14 Superstar Athletes You Didn’t Know Are Vegetarian

Who says successful athletes can’t be fueled by greens and compassion?

1. Ricky Williams

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This former Miami Dolphins running back is a Heisman Trophy-winner who left the game to open a restaurant (with lots of veggie options) in 2011. He even hosted PETA’s faux-chicken-wing competition, to find the best tasting non-meat option.

2. Prince Fielder

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Prior to his 2008 season, this first baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers became a vegetarian after reading ‘Skinny Bitch’ (by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin), given to him by his wife.

3. Carl Lewis

This famed track star uttered the unforgettable words: “My best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet.” He was also dubbed “Olympian of the Century” by Sports Illustrated.

4. Tony Gonzalez

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This six-time Pro Bowl veteran of the Atlanta Falcons fuels his football physique with veggies and non-meat treats. He even posed along side his wife, October, in a revealing shoot for PETA’s “I’d rather go naked” campaign.

5. Mike Tyson

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Because of his cameo in ‘The Hangover’, audiences know of pro-boxer Mike Tyson’s affection for furry creatures, namely—tigers. But what they might not know is Tyson, one of the most feared names in Boxing, has a huge heart for all animals, and eats a strict vegan diet.

6. Joe Namath

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Notorious playboy and New York Jets player Joe Namath adapted a veggie lifestyle, saying, “I have been a vegetarian for a few years. Fred Dryer of the Rams has been one for ten years. It shows you don’t need meat to play football.”

7. Tony La Russa

Tony La Russa is a five-time Manager of the Year, and conscious about what he puts on his plate. It started in 1977, when his wife watched a documentary on how veal was made. First the couple cut out veal, then red meat, then everything else with a face. The former Cardinals player started his own animal foundation, appropriately called The Animal Rescue Foundation, which rescues and finds homes for abandoned animals.

8. Robert Parish

Basketball Hall-of-Famer Robert Parish is one of the “50 Greatest Players in NBA History,” and also a lover of four-legged creatures. The former Boston Celtics center fuels his seven-foot-frame with nothing but non-meat nourishment.

9. Dave Scott

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This Ironman Word Championship record holder rose to his many victories while eating his veggies and avoiding meat. Scott hung up his running shoes, swim suit and bicycle, only to come out of retirement at age 40 and compete again. Who says vegetarians don’t get enough protein?

10. Billie Jean King

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Not only is she a compassionate non-meat eater, but this tennis pro is a powerhouse against sexism in the athletic arena. King won 12 Grand Slam titles and 16 doubles titles, and she infamously beat Wimbeldon champion Bobby Riggs in a Battle of the Sexes match.

11. Hank Aaron

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Before Barry Bonds, this vegetarian was the all-time home run champion, but some still regard him as the true record holder (because of Bonds’ ties to steroids).

12. Desmond Howard

Desmond Howard is a former Heisman Trophy-winner and a Superbowl MVP for the Green Bay Packers, thanks in part, to a diet of greens.

13. Jake Shields

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This mixed martial artist’s campaign for PETA pretty much says it all: “I’m living proof that you can run further, train harder, and pack a meaner punch without eating animals.”

14. Rich Roll

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In an article he wrote for the Huffington Post, Roll stated, “Vegetarian men live, on average, 9.5 years longer than their meat-eating counterparts.Vegetarian women live 6.1 years longer. And, fellas, vegan men are less likely to suffer from impotence…” You heard it here, veggies are sexy!

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