Houston Texans running back Arian Foster recently became a vegan, a fact broadcasted to millions of NFL viewers on Saturday when Arian’s sample meal plan showed up on the screen during a game. Arian’s diet of veggies and quinoa has been controversial in the offseason, but I hope his new eating habits will open people’s minds to the fact that meat isn’t always necessary to be a great athlete.
Arian’s diet looks pretty great: oatmeal, fruit, lots of veggies, quinoa and kale. Football pundits have had plenty to say about his eating habits since he tweeted about becoming vegan a few months ago: I guess people have a problem with football players not eating meat. To which I say: who cares? He’s an adult and a trained athlete (who’s working with the Texans’ dietician, incidentally); why should his decision to change his eating habits be a source of any kind of debate in the football world? I’m sure he can be just as awesome of a running back whether he’s eating tempeh or T-bone. Arian himself thinks it’s all just talk:
“There’s nothing to talk about in the offseason — that’s why (my July 5 tweet) got so much attention. Nobody asked what I ate last year. … It’s just the flavor of the week. You’ll forget about it in a month.”
“I’m feeling good. It will affect me in a positive way. If you improve your health, you’ll improve your performance. We are what we eat … I’ve just decided not to eat meat or dairy products.”
Although I think it’s silly that people are against his vegan diet, I’m also glad Arian is speaking out about it. While I love perma-vegan spokesperson Alicia Silverstone and her particular brand of haute-hippieness, it’s awesome that the public face of veganism is changing, too. More and more public figures are hopping on the plant-based train: Ellen DeGeneres is a vegan, Bill Clinton is a vegan, Travis Barker is a vegan. Even the currently-embattled Lance Armstrong, one of the most successful athletes of all time, has dabbled in veganism. And now, Arian Foster (one of the best running backs in the NFL) is proving that, even in the hypermasculine world of football, athletes don’t need meat to be successful.
Photo: via Virginia Lokey Plotner on Facebook