She broke into our hearts over 10 years ago playing the lovable mall-obsessed Cher in Clueless. But in real life, vegan Alicia Silverstone will not throw down her wallet unless the clothing is animal-free. For over a decade she hasn't put anything into or onto her body that came from animals. Going vegan certainly wasn't a way to gain attention in limelight-hungry Hollywood, nor was it a way for her to drop pounds for a film role. It was a moral stance that she felt very strongly about. Yet as a result, her skin glows more and she feels stronger, healthier and better than she ever has.
Alicia believes that going vegan was the single-most important decision she's ever made (according to a statement on PETA's website). Not only has it helped her physically, she feels better knowing that her lifestyle choices don't promote animal suffering. She treats her skin to organic products that aren't tested on animals-Jurlique is one of her favorite lines-and she never wears clothing products made from animals, such as wool or leather. When it comes to food, Alicia realized that being vegan didn't just mean that she should load up on bagels and pasta. She fills her diet with lots of fruits and vegetables along with veggie burgers and faux chicken nuggets. Alicia correlates this pure, healthy diet with having more energy and looking better than she did ten years ago.
So what's so wrong with animal products you think, as you look down at your leather boots, remembering the beef-filled lasagna you ate last night? Well there are multiple reasons including animal cruelty and environmental devastation. Companies that slaughter animals and even harvest eggs are fraught with shocking horrors that will make you stay away from the meat counter, even if just temporarily. Try reading The Ethics of What We Eat (by Peter Singer and Jim Mason), a disarming and alarming expose of what actually happens to your food before you throw it into the shopping cart.
Another reason Alicia and many others go vegan or vegetarian is environmental. A 2006 United Nations report stated that raising animals for food is "one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global". Raising animals for food wreaks havoc by degrading the land, eliminating biodiversity, creating water shortage and causing air pollution. To learn more about going vegan and the eco-friendly reasons for doing so go to www.goveg.org. You'll find vegan-friendly recipes, learn more about why to go vegetarian or vegan and even hear from celebrities (including Alicia) about why it's the right lifestyle choice for them.