Santa Monica College track coach Joshua Garrett possibly set a new world record when he tackled the famous, 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail in just under 60 days. When asked how he managed to make his journey along the trail from the boarder of Mexico to Canada at an astonishing 45 miles per day, Garrett gave credit to his vegan diet.
The longtime vegan, who accomplished a feat that many outdoor enthusiasts dream of, spent two months hiking alone to raise money for the animal rights group, Mercy for Animals. Ultimately, he hopes to raise $10 for every mile of the Pacific Crest Trail and donate a grand total of $26,500.
When the Los Angeles Times asked Garrett how he was able to get enough protein for the strenuous journey from a solely plant-based diet, Garrett said “I get my protein the same way a gorilla does, or a wild mustang or an elephant. A plants-based diet gives us everything we need for strength and endurance. We don’t need to eat meat in order to be healthy and strong.” Although Garrett burned about 8,000 calories a day and lost 15 pounds over the course of the two months, he said a felt strong throughout his journey.
Garrett, who was raised on a traditional meat-filled diet, made the switch to veganism after meeting his girlfriend, who rescues turkeys; “I just realized that they are so smart and have great personalities. I thought, ‘How can I eat them anymore?'” Garrett was also touched by documentaries like Forks Over Knives, a film that links a diet rich in animal products to many illnesses.
The Pacific Crest Trail Association is not yet able to verify Garrett’s possible record-setting time, but Jack Haskel, trail information specialist, said “I have no reason to doubt Josh when he says he did what he did… It’s a really incredible achievement, hiking that fast.” It is still to be determined whether or not Garrett will hold the official Pacific Crest record.
Photo credit: Twitter/@VeganHiker