Men Like Sports II

After I posted the previous entry, I got so many letters asking about vegetarian and vegan men in sports. Do they exist? Are they strong? Can they build muscles? These aren’t silly questions. We live in a meat obsessed culture with it’s masculinity largely defined by meat-eating. It’s no surprise that we’ve been taught to believe we need animal products to be healthy. However, we can be healhty and strong on a plant-based diet as well. For example, Vegan Bodybuilder Alexander Dargatz is featured on

You can get beefy without eating beefy. I’ve been vegan for over a decade and I am able to build muscle, too. There are also scores of veg ladies who are packing heat – like Six-time Ironwoman Ruth Heidrich, Tennis champ Martina Navratilova, and bodybuilder Kailla Edger.

This week ESPN asks Who says you have to eat meat to be a successful athlete?” Profiling Milwaukee Brewers slugger Prince Fielder, Kansas City Chiefs star Tony Gonzalez, UFC Fighter Mac Danzig, Minnesota Twins Baseballer Pat Neshek, and ultramarathoner Scott Jurek, this article shows men in some of the most physically demanding sports who are shattering the illusion that you have to eat milk and meat to be strong (thanks to Karen of Dawnwatch).

Also this week, Mens’ Fittness Magazine chose the vegan, mixed martial arts, UFC champion Mac Danzig for their cover story entitled “Fittest Guys in America”. His interview starts right off about his veganism. read the full interview here. To learn more about Mac, read my original article about him here.

For other resources on being veg in sports, check these links:

Vegan Bodybuilding

Vegan/Vegetarian Athlete Articles & Links:

Seattle PI on Scott Jurek: Seattle man amazes everyone in 135-mile marathon–including himself

Vegetarian Sports Nutrition (summary at right)

Vegetarian Diet for Exercise and Athletic Training and Performing – Andrews University Nutrition Department

Vegan Cycling


Carl Lewis on Being Vegan

Vegan Triathlete – no age barrier

Veg Athlete a discussion forum at

Vegetarian Action

Vegan by Dr. Michael Greger

Information on Vegan Diet by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM).

Vegetarian Nutrition Articles by Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG)


Partial list of vegan/vegetarian athletes


2 Responses to Men Like Sports II

  1. […] It certainly is more about the identity of being a man than anything else. As I pointed out in my recent letter to the New York Times, the limited, suffocating identity of manhood in this culture is inseparably tied to  attaining and consuming meat. Thus abandoning meat-eating is abandoning manhood and pride itself. For more on this, read Total recall, and Men Like Sports & Men Like Sports II. […]

  2. LeahB. says:

    It’s funny how the idea that in order to be “tough” you have to eat meat is still a popular idea. In my younger, gothicker days my parents were shocked that my punk rock friends were not only housebroken, but almost always vegetarian or vegan; as if having tattoos is diametrically opposed to (or mutually exclusive from) being a vegetarian. This can’t be farther from the truth — I myself became a vegetarian probably at the time I looked the creepiest; I was influenced by the fact that people who I thought truly had interesting and revolutionary ideas were generally into questioning the status quo and challenging social norms (ex. Joan Jett, Propoghandi, the Cro-Mags). My current boyfriend had a relentless habit of mocking my food choices as “hippie fare”, but I set him straight with a copy of Meat Is Murder by the Smiths (the infinitely superior precursor to all the indie/emo stuff) and The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon by John Joseph (a trippy book of one of the founders of NY hardcore music scene). More proof that any person who cares about their health and the welfare of animals makes the right choice!

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