15 Famous Vegan Athletes Who Succeed on a Plant-Based Diet

Can you name any famous vegan athletes?

Don’t stress if you can’t, up until one week ago I couldn’t either.

South Africa, the country I grew up in. Here, meat forms a fundamental part of our cuisine. In fact, for the majority of South Africans a meal without meat is not a meal at all.

But, if truth be told, it’s not just South Africa.

Globally the world consumes over 315 million tons of meat every year. Read this post by PETA to find out how eating meat harms the environment.

Before I lose you, it must be said that I don’t plan on preaching the benefits of going vegan in this article. For that I highly recommend you read 21 benefits of being vegan.

Here, I aim to showcase 15 famous vegan athletes who have helped inspire me to fuel my own body with a plant based diet.

15 Famous Vegan Athletes and Their Diets

Lewis Hamilton

– Formula 1 Racer

Lewis Hamilton - Famous vegan athlete

“As someone who follows a plant-based diet, I believe we need a healthier high street option that tastes amazing but also offers something exciting to those who want to be meat-free every now and again,”

Lewis Hamilton
  • Age: 35
  • Height: 1,74 m
  • Weight: 68 kg
  • Net Worth: $500 Million
  • Vegan Since: 2017
  • Favourite Vegan meal: Vegan pancakes.
  • Main motivation for going vegan: Animal welfare and how a plant-based diet affects his body.

David Haye

– Boxer

david haye - vegan boxer

“I’ve had a plant-based diet for three years. It started when I was injured and was researching the best diets to heal muscles. All roads kept leading back to a plant-based diet – and when you look at the horrible way animals are treated, that made it easier to switch. I have a full-time chef and a good nutritionist who makes sure I get all the minerals and nutrients required, which isn’t easy in a plant-based diet. I feel better than ever, I look and feel younger.”

– David Haye

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  • Age: 39
  • Height: 1,91 m
  • Weight: 102 kg
  • Net Worth: $20 Million
  • Vegan Since: 2014
  • Favourite Vegan meal: Sirt rich foods like: celery, turmeric, chillies, walnuts and apples.
  • Main motivation for going vegan: Animal welfare and how a plant-based diet affects his body.

Read more: 21 Animals in danger of extinction.

Serena Williams

– Tennis

Serena Williams- famous vegan athletes

“I think it’s just really good to clean out your system sometimes just to get rid of all the waste and things like that that are just in your system and let the earth from the plants really clean you out. So I’m a big believer in that.”

– Serena Williams
  • Age: 38
  • Height: 1,75m
  • Weight: 70 kg
  • Net Worth: $180 Million
  • Vegan Since: 2012 (Relapses from time to time)
  • Favourite Vegan meal: Toasted Ezekiel bread with almond butter.
  • Main motivation for going vegan: Serena cleaned up her diet and started eating vegan when her sister Venus got diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s syndrome. Both Serena and her sister are two of the most famous vegan athletes in tennis.

Dotsie Bausch

– Speed Cycling

famous vegan athletes

“My choice to adopt a plant-based diet was not simply emotional. After all, I’m a straight-shooter – a direct, intense and logically minded person. As it turned out, from both an ethical and practical perspective, no other lifestyle made sense, and I wanted people to realize it too. After years as an athlete, I felt a deeper calling, and I’ve never turned back.” since.

– Dotsie Bausch
  • Age: 47
  • Height: 1,73m
  • Weight: 59 kg
  • Net Worth: $1 Million – $5 Million (Approximate)
  • Vegan Since: 2009
  • Favourite Vegan meal: Vegan Brownies – See recipe
  • Main motivation for going vegan: She decided to make the switch after watching a slaughterhouse video. Realizing the cruelty she saw was the norm—instead of a one-off occasion—she gave up eating all animal products and went completely vegan.

Read More: Climate change the lethal effects on animals.

Patrik Baboumian

– Strongman

Patrik Baboumian - famous vegan athletes

“I just realized that if it’s really compassion that drives you, maybe it’s not enough just to stop eating animals but you maybe should boycott the whole animal industry, because… it’s not what you as a compassionate being would want. So actually you should go one step further and become vegan.”

– Patrik Baboumian
  • Age: 47
  • Height: 1,71m
  • Weight: 116 kg
  • Net Worth: $100,000 – $1 Million (Approximate)
  • Vegan Since: 2011
  • Favourite Vegan meal: Chips, falafel and vegan sausages.
  • Main motivation for going vegan: He felt that he was fooling himself eating meat considering his inability to kill an animal, so one day he decided to be honest with himself and stop eating meat.

Nate Diaz

– UFC Fighter

vegan athletes - nate diaz

“Who’s the real beast? [Eating predominantly raw and vegan] is more savvy and animalistic than anything. If anything, meat’s gonna slow you down.” 

– Nate Diaz
  • Age: 35
  • Height: 1, 83m
  • Weight: 77 kg
  • Net Worth: $8 Million
  • Vegan Since: 2003 (Every now and then eats fish and eggs, but when training he only eats vegan)
  • Favourite Vegan meal: Oatmeal with berries, nuts and fruits.
  • Main motivation for going vegan: Nate Diaz was inspired by his brother Nick whom was vegan. He basically saw that his older brother never lost a fight and decided to adopt the same training regime which included a plant based diet.

Jehina Malik

– Bodybuilder

jehina malik vegan bodybuilder

“I was born this way and continue to stay vegan because I feel it’s the best thing for my body.”

– Jehina Malik
  • Age: Unknown.
  • Height: 1, 54m
  • Weight: 53 kg
  • Net Worth: N/A
  • Vegan Since: Birth (Born and raised vegan).
  • Favourite Vegan meal: Couscous, vegan chicken or some other type of vegan protein and steamed broccoli.
  • Main motivation for going vegan: Breaking all the stereotypes and barriers that vegans can’t bodybuild.

Scott Jurek

– Ultramarathoner

Scott Jurek - Vegan Ultramarathoner

“Anyone who pays attention to what they eat and how it affects them will naturally move toward plants—and toward health.”

– Scott Jurek
  • Age: 46
  • Height: 1, 88m
  • Weight: 77 kg
  • Net Worth: N/A
  • Vegan Since: 1998 (Approximately)
  • Favourite Vegan meal: Smoothie, with oil, almonds, bananas, blueberries, salt, vanilla, dried coconut, a few dates and maybe brown rice protein powder.
  • Main motivation for going vegan: This famous vegan athletes main reason to make the switch was due to the long history of disease within his family. He educated himself on various diets, and vegan is the one he picked.

Mike Tyson

– Boxer

Mike Tyson - Vegan famous boxer

“I was so congested from all the drugs and bad cocaine, I could hardly breathe. I had high blood pressure, was almost dying, and had arthritis. Turning vegan helped me eliminate all those problems in my life, I’m in the best shape ever.”

– Mike Tyson
  • Age: 53
  • Height: 1, 78m
  • Weight: 109 kg
  • Net Worth: $3 Million
  • Vegan Since: 2010
  • Favourite Vegan meal: Vegan Chicken Tikka Masala.
  • Main motivation for going vegan: Severe health problems caused Mike to look for healthier diet alternatives.

Alex Morgan

– Football

Vegan athlete - Alex Morgan

“I never thought it was possible I could be playing at an elite level as a professional athlete with a plant-based diet. Then I realized it wasn’t detrimental at all. What I learned growing up wasn’t all that true.” 

– Alex Morgan
  • Age: 30
  • Height: 1, 70m
  • Weight: 62 kg
  • Net Worth: $3.2 Million
  • Vegan Since: 2018
  • Favourite Vegan meal: Mexican cuisines (without meat).
  • Main motivation for going vegan: She was inspired by her teammates who went vegan. Also, she never found it fair having a dog companion and eating meat at the same time.

Tia Blanco

– Surfer

Tia Blanco - Famous vegan athlete

“I grew up eating vegetarian with my whole family. My mom turned vegetarian when she was 12 years old purely because she loved animals. When I was 15 or 16, we all went vegan—for the animals and our health. The diet also benefits the environment immensely”

– Tia Blanco
  • Age: 23
  • Height: 1, 64m
  • Weight: 54 kg
  • Net Worth: $1 Million – $5 Million (Approximate)
  • Vegan Since: 2012
  • Favourite Vegan meal: Red lentils
  • Main motivation for going vegan: This famous vegan athlete did it for animal welfare and for her own health.

Abel Trujillo

– UFC Fighter

Abel Trujillo - Vegan UFC fighter

“Spiritually, when you eat an animal you’re messing up that animal’s life journey. That animal has a soul and it needs to live out its animal life naturally to proceed on its next journey but instead, it’s being raised and killed with a month or so for you to eat. Now you have messed up that animal’s spiritual evolution and there is spiritual karma attached to that! Physically, from a science point of view, meat is an acidic food. If you look at a pH scale the acidic side is red, the middle is neutral, and the other end is alkaline which is green! So the red is an unhealthy pH which includes things such as meat, candy, fast food, dairy, etc.”

  • Age: 36
  • Height: 1, 73m
  • Weight: 71 kg
  • Net Worth: N/A
  • Vegan Since: Many years, (exact amount unknown).
  • Favourite Vegan meal: Sweet potatoes
  • Main motivation for going vegan: “I decided to go vegan three years ago because after practicing Kundalini yoga for many years, it became apart of my daily routine and I wanted to fully raise my Kundalini energy the correct way. At this point, I was coming across numerous sources explaining how you can’t raise the Kundalini energy on an animal diet.”

Colin Kaepernick

– NFL

Vegan athlete -  NFL Player

“We have a lot of people that are oppressed. We have a lot of people that aren’t treated equally, aren’t given equal opportunities. Police brutality is a huge thing that needs to be addressed. There are a lot of issues that need to be talked about, need to be brought to life, and we need to fix those.”

– Colin Kaepernick
  • Age: 32
  • Height: 1, 93m
  • Weight: 104 kg
  • Net Worth: $20 Million
  • Vegan Since: 2016
  • Favourite Vegan meal: Unknown
  • Main motivation for going vegan: The athlete believes being vegan it will improve his health.

Morgan Mitchell

– Sprinter

21 Famous Vegan Athletes and Their Diets

“I recover a lot quicker than I used to. It’s easier to keep my weight down and I haven’t been sick at all!”

– Morgan Mitchell
  • Age: 25
  • Height: 1, 77m
  • Weight: 63 kg
  • Net Worth: Unknown
  • Vegan Since: 2014
  • Favourite Vegan meal: Peanut butter, green apples, dates, vegetable dumplings and pho.
  • Main motivation for going vegan: The athletes boyfriend gave up animal products, she decided then and there to do the same and has felt “amazing ever since”.

Hannah Teter

– Snowboarder

vegan athlete - Hannah Teter

“My plant-based diet has opened up more doors to being an athlete. It’s a whole other level that I’m elevating to. I stopped eating animals about a year ago, and it’s a new life. I feel like a new person, a new athlete.”

– Hannah Teter
  • Age: 33
  • Height: 1, 70m
  • Weight: 60 kg
  • Net Worth: $1 Million
  • Vegan Since: 2014
  • Favourite Vegan meal: Veggie stir-fry with a side of quinoa.
  • Main motivation for going vegan: Inspired by the documentary Earthlings to go vegetarian and then later vegan. – See Earthlings trailer here.

David Zabriskie

– Cyclist

famous vegan cyclist

“I started watching a few documentaries and in conjunction with that I took a food sensitivity test. I had some allergies so the first thing I did was cut meat out of my diet. Then it was dairy and the last thing was the eggs. This year I become the first pro to ride the Tour de France totally vegan. It was a change that was important to me for an environmental reason as well. There are a lot of benefits to it.”

– David Zabriskie
  • Age: 33
  • Height: 1, 83m
  • Weight: 67 kg
  • Net Worth: Unknown
  • Vegan Since: 2011
  • Favourite Vegan meal: Unknown
  • Main motivation for going vegan: “I started out with the Thrive book by Brendan Brazier. I think it’s a good starting point for people new to the vegan lifestyle.”

I hope you enjoyed reading through this list of 15 famous vegan athletes. For me, the most surprising vegan athlete has got to be Mike Tyson.

Which vegan athlete surprised you the most with their dietary choices? Let me know in the comments section below.

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