by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Eats
Tags: .

There are some misconceptions out there that changing to a vegan lifestyle somehow puts you at a disadvantage in sports and other high-protein, physical activities. Meet Mac Danzig — a finalist in Men’s Health magazine’s profile of the “25 Fittest Guys In America”. Not only is he ripped and a tough competitor on the show The Ultimate Fighter, but he’s also been a vegan since 2004. Here’s a brief highlight from his interview with the mag: 

What made you decide to stop eating meat?

When I was 16, I cut out beef and pork. I just got to the point where I wanted to minimize my intake of animal products. I knew about factory farming and the theories that meat wasn’t safe, but I subscribed to the theory that if you were doing something athletic, you needed to have protein, so I kept eating chicken and fish. But then in 2004, I got to the point where I was sick of eating chicken. It started grossing me out for some reason. I was about a month out from a fight and I decided I was going to cut out all meat. I was working with a trainer who was vegan and he helped me make the switch. I won that fight and went on a 12-fight winning streak. And [not eating meat] made it really easy to cut weight for that fight.

How about an animal abuser or a factory farmer?

[Laughs] This is just a sport for me. It’s not about animosity and wanting to be violent. I wouldn’t give those people the satisfaction of fighting me in my sport. If I had to take care of one of those guys, it would be in a back alley with a baseball bat [laughs].

You can check out the full interview with Mac by jumping here. 

Thanks Rain-Ra!

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • oakling

    it’s a little weird, because I assume (or at least hope) his trainer helped him make the switch by finding out how much protein he needs and where else he can get it…. but he sort of glosses over it the way a lot of vegans do, like “oh, I didn’t need all that protein! people get too much protein anyway!” which is … not exactly true, nutritionally.

  • Jo

    But then again, he seems to get enough protein from his vegan diet to consistently dominate his sport … There’s this basic misconception about protein: that it’s like some “essence” that you get only from meat. Proteins are combinations of amino acids that can be found in all foods: beans, nuts, legumes and tofu, for instance. It’s not too hard to fill up on those.

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  • Inga Ambrosia

    Look at him! Does he look like he’s lacking anything?

  • Jennae Petersen

    Clearly he’s getting ample nutrition and ample protein. Now if I could just learn to fight like that…

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  • Pete

    mac is my hero. one reason i got my heavy bag and started doing the whole boxing thing again :)

  • Eric Prescott

    Man, I wish getting into that kind of shape didn’t take so much work and so few cookies!

  • petrinavegan

    too bad there’s a meat ad right under the blurb! ugh!

  • Michelle Vegan

    I’m glad he is partaking in the Vegan Life style. But he dosent give a shit about the culture or the animals. So chicken grosses his out- but if it didnt he’d still eat dead animals. To me, the philosophy behid ‘veganism’ is equality and compassion. Since he dosent posess either- he’s just a guy that dosent eat meat.. not a real Vegan. I dont eat meat not only because of the nutritional reprocussions but because I dont agree with the enslaving and murder of innocent animals for human benefit.