When you announce to the world that you're switching to a vegan diet, often you're met with derision. Personally, I think it's because people feel threatened in some way. But whatever the reason for their reactions, at some point the people you are talking with will express concern that you will be doing yourself harm. As if eating animal flesh is the only legitimate way to nourish yourself!
To support their argument, they'll often mention that you don't see many professional vegan athletes. Well, there may be a reason for that. Depending on the statistics you choose to refer to, vegans represent anywhere from 0.8% to 5% of the US population. If that's the case, how many professional athletes would you really expect to be vegan? And how many of those are going to be willing to put their diet up to the scrutiny of the public. Just think how you feel when you're eating with omnivores... Do they question everything you put in your mouth? Do they challenge you, pointing out ways in which you are not vegan?
We all know that Prince Fielder has gone vegetarian. Anyway, here's a short list of vegan athletes (and it's by no means comprehensive) with links to some of their sites:
- Jennifer Argenti, Surfer
- Rob Bell, Inline Skater
- Brendan Brazier, Pro Triathlete
- Molly Cameron, Cyclist
- Katie Coryell, Pro Surfer
- Robert Cheeke, Bodybuilder
- Wendy Gabbe, Basketballer & Duathlete
- Catherine Johnson, Elite Cyclist
- Scott Jurek, Ultramarathoner
- Tonya Kay, Dancer
- Schulyer Love, Boxer
- Adam Myerson, Cyclist
- Kelly Lynn Nauyokas, Fitness Professional
- Erica O'Connor, Inline Skater
- Brent Poulsen, Triathlete
- Jason Sager, Mountain Biker
- Duncan Seko, Runner and Cyclist
- James Southwood, Martial Artist
- Tim VanOrden, Mountain Runner
- Christine Vardaros, Cyclist
- Maria Vlasak, Elite Duathlete
- Kenneth Williams, Bodybuilder
Source: Organic Athletes.
The Vegan Bodybuilding site also offers valuable information on nutrition, supplements, and training, they even offer a recipe for an after-exercise drink. So if you're a newer vegan athlete, this site might be of help to you.
– If you haven’t signed our petition to Oprah asking her to do a piece on factory farming, please consider doing so. We can all work together to make a difference.