Wednesday 18 December 2019


male vegan athletes

For the past three years I (cis female) have been vegan, I haven't yet died from B12 deficiencies (bcs I take B12 supplements) or a lack of protein (bcs there are a wide range of plant-based ways to get your required protein) or any of the other fears the media / your grandparents put into you. In fact, I went to the doctors last month and I'm healthier than ever! But, I am noticing a trend: once I'm able to convince meat-eating cis males that I am really, okay, they reply with something along these lines: "Yeah, well it's different for you because you're a girl and you need less protein than me, big male athlete that I am." (I am paraphrasing slightly, and it's important to note it's not all meat-eating cis males that say this, it's just most of them.) Anyway, ignoring (bcs they tend to) the fact that I am an athlete that should be taken seriously, despite my vgina, let's address their fears: can men be vegan and athletes? Is it possible? In the last few decades, but especially in the last two, a number of well-known athletes have been switching to a vegan diet thanks, among many things, to the influence of documentaries such as What the Health, Carnage and Earthling Ed's work. Here are some of our favourites, according to sport:

#1. Vegan Football Athletes

vegan football athletes
Photo credit: Andrew

Is Tom Brady vegan? Yes! Vegan footballers exist! There are more and more of them, actually :) Tom Brady's career has gone from setting school records for the University of Michigan against CFP National Championship contenders Ohio State to being six-time Superbowl Champion all while adopting a plant-based diet. He launched his own vegan snack through his brand, TB12 - way to go, Tom! It's made with a balanced amino acid profile (a complex, that is, full amino acid), plant-based (pea protein), no sugar, no soy, no gluten, no preservatives, all GMO ingredients. Hmmmm, we're wondering whether it's a Fair Trade brand? Anyway, Tom Brady's football career is something we're gonna be following for sure. Tyrann Mathieu, another vegan football player for the Kansas City Chiefs said: "I was tired of eating poison [and] was tired of supporting people that don’t support us in a healthy way.” Griff Whalen, former member of the Miami Dolphins, the San Diego Chargers, the New England Patriots and the Canadian Football League among others, made a video promoting veganism:

2. Vegan Soccer Players

So are there any vegan soccer players out there? The answer is: yes! :) Fabian Delph, midfielder for Everton and the English national team, once said in an interview: “[I] began to look at my body objectively, [...] as if it were detached from me. I studied its weak parts, researched my injuries, began to strengthen my body and moved from rehab into pre-hab. I carried out mindfulness exercises like the moving meditation of Tai Chi. I changed the fuel I put into my body and switched to a vegan diet.” Chris Smalling, playing for Manchester United and the English national team, as well, has released a video promoting veganism:

Jack Wilshere, a midfielder for Premier League club West Ham United and the England national team said in an interview: “I wanted to try something different to prolong my career, I’ve always had energy, but sometimes you feel a little bit lethargic and bloated. Now I feel like I’ve got more energy. I feel completely different. [...] I feel sharper and quicker on the pitch. I feel like I can last longer. For example, at the end of the Chelsea game when we scored the second goal, I felt ‘Come on, we can go on again here’. I was pressing them and felt good. I think I’m in the best shape I have ever been.”

#3. Vegan Martial Artists

vegan martial artists
Photo credit: David

Veganism among martial artists is spreading - hello, my name is Laura and I've been doing martial arts since I was 12. Fortunately, it is not only female martial artists that now embrace veganism but males, as well.... several among them professionals: David Haye (boxing) or Abel "Killa" Trujillo (mixed martial arts). The latter posted the following message on his twitter account: "Happiness is the new rich. Inner peace is the new success. Health is the new wealth. Compassion is the new cool." We are totally behind you, Abel :) The legendary Mike Tyson also became vegan - and returned to boxing!

#4. Vegan Bodybuilders

It is obviously important to mention Barny du Plessis here. He has been a massive influence on vegan bodybuilders all around the world. Yes, it is possible to be a vegan and a bodybuilder at the same time, look at these guys: all supplements for bodybuilding is available in plant-based versions - sometimes we use some protein powder to get a wider variety of essential amino acids (when we do not have enough time to cook quinoa :) Vegan strongman Patrik Baboumian is also a notable example - plant power, dude!

#5. Vegan Runners and Racers

Performance sports has its vegans as well: Scott Jurek, ultramarathon runner and Timothy Shieff, freerunning champion. Jack Lindquist, professional cyclist said in one interview: "I went vegan after Megan (now my girlfriend, interestingly enough) asked me what the difference was between the love I had for my dog, The Reverend, and any animal that was on a farm ready to be slaughtered. I didn't have an answer, so that was that. If nothing I am very driven by logic and reason, and not having a good reason to keep killing animals, whom I claimed to love, I stopped."

Wrap Up: Male Vegan Athletes

So there you go: thirteen male vegan athletes who did not give a damn about the sexist associations with vegan diets ('feminine') and support the movement full on. Thanks, bros! :) Many of these players were in the decline phase of their careers when they switched to veganism.... the earlier you go vegan as an athlete, the better off you are! :) The Game Changers has made this point explicit:

P.S.: If you're interested in an app designed for vegans & wanna support the vegan movement and us, veganvstravel as well, use this link plz to download Abillionveg. When registering, please use our referral code: TRAVELLINGWEASELS. If you wanna know why we think this is a great app, read here.

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