Brad Pitt is vocal in his support for vegan food. The award-winning 56-year-old actor is also rumored to be a longtime vegetarian. But is he really vegan?
Reports on Pitt’s diet vary. A recent article by Glamour said that he has been a vegan for years. Elle Australia has also reported on the actor’s vegan diet, referencing an article published by Eonline 2012. Other publications, including the Daily Mail, suggest that Pitt is vegetarian—and has been for “decades.”
Vegan or not, Pitt has yet to confirm any details of his diet. However, he is extremely vocal about political, social, and environmental issues, including animal welfare. The actor has now advocated for better living conditions for egg-laying hens on at least two separate occasions.
In 2015, Pitt wrote to the chief executive of American warehouse chain Costco regarding its use of battery eggs. According to New York Daily News, Pitt said: “As you know, these birds producing eggs for your shelves are crammed five or more into cages that are not large enough for even one hen to spread her wings.”
Pitt and his ex-wife, fellow actor and social justice advocate Angelina Jolie, regularly supported the Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary in Namibia through their humanitarian organization, the Jolie-Pitt Foundation. They donated $2 million to the conservation sanctuary after visiting and observing the work there.
Pitt has also supported various humanitarian causes, including the ONE Campaign which combats AIDS and extreme poverty. The ONE Campaign also advocates for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
At the Golden Globes
Regardless of his personal diet, Pitt is vocal in his support of vegetarian, vegan, and meat-free food. Earlier this year, he complimented the vegan food served at the 77th Golden Globe Awards.
Originally, the award ceremony was due to serve a seafood dish. However, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) changed the menu last minute to “send a good message” about sustainability.”
“I’m all for it. It makes sense, ’cause everyone can eat vegan but not everyone can eat a steak,” Pitt said to the Associated Press on the red carpet.
“By the way, when they do the steak, it’s never that good,” he added. “And what they like to do is fish, which I never understand because then everyone is walking around with fish breath. So, I’m all for the vegan thing.”
Pitt won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his role alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (2019). DiCaprio, who was nominated for Best Actor, is also rumored to be a vegetarian and similarly praised the awards ceremony for its plant-based menu choices.
Instead of the fish, attendees ate chilled golden beet soup, wild mushroom risotto, and vegan opera cake. The 77th Golden Globes was the first major awards ceremony to go vegan in 2020. Shortly followed by the 25th annual Critics’ Choice Awards, the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the 92nd annual Academy Awards.
In his acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes, Pitt closed by saying: “If you see a chance to be kind to someone tomorrow, take it. I think we need it.”
Animal Welfare Legislation
In 2018, Pitt and DiCaprio both appeared in a video PSA for the Get Out the Vote campaign. The actors encouraged fans to use their votes in the midterm elections, citing their importance in everything from healthcare to the environment.
“Statehouse elections will determine the future of climate change, criminal justice reform, education funding, LGBTQ equality, and even your ability to vote,” said Pitt.
Following Pitt and DiCaprio’s introduction, the video references several of their various initiatives. Including the Prevent Cruelty California Act, also known as Proposition 12. The proposition—which passed with a vote of 63 percent yes to 37 percent no—now protects farm animals from extreme confinement in California.
“Prop 12 will free millions of egg-laying hens, mother pigs and newborn calves used for veal from cruel cages,” said the YES on Prop 12 Campaign, at the time. Proposition 12 also requires any animal products imported from other states to adhere to the same welfare requirements.
“It’s cruel and inhumane to lock animals in tiny cages for their whole lives,” the campaign stated at the time. “Such confinement causes extreme suffering and increases food safety risks. Farm animals and California consumers deserve protection from such inhumane and substandard products in the marketplace.”
Pitt also held a press conference in support of California’s Prop 87, which aimed to tax oil production. The money raised by the tax—approximately $4 billion—was to be used to promote more energy-efficient cars and alternative fuels.
Benefits of Veganism
While Pitt hasn’t confirmed what type of diet he follows, veganism is synonymous with several of the causes he is vocal in his support for. In particular, environmentalism. Adopting a vegan diet could help preserve the natural environment. It could also mitigate the impact of climate change and establish a more sustainable food system.
According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), eating sustainable and plant-based food is essential in reducing the carbon footprint of the human diet. It also adds that cattle farms and rice fields create over half of the world’s methane emissions.
“The consumption of healthy and sustainable diets, such as those based on coarse grains, pulses, and vegetables, and nuts and seeds… presents major opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” says the report.
Critics of animal agriculture also maintain that it causes unnecessary cruelty to animals. Even improved welfare standards—for example, “free-range” eggs—often fall short of what consumers expect.
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) sued the Happy Egg Co. last March for misleading advertising. Specifically for its use of the term “pasture-raised,” which implied more spacious housing than the birds received.
A vegan diet is also thought to be healthier than one containing meat, dairy, and other animal products. Some government organizations now advocate for plant-based diets, both for their health and acknowledged environmental benefits.
Canada’s 2019 Canadian nutrition guidelines explicitly recommended a reduction of animal-based foods. Instead of animal products, the Canadian government recommends eating more fruit, vegetables, and other fresh produce.