Nowadays we have many vegan athletes that are very famous, or that are on their stairway to stars. There are many theories that vegans don’t have enough protein, that they can’t be strong, and that is hard to be a vegan athlete. But here are just 10 examples of vegan athletes that are successful and satisfied with their vegan lifestyle. From my point of view, they give us a great example. If you want to be a professional athlete, you can do that with compassion for animals, and be good at it.
Venus Williams, one of the most famous female tennis players in the world, is vegan. She was diagnosed in 2011 with Sjogren’s syndrome, an auto-immune disease, and she switched to be a vegetarian first. After some time, she moved on to become a full vegan. She prefers raw food, and she claims that her diet has not affected her athletic ability, but has greatly improved her health. She credits her diet change with helping manage her Sjogren’s symptoms – and her incredible comeback after her diagnosis certainly supports that. Venus Williams says that raw, organic foods are critical to maintaining her body at its optimum health. However, she acknowledges how many calories athletes need, and admits that she often eats bread, pasta, or rice before matches due to the low caloric value of many raw vegan foods.
Brendan Brazier is a Canadian endurance athlete, author, advocate of vegan diets, and creator of a vegan line of food products and supplements. He was twice awarded the Canadian 50k champion – in 2003 and 2004. Call it an honest day’s work for Brendan Brazier, professional Ironman triathlete. In this incredible competition, athletes swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles. Considered one of the world’s most demanding sports, the Ironman presents a stern test of body, mind and spirit for professional and amateur athletes alike. In fact, for many Ironman contestants, just crossing the finish line is a great victory.
For some it is hard to believe that bodybuilders can be vegans, but Korin Sutton is a living example of it. He started eating vegan in 2011 after hearing a speech at Broward College. He told reporters,
“I always had a misconception on how animals were being treated and raised for human consumption. I also had a big misconception on animal nutrition. From that day on, I decided to become vegan. It wasn’t easy at first, I stopped eating all land animal products and for 2 years I was 80% Vegan and 20% Pescatarian. Now I’ve been Vegan for a year and it feels great to not be involve with any type of animal killing or cruelty and being on a plant based diet.”
Well done, Korin!
Carl Lewis had an outstanding running career includes 9 gold and one silver Olympic medals in 100 and 200 meters sprints, long jumps and 4 x 100 m relays. He was voted World Athlete of the Decade in the 1980s and received the Olympic Athlete of the Century award. He became vegan in 1990 and continued winning. According to Carl – ”I’ve found that a person does not need protein from meat to be a successful athlete. In fact, my best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet. Moreover, by continuing to eat a vegan diet, my weight is under control, I like the way I look ”.
Fiona Oakes is world-famous marathon runner. In the last 11 years, she placed 1st in many marathons around the world. Not only is running stress-relieving for Fiona, it’s also one of the ways she manages to pay the massive bills to keep the Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary at Asheldham, Essex, going — she runs marathons to raise funds for the animals. She didn’t share when she first became vegan, but she sure is very helpful about growing awareness of people around the globe.
Jack Linquvist is a professional track-racing cyclist. He won his first race in 2007, as a 26 year old cycle messenger, when he won the 2007 Puma Velocity race in New York City. Jack has been vegan since 2005, and after becoming vegan he says that he feels much better, faster, and full of energy. He says that when other cyclists find out that he doesn’t eat meat, they are usually a little shocked because he doesn’t ‘look vegan’. He is not skinny and lethargic- he is muscular and well proportioned. And we think he looks like a very heathy vegan indeed!
Georges Laraque is a NHL professional hockey player that was awarded the “Best Fighter” award by The Hockey News in 2003. In 2008, Sports Illustrated named him the number one enforcer. Georges became vegan in 2009, after seeing the movie Earthlings which shows, in detail, the cruelty animals go through to end up on your plate. He encourages people to become vegans. From his point of view, many people think that you can’t get enough protein if you are a vegan. But Georges says (and it is proven) that you can indeed get enough protein with a vegan diet, and you will get healthier and better proteins from nuts and seeds than from animals.
For those who don’t know Molly Cameron, she is an American professional cyclo-cross racing cyclist. She won the 2004 Cross Crusade singlespeed series and has been racing at a pro level ever since. She has competed in cyclo-cross races across the USA and Europe at the elite racer level. She has been a vegan since 1999. Her reason for being vegan is simple – compassion for animals, health, and she just doesn’t like meat. She told reporters that it is the responsibility of every person to be careful what they eat and that they don’t eat ”garbage”!
Timothy Bradley is American boxer with an impressive carrier. He had only one loss from among 33 fights. He became a vegan in 2008, and said that he first tried the vegan diet when he was preparing for a fight with the World Boxing Council super lightweight champion Junior Witter. In this fight, Witter was knocked down in the 6th from an overhand right punch. Bradley won the fight by a split second. He says that he feels lighter and stronger after going vegan, and he is still satisfied.
Amanda Riester is boxer and bodybuilder with a very successful career. In 2011 she won the Natural North America Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships. She hasn’t eaten meat since she was 5 years old and found her where lunch came from. She loved animals since she was a kid, and she was a vegetarian until 2009 when she became full vegan. She claims she has never felt better in her life!