He’s an award-winning actor, best known for playing the role of Jesse Pinkman on the critically-acclaimed TV show Breaking Bad. Since then, he’s starred in multiple other popular TV shows and movies. And on top of that, he has also successfully launched his own brand of mezcal. But is Aaron Paul vegan?
No, Aaron Paul is not vegan. Although he has spoken out against certain injustices against animals, and there is plenty of evidence that he enjoys interacting with a wide variety of animals, he still eats meat and doesn’t avoid other animal products either.
Aaron’s interactions with animals
Ever since the days of Breaking Bad, which began in 2008, Aaron has been seen interacting with animals. Rumor has it that he and Bryan Cranston would often go to the local zoo after a day of filming, so that he could feed the giant tortoise living there. We haven’t been able to verify this rumor, but at least one picture of Aaron with a tortoise can be found online.
Other pictures that have been widely circulated online are of Aaron petting lambs. These pictures were taken in 2012 at a photo shoot where Bryan Cranston was present as well.
In 2013, Aaron was a guest on the show Jimmy Kimmel Live! He was asked to wear a blindfold and prove his ability to correctly guess if a dog was male or female just by petting their backs. Most of the dogs he had to pet were female, which was probably done intentionally to allow him to use his Breaking Bad catchphrase “bitch” as much as possible.
A few years later, in 2016, he was a guest on an episode of The Late Late Show where they also brought a dog, a young cheetah, a turkey, a giant tortoise, and a reindeer into the studio. He was clearly fascinated by the animals and he was the first one to pet the cheetah. He also shared a story of how he once impulsively bought two snakes on a road trip, not realizing that he would have to find a new home for them two years later because they got too big.
Just a few weeks after that episode aired, Aaron paid an unannounced visit to Phuket Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand. Elephant rides are common in the tourist industry, but most tourists are unaware of all the abuse that’s inflicted on elephants to make them obedient. The sanctuary takes in abused elephants and gives them an opportunity to live out the rest of their lives in peace, while giving visitors an opportunity to interact with the elephants in a compassionate way and teaching them about the abuse they suffered. Aaron’s visit brought a lot of media attention to this cause.
Some photos of Aaron petting goats appeared online in 2017, but we haven’t found out in which context they were taken.
And in 2019, Aaron gave an interview while playing with half a dozen kittens. The kittens were provided by Best Friends Animal Society, an organization that aims to end the killing of cats and dogs in shelters.
It should be noted that none of the activities mentioned before the elephant sanctuary are considered vegan, as they all involve keeping animals in captivity or putting them in (potentially) stressful situations purely for human entertainment. It’s unlikely that Aaron gave that any conscious thought or had any bad intentions, though. But it’s important to be aware of.
Aaron’s tweets against injustice
Aaron has also used his Twitter account to speak up for animals on multiple occasions. Two of his most notable tweets were about SeaWorld and hunters.
The tweet about SeaWorld was a recommendation for the documentary Blackfish on Netflix:
“Watched the most heartbreaking doc on the enslavement of Orca whales at #SeaWorld on #Netflix. Everyone should see this. So sad. #BlackFish”
— Aaron Paul (@aaronpaul_8) December 17, 2013
The tweet about hunters was tweeted less than a month after Cecil, the most famous wild lion in the world, was killed in Zimbabwe by an American trophy hunter. The killing of Cecil sparked a worldwide discussion. This was Aaron’s contribution to that discussion:
“Dear Hunters/murderers, Stop killing helpless creatures just for sport you psychos!! That is all.Sincerely,99.999% of the population”
— Aaron Paul (@aaronpaul_8) July 29, 2015
Unfortunately, these tweets are no longer available on Twitter, as Aaron has deleted all of his old tweets.
The reason Aaron isn’t vegan
During all this time, no one has asked Aaron about veganism, and he hasn’t spoken about it on his own either. We know for a fact that he isn’t vegan, though, because he was a guest on the LADbible show Snack Wars in October 2019. On this show, he was asked to try American and British versions of the same food and choose which one he liked best. He ate meat and other non-vegan products without hesitation.
Also worth mentioning is that during the interview where he was playing with half a dozen kittens, he was asked the question “What would your go-to Los Pollos Hermanos order be?” Los Pollos Hermanos is the name of the fast food chain in Breaking Bad. His answer to this question, which he gave with multiple kittens on his lap and one kitten in each hand, was: “Chicken.”
This is significant because it shows us that Aaron has a blind spot when it comes to animals in the industries. All his interactions with animals show us that he likes animals, regardless of what species they belong to. He would likely have been just as excited if they had given him half a dozen chicks instead of kittens. But at the same time, he casually sanctions the killing of innocent chickens. And, for the record, chickens in the meat industry are only 42 days old when they get killed.
He refers to hunters as “murderers” and “psychos” because they “kill helpless creatures just for sport.” But he overlooks the fact that animals in the animal industries are just as helpless. And given that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has clearly stated that we don’t need animal products in our diets, what reason do we have left to kill those helpless creatures?
Hopefully, Aaron becomes aware of his blind spot. Since the documentary Blackfish opened his eyes to the reality of SeaWorld, maybe the free documentary Dominion will open his eyes to the reality of the animal industries.
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