Reading Time: 2 minutes Branson says he feels 'as fit' as he did 40 years ago, and is moving towards a vegetarian diet Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Billionaire businessman Richard Branson has revealed he’s stopped eating beef and fish in a major interview – due to environmental concerns.

The 70-year-old Virgin Group founder says he feels as fit as he was in his twenties, and is ‘experimenting’ with going vegetarian.

Moreover, in outlining his healthy lifestyle in discussion with the Wall Street Journal, he revealed the hit documentary Seaspiracy helped sway him to change his eating habits.

Richard Branson

The famous entrepreneur leads an athletic lifestyle abord his private Caribbean island, which lies in the British Virgin Islands.

He told WSJ about his dietary choices and extensive exercise routine, which involves kite-surfing, tennis, and at least two ‘extreme’ bike rides per week.

‘I’ve stopped eating beef because everything I’ve read indicates that the more demand for cattle there is, the more the rainforests will be munched away. I’m experimenting with going completely vegetarian’, he said.

Since spending the pandemic on the ‘beautiful’ nature-abundant Necker Island, Branson’s dietary change is influence by his surroundings.

Branson’s life on Necker Island involves an extensive exercise regime and a diet with reduced meat and fish

Seaspiracy

In the interview, he continued: “I just saw Seaspiracy, a very good film. That stopped me from eating fish.

“I really hope I can at least stay off beef and cut down other forms of meat and fish – maybe once a week or something.”

It comes after he started working out this year, which has led to him feeling ‘as fit’ as he did between 40 and 50 years ago.

Richard Branson criticism

However, despite Branson’s commitment to changing his diet in order to help the environment, his flight business Virgin Atlantic has come under fire in the past.

This is partially due to vast quantities of greenhouse gas emissions caused by the aviation industry. 

Moreover, a vegan charity urged the mogul to offer exclusively plant-based meals on board to offset some of the ‘damage’.

However, many claim the COVID-19 pandemic was an opportunity for wildlife to take a break due to limited travel opportunities. It also meant there were reduced planes in the sky.

Virgin flights could soon extend into space, however – which a been a dream of Branson’s for years.

With Virgin Galactic, he could be in line for a trip into space later this year – following recent successful trials.

Shifting attitudes following Seaspiracy

The fishing industry tried to curb Seaspiracy’s impact before it was even released

Richard Branson joins a plethora of celebrities abandoning fish since watching Seaspiracy, a documentary revealing the environmental impact of industrial fishing. 

It screened on Netflix in March and has since been endorsed by the likes of Kourtney Kardashian and rock icon Bryan Adams.

Moreover, the film indicated a ‘global shift’ in attitudes towards the environmental costs of how humans treat marine life.

This followed the launch of a petition which urged global leaders to protect oceans and install no-catch-zones.

You can sign the Seaspiracy petition here

Emily is a News and Features Writer for Plant Based News. She has previously worked as a journalist in Devon, UK, reporting on local issues from politics to the environment.