I recently came across all these posts about Michelle Pfeiffer’s vegan diet being the secret behind her youthful look, so I got curious, and decided to read Urbanette’s interview with her.
I do believe celebrities can help vegan activists with their influence, especially when health and aging are involved (two things many people are secretly or not so secretly obsessed about). I was quite thrilled to read about yet another movie star, who promotes veganism, and was expecting to publish another boost of inspiration for my readers here, on I Nourish Gently. What stuck me, though was this very line:
‘It’s all about vanity, honestly.’
I was confused. I could never imagine being vegan or embracing these beliefs simply for the sake of my look. Nor even for my health. For me, this is a belief system so deeply rooted that I almost believe veganism is impossible to follow without it. For a moment I thought this is not worth sharing or talking about here, but
Then I changed My Mind
The reason being is that if our aim is to convert more people to veganism, we need to be flexible. If vanity or health issues is what would give someone this very first, initial push – so be it. We are still saving animal lives! We are still encouraging people to try vegan and to stick to it. Once they realize it is not so hard, once they see the benefits on their look, their health, and their overall wellbeing, maybe they will look further into the ethical aspects of veganism.
Urbanette Magazine: You have this incredible glow about you, Michelle. Your skin is so healthy-looking and much younger than your years. I’m sure our readers want to know –what’s your secret?
Michelle Pfeiffer: Thank you! I definitely think it’s because I’m vegan. Eating a vegan diet — it’s just so much healthier — and you avoid a lot of toxins that could age your skin and your body. I really noticed a difference in my skin not too long after switching to fully vegan. And I needed to eat the fruits and vegetables to stay lean. It’s all about vanity, honestly. [She laughs.] The older I’ve gotten, the more it’s occurred to me that I’m doing it in order to live longer, though the vanity component will always be there.
Urbanette: The general public’s perception is that going vegan is not an easy feat. That’s why when someone goes vegan, the question many wonder is “why’d they do it?” I know you’re loving the benefits and have lots of reasons to stay on a vegan diet, but what was the initial inspiration behind it?
Michelle: I was watching CNN, and ‘The Last Heart Attack’ came on. I watched Bill Clinton talk about the last heart attack he had and learned that Clinton is a foodie. He’s a smart guy, so I’m thinking, ” if Bill Clinton loves the book by Dr. Esselstyn, there must be something that makes him stick to it.” He isn’t going to do something unless that there’s science behind it. So I got the book and I just felt like the science behind it was irrefutable. I couldn’t avoid the truth in it. My father died from cancer, and the older you get there’s a lot of disease. You see people dying from chronic disease and terminal illnesses. Anyway, science is always changing, but this one seems to stick.
Urbanette: I’m sorry to hear about your father having had cancer. I had it too, which was part of my process for going vegan. It’s a very anti-cancer diet. It seems like nowadays so many people get it — young people, too.
Michelle: So you know — there’s just too much cancer. I just feel like if there’s anything that I can do to lend my support, I’m happy to do it. I’m an active participant in Cedar Sinai’s Pink Party. The founder is an old friend of mine and I know her from the old neighborhood and met her thirteen years ago when she first opened her shop. And over the years, I’ve seen this pink party grow from a neighborhood thing to one of Cedar Sinai’s biggest cancer fundraisers. We both have someone very close to us with ovarian cancer.
Urbanette: Let’s go back to the vegan diet. Was sticking to it hard for you initially?
Michelle: Maybe for the first few weeks, but I love the vegan diet because I love carbs. I’ve never really loved animal protein in terms of animal meat. I only ate it because I used to think it was good for me.
Urbanette: What is your advice for people who are considering going vegan?
Michelle: I would say, do what I did. I just told myself one day that I’m going to do it and I’m going to give myself eight weeks. And that I’m not going to commit on this for a lifetime because it’s psychologically huge for people to wrap their minds around it. And I’m just going to see how I feel, I’m going to test my blood again and see if there’s anything. Giving it that long you sort of get over the fact of feeling how big and difficult it is at the beginning. And if you really give yourself long enough to start feeling differently and sort of see the benefits then it will be great.
Dea is passionate about pursuing gentle, pure living in all its forms. She’s a veg and fruit foodie, who loves to explore the healing properties of plant-based foods and then fully indulge in their sun-filled taste. She believes that “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”