Friday, March 23, 2012

Vegan Bodybuilders

The other day I decided to research the topic of vegan bodybuilders. I know the phrase "vegan bodybuilder" may sound like an oxymoron to some people since vegans are frequently stereotyped as being skinny and weak. I came across this photo of Avi Lehayani who is a vegan from Israel and it really caught my attention.

I also found a website called vegan bodybuilding which I thought was interesting. It features profiles for bodybuilders, athletes, and strength and fitness competitors who have decided to completely avoid all animal products in their diet.

Most of the people profiled on the site had impressive physiques, but I didn't see any of the really freaky stuff like you see with the Mr. Olympia competitors. I assume that is because people who avoid animal products due to health concerns are also more likely to avoid steroids and drugs than some of your hard core body builders who are willing to do anything to get big.

I personally think most Americans eat too many animal products, but I am not a vegan and don't necessary agree with their eating philosophy. They do, however, have my respect. In a world of gluttony and overeating where most people consume high calorie and overly processed foods, it is always encouraging to see people who practice self control and are disciplined when it comes one's diet.

It is nice to know that those who choose to adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet are not doomed to have a skinny and malnourished body. They may need to plan what they eat more carefully and supplement their diet with certain foods, but building muscle is still possible without having to drink raw eggs like Rocky and eat steak for dinner every night.

PS-I got a kick out of the comments some people made about how elephants, gorillas, and bulls are the strongest and most muscular animals on the planet, yet they only eat plants. I appreciate that fact, and understand the point they were trying to make, but that's kind of like saying giraffes are so tall because they eat a herbivore diet. You have to take genetics into account when you make statements like that.

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