Why Ellen Degeneres Became A Vegan

UPDATED: Is Ellen Degeneres’s a vegan or not?  Subsequent to posting the below article online and in the print version of Longevity, a YouTube video shows the popular talk show host admitting that after 8 years of veganism, she recently began eating fish again. 

Ellen admits it’s not something she particularly enjoys and it’s also only on the odd occasion.

 The original story read:

“We put the wrong emphasis on what beauty is and what health is,” says Ellen DeGeneres. “Health is being vibrant and having energy and being happy – if you’re healthy, it’s got nothing to do with how much you weigh.”

Ellen DeGeneres is known for her wide smile, infectious laughter and generous nature. As she shares on her website, EllenTV.com, “I’ve been trying to live a kinder, more compassionate life, and I’ve learnt a lot of things along the way. It’s not hard to do – you just need to know how! There is so much you can do, from helping to stop bullying in schools to having compassion for all living things.”

Ellen Degeneres’ Vegan Lifestyle

Ellen Degeneres

This compassion has extended even to the way she eats; both she and wife Portia de Rossi live a vegan lifestyle. “I personally chose to go vegan because I educated myself on animal cruelty. Suddenly, I realised that what was on my plate were living things, with feelings. And I just couldn’t disconnect myself from it any longer. I read books like Diet for a New America and saw documentaries like Earthlings and Meat Your Meat, and it became an easy choice for me.”

She has a special section on her website, EllensHealthyLiving. She says: “There’s no wrong way to become a vegan.” Her philosophy is simple: do it for the planet (create a more sustainable living environment), do it for the animals and do it for yourself (as there are a number of health benefits).

“If you choose to educate yourself, it’ll be an easy choice for you, too.” She told Shape magazine: “Food used to be really important to me. I loved steak, I loved hamburgers, I loved all that stuff . I can’t believe how irresponsible I was, eating what I ate… I want to be on my toes; I want to have energy. And as much as the [vegan] diet seems like a sacrifice, it’s helping me.”

Ellen And Portia Influenced Chef Roberto Martin To Become Vegan

Ellen Degeneres

Chef Roberto Martin can attest to this, as everything he has learned about being vegan has come from Ellen and Portia. In an interview with Stephanie Smith and Yahoo.com, Martin explains that he knew nothing about meat-free, dairy-free cooking before being hired as Ellen’s personal chef in 2008. Today, he is the author of two vegan cookbooks, Vegan Cooking for Carnivores and Roberto’s New Vegan Cooking, and has opened a vegan café and bar in Los Angeles, called eLOVate.

A former meat-eater, he and his family are now vegans, and Martin credits this for improving their health and well being. He relates that he was a successful personal chef, had a good résumé and worked for high-end clients. He would do dinner parties and get that request, “one vegan guest”, and he’d think: “Ugh, just un-invite them.”

He adds that he almost didn’t take the positon of Ellen’s personal chef as he didn’t think he had the ability to cook in a way to make her happy. He also thought that he would get bored. “Ellen had a few vegan chefs before, but she and Portia said, ‘We don’t want a vegan chef; we want a chef, and we’ll tell them what to make.’ I took it as a challenge.”

Veganism Isn’t About Being Militant

Martin says the couple were never militant or forceful in their love of veganism; however, they did expose him to books and documentaries that got him thinking. He adds that, for the first month, he’d make the food he always made in the past, just changing the proteins, hoping they would fire him.

“Then I made my own garden burgers and veggie roasts. For caviar, I used beluga lentils and soaked them in caper water, and added some nori seaweed to give it an ocean flavour. One of my biggest things is flavour combinations. If you take a steak, and you don’t put any salt and pepper on it, and you eat it, it’s not good. What we do is we season it, blacken it, pan-sear it, add an awesome sauce, and a side of mashed potatoes.

That is the key of what I do. When those combinations are in vegan food, the flavour is just as good and it’s lower in calories, and good for you,” he says. It’s this inspired cooking that has led to Martin’s contributing to Ellen’s talk show (The Ellen Show) and her website, along with a host of other chefs and experts who share their healthy recipes and lifestyle tips – and, of course, a healthy dose of entertainment and laughter.

 

You can read more about Ellen’s challenging childhood and how she overcome adversity to become a successful talk show hosts in the August issue of Longevity magazine. Buy a digital copy at zinio.com

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Vegran
    27 July 2016 at 2:28 am

    Actually Ellen has just this week announced that she is no longer vegan. She is pescatarian. She says she doesn’t eat fish often and that she ‘doesn’t enjoy it’, but that she does do it rarely. Why.. who knows. People find all kinds of reasons to allow themselves leeway. I appreciate the fact that she owns up to it, and of course I hope that she will eventually find her way back to true veganism. But even a vegetarian reduces suffering. She mentioned in the interview that she ‘rejects extremism of any sort’. I myself have often said that it isn’t a religion. But I just couldn’t eat a fish. That’s me. But you can find the interview on YouTube. It was given in London when she was there for her new Dory movie.

    • mm
      27 July 2016 at 2:16 pm

      Thank you for raising this issue with us and the YouTube video. We have updated the post accordingly.