Monday, March 5, 2012

March of the Hot Vegan Army - Day #5 - Alicia Silverstone

Alicia Silverstone

Know her from: This actress is perhaps best known for her convincing portrayal of iconic valley girl Cher Horowitz in the movie Clueless, and for her book on vegetarian cooking The Kind Diet. However, the star is also known for her performances on Broadway (e.g The Graduate) and on television, most recently in the show Suburgatory. It's also hard to forget her PETA ad above. (There's an accompanying video too here.)

Why she's vegan: For animal welfare and the environment, as well as personal health and wellbeing. She has always been a lover of animals, and the diet and lifestyle of veganism has brought this love full circle. She believes that it is one of the best decisions she ever made for her health and happiness. She feels at peace with herself, and tries to share her cruelty-free lifestyle tips with others through her book and website.

Why she's awesome: One of the many reasons I appreciate her is because she approaches the concept of veganism and eco-friendly living as a journey, more than as an all-or-nothing affair. As much as she loves animals and doesn't want to see them hurt or taken advantage of, she revealed in her book The Kind Diet, and on the Oprah Winfrey Show, that she did not make all of these lifestyle changes at once, but rather gradually. She also cops to having slipped up at some wine and cheese parties back in the day. Alicia encourages people considering vegetarianism or veganism not to beat themselves up emotionally for "slip-ups," which can be counterproductive and unnecessary. (On this matter, I completely agree with her, and discussed the subject here.)

In a recent blog post on the Kind Life website, Alicia noted that opening an honest dialogue with people about their feelings on a subject is more effective than a confrontational, fault-finding approach, which can cause discomfort and alienation, and end the conversation before it begins. For instance, while Ms. Silverstone is very strongly opposed to buying products made of fur, she feels that patience is a virtue in addressing the issue with others. I am sure that Alicia's patience and calmness will also help to make her a very good mom to her new baby boy!

While some of you reading this may be vegans or vegetarians, and some of you not, and while some of you may not fully agree with everything Alicia Silverstone believes, I think we can all agree that she "walks the walk." On her website - which she appears to maintain herself - she highlights eco-friendly companies and cruelty-free practices at every turn, while at the same time pointing to personal health as important and paramount.

Ms. Silverstone seems to be so serene (and clearly non-violent) that it feels a little odd to even include her in an "army," but this isn't really your typical army either. And we could still use a leader with a clear head, so Alicia, I'm right behind you. Welcome to the Army.

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