As vegan living becomes more and more mainstream, we’re seeing an increase in the number of athletes choosing to follow a compassionate lifestyle.
Cricket is one sport that has had its fair share of publicity lately when it comes to vegan athletes. Find out which Aussie cricket stars are living the cruelty-free life!
Fast bowler Peter Siddle is well known for his super-healthy plant-based lifestyle and has been vegan for a number of years. Speaking with PETA in 2015, “Sidds” revealed the extent to which vegan eating has impacted his health and athletic performance:
He has also found that the benefits of his food choices aren’t just physical – plant-based meals allow for a lighter conscience as well.
“Hearing all the stories about the cruelty in [the] meat and dairy industry, I think it changed my mind very quickly, and it made it a pretty easy decision in the end.”
“I’ve always enjoyed friendships with animals.”
Siddle’s activism for animals is ongoing, and he continues to use his public profile to advocate for other species.
His food posts are pretty drool-worthy, too!
Spin bowler Adam Zampa was vegetarian for some time before going vegan. His Instagram account now includes “plant based” in the description, reflecting the important role vegan eating plays in his life.
A photo posted by Adam Zampa Fan Page (@adamzampafanpage) on May 17, 2016 at 3:22pm PDT
Zampa is one to watch, both on the cricket field and off. We look forward to seeing him continue to speak out for animals and prove that plant-powered athletes can perform at an elite level.
Fast bowler Kane Richardson challenged himself to go vegetarian in 2014 and recently transitioned to vegan. A good friend of Zampa, Richardson was inspired by his buddy’s own plant-based journey to try cruelty-free eating for himself.
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) 7 May 2016
His Instagram account features cute snaps of his dogs, like this:
A photo posted by Kane Richardson (@kanewrichardson) on Aug 26, 2015 at 12:53am PDT
Talking of his decision to ditch meat, Richardson recently said:
“I didn’t want to eat animals.”
Elaborating further, he went on to say:
“I’ve watched a lot of documentaries on it, and whether it’s right or wrong, I don’t know if [eating animals] can be sustained the way people are gorging through food.”
“Especially in Australia, we’re pretty spoilt with what’s available.”
“It’s just something I thought long and hard about and tried to change and have stuck to it since.”
Jason ‘Dizzy’ Gillespie
Not afraid to speak out for animals, Jason “Dizzy” Gillespie is a proud vegan and animal rights activist.
Not acceptable no matter how you try to justify it. pic.twitter.com/xpCTwLjZE7
— Jason Gillespie (@YCCCDizzy) May 14, 2016
A former fast bowler who took 259 wickets in 71 tests for Australia, he now coaches the Yorkshire County Cricket Club in the UK.
Becoming vegan after his father died from a heart attack three years ago, Gillespie recently told The Yorkshire Post:
“We treat animals like s**t, we really do.”
“And in my opinion there’s no justification for that. These slaughterhouses, dairies and piggeries, zoos.”
“It’s cruel and it’s speciesism [the idea that humans have greater moral rights than animals] at its very worst and I don’t want to be part of it. Hopefully one day the dairy industry can be shut down.”
“I think it’s disgusting and wrong on so many levels. Slaughterhouses too. There are a lot of things we say in this world that are bulls**t. ‘Humane slaughter’.”
“[N]obody’s been able to explain that to me. How is killing humane?”
Watched the BBC1 programme “The truth about healthy eating”
Not one of the breakfasts tested was animal product free! How is that relevant?
— Jason Gillespie (@YCCCDizzy) June 4, 2016
Gillespie has also been speaking out against the dairy industry and is prepared to face backlash from one of his club’s sponsors, Wensleydale Creamery, in order to stand up for animals abused for dairy foods. In addition, he has spoken out in support of replacing cruelly produced leather cricket balls with synthetic alternatives.
Bowler Kara Sutherland was already a vegetarian when she announced on social media in late 2016 that she had decided to go vegan.
Today I made a pretty big life decision.
Today I decided that just being vegetarian isn’t… https://t.co/32RC7aCrDf
— Kara Sutherland (@karasutho) December 16, 2016
She refers to herself as “plant powered” in the description on her Instagram and Twitter accounts, where she shows off snaps of her delicious vegan food and shares some of the reasons behind her choice to follow a vegan lifestyle.
Cricket legend Greg Chappell – who held the record for the most catches at test-match level when he retired – went vegan after discovering the fitness benefits of a dairy-free diet:
“I think the turning point for me was an article that I wrote … on some research done at UCLA in California on their track and field athletes, about dairy products, and their fitness and general health on and off dairy products.
And the upshot of the article was that these athletes perform better, they recovered better, they trained better, and they were 100% aerobically more fit off dairy products than on dairy products, and I thought [that] for half the training I can be as fit as I am now.”
In addition to acknowledging the health benefits of a vegan diet, he also made the ethical connection: “It is impossible to ignore the ethical and environmental aspects of our meat-eating culture. There is no one animal I feel for over any other, for all intensively-farmed animals suffer a reduction in the quality of life”.
In a 2001 interview with Vegan Voice magazine, he stated that “while the myth of dairy being a ‘health food’ and meat being necessary for nutrients is allowed to be foisted on an unsuspecting public, most people will continue to ignore the impact that their eating habits have on their health”.