The Real Reason Eddie Huang Went Vegan

Eddie Huang has become a notable figure in the media thanks to the success of Fresh Off the Boat, the ABC sitcom based on his autobiographical memoir, and Baohaus, the Taiwanese-Chinese restaurant he opened with his brother Evan in New York City.

But the chef and restaurateur made headlines last August for a completely different reason: his decision to become a vegan, as noted by HuffPost. Huang announced his new lifestyle change on Instagram, gaining widespread attention from his fans, advocates of plant-based diets, and the media.

Huang, who described himself as someone who loves beef, posted a picture to Instagram of corned beef at Junior's Restaurant & Cheesecake, declaring it was his very last bite of meat. His reason for the sudden change? The push to ditch meat came from Huang's concern for the planet after watching videos of the devastating fires that blazed through the Amazon rainforest in 2019.

Eddie Huang cut out meat to save the earth

According to CNN meteorologist Haley Brink, the Amazon fires were "definitely human-induced," as they fit into an "established seasonal agricultural pattern" for farmers who burned and cleared the areas so that their cattle can graze, a factor Huang noted in his Instagram post:

"After watching videos of the Amazon on fire this week, Ive decided that this corned beef I ate at Junior's last week will be the last piece of beef I ever eat. I love beef, I love ox tails... I'm going to go vegan because it takes 20 times less land to feed a vegan than a meat eater and over 90 percent of the land cleared in the amazon rainforest since 1970 is used for grazing livestock, but if all of us just stopped eating BEEF it would solve huge problems."

Huang's announcement to go vegan was lauded by many publications such as Foodbeast, which described the stance as a "powerful one" and noted that Huang's actions as a celebrity to inspire change on a large scale were commendable. The movement towards plant-based diets is becoming stronger as concern for the environment increases, with more than 21,000 scientists across the globe calling on humans to reduce the amount of meat they eat to combat climate change and the United Nations naming meat consumption as the world's most "urgent problem" (via Livekindly).

These days, Eddie Huang eats some meat

After gaining attention for becoming a vegan, Huang later announced to his followers on Instagram in October that he has since gone back to eating meat, though with certain caveats. In Huang's post, which started off as a response to the brutal zero-star review that famed steakhouse Peter Luger's received from The New York Times, he also mentioned that he "went vegan for a month," but found it "very difficult going cold turkey" while shooting his first film. The chef and restaurateur stated that he has given up beef and pork but eats fish and chicken occasionally, and that he still has the "utmost respect for vegans."