A number of media outlets have run recent stories asking ‘is Meghan Markle vegan?’.
There was this piece in the Express for example, or this one in Women’s Health. Numerous other writers have pontificated over whether Markle – who recently wed Prince Harry – has ditched animal products for good.
This is no surprise – with interest in Markle at an all-time high following her wedding to Prince Harry, everything she says and does is scrutinised by the press, leading to speculation. Although there is evidence to suggest Markle isn’t vegan (horses at her wedding – and a Stella McCartney reception dress potentially made from non-vegan silk), it seems she has made positive moves towards a compassionate lifestyle.
As often is the case, many writers outside this world have mixed up the terms ‘vegan’ and plant-based’.
Lots of the articles have decided that ditching animal prodcts from the diet is eqivalent to living the vegan philosophy – an easy mistake for someone who doesn’t know much about veganism.
Most writers are basing their assumptions that Markle is vegan on an interview with Best Health magazine from 2016, in which the now Duchess of Sussex spoke about her diet.
In the now-infamous interview, Markle said: “When I’m filming, I’m conscious of what I eat. I try to eat vegan during the week and then have a little bit more flexibility with what I dig into on the weekends. But at the same time, it’s all about balance.
“Because I work out the way I do, I don’t ever want to feel deprived. I feel that the second you do that is when you start to binge on things. It’s not a diet; it’s lifestyle eating.”
It seems clear from this piece that Markle was avoiding animal products from a health point of view. She didn’t talk about what she ate during weekends, so the conclusion to draw from this was that she’s a plant-based dieter at best, or flexitarian. After all – most people have by now read that Prince Harry proposed over a roast chicken.
But Markle has shown that she cares about animals to some extent: according to her former commercial agent Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne, the Duchess refuses to wear or promote fur – a choice that is becoming increasingly fashionable, with John Galliano, Gucci, Versace, Donna Karan, and Michael Kors all ditching the fabric.
Another fashion choice she opts for is vegan leather trousers. In an interview the former Suits actor did with Good Housekeeping magazine, the star spoke about her penchant for the fabric, saying: “My wardrobe for my part in Suits isn’t like Working Girl – dressing for work doesn’t have to be so on-the-nose these days…Personally, I love cropped pants in vegan leather, a great fitted blazer and a button-down [shirt].”
In addition, unlike sister-in-law Kate Middleton who has been seen at animal shoots, Markle is anti-bloodsports, and according to reports, Prince Harry abstained from the traditional Boxing Day shoot in a bid to appease his then-fiancee.
And that’s not the only influence she has had on her husbands. A slew of reports before the pair’s nuptials said that Markle has encouraged the royal to eat a ‘mainly’ plant-based diet.
According to various newspaper reports, Prince Harry ‘ditched burgers’ in favor of healthy plant-based foods like kale, sweet potatoes, and quinoa. The sixth-in-line to the throne was said to have lost seven pounds (half a stone) following his new eating plan. A source told the Mail Online that the Prince started juicing under his fiancée’s influence, and that: “She’s also weaning him off meat.”
Speaking about Harry’s pre-wedding diet, The Telegraph said: “It will be mainly vegan.”
One of the most interesting vegan connections Markle is with her official wedding photographer – Polish prince, vegan advocate, and professional photographer Alexi Lubomirski was chosen for the job.
Known for his social justice and animal rights advocacy, Lubomirski does not mix messages about his beliefs.
The snapper, who has shot covers for Bazaar, Esquire, Life, and Vogue, is outspoken about veganism, sharing pro-vegan imagery on social media, with hashtags reading #govegan and #winwinwin. On one image, the photographer’s caption reads: “Doesn’t matter why you get into it…. Once you are in, you reap ALL the benefits.”
Could it happen?
So while there are clues that Markle has not totally committed to the vegan philosophy, there are some interesting hints that it could well happen.
The Royal Family is an extremely outdated institution, well known for its cruelty when it comes to animal rights issues.
Even at this stage in her journey, Markle seems to be shaking things up. It would be fascinating to see a full-blown animal advocate in the family known as ‘The Firm’ one day.