This Father’s Day, it’s time to step up and squash the stigmas. Veganism isn’t a feminine thing, and not eating meat does not make one less masculine. On June 16, we’re celebrating the vegan fathers who embody compassion, positivity, and strength, all of which are key elements of parenthood. These 17 dads prove that you can still be tough while practicing respect and kindness to all living beings.
17 Vegan Fathers Dispelling Masculinity Myths and Making Compassion Look Cool
1. Sir Paul McCartney
The former lead vocalist of the iconic rock band, The Beatles, McCartney went vegetarian with his late former wife, Linda, decades ago. In the years since, he adopted a vegan diet. McCartney is evidently happy, healthy, and jamming as ever. He opened up about his plant-based journey in an interview with The Telegraph in May 2018. “I think it’s always good to question norms,” said McCartney. “I remember saying, just a minute, just because I’ve always eaten meat and two veg, all my life, do I have to stay like that? I found it was really great to open myself up and say, I can change, there is no harm in that, or as Linda used to say, ‘It’s allowed.’ I loved that. That was one of her great sayings.”
2. Woody Harrelson
The Hollywood actor and father of three is considered by many to be the embodiment of positive vegan energy. He’s a key reason why an influx of A-list actors and celebs are going plant-based and sharing their support for it, as well as commending Harrelson for the guidance. From Sadie Sink to Thandie Newtown, Harrelson has inspired many to ditch meat and eat more plant-based.
In a 2014 interview with media publication Metro, Harrelson explained his initial reason for adopting veganism. “I used to eat burgers and steak but I would just feel knocked out afterward; I had to give them up. Dairy was first, though. I was on a bus when I was about 24 and this girl saw me blow my nose – and I had acne all over my face. She told me I was obviously lactose intolerant and that if I gave up dairy my symptoms would disappear in a matter of days. She was right.”
3. Chad Sarno
Sarno and his wife Malissa have one young son together who’s now a little older than the little one above. Like father, like son, the pair love to forage from the garden and enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables. The proud parents are partial to enlightening social media with the bright joy their baby brings and the happy family can always be found grinning.
Sarno, alongside his brother Derek, are the successful founders of Wicked Healthy, a plant-based company that encompasses a recipe blog, a cookbook. Sarno is also a co-founder of Good Catch Foods, a vegan seafood company based in NYC.
4. Derek Sarno
Sarno has one adult son, of whom he lovingly discusses in his debut cookbook, “The Wicked Healthy Cookbook: Free. From. Animals.”
The innovative vegan entrepreneur and Wicked chef is the current Director of Plant-Based Innovation at United Kingdom retail giant Tesco, which carries his line of pre-made vegan meals that he created with his brother Chad (another proud vegan dad), Wicked Kitchen. He was formerly the Senior Global Executive Chef for Whole Foods Market, and has served as the owner-operator of numerous critically acclaimed restaurants and catering businesses.
5. Eric Lindstrom
Lindstrom is the Director of Marketing for animal rights organization Compassion Over Killing and author of the books “The Skeptical Vegan” and “The Smart Parent’s Guide to Raising Vegan Kids.” He is a father to two energetic kids under the age of six, who share his affinity for a plant-based diet. But, he and his partner aren’t indoctrinating the kids to be preachy — he said in an interview with LIVEKINDLY that both are well-intended and know when to pipe down in situations where discussing animal rights or sustainability may not most appropriate.
Last Father’s Day, Lindstrom described his ideal day. “I’d like to have the kids know how to make black coffee in my Chemex, cook up a VegEgg omelet with Follow Your Heart smoked gouda, some hashbrowns with peppers, and a fresh fruit salad. Feed dad and then let him go back to sleep,” he said.
6. Jon Stewart
In December last year, the former “Daily Show” host appeared in an interview with actor Matt Damon on the talk show “Late Night With Stephen Colbert.” Damon made a comment during the episode that slipped so casually it seemed Stewart’s diet was a given, “Jon’s vegan so he’s got the abs,” said the actor. Stewart’s wife is a strong advocate for animal rights. It’s likely her influence continues to keep Stewart, alongside their two kids, on the plant-based bandwagon.
Last August, Stewart helped rescue two goats who likely escaped a Brooklyn slaughterhouse. They now live safely at Farm Sanctuary.
7. Peter Dinklage
In October 2017, Dinklage and his wife welcomed their second child. The actor is best-known for his role as Tyrion Lannister on “Game of Thrones.” Although the pair is notoriously private about their relationship, Dinklage is vocal about animal rights and his longtime vegan diet.
Dinklage spoke out when he noticed that the sales of husky dogs had increased by “Game of Thrones” fans, simply because the breed is featured on the show. Huskys can be wonderful companion animals, but they are not for everyone. In true fatherhood fashion, Dinklage encouraged fans to seriously consider their ability to care for such an energetic dog before they took their new furry friend home. He’s not fooled by the classic kid line: “If we get a dog I swear I’ll take care of him!”
8. James Cromwell
Cromwell is a famous actor known for his role in the beloved 1995 family film, “Babe.” In fact, Cromwell’s work on this film convinced him to go vegan (how could you not when your co-star is an adorable pig?). The father of three is a passionate animal activist and has spearheaded many efforts in the name of animal rights throughout his time in and out of the spotlight.
9. Travis Barker
Blink-182’s drummer has three children, and he has been vegetarian since the age of 15. He went vegan (and gluten-free) after surviving a plane crash. Barker told Men’s Journal in an interview.“Honestly, ever since I found this way of eating [plant-based] I have endless amounts of energy...I can go all day, and after it all I never find myself getting tired. No matter what kind of shows I have done, or workouts I do on top of it, I still have to force myself to sleep at night.” Barker added that he loves a good juice made with raw fruits and veggies. No doubt an efficient way to get his kids to eat (or drink) thieir greens.
The Wu-Tang Clan frontman is a father, which has been a theme in many of his raps and songs. The star is also known for spending his “dolla’ dolla'” bills on all things vegan since 1997.
The latest installation of the Star Wars saga, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” included a message of compassion from RZA at its premier screening. Earlier this year, he appeared in a video with international animal rights group PETA to confront audiences about species discrimination. “We are all the same, in all the ways that matter. It doesn’t matter if we have fur or feathers or fins. We’re not different in any important way. We all have thoughts and feelings. We all feel love and pain and loneliness and joy,” he says in the video.
11. Tony Kanal
Kanal is the father of two young rockers-to-be, following in their dad’s footsteps. He is the bassist for No Doubt, a record producer, and a songwriter, but he is also a dedicated ethical vegan. Kanal openly advocates for animal welfare and the plant-based movementand across his social media platforms. For example, last November, he shared a message to inspire his followers:
“If you don’t already do so, please consider making this holiday weekend the start of leaving animals off your plate. No animal wants to die. Every animal deserves to live their life in peace and free from suffering. The choices we make either contribute to their exploitation or don’t. If you love animals and believe that no being should be oppressed, please give all of them the same justice that you would give your dog or cat. Thank you #Vegan”
12. Shaun Monson
This vegan activist and producer of the documentaries “Earthlings” and its followup, “Unity,” has one daughter who recently graduated high school and a baby. Last year, he posted a father and daughter picture on Instagram, announcing the news: “This is my amazing, beautiful and brilliant daughter @miraajade — I barely even remember my life before her. She’s an angel. She’s going to have a baby sister soon. There will be 17 years between them. I just hope her baby sister gets to know how incredible and magical her big sister is.”
13. Leafar Seyer
The Prayers’ lead singer is about to be a proud father for the second time. He has a daughter from a previous relationship, and he and Kat Von D are expecting their child any week now. The couple shocked the Internet with an unnanounced legal wedding ceremony earlier this year, but they truly celebrated in June with an all-out heaven-and-hell themed gothic wedding. Von D and Seyer previously announced that they will raise their child vegan.
“When I thought I had it all. Life gifts me with the greatest of joys! We are pregnant and having a baby boy. I love you @thekatvond and Im ready to be a father to our son Leafar. Thank you my love our family comes first !!!,” Seyer wrote in an Instagram post announcing the pregnancy last month.
14. Rich Roll
Ultra athlete Rich Roll is the father of four children, all who follow in their vegan dad’s footsteps. Roll is an ultra-endurance athlete, best-selling author, podcast host, speaker, and unoffically The Coolest Dad Ever. Further, Men’s Health named him as the World’s Fittest Vegan at 51-years-old. In April, Roll and his wife Julie Piatt launched their second book, “The Plantpower Way: Italia.” Can we come over for pizza night?
15. Kendrick Farris
Kendrick Farris was the only male weightlifter to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics — which surprised many, because he doesn’t eat meat. He’s also a dad — Farris and his wife Katrina have two sons. Farris proves that you don’t need meat to be get plenty of protein. In 2016, he beat his personal record of 337kg in the snatch and the clean and jerk. He spends a portion of his time coaching kids at Kings of Weightlifting, a free after school Olympic weightlifting program serving underprivelaged youth.
16. Kevin Smith
Vegan filmmaker Kevin Smith is the father of actor Harley Quinn Smith, who recently appeared in the new Quentin Tarantino Film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Smith, who went vegan after suffering a major heart attack at the start of 2018, credits his daughter for inspiring the change. “She’s been my role model for my plant-based lifestyle. Had no idea that having a kid would indirectly save my life, but she did,” Smith wrote on Instagram last October.
That November, he and Harley appeared in a Thanksgiving ad promoting veganism for Farm Sanctuary, a safe haven for rescued animals. “You’re always told by older people it’s OK to eat animals, we’re supposed to eat animals. And, you know, for a long time, that’s what my generation believed. Now we know a lot better,” Smith said in the video.
17. Chris Smalling
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling went vegan in 2017 and became first-time a dad to in late May. Both the vegan athlete and his wife Sam are passionate vegans who co-authored a book about their lifestyle with meal plans, which is due to publish later this year. Earlier this year, Smalling spoke to Men’s Health about how eating plant-based has improved his recovery time and alleviated his tendinitis. He also promotes kindness toward animals — Smalling added that he’s stopped wearing leather shoes and hopes for a vegan alternative for traditional soccer balls. He’s also worked with international animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) on campaigns encouraging veganism.