10 January 2011

Actress Ginnifer Goodwin has 'clear mind and high spirit' with vegan diet

As the highly acclaimed HBO series, “Big Love” enters its fifth and final season Ginnifer Goodwin, now a household name thanks to her role as Margene, the third polygamous wife; as well as parts in big screen hits such as the rebuffed first wife of Johnny Cash in “Walk The Line,” and Gigi Haim in the 2009 blockbuster, “He’s Just Not That Into You,” recently declared in an interview with CNN’s Health.com that, “healthy is beautiful,” and “what comes with health is a clear mind and a high spirit.”

It is nice to know that this health-conscious Memphis belle relies on a vegan diet to maintain her weight and “default setting” happiness. In 2009 Goodwin shared with WMagazine that she had been vegan for over a year. "I enjoy food more. I've cut out so many calories [by not eating] animal products, but I'm certainly making them up in other areas. So my cholesterol is better and I've stayed the exact same size but I'm eating more in quantity, which is my natural inclination. I'm a big eater." Going on to explain her transition to veganism Goodwin notes, “I was having my morning coffee, and I was pouring milk into it, and all I can say is that I suddenly realized what it was that I was pouring into my coffee. I was so disgusted, because I had never actually stopped to think about what milk is. And dairy had always been my favorite food group! I thought, 'Surely this feeling will pass,' but at lunchtime I was still disgusted. Over the next few days, I started really thinking about what I was eating."

Being very health-conscious, Goodwin proceeded to investigate the pros and cons of eating a plant-based diet. “I started reading and learned that we don't need any of it—meat, dairy products. We get everything we need without those things—except maybe B12, but there's this whole controversy that maybe we're only getting B12 because the animals are being fed B12 supplements. And I read about what actually occurs in the factory farming; I found out what it is that dairy cows go through and what horrible lives these animals lead. I actually broke down—there was a day of sobbing upon realizing what I had been supporting. And I thought, well, if I don't need animals to be healthy in my diet, then why would I take their lives away or support an industry that puts them in situations that might not be the most, uh, happy-making."

Along with veganism, Goodwin credits her mother, who taught her to listen to her body, remembering being allowed to stay home from school when not feeling well and being encouraged not to push and rest until she felt better. It is from this tutelage that she learned to be gentle with herself; which she feels in turn “contributes to all things. Not just to our health, but to our appearance, too.”

And like many other health-conscious, animal-loving vegans, down to earth Goodwin admits she feels at her best when at home with her two cats. “They're bathing each other, and I'm watching a classic. Give me a good The Philadelphia Story or The Thin Man." What could be healthier than that?

Erica Settino
Erica Settino is the co-founder and executive director of the non-profit organization, Karuna For Animals: Compassion In Action, Inc. A long time vegetarian turned passionate vegan, she works tirelessly to educate others on the countless benefits of adopting a vegan diet. For more information about Erica and her work visit karunaforanimals.com.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/capital_m