The Real Reason Chef and Author Eddie Huang Went Vegan, Plus Other Plant-Based Celebrities

Eddie Huang, the author of the Fresh Off The Boat memoir that inspired the hit ABC comedy, announced this summer that he’s now a vegan. Huang is also a renowned chef and owner of Taiwanese-Chinese restaurant Baohaus, located in New York City and Los Angeles.

Chef and author Eddie Huang
Chef and author Eddie Huang | Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

It remains to be seen if Huang will stick with his vow to no longer eat meats, and how it will affect his restaurant’s menu.

Here’s what we know about the reasoning behind his decision, plus a few other celebrities who went in the same direction as Huang and broke up with meat.

What Huang serves at his non-vegan restaurant

Huang co-owns Baohaus with his brother, Evan Huang, where they serve Taiwanese/Chinese cuisine consisting of very delicious-sounding, but un-planty items. For example, one item called the Chairman Bao is “braised all-natural Berkshire pork belly served with Haus Relish, crushed peanuts, Taiwanese red sugar, and cilantro.” In addition to pork belly, Baohaus also serves fried chicken and pork stew, all made with all-natural, antibiotic- and hormone-free meats.

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Fear and Loathing with Soup Dumps

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Huang spells out the restaurant’s heart and philosophy on its website.

“With [the restaurant’s] minimal menu, …the brothers tore down everything people knew about Taiwanese-Chinese food and rebuilt it from the ground up. Baohaus isn’t just a restaurant, it’s…the place the brothers wish existed in their neighborhood when they were coming up. Our families came on boats, but now we on a spaceship, f*** with us.”

Other celebrities who have gone the plant-based route

Countless celebrities and public figures have also gone vegan for various reasons. Among them, former president Bill Clinton, mostly for health reasons. “I like the vegetables, the fruits, the beans, the stuff I eat now,” Clinton shared with a CNN reporter. “All my blood tests are good, and my vital signs are good, and I feel good, and I also have, believe it or not, more energy.”

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Singer Carrie Underwood is a vegan but not a strict one. “I am a vegan but I consider myself to be a practical vegan,” she told Entertainment Wise. “If I order something on a menu and it has a sprinkling of cheese on top I’m not going to send it back.”

Former boxer Mike Tyson tried the vegan diet in 2010, and has since lost 100 pounds. “Becoming a vegan gave me another opportunity to live a healthy life,” he said on “Oprah: Where Are They Now” in 2013. “I was so congested from all the drugs and bad cocaine, I could hardly breathe, [I had] high blood pressure, [was] almost dying [and had] arthritis. And once I became a vegan all that stuff diminished.”

Why Eddie Huang went vegan

In August, Huang posted on Instagram that he could no longer eat meat, when he saw videos of the burning of the Amazon forest.

“After watching videos of the Amazon on fire this week, I’ve decided that this corned beef I ate at Junior’s last week will be the last piece of beef I ever eat. I love beef, I love oxtails, I love Peter Luger’s, I loved growing up in a steak house cutting NY Strip on Xanax. It was soothing but beef is f***ing us.”

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After watching videos of the Amazon on fire this week, Ive decided that this corned beef I ate at Junior’s last week will be the last piece of beef I ever eat. I love beef, I love ox tails, I love Peter Luger’s, I loved growing up in a steak house cutting NY Strip on xanax. It was soothing but beef is fucking us. Actually, we are fucking ourselves on multiple levels and we need to make changes. Im going to go vegan because it takes 20 times less land to feed a vegan than a meat eater and over 90% of the land cleared in the amazon rainforest since 1970 is used for grazing livestock, but if all of us just stopped eating BEEF it would solve huge problems. Eat fish, eat chicken, eat pork until the next crisis but if all u can do now is quit beef, please do it. I know a lot of ass backwards people think vegetarianism or veganism is some uppity white girl thing to do but its not. There have been Asian Buddhist Vegetarians for thousands of years, Ital Rasta, Hindu as well, this is not some new age thing to laugh at. We are getting back to roots, healing the Earth, and ourselves. Ive eaten my last bite of meat. I wish I had planned this better and ate my mom’s ox tail soup but fuck it. There really isnt time to waste. Some things have to start today. I started to get these feelings shooting the last season of Huang’s World and fasted for 5 days because my producer David’s mom said I looked sick. She was right. The 5 days not eating fundamentally changed me and I shot the second half of the season while intermittent fasting. Ive made a lot of food videos because I love food but more than anything because food was fertile ground for exploring difference, but I dont love what food tv and more importantly what food has become in our culture: a drug. I had a really rough 2018- early 2019, got high and just ate myself to sleep watching Harry Potter a lot lol but Im getting back on my shit. Take a moment, think about it, and reexamine your relationship with food because it’ll make the Earth and ourselves very very sick if we keep abusing it.

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“Actually, we are f***ing ourselves on multiple levels and we need to make changes. I’m going to go vegan because it takes 20 times less land to feed a vegan than a meat eater and over 90% of the land cleared in the Amazon rainforest since 1970 is used for grazing livestock…Ive eaten my last bite of meat.”

“I wish I had planned this better and ate my mom’s oxtail soup but f*** it. There really isn’t time to waste…Take a moment… reexamine your relationship with food because it’ll make the Earth and ourselves very very sick if we keep abusing it.”

Read more: Zendaya and 16 Other Celebrities Who Don’t Eat Meat