Undisputed Sports Champs of Vegan World
Put simply, veganism is the idea of not eating or using animal products. Quite recently though, there has been an addition to the lexical field pertaining to veganism, a term coined by a reputed researcher, Melanie Joy – “Carnism”. To put definitively, Melanie states:
“Carnism is the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals.”
It would seem that this underlying prevalence of Carnism is what has sprouted the many myths that surround veganism today. These myths are the “defence mechanisms” employed by the ideology of Carnism that distort our core humane feelings and thoughts.
The debate, for the most part, is concerned with the nutritional effects of veganism. And since the performance of any athlete is largely based on the kind of diet he or she follows, the debate and the consequent incertitude has made its space in the sporting industry too. As is apparent, many vegan athletes and their reputation in their respective fields puts unsupported claims such as ‘Vegan diets are not healthy’, ‘Vegan diets make you weak’, and ‘You need meat for muscle building’ to shame.
Let’s have a look at some of these historic sports champs from the vegan world:
Venus Williams is an American professional tennis player who is currently ranked world No. 36 in the WTA singles rankings. She is generally regarded as one of the all-time greats of women’s tennis. A relatively unknown fact about her life is that she follows a vegan diet. She adopted the diet on her doctor’s recommendation after being diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome, a debilitating and incurable autoimmune disease, which causes excessive fatigue. The raw diet helps with fatigue and joint pain, and has helped her maintain her performance on court.
Lewis Hamilton is a British racing driver who races in Formula One for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. A five-time Formula One World Champion, he is often considered the best driver of his generation and widely regarded as one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport. As someone who has firm beliefs in the ethical, environmental, and health benefits of dropping animal products, he switched to a vegan diet over a year ago, and while he admits that it has been a tough choice, he says that ‘it has been the best that he has felt in a year.’
Kuntal Joisher is a vegan mountaineer based in Mumbai, India. He is the first mountaineer to have climbed Mount Everest on a completely plant-based diet. His other notable ascents include those of Mt. Lhotse and Mt. Manaslu. During the course of his expeditions, Joisher consumes strictly vegan food, and uses only vegan gear including a one-piece synthetic suit made completely from animal-free material, as well as mittens and gloves constructed devoid of down or leather.
Rob Bigwood competes with the best in America and the world in arm-wrestling. Winning over 40 state level championships Rob is a celebrated top-notch athlete that has competed in many high level competitions. Rob has defeated many well renowned personalities in the sport some of which even include world champions. In 2006, Rob was recognised as the left handed World Champion in his division.
“I made a conscious and ethical decision to give up meat, and was willing to face the consequences… Eventually, I began to gain energy and consistently lost weight. I have never felt better in my entire life and it was one of the smartest decisions I ever made.”
Weia adopted a vegan lifestyle in 1982 when it wasn’t very prevalent. Reinboud is a Dutch veteran athlete that has proven her proficiency in high jump and also competed in various other sports. She has established a multitude of world records: by 2016 she had an amazing 23 world record breaking performances in distinct fields such as heptathlon, javelin, and triple jump. Given the absence of any competitive background until the age of 45 her triumphs are all the more impressive!
During the Olympic Games, Carl Lewis won 10 medals, 9 of which were gold. Carl became a vegan in 1990.
As a sprinter and a long-jumper Lewis, throughout his profession, Lewis maintained top-rankings in 100m, 200m, and several many long-jump events. Lewis was awarded the Athlete of the Year in 1982, 1983, and 1984. International Olympic Committee even elected him as the Sportsman of the Century whereas alongside he was also recognised as the Olympian of the Century by Sports Illustrated Magazine. Presently Lewis works as an actor.
So, what’s the take?
The myth that athletes cannot be champions while being vegans is terribly short sighted. These aforementioned reputed and recognised names merely scratch the surface. There are many more vegan athletes who have achieved more or at least just as much as them.
For more validation you can conveniently look up ‘vegan athletes’ on your search engine. All of this, if nothing else, indicates veganism doesn’t poorly affect one’s health when undertaken with consideration. After all, salted potato chips, conventionally, will be considered vegan too, but we all know they aren’t likely to do much good to anyone.
https://www.carnism.org/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0VrZPBskpg&feature=youtu.be http://veganbodybuilding.org/robbie.htm https://www.greatveganathletes.com/pat-reeves-vegan-powerlifter/ https://www.greatveganathletes.com/james-southwood-vegan-fighter/ https://www.greatveganathletes.com/rob-bigwood-vegan-armwrestler/ https://www.greatveganathletes.com/weia-reinboud-vegan-track-and-field-athlete/ https://www.biography.com/people/carl-lewis-40103