Although veganism—the ethical philosophy of avoiding all animal products, especially in diet—is by no means a recent stance, it goes without saying that celebrities like Pamela Anderson, Ellen DeGeneres, Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand have played a major role in popularizing it. The 18th century American reformer Amos Bronson Alcott—the father of writer Louisa May-- advocated a vegan diet even before the term was coined! The English animal rights advocate Donald Watson is credited with coining the term “vegan”; he also founded the Vegan Society. However, veganism as a social justice movement started gaining mainstream prominence only in the past few years with the emergence of vegan activists like Gary Yourofsky, Peter Daniel Young, and Shmuly Yanklowitz. In the contemporary times, several actors, directors and musicians are actively engaged in spreading awareness about veganism and animal rights. Actors Natalie Portman, Hillary Swank, and Tobey Maguire are prominent spokespersons for veganism as are musicians Russell Simmons and Moby. Famous vegan spiritual leaders like Alfredo Sfeir and Thich Nhat Hanh are also engaged in dispersing the message of universal peace for all irrespective of the species. Read on for more information about the life and works of famous vegans.