10 Genius Vegetarians

Albert Einstein
Einstein in Western culture is synonymous with genius. Reports say he was vegetarian just for the last year of his life. However, he had a guilty conscience about eating meat, and agreed with the vegetarian outlook, “Although I have been prevented by outward circumstances from observing a strictly vegetarian diet, I have long been an adherent to the cause in principle. Besides agreeing with the aims of vegetarianism for aesthetic and moral reasons, it is my view that a vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.”

Leonardo Da Vinci
One of the greatest inventors in all of human history, it is believed he was also a lifelong vegetarian†who chose such a diet to avoid killing or injuring other creatures.

Nikola Tesla
He invented at least 700 devices, and was both an engineer and visionary. The form of electricity you are using right now to power your computer (alternating current) resulted from the work of Nikola Tesla.† Most accounts say Tesla moved gradually towards a vegetarian diet, first by eliminating meat but still eating fish, and then by quitting that also. He wasn’t vegan though, as he used dairy milk as his main protein source, after abandoning meat.

“It is certainly preferable to raise vegetables, and I think, therefore, that vegetarianism is a commendable departure from the established barbarous habit. That we can subsist on plant food and perform our work even to advantage is not a theory, but a well-demonstrated fact.” (Source: IVU.org)

Srinivasa Ramanujan
One of India’s greatest mathematicians, he was also a strict vegetarian.

The man is iconic enough that no description here is required. He was vegetarian most of his life.”If we are to be nonviolent, we must then not wish for anything on this earth which even the meanest or the lowest of human beings cannot have.” (Source: compassionatespirit.com)

Vincent Van Gogh
He is considered one of the world’s most original fine art painters. Although various websites list him as a vegetarian mostly, there are some references to his accepting meat once in a while. This may be because of his lifestyle and living in conditions where other people were trying to take care of him, and he didn’t want to offend them.

“In the afternoon, at the table, the three of us would eat with the appetite of famished wolves; not he, he would not eat meat, only a little morsel on Sundays, and then only after being urged by our landlady for a long time. Four potatoes with a suspicion of gravy and a mouthful of vegetables constituted his whole dinner. To our insistence that he make a hearty dinner and eat meat, he would answer, To a human being physical life ought to be a paltry detail; vegetable food is sufficient, all the rest is luxury.” (Source: Wikipedia.org)

Thomas Edison
Mr. Edison was credited with over 1,000 inventions.There are some references to him having stopped eating meat for health reasons, “During the recent illness, from mastoiditis, of Mr. Thos. Alva Edison, the famous inventor ceased using meat and went for a thorough course of vegetarianism. Mr. Edison was so pleased with the change of diet that, now he has regained his normal health, he continues to renounce meat in all it’s forms.” (Source: IVU.org)

There are also a number of quotes attributed to him indicating a love of animals and condemning violence towards them.

This Greek philosopher and mathematician was also a vegetarian. In the writings of Ovid, he was depicted as having said, “Alas, what wickedness to swallow flesh into our own flesh, to fatten our greedy bodies by cramming in other bodies, to have one living creature fed by the death of another.” (Source: IVU.org)

Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens was one of America’s most beloved writers. He is listed as a vegetarian on various sites such as About.com and Wikipedia. He was also against using animals in research and for educational purposes.

“I believe I am not interested to know whether Vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn’t. To know that the results are profitable to the race would not remove my hostility to it. The pains which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity towards it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further.” (Source: Twainquotes.com)

Franz Kafka
A writer of some of the most memorable German-language fiction, Franz Kafka was also a vegetarian. He is believed to have said this when visiting an aquarium, “Now at least I can look at you in peace. I donít eat you anymore.”† That was after he became a vegetarian. “(Source: thejakartapost.com)

Image Credit: Public Domain

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Elsa O.
Elsa O.4 years ago


Elsa O.
Elsa O.4 years ago


Akila K.
Akila K.4 years ago


Robin McElfresh
Robin M.5 years ago

I have never considered myself superior to anyone else simply because I am a vegetarian. My only wish is that everyone be educated as to the impact ALL of their choices make-not just diet. This information should be offered as objectively as possible without the holier-than-thou attitude.

Sharon Balloch
Sharon Balloch5 years ago

Marie B..thanks for that message..I went to look and there is was..Hitler not only ate birds but ham and other meats.

Always found it funny one would have mercy on animals but none for man. Guess it would never have been mercy but his own health he was concerned with.


Sharon Balloch
Sharon Balloch5 years ago

Wow I got quite a surprise in some of the comments.. I thought this was a light and fluffy piece but it has rised a few hackles and I am not sure why.. I think some assume that vegans think they are superior but really I do not think that is the case, I know for myself I worry about the health of others and yet I try not to nag.. I said try.

I would like to mention to those who think vegans should be skinny.. potato chips are a vegetable! And I do not think I have ever thought to call a meat eater fat because they eat meat.. a person gets fat because they eat to much. If you only at a hot dog a day you would not get fat...but if you ate ten then that would be different. If I ate potato chips once in a while I would lose weight..but I love my chips!

Marie B.
Past Member 5 years ago

Hitler was NOT a vegetarian. He loved eating squab (stuffed pigeon) and sausages.


Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener5 years ago

Even evil genius, Hitler was a vegetarian too!

Jennifer C.
Past Member 5 years ago

Good article. Thanks for sharing.

Marie B.
Past Member 5 years ago

Health Benefits of a Vegan diet:

Disease Prevention

Eating a healthy vegan diet has shown to prevent a number of diseases. Find out from the list below what you could potentially avoid just by switching to a healthy, balanced vegan way of eating.

Cardiovascular disease. Eating nuts and whole grains, while eliminating dairy products and meat, will improve your cardiovascular health. A British study indicates that a vegan diet reduces the risk for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Vegan diets go far in preventing heart attack and stroke.

Cholesterol. Eliminating any food that comes from an animal and you will eliminate all dietary cholesterol from your diet. Your heart will thank you for that.

Blood pressure. A diet rich in whole grains is beneficial to your health in many ways, including lowering high blood pressure.
Type 2 diabetes. Not only is a vegan diet a weapon against Type 2 diabetes, it is also "easier to follow than the standard diet recommended by the American Diabetic Association." Read more about it here.

Prostate cancer. A major study showed that men in the early stages of prostate cancer who switched to a vegan diet either stopped the progress of the cancer or may have even reversed the illness.

Colon cancer. Eating a diet consisting of whole grains, along with fresh fruits and vegetables, can greatly reduce your chances of colon cancer.