There is a common belief that in order to be successful in sports, you need to eat meat and drink milk. Many think that vegans will not have the strength or stamina to beat meat eaters. These beliefs are false and are based on a lack of knowledge.
The ‘proof’ that is sometimes offered is that there are almost no vegans who come out on top in sporting endeavours. This is faulty logic that could only apply if there were an equal number of vegans and meat eaters.
There are very few vegans in the world. To become the best in any sport, you need the dedication and focus to come out on top when there are so many distractions that could hold you back. Not many people have that dedication. You need the right genes to give you the edge over your competitors. Very few have the right genes to make them champions.
If there is only, say, 1 person in 400 who is vegan, what are the chances that 1 person is the one with the ruthless dedication and the right genes for the sport they are interested in? What is the chance that they had the right encouragement or influences when they were young that will lead them into that sport? It would be a much safer bet that a meat eater would have those things because there are 399 meat eaters and only 1 vegan. We would have to put all our hopes in that 1 vegan to emerge with everything it takes to be a champion. Your money would be much safer betting that one of the 399 meat eaters would have what it takes. It’s a numbers game: double the number of vegans and you double the number of vegan champions.
In the UK there are supposed to be about 250,000 vegans out of a population of 60 million. That’s about 1 person in 240. Some will have been vegan for only a few months. Some will go back to being carnivores or lacto-ovo vegetarians. There is an even smaller percentage of vegans in some other countries. My estimate is that long-term vegans are more likely to be less than 1 in 400 or even 1 in 500. If you have a group of 400, how many will have the genes to become champions? Very few. How many of those very few will have the determination? Very few. How many of the very few (of the very few) will be vegan? Most likely not even one. Most likely, such people are carnivores. But vegans still manage to become champions against all those odds. Strange, isn’t it that the still common perception of vegans is that of weedy, skinny, weak and unhealthy people?
There are some vegan champions, but why aren’t there more when it comes to such a healthy lifestyle? There are so few vegan champions because there are so few vegans. How many red-haired, left-handed jocks named Alphonse are champions? None at all. Not because someone like that is incapable of succeeding in sport, but because there are so few of them.
Most of the best athletes are single-minded in their pursuit of excellence. They won’t let anything get in their way. They are willing to give up family life, friendships, and free time to focus on training. They are willing to risk their health, as can be seen from the number of people who are willing to take dangerous performance-enhancing drugs. They are willing to overtrain to such an extent that their immune systems are weakened. They don’t care about the possibility of arthritis in later years as a result of punishing their bodies in training and competition.
Winning is everything to them. They are like fans. And, like fans, nothing else matters as much as the object of their desire. Compassion for farm animals is of little importance to them by comparison. Thus, this zealotry will prevent many people who might have become vegan from doing so because from an early age, like all of us, they have been indoctrinated with the lie that meat and milk are necessary for good health. This lie reduces the number of athletes and sportsmen who could become vegan and who could rise to glory in sports. Being a champion is more important to them than being vegan. The few vegan champions are those who don’t believe the lies about meat or those who put compassion first.
There are quite a few vegan jocks who regularly beat up meat eaters. I will only mention a few as representatives of the vegan sports world.
Mac Danzig earned his king of the cage title as a vegan. You have to be tough to survive in that kind of contest, and yet it thrived and thrived.
Carl Lewis has said that his best performances on the track came when he was on a vegan diet.
Scott Jurek is the multiple winner of 100-mile races and two-time winner of the Badwater Ultra Marathon, which is run over a 135-mile course. The race begins in Death Valley, 280 feet below sea level, and ends at Mount Whitney Portal, which is 8,360 feet above sea level. That’s a 135-mile ride over three mountain ranges with a cumulative ascent of 13,000 feet and a cumulative descent of 4,700 feet. You have to be tough just to think about doing it.
Brendan Brazier is a vegan and professional Ironman triathlete, a two-time Canadian ultra marathon championship winner.
Therefore, it is possible for vegans to be world champions in both sprint and endurance races. But what about strength sports? Can vegans be strong? Or can they be the best bodybuilders? Can they develop tremendous strength or great muscle mass?
The answer is (you guessed it): ‘yes!’
There are many very strong vegans who train with weights. There are quite a few impressive bodybuilders who have bulked up on vegan diets.
But where are all the vegan weightlifting Olympic champions and weightlifting world record holders, then? Where is the vegan who has won the title of World’s Strongest Man?
Give it time. As I said above, there aren’t enough vegans from whose ranks these people can be drawn. It will happen. It’s happening.
However, there are two vegan strength champions that come to mind. Both women. Pat Reeves – she is a world class powerlifter. She is the many times British weightlifting champion. And Olympic weightlifter Jane Black who has set records in master lifting events.
What about men? Perhaps too many male strength athletes are worried about not getting enough of their usual slaughterhouse produce. Again, give them time for the truth to reach them. There are plenty of vegans in training, as can be seen on vegan fitness and bodybuilding forums. Wait until they start to become more successful and then the timid carnivores will see that they have nothing to fear in giving up the meat and milk that their mamas told them to eat to grow big and strong. They will realize that real men do not need to eat meat.
What about vegan bodybuilders? Until very few years ago there were no special supplements for vegan bodybuilders. Meat eaters had plenty of options, but vegans had no choice because there was nothing to choose from. Very few bodybuilders rely only on normal food. They take supplements in the form of powders and pills. And many (most professionals?) use dangerous and illegal drugs. Many of them have muscles that are partly a product of the chemistry lab. Anyone who could build massive muscles on a meat-based diet could do so on a vegan diet.
Not everyone can build competition-winning muscles. Again, the vegan doing it has to have the right genes. And time and dedication. He must be that rare individual who just happens to have all the right attributes. There’s not much chance there are many vegans who are like this. Chances are someone from the vast majority of carnivores has what it takes. You are more likely to find a top athlete or Nobel Prize winner in Scotland than on the Isle of Man. Not because Scots are inherently superior to Manx people. But because there are more of them.
Don’t believe the lies of the vested interests of the meat and dairy industries. They have invested heavily in cruelty and need to keep people convinced that the slaughter and abuse of their victims is necessary for the continued health of humans.
Believe instead in the many healthy, strong and fit vegans who prove daily how healthy the vegan diet really is. There is nothing that humans need that cannot be obtained from a well-balanced vegan diet. A vegan diet is suitable for humans of all ages, as recognized by the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada.