Film & TV

Is Sir David Attenborough Vegan?

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Samuel Anthony
May 2, 2023
The words Is David Attenborough Vegan on a darkened image of a tiger from a nature documentary

Is Sir David Attenborough vegan or vegetarian, given his view that billions of meat eaters will disastrously impact the planet?

Many view the 96-year-old nature and wildlife presenter as a national treasure for bringing the natural world to our TV screens for many years.

In recent times, Attenborough was the voice of the doc A Life on our Planetknown for environmentalism and raising awareness for the state of the planet.

While he may choose to push the idea that we must stop eating meat, does he do so with his diet and is he vegan?

"We must change our diet."

- Sir David Attenborough

At its current rate, our planet can't support animal agriculture and the mass farming of crops to feed billions of animals raised to feed meat eaters.

Attenborough holds this view as true and agrees that raising this many animals for meat is something we must strive to move away from over time for its impact on the planet.

But does this mean the national treasure follows the same advice with his own diet and does this mean he should?

So, is David Attenborough a Vegan or Vegetarian?

Attenborough tries to do what he can to make a positive change to the planet. Still, he does not follow a vegan or vegetarian diet.

While speaking with Good Housekeeping in October 2020, he stated, "I have certainly changed my diet."

Some sources have also stated that he has not eaten red meat for months and is shifting his diet towards plant-based, as he believes we all should.

Speaking with Radio Times, the wildlife presenter added, "[We] have overrun the Earth [and] have completely destroyed that world."

He also recognises that the main issue is the mass farming needed for a planet of meat-eating dieters.

"The planet can't support billions of meat-eaters. If we all ate only plants, we'd need only half the land we use at the moment."

As for his diet, he added, "I do eat cheese, I have to say, and I eat fish. But I've become much more vegetarian over the past few years than I thought I would ever be."

With many people around the globe taking steps to lessen their impact on the planet, reducing meat intake in the diet is one of the more popular options.

The drastic impact on the climate means he no longer has the same appetite for red meat and recognises a need for change.

While the state of the planet hasn't turned Attenborough vegan entirely, he now advocates for a plant-based diet and calls on the masses to stop eating meat.

Billions of Meat Eaters, Our Planet Needs Action!

As a result of his many documentaries surrounding nature, climate change and environmentalism, his stance on his own diet has caused some challenge from climate activists and vegans alike.

Those who recognise the impact meat has on the planet call to the highly influential voice of David Attenborough to make a change and inspire others to do so.

With over half of the fertile land on Earth now being used as farmland, the renowned narrator believes we may have completely destroyed Earth.

Yet, he has not made the full switch to the vegan diet.

He responded to the criticism with, "I eat fish and chicken, and my conscience does trouble me. I'm affluent enough to afford free range, but it's middle-class hypocrisy."

Is it his responsibility, with his influence, to change his diet and set an example for change?

The above question has been pivotal in recent criticism and calls on more people who promote activism for our planet and the environment to stop eating meat.

You can get free guides and plans to start your journey!


Rebecca Tedstone-Sims

I admire this man so much, he is doing everything he can, and this is what I'm doing too. My daughter (when she was 7) inspired my husband and I to become vegetarian. My now 5 year old is vegetarian but only eats organic cheese. If we all made some changes, it would improve the world. Nobody is perfect but any change is good.

Certified Plant-based nutritionist Sam Anthony
Samuel Anthony

I could not agree more! Every step in the right direction is worth recognition. Such a wonderfully positive attitude!

Nicola Weymouth

He HAS to go Vegan. If he knows what he knows and is telling the World about it, him going vegan would show he stands behind his convictions. The Pope should go Vegan too. These leaders need to step up. Our World is dying. Heeeelllllppppppp.

Certified Plant-based nutritionist Sam Anthony
Samuel Anthony

That's a great point about standing by his convictions.

Andy Weaver

Obviously to ask everyone to go plant based and then sneak off to beefeater would be very hypercritical. However, the mere fact he has made so many aware of farming and the effects of meat consumption has on the planet, is invaluable. Nobody else could give the topic such an amount of attention. If people are inspired to take their own actions to help the situation, then it's all very positive.

Certified Plant-based nutritionist Sam Anthony
Samuel Anthony

That's a very good point!


I have been a vegetarian for 50 years and don’t regret it one bit.

Certified Plant-based nutritionist Sam Anthony
Samuel Anthony

You rock! 💚


I believe that David Attenborough has done more for conservation than anyone. Ever. Most people who think he’s a hypocrite are insignificant in their contributions. So, you don’t eat meat. Great. How many minds have you changed from your perch on a horse. Not near as many as Sir David.

Certified Plant-based nutritionist Sam Anthony
Samuel Anthony

First and foremost, no one's opinions are insignificant, whether you agree or not. Those who hold views that differ to your own are not immutably wrong. When it comes to "more than anyone, ever" I think this is rather unsubstantiated as a claim. While David Attenborough has certainly had one of the widest influences we have ever seen, his personal actions still count. With regards to your points about meat consumption, considering the impact of animal agriculture on the environment - regardless of one's views on climate change - I think it is safe to reason that those who are helping others ditch meat and those that have already ditched meat themselves are doing a damn sight more than most.


I have inspired from Sir David Attenborough and hope to do the same thing when learning about many things.

Certified Plant-based nutritionist Sam Anthony
Samuel Anthony

Glad to hear you feel inspired! 🌟🥳


I have been vegetarian for nearly 40 years, for the last 4 years I became vegan, I love it!!

Certified Plant-based nutritionist Sam Anthony
Samuel Anthony

That's great news! 💚


He isn’t a hypocrite, he’s setting a realistic example. Get more people to cut down and change their eating habits initially before irradicating meat/ fish fully.

Certified Plant-based nutritionist Sam Anthony
Samuel Anthony

The world would certainly be a better place if more influencers stood for a good cause and stood by what they preached.

Robin Wallace

So he's giving everyone an excuse for not going vegan ... "If even David Attenbourough, who recognises the extreme need for a plant based world, can't do it, then we obviously aren't meant to be vegan" ... GO VEGAN DAVID ATTENBOUROUGH!

Certified Plant-based nutritionist Sam Anthony
Samuel Anthony

We definitely need more influential people to support and promote what they preach in terms of wanting to make a change for something better/more ethical.


Yes, he is a hypocrite. Jetting around the world, whispering to us in a posh accent that we need to save the planet.

Certified Plant-based nutritionist Sam Anthony
Samuel Anthony

There is definitely a need for this discussion. Lots of preaching from the top down from people with a terrible footprint of their own! 👍

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