Veganism has long been stereotyped as just a subculture of the hipster/ hippie lifestyle. Many people (especially Americans) believe that refraining from meat makes one weak or brittle. I often hear “a vegan diet could not possibly be healthy for any human let alone an athlete…”. But this could not be further from the truth.
These commonly held beliefs are formed from a lifetime of indoctrination by the meat and dairy industry. The Illusory Truth Effect is so powerful. For example, you may remember your parents blindly droning on the phrase “drink your milk – it builds strong bones!” even though the exact opposite is true. In fact, consuming dairy causes all sorts of other issues! The truth is that if we hear so-called conventional wisdom repeated enough (on television, in school, in magazines, etc.) our brains eventually regard it as truth.
Despite conventional “wisdom” from the meat and dairy industry – why are so many Americans not only surviving but thriving on plants alone? Only 1% of Americans identified as vegan in 2004 – that stat is now up to 6%. Veganism is not just trending, it’s here to stay! Just take a look at the increase in people searching for information on veganism. It has skyrocketed.
Of course, two of the main reasons people are drawn to veganism are the environmental and ethical benefits. In light of polar bears starving in front of National Geographic camera crews, record-breaking hurricanes, and wildfires ravaging California, people want ways to drastically decreasing their carbon footprint before climate change destroys our planet. Veganism is proven to have the biggest impact. Social media has also increased the average person’s exposure to how exactly their “meat” is made… and it’s not a pretty sight. It really makes us reconsider what our true values are because most of us are naturally animal lovers. In fact, a brand new study indicates nearly 50% of Americans would like to see all slaughterhouses closed.
Even if you don’t care about the ethical or environmental impacts, you can’t deny the benefit to your health. Popular Netflix documentaries like What The Health and Forks Over Knives are helping people all over the world learn about the incredible proven health benefits of a plantbased diet. Some of your favorite athletes already know all about it!
It makes sense. Athletes rely on their diets to feel energized and strong. They need this to perform at their absolute peak to stand out in an environment where they are surrounded by incredibly talented teammates and opponents. Clearly veganism is a tried and true way to provide that edge.