Natalie Portman: Why I Went Back to Vegetarianism

04/11/2011 at 08:00 AM ET
Kevin Winter/Getty

It took reading Eating Animals in 2009 for Natalie Portman to go vegan — and it has taken her first pregnancy to bounce back to vegetarianism.

“I actually went back to being vegetarian when I became pregnant, just because I felt like I wanted that stuff,” the Your Highness actress, 29, revealed Monday on the Q100 Bert Show.

“I was listening to my body to have eggs and dairy.”

Acknowledging that some women monitor their bodies and “stay vegan” while pregnant, Portman — who will welcome her first child with fiancΓ© Benjamin Millepied this summer — admits the temptation of sweets was just too great.

“If you’re not eating eggs then you can’t have cookies or cake from regular bakeries, which can become a problem when that’s all you want to eat,” she laughs. “I actually wanted eggs at the beginning and then they grossed me out after awhile.”

But while she may have temporarily given up on her vegan values, Portman isn’t wavering from her faith when it comes to preparing for baby.

“People can say a lot of things [about the sex of the baby] and they have a 50 percent chance of being right,” she muses. “I’m Jewish and, I think in Judaism, there’s a lot of superstition around not doing too much before the baby comes.”

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: Maternity , News

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Showing 46 comments

Jenner on

As long as you get free-range, organic, cage-free eggs and organic milk from humane farmers, nothing wrong with being a vegetarian!

Shannon on

LOl I guess she really wanted those cookies.

JMO on

I am a vegetarian however I could not go Vegan. I love love love dairy too much!!

SAR on

Interesting. How come one asks her why she chose to shill for Dior, which sells fur and leather items, despite her proclamations that she would neither eat nor wear animal by-products? And her decision to shill for Dior was made long before she got pregnant, so it can’t be chalked up to her falling back into lacto-ovo-vegetarianism because she “listened to her body.”

Also, how come no one asks her why she’s flung off her clothes for public viewing so frequently in the past couple of years, despite piously and repeatedly claiming she “won’t do nudity”?

Sadie on

lol My “body” tells me every day to eat cookies and I must ignore it! But seriously, I can’t imagine how tough it is to eat vegan, especially when pregnant.

Curious... on

SAR, do you just copy/paste your comments from old Natalie Portman threads every time? Because it’s the SAME THING every.single.time. We get it – you don’t like her. Skip the article and move on to one about someone who doesn’t annoy you as much as Ms. Portman clearly does.

Norwegian Girl on

Really Sar? Try to be positive in your life for once! Natalie Portman did do anything for you to say something that rude.

Norwegian Girl on

Ahhh! Sorry for my terrible english!

Alice on

LOL Shannon, my thoughts exactly. πŸ˜€

I think it’s okay to eat eggs and dairy as long as you control where they are from. I do know it’s harder in the States because the regulations for free-range and animal welfare have loopholes that the egg companies use… but if she craves it she probably needs it anyway.

SAR on

Skip what I say about Ms. Portman if you dislike it so much.

Jennifer on

LOL!! Just here for SAR’s stalkerish fan comments. They never fail to amuse. I’m waiting for the lawsuit to arise regarding this hater who doesn’t know when to keep their beak shut regarding what a stranger chooses to do with HER body.

JM on

i don’t understand how anyone can be a vegetarian or a vegan πŸ™‚ but to each their own, i could just never do it.
anyway, i hope she just continues to listen to her body and what to make sensible choices about nutrition.

skunknuggets on

She knows her body and is following good nutritional standards. You can be healthy and have a healthy pregnancy whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or follow a traditional diet. Follow your body and eat well.

tlc on

Once again there’s SAR with her/his/it’s hatred of Natalie, spewing the same old rhetoric and crap. It’s so old it’s laughable…

Oh and calling her Ms. Portman makes you sound even more stupid and juvenile in your rantings. Get a sure need one!

Stella Bella on

If Natalie ever has some weirdo stalker, we’ll all know who it is, won’t we.

Allegra on

SAR: The point is that nobody cares what you’re saying. If you’ve had to post it multiple times, take a hint.

A note to other commenters — please do not feed the trolls! πŸ™‚

zappo on

Awesome, we get exposed to SAR’s hatred of Natalie yet again. Got the point SAR, you hate her, we ALL GOT IT, I am sure. However, while scrolling down though the posts, unfortunately, there you are, yet again, professing your stalker like obsessive hate for this actress. Trust me, if I could avoid your nasty posts I totally would, unfortunately, as I am reading posts, there you pop up. Seriously, please, get some professional help. You are way too obsessed with a celebrity to post so much hatred. Why so much anger? as many posts as you like to post, you never ever tell us the real reason, other than she swore years ago to never get naked, and changed her mind. BFD. SO what. Really, BFD. so the F-what? She changed her mind about nudity. You are so sad in all your posts, I wonder what is missing in your life to be so obsessed with a celebrity you have never met> Holding on to so much anger and negativity is not good for your health. I hope you get the help you need finding positive energy in your life.

Sadie on

lol at Stella Bella’s comment. Whoever could you be referring to?!

Holly on

It makes me laugh when people are like, “I dont know how people can not eat meat”. Well you know what? We feel the exact same way about eating flesh πŸ˜‰

mary on

My 6 year old daughter is a vegetarian. She wants to save the planet and animals. Everyone in our family are meat eaters, so cooking for a vegetarian is a learning experience especially me since I like my steak mooing, and for some reason my daughter thinks when she grows up I am going to become a vegetarian just like her. Not so sure my love of animals will be as strong as hers that will allow me to forgo a good steak or fried chicken.

Sher on

@Holly……Different strokes for different folks as it were. I’ve never said a word about vegetarians or vegans, but to refer those of us who eat meat as “flesh eaters” seems like you are trying to be barbaric. Just saying…..If I read into it, I am sorry (really) ; )

Amanda on

I wonder if SAR is the woman Natalie’s fiance dumped when they were making Black Swan? It doesn’t make sense to keep posting mean things about her unless she’s actually done anything to her personally. Then again, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Natalie is an ok actress, but does seem to put her foot in her mouth quite frequently. I do remember her saying she would never do nudity adamantly and yet she did it in the end.

M on

Aww, that’s unfortunate. I still like Natalie Portman, and I respect her choices, but I am a little disappointed. Obviously she didn’t take the time to do proper research about veganism. It is possible to be have a healthy vegan pregnancy without any nutrient deficiencies. I’m not bashing her at all. Everyone is entitled to eat whatever they please, however, I expected better from her. Isn’t she the one who said “dairy is rape” in an interview a few years ago? So rape is alright now because you’re pregnant? I just don’t understand. There are several vegan desserts that are just as delicious as non vegan ones out there, and if she is really worried about vitamin B 12 and other vitamins, she could be taking supplements (most pregnant women do anyway, even is they eat meat!).

Indira on

I’m unclear about her reasoning for being Vegan but, if it’s for ethical reasons- I unfortunately have to agree with SAR. She’s pretty much saying “I care about the animals except I’m really really craving a brownie from magnolia baker so screw the animals”. She of all people living in major cities has plenty of access to vegan goods. It’s a bit like a converted Muslim pregnant woman eating pork because “they were listening to their body”. It’s her prerogative tho… My boyfriend is a vegan and he won’t even let me cook on the same cookware!

Indira on

I really should have proofread that. Sorry!

anonymous on

SAR, you commented on tori spelling’s pregnancy announcement congratulating her. i just wanted to ask, since you seem soo against natalie’s “hypocrisy” why don’t you hold it against tori about her breaking up her husband’s previous marriage?

Jillian on

I don’t think what she is doing is wrong. She was a vegan. Her body; therefore, HER BABY is craving dairy she eats eggs. I think that is the right thing to do. I know a few people who were actually vegeterians and stopped being them during pregnancy because their bodies/babies were craving meat. Most of them after pregnancy went back to being vegetarian. She isn’t doing it to cheat and eat unhealthy and be all bad and stuff. She said in the interview, “i think you have to just be careful, watch your iron levels your b12 levels and supplement those if there are things you might be low in your diet.”

SAR on

I think Natalie Portman is a huge hypocrite. If it would be rude to ask her why on the one hand she advertises her “principles,” then on the other discards them when it’s convenient, or monetarily beneficial, for her, then fine, I’ll be rude. I would prefer that to worshipping the ground she walks on, for no other reason than the profession she’s chosen. She’s an actress, and not even that good of one in my opinion. What makes her so special, that she should be exempt from criticism?

Beth on

If SAR is correct, Natalie sounds a bit of a hypocrite. So, what else is new in Hollywood?


Anonymous on

Holly, I always wonder the same thing! It seems like meat-eaters have no problem saying something like “I don’t know why anyone would want to be vegetarian” or “why would you do that?” to my face. But, if I were to say “I don’t know how anyone could eat meat,” they would be offended as if I were implying that they were “barbarians” (like, Sher’s response to you for example). In my experience, most meat-eaters don’t really like hearing vegetarians/vegans explain why they chose that lifestyle because they interpret the explanation as judgment.

Anyways, if Natalie felt that a vegan lifestyle was too hard for her during her pregnancy, that’s her choice. She is trying to stay true to her ideals while taking it a little easier on herself. No big deal

mia on

I was hoping she would show the world that yes you can go vegan and have a healthy pregnancy. Well I guess I’ll just have to do it. But it is a personal choice…..I love it……for me. As a previous poster stated I am sure she has access to a humane family farmer in her area.

Toya L. on

Your repetitive comments about Natalie being a hypocrite on every single NP post for months does seem to be a little over the top but I what I want to know is this, “Do you think Natlie is reading in the comment section? Or someone working for her, a friend, a family member is?” Who do you think on this message board is able to give you the answers to the same questions you always ask? I assume that nobody asks those questions during interviews because nobody seems to care with the exception of you. Majority of HollyWeird are hypocrites, hell people in general to some extent.

Maya on

@Holly and @Anonymous – well said. Murdered animal-flesh eaters find the truth about the horrid industry “inconvenient” and prefer to put on blinders. Many times they’re very defensive about their practice because they know how cruel it is and are trying to convince themselves that it’s not so “bad” and maybe even “natural”…

@JMO – why are you vegetarian? Is it for ethical purposes? There is so much more cruelty that has goes into a glass of milk than to the unspeakable cruelty of meat – watch this (it changed my life literally):

JM on

Anonymous and Maya i am so glad to hear that you have spoken to every “meat eater” as you call them (i just call them human beings) to be able to make sweeping generalisations like that. really fascinating!

by the same token i could say that your holier than though, sanctimonious comments remind me of why i find many vegetarians irritating. but i won’t say that, because i actually have some friends who are vegetarian who are not irritating at all about their personal choices and understand that some people just choose to eat meat, other don’t. i guess i’m just lucky there to have some vegetarian friends like that.

Kellie on

SARS- I feel so bad for, why do you let someone you don’t know dictate your life so much. Yes, it is fine to disagree with someone. But it’s to the point that I think you are obessed with natalie portman and you do sound a bit stalkerish.

There are many people in the world who grow up and their views and principles change. Instead of just calling them hypocrites, maybe ask the reason behind. But since you don’t know natalie, I say move on with your life and let such bitterness go.

Anonymous on

JM, I found your comment to me laughable. I have never once preached to my non-vegetarian friends and I have received numerous comments that I am not one of “those holier than thou, sanctimonious” vegetarians. I offer explanations when people say something like “Why would you ever do that?” I am allowed to defend my choices, right? Besides, my explanation usually is just, “I was raised a vegetarian.” I say that because it’s easier and it’s non-offensive.

I was simply pointing out the double standard. It’s ok for you to ask me why I would ever choose to live the way I do. But, if I were to ask you the same question, I’m guessing you wouldn’t take it so well. Also, please note that I said “In My Experience.” So, I did not make any sweeping generalizations.

Oh by the way, thanks for the insults – how very mature of you. I find it very interesting that my comment made you lash out like that.

M on

JM – Its not sanctimonious when you are stating facts and judging a practice (eating meat) that is cruel, barbaric, inhumane, and deserves to be judged. Just because its legal and most people do it does not mean it is moral, natural, or acceptable. Just remember, slavery was once legal and the anti slavery activists were probably called sanctimonious, too. Food for thought, huh?

meghan on

Seriously, M? You just compared eating meat to slavery? My god, thank you for proving JMs holier than thou point! It truly scary that people that think like you are in the world. I was a vegetarian for ten years for ethical reasons and I went back to meat about ten years ago. I work with animals everyday and I don’t feel one bit guilty about eating the way that is natural FOR ME. I never tried to talk anyone into vegetarianism, just like I don’t try to tell vegetarians to eat meat. Because, unlike you, I realize that it is a great big world out there and one way will not work for all people. And it NEVER WILL no matter what ridiculous and offensive argument you craft to make your point.

Maya on

Meghan – slavery is a walk in the park compared to the attrocities animals are put through every day. It’s more like a holocaust. If you think hanging innocent defenseless animals upside down while still fully conscious, putting a knife to their throats and slaughtering and dismembering them so you can tingle your taste buds is “natural” then I question your moral compass. Yes, I’m (hold your breath) judging you – just like I judge all those who were involved in slavery and all the people who knew Jews were being slaughtered and chose to do nothing about it because it was more convenient to do so. I know I cause as little harm as possible to the planet and ALL of its inhabitants – can you say the same is true for you?

meghan on

Maya, I question the moral compass of someone who would belittle the people who died and endured slavery and the holocaust to make their point. Judge me all you want. As far as I’m concerned, you make SARS sound sane.

Indira on

– slavery is a walk in the park compared to the attrocities animals are put through every day. It’s more like a holocaust.
So, the holocaust was worse than slavery? Why even compare the two? Pretty insensitive and ignorant, honestly. They were both horrific.

anon on

i just want to say that obviously her body was lacking somthing and when a person is pregnant you crave what your baby lacks. Yes she could have taken a suplement but studies hav shown that vitamins ect break down better from natural food sources. I would rather for her eat eggs or dairy than dirt or coal like some pregnant women crave.

JM on

πŸ™‚ i would just like to thank the vegetarians who posted here for proving my point. making light of something like slavery, saying the holocaust was worse than slavery and saying that the meat industry is worse. i’m sorry but that defies rational discourse! clearly some deluded people here, and i am not even talking about their dietary habits when i say that.
anyway i stand by what i said, i never said that people couldn’t ask me about why i DO choose to eat meat so i don’t really see why i should be included in the people who don’t like to be questioned on it.
but i guess that is kind of beside the point now that we have moved into the ridiculous realms of calling slavery “a walk in the park”. i often wonder if people can hear themselves when they say these things. truly i do!

Shalala on

Human beings are carnivorous animals by nature. You don’t go judging a cat for eating mice. Yes, the way many animals are slaughtered for producing meat is horrific. Maybe the world is now realizing that and changing to less barbaric ways of obtaining meat (small organic farms, etc).. But it is a fact that humans need food or at least proteins from dairy.. If any person decides (that’s what makes us different from other species) to have an alternative diet is perfectly fine an respectable.. The same as it is respectable that most people eat the natural diet for a human being.

Beth on

Vegetarians are a pain in the butt and do it for attention at parties and dinners. So few actually know what they are doing. Anyone who chooses a certain life style and then walks around anouncing they are doing this that and the other thing are just seeking attention to be ‘special’and it is a bore. Eat what you want and shut up about it because no one cares – self obsessed freaks. And sorry but veggie ism is not sexy at all nor is obsessing about saving the GD world. Celebrities should really just never speak outside of their acting roles. And big deal she is having a baby like no one has ever had one before. Celebrities are unworthy of the attention they get and they know it.

Anonymous on

For the meat eaters, vegans and anyone else…. People can do whatever they want and eat whatever they desire. Nobody has the right to dictate their believes on anyone else. Please get real. My mother is an ecologist and once after a great walk and protest for the environment, we stopped to eat. One of the proteters who was with us before came to the table and said: “I cannot believe you eat meat, why would you eat a dead animal?” My mother very calmly answered: “Eating is a necessity for life, what I eat matters to me only. I do not like herbivores more than I like carnivores. I am an omnivore, all humans are, end of story. I do not feel bad about eating a dead animal, I feel worse when I am eating a salad because it is still alive while I munch on it.” Let people be free to eat whatever they want and to have the right to change their minds during their lives.