Is ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Star Anya Taylor-Joy Really Vegan?

Popular actor Anya Taylor-Joy has said that she was “vegan for a long time,” but now sticks to a vegetarian diet.

In an interview with fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar, the star of The Witch (2015) and recent Netflix favorite Queen’s Gambit (2020) said that environmental issues first prompted her to adopt a fully plant-based lifestyle.

“I was vegan for a long time,” said Taylor-Joy. “I got into it because it’s the most ecologically conscious choice you can make as a consumer.”

The actor explained that she has been vegetarian since she was eight, and still doesn’t “touch meat or fish.” She added that her time as a vegan was the healthiest she has ever felt.

“I had so much energy,” said Taylor-Joy. “I was eating a tonne because I have a really big appetite and was getting in more greens. As a vegetarian, I love a lot of Italian food – but I don’t get that many greens in there!”

Previously, Taylor-Joy told American newspaper Metro that she only began eating dairy again while filming in Spain. Many traditional Spanish dishes emphasize cheese, as well as meat and seafood.

“I was vegan up until I started working in Spain, where being vegetarian is hard enough,” said the actor. “At that point, I was so hungry, I just said, ‘Feed me!'”

‘The Earth is the Only Thing We Have’

Taylor-Joy’s comment about veganism and its ecological impact is backed by a growing body of scientific research. A recent study indicated that global adoption of plant-based food could remove up to 16 years of fossil fuel-based carbon emissions by the year 2050.

The study explained that cutting meat consumption would both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and free up additional, enormous areas of land for reuse and rewilding.

While a fully vegan diet would not be immediately achievable in the many countries dependent on livestock for both nutrition and economic survival, eating more plant-based food in “wealthy” countries would have “relatively minor impacts on food security” — and still have a significant impact on the environment.

“I think it’s important in a commercial world to be as environmentally conscious as you possibly can be,” said Taylor-Joy. “Because at the end of the day the earth is the only thing we have. So if we’re not taking care of our home, you’re not going to have a home anymore.”