates of cancer. In fact, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), published a 2009 report lauding the benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet:

It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.

But being vegetarian doesn’t just make you physically fit; it might make you happier too. Despite research that suggests the omega-3 fatty acids found in some fish may protect you from the blues, going fish-free does not necessarily make you moodier. In fact, a 2010 study in the Nutrition Journal conducted by researchers at the University of Arizona found that “vegetarians reported significantly less negative emotion than omnivores.”

Staying away from bacon and steak can be a struggle, but if you choose to try you aren’t alone. From Bill Clinton to Natalie Portman, here are our some of our favorite vegetarian celebrities.

Did we miss your favorite animal-free celeb? Let us know in the comments below!

Celebrity Vegetarians