How do we get more people to embrace a plant based diet? Do we lecture them about the evils of the farming industry? Do we make them feel guilty for the millions who are starving around the world because grain is being fed to cows not children? Do we point out the increased risks of cancer they face because of their food choices? Well… yes. We probably do and should but there is also a better way. We show them the vegan heroes. People who live and thrive on a plant based diet and live in a compassionate way. We give them role models that show them that not only is veganism possible, but that it is awesome 🙂
As a passionate runner my first Vegan Hero is a bit of an obvious choice – Ultra running champ Scott Jurek is a legend to both vegans and runners and to us vegan runners he is about as close as we get to a religion. Scott is not only an ultra running vegan but a vegan who WINS. A lot. He doesn’t just get by on a plant based diet he is living proof that veganism and athleticism goes hand in hand.
If you haven’t read his book yet ‘Eat and Run‘ I would really recommend it. It is not only an inspiring and exciting story but is also packed with recipes and training tips.
The following list of accomplishments is beyond impressive. If you have ever run a marathon you will know how tough that is on the body. Scott hold the US record for the furthest distance ran in 24 hours – the equivalent of running 6 and a half marathons back to back. On quinoa. As you look down the list keep seeing that word ‘won’. That is ‘won’ as in ‘better than those peope who eat meat’. Vegan = Better.
- United States record for 24-hour distance on all surfaces (165.7 Miles/266.01 Kilometers)
- Won the Spartathlon 152-mile (245km) race from Athens to Sparta, Greece three consecutive times (2006-2008)
- Won the Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run, and held the record time for one year until Kyle Skaggs set a new record in 2008
- Won the Western States Endurance Run seven consecutive times (1999-2005), and held the record time (15:36:27 in 2004) until 2010
- Won the Badwater Ultramarathon twice (2005, 2006), and held the course record for two years (2005)
- Finished first three times (2002-2004) and second three times (2001, 2005, 2006) in the Miwok 100K Trail Race
- Won the Leona Divide 50 Mile Run four times (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004)
- Won the Diez Vista 50K Trail Run twice (2000, 2003)
- Won the montrail Ultra Cup series twice (2000, 2003)
- Selected as UltraRunning Magazine’s North American Male Ultrarunner of the Year in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2007
So next time someone tries to tell you that they would love to be vegan but they have a physical job, they play a bit of football and need their protein or that it makes them tired point them Scott’s way and lets celebrate a true Vegan Hero.
Who are your Vegan Heroes?