Natalie Portman Swears It’s Never Been Easier to Go Vegan
Vanity Fair is telling a story for Natalie Portman about veganisam
Her latest project, Eating Animals, had its New York premiere at IFC Center June 14, and with it, she, director Christopher Quinn, and the source material’s author-turned-film’s producer Jonathan Safran Foer hope to pull back the curtain on the food-production and factory-farming industries and to wake consumers up to not just what they’re putting in their bodies, but to the animal abuse and environmental trauma to which they’re complicit.
It was Foer’s 2009 book that first inspired Portman, a vegetarian since age nine, to fully embrace veganism seven years ago. She hopes her film, which she co-produced and narrates, has a similar impact.
“When I read the book, that was what made me become a vegan,” Portman said on the premiere’s press line. At the time, she was pregnant with her seven-year-old son, Aleph. “I think until then, I had thought, ‘Oh, with eggs and dairy, you’re not killing animals. It’s just their natural byproducts.’ But when I started learning about the conditions—and the environmental effect of all these animals and the impact on humans of having large groups of sick animals together, it really made me want to change immediately.”
In the years since, Portman’s become an unofficial ambassador for living vegan, speaking at length about the greater environmental and health benefits at play and even offering up her favorite recipes along the way. In that time, she says she’s seen a distinct shift in public perception, knowledge, and demand for vegan products.
“I feel like there’s a lot more vegetarian and vegan places opening all the time. I mean, in L.A., we’re spoiled—but even in New York,” she said. “And places like Shake Shack have a vegetarian option now. It’s obviously something that consumers are demanding more. Things like the Impossible Burger and Kite Hill cheese and Van Leeuwen’s vegan ice cream, those things pop up and create really incredible alternatives. People don’t feel like they’re sacrificing anything. They can still have delicious food and not be harming the planet.”