She’s the daughter of two celebrities, singer Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet. And that’s not even what she’s most known for. She’s an actress in her own right, having starred in dozens of movies and a number of shows. And on top of that, she’s also a successful model and singer. But is Zoë Kravitz vegan?
No, Zoë Kravitz is not vegan. She was raised on a plant-based diet, at least in the early years of her childhood, but she started eating animal products as she got older. She has said that she still eats mostly plant-based food, as that’s what she’s used to, but she also eats meat.
From plant-fueled baby to omelets with Ashton Kutcher
Zoë’s parents, Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, got married in 1987. That’s also the year John Robbins published his book Diet for a New America, which would become a bestseller. The book discussed animal products from an animal rights, environmental, and health perspective. It made a strong case for a plant-based diet.
Lisa read the book and became convinced by it, as well as by the other information she read. She adopted a plant-based diet and decided to raise Zoë, who was born in 1988, on a plant-based diet as well. In 1990, she even appeared on national television, together with other celebrities and John Robbins himself, to advocate for plant-based diets. Zoë was 16 months old at the time and Lisa said that in addition to breastfeeding her, she fed her protein enriched pasta, soy yogurt, guacamole, broccoli, split pea soup, rice, and other plant-based food.
Unfortunately, the marriage between Lisa and Lenny didn’t last. They got divorced when Zoë was only 5 years old, but Zoë continued to live with Lisa until she was 11. Then she moved from Los Angeles to Miami, to live with Lenny.
Lenny has changed his diet a few times over the years, but he has mentioned that he was a vegetarian for around 15 years until he started eating meat again (which he later gave up again). He didn’t specify which years he was a vegetarian, but it’s likely that he went vegetarian when Lisa adopted a plant-based diet and that he started eating meat again when Zoë was a teenager.
It’s unclear exactly at what age Zoë started eating animal products. However, she has told a story about waking up to find Ashton Kutcher in her kitchen when she was around 15. He was making omelets and asked if she and her friend wanted omelets too, they said yes, and they all ate omelets together. So, she was definitely eating animal products at that point.
Zoë’s decade-long eating disorder
Zoë also developed an eating disorder as a teenager. She has said that comparisons to her mother and the fact that her father was always around supermodels were both factors that made her feel insecure. Those and other factors contributed to her developing both anorexia and bulimia. She struggled with that from the age of 13 until the age of 25.
Zoë’s current diet
Fortunately, Zoë recovered from her eating disorder. She has since said that she “really believe[s] it’s important to know that beauty and health start from the inside.” She advocates for healthy, plant-based food. “It’s really important to know exactly what you’re putting in your body.”
Unfortunately, although Zoë has said that she sticks to mostly plant-based health food because that’s what her mother raised her on, she also eats animal products. When asked about her breakfast she said that it often includes eggs, and she has also specifically mentioned that she eats meat: “Now I eat meat, but I try to be conscious about where it’s coming from.”
She definitely understands the importance of unprocessed, plant-based food, but sees no harm in deviating from it from time to time: “I try eating well—making sure you’re eating greens or steamed veggies, or stuff that doesn’t have a lot of oil or chemicals. But if you want to go to McDonald’s every once in a while, do it! But it’s about clean food that hasn’t been processed.”
Clearing up misconceptions
Many people have views and diets similar to Zoë’s, so it’s important to clear up a few misconceptions.
One misconception is that veganism is a diet. It’s not. Veganism is a boycott of all animal exploitation. Diet is a big part of that, but it’s not the only part. For example, vegans also avoid the products of animal exploitation when buying clothes or cosmetics.
With regards to diet, it’s definitely an added advantage that, when done right, diets without animal products have significant health benefits. Zoë’s mother clearly understood that and passed that understanding on to Zoë. However, the risk of focusing mainly on health is that it can feel restrictive. Very few people want to eat only health food. So, when that’s your perception of plant-based food, it can be tempting to also eat animal products.
If, however, you keep the animals in mind, and you realize that there’s plant-based junk food too, you don’t run into that problem. You can eat healthy, unprocessed, plant-based food, you can eat plant-based, junk food, and you can eat anything in between. With that mindset, you avoid contributing to animal exploitation, even when you don’t feel like eating health food.
Lastly, it’s a misconception that anyone with empathy can enjoy eating meat and other animal products while also “[being] conscious about where it’s coming from.” Because even organic meat comes from slaughterhouses, the most violent places on earth. Fish usually suffocate to death. The egg industry not only breeds chickens who lay over 300 eggs a year instead of the 10-15 eggs their wild ancestors laid, they also kill male chicks on their first day of life. And the dairy industry impregnates cows, only to sell their calves to the meat industry and sell the milk that was meant for them to humans.
We can only be conscious about where animal products come from if we look at what actually happens in the industries. We don’t think Zoë has done that yet, but we hope she will do so in the future.
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