We all know that vegans are superheroes, but did you know that some of our beloved Marvel and DC characters are also vegan or vegetarian? I’ve sourced the nerdiest places of the internet to find them, and I’ll admit some may be from very obscure comic books, but it’s the thought that counts! Before reading on, why not have a guess at which heroes you think might make the list?
Okay, so we confess to clickbait: the Incredible Hulk is NOT vegan, but his alter ego Bruce Banner is! In the comic book “Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk” Volume 1 #2, Bruce Banner is working on a farm in Dublin. Some of his coworkers tease him about being vegan, telling him they think he is weak. They are quickly taught a lesson when Hulk comes out to defend himself! Who can relate…?
Page taken from “Superman Birthright: The Origin of The Man of Steel”.
Although he grew up on a farm, Superman is confirmed as a vegetarian in a new interpretation of his origin story, “Superman: Birthright”. In this updated story, Superman has a new power, which allows him to see a glow around every living thing. When their life ends, that glow fades away, which Superman finds very hard to look at. Because of this, he decides not to eat animals. If Superman can be so powerful without eating meat – we all can be!
Scarlet Witch, or Wanda Maximoff as she’s also known, has become one of the most powerful Avengers. She played a huge role in helping to defeat Thanos in Avengers Endgame in 2019. It turns out, she’s also a vegetarian! In her own comic book “Scarlet Witch” Volume 2, she is offered some grilled goat with lemon and herbs. She turns it down, telling the other character she does not eat meat.
Over in Gotham, they have veggies too! One of these is Batman’s own son, Damian Wayne, who takes over as Robin to help fight crime with his Dad. During one of his missions in the comic book series “Batman Incorporated”, Damian finds himself in a slaughterhouse. After seeing some horrible things, he declares he is now a vegetarian. He even saves a cow whilst he is there, and names her Bat-Cow!
This one has caused quite an argument online! People feel that due to her Amazonian upbringing, it’s very unlikely for Wonder Woman to be a vegetarian. However, when a writer named Greg Rucka made new Wonder Woman comic books, he gave her the ability to speak to animals. In one scene, she is shown eating tofu. When the vegetarian meals are questioned, one of her friends asks “would you if animals could talk to you?”. We certainly wouldn’t, Wonder Woman.
Page taken from “Wonder Woman” by Greg Rucka
Teen Titans Go! is a TV show and movie based on DC comics characters, including Robin and Cyborg. One of these characters, Beast Boy, can transform into any animal he wants! It’s said that after transforming into meat-producing animals like cows and pigs, he decided to never eat an animal again. Beast Boy can often be seen encouraging the other Teen Titans to eat their vegetables. When they do, they become even stronger and fitter, and find it much easier to defeat the bad guys!
And it’s not just the comic book heroes who are ditching meat and dairy. Some of the actors who play them in the movies are jumping on board too!
Benedict Cumberbatch (aka Doctor Strange)
Benedict is a brilliant actor, known for many amazing roles, including Marvel’s Doctor Strange. Whilst promoting one of the newest Avengers movies, he mentioned in 3 separate interviews that he eats a plant-based diet. In one of these interviews, with Time Out London, the actor was asked if he had to eat anything “gross” like “egg whites” to stay in shape for the movie. He quickly answered, “No, no. Well, I eat a plant-based diet”.
Joaquin Phoenix (aka The Joker)
Joaquin is best known for his Oscar-winning performance as the Joker. Although the Joker is a Batman villain, Joaquin seems to be quite the opposite. He’s certainly not afraid to tell the world he is vegan, and has been since the age of 3. In an interview with Vanity Fair, he explains that on his third birthday he witnessed some fish being killed by fishermen. He knew at that moment he never wanted to eat an animal again. After winning his “Best Actor” Oscar, he took the opportunity during his speech to tell everyone his feelings on how we humans treat animals, which we think is amazing.
Mark Ruffalo (aka The Hulk)
So, we already know that the comic book Bruce Banner is a vegan, but the actor who plays him in the Marvel movies is too! Mark has been known to use his social media to advise people to cut down on how much meat they consume, and to highlight many other issues, such as sustainability and climate change. We’re a huge fan of all of that over here!
Natalie Portman (aka Jane Foster/Female Thor)
Natalie was vegetarian from the age of 9, and turned vegan in 2011. Just like Joaquin, she often speaks up about animal rights issues. She says she went vegan after reading a book called “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer. When this book was turned into a documentary, Natalie really wanted to get involved, and ended up narrating it.
Tobey Maguire (aka Spider-Man)
The very first actor to portray our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man on screen, Tobey Maguire, stopped eating meat all the way back in 1992. In 2009, he also decided to stop eating dairy and became a vegan. There are some people who say he sometimes eats eggs and dairy to put weight on for his movies – but hey, none of us are perfect! Every little helps, so even if Tobey occasionally eats these things, he’s still a cool guy to me.
So there you have it. So many superheroes (and some villains too) have turned to the veggie side! There are so many in fact, I couldn’t even fit them all on to this list. Was your favourite hero there? If not, maybe one of these guys can be your new favourite!
All rights to the characters above belong to Marvel Comics™ and DC Comics™.