Vegan Gladiators & Their (Supposed) Sandals

Did you know that the real-deal Gladiators were vegans? These overweight warriors who ate nothing but barely and beans shatter the pervasive stereotype of frail, weak herbivores. Analysis of the bones of more than 70 gladiators found in 2004 near Ephesus, the Roman capital of Asia Minor, contradicts traditional Hollywood images of macho carnivores with the physique of superheroes as well. Forensic anthropologists revealed these fighters had thicker bone density than their omnivorous counterparts – shattering yet another stereotype of the vegan diet; the calcium myth. How did they treat animals? That’s another story – and apparently, they didn’t actually wear sandals either. They fought bare-foot! But in accordance with the popular fantasy that they did don stylish, strappy sandals – here are a few styles to choose from that will certainly not get you a thumbs down.

Commodus in ‘Gladiator’, played by the vegan Joaquin Phoenix

If you want to look like a barbarian without actually treating cows like one, check out these Splaff Gladiators at MooShoes, made from recycled tires and hemp:

Splaff Gladiator

When in Rome, do as the Romans didn’t – show up in a brown toe-post sandal from Vegetarian Shoes UK. Lightweight cork mid-sole, handmade in Portugal with a padded and contoured footbed, arch support and a deep heel cup. Lined with super-soft micro-fibre fake suede. Lightweight, patterned, Microcellular outsole. Adjustable strap lined with Soft-feel synthetic felt.

If you are more of an eco-warrior into the strappy buckles thing, these Birkenstock-inspired 3 Strap Sandals with faux-suede from Vegetarian Shoes UK should do the trick.

3 Strap Sandal

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Ladies, do not fear, your veg gladiator days are here as well from designers like Cri De Coeur, Steve Madden, and Burgois Boheme.

Benefit Brown Pleather Gladiator SandalMadden Girl Sicilly Black Pleather Gladiator Sandal


3 Responses to Vegan Gladiators & Their (Supposed) Sandals

  1. Kelly! says:

    Those Splaff Gladiators are hot. Hmm, so is that Joaquin one. 😉

  2. Shannie says:

    i was browsing some shoe stores today and was really sad that all the cute sandles were leather. thank you for this post it has seriously brightened my day… hello shoes! good bye tax return! thanks!

  3. David Black Mastro says:

    Gladiators were not vegan. Karl Grossschmidt, the paleo-pathologist whom everyone is citing for the “vegetarian gladiator” topic, noted that gladiators avoided calcium deficiency by consuming a drink made of charred wood and/or bone ash, and the latter obviously isn’t part of a vegan diet.

    Gladiators were not “overweight”, either, as period artwork clearly shows. Grossschmidt’s suggestion that gladiators purposely tried to get fat simply makes no sense, from the combative perspective.

    Gladiators probably subscribed to a predominantly vegetarian diet simply because it was cheaper. You have to keep in mind that they were from the lowest level of society–gladiators were slaves. Their ranks included convicts, prisoners of war, etc.

    Finally, gladiators didn’t treat animals too well–there were fighters known as “bestiarii”, who were trained specifically to fight and kill big critters like lions, tigers, etc.

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