Cillian Murphy, who feared contracting “mad cow disease” and now follows a vegan diet


Despite the WTF podcast with Marc Maron, actor Cillian Murphy – star of Oppenheimer – said he has switched to a plant-based diet. When asked what he usually cooks, the Oscar winner revealed that he tries vegan cuisine.

Speaking about his choice to switch to a dietary model that prohibits eating meat, dairy products and eggs, the Irish actor, 47, nevertheless confessed that: “I miss cheese.”
Regarding the absence of meat in the diet, Murphy instead clarified: «I don’t miss meat, I don’t. I was without it for a long time.” Then adding: “However, I had a sort of relapse and I didn’t feel better, so I’m giving up again”, explaining that he had succumbed to deer meat, which he had greatly appreciated but to which he decided to say goodbye.

When asked whether there were ethical or health reasons behind this decision, the Peaky Blinders star replied that she now did it “for both reasons”.

In the past, in fact, Murphy had been particularly anxious when the “mad cow” case broke out. In an old interview with Mr Porter from 2017, the actor had in fact expressed his concern for the chronic degenerative neurological disease – more technically called bovine spongiform encephalopathy – which is caused by a prion (pathological form of a protein) that manifests itself in cattle and which if transmitted to humans can be lethal. BSE was first diagnosed in the UK in 1986.

Murphy then explained that: «I was a vegetarian for about 15 years. But it was never a moral decision. It was more that I was afraid of contracting mad cow disease.”

It’s now clear that he has fully embraced the plant-based diet. “I think it’s better for the planet, don’t you?” he added.

Compared to the vegetarian diet, the vegan eating style appears much more intransigent. In fact, it involves the total elimination of foods of animal origin, therefore meat, fish, eggs, cold cuts but also milk and derivatives and honey.

Animal proteins can be easily replaced with legumes, or seitan, soy products and wheat muscle. Cow’s milk can instead leave room for oat, quinoa, kamut, rice, almond or soy milk.

The choice to follow a vegan diet is not simply a way to take care of your health by adopting a healthier diet, but also includes ethical reasons and an impact on the environment.

Focusing on a vegan diet can easily expose you to a deficiency of vitamin B12, which is only present in animal proteins, and which can manifest itself through tiredness, weakness and loss of appetite. In case of real need, vitamin B12 can be taken through supplements.

This article is originally published on


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