English soccer star and Manchester United coach Phil Neville can testify to vegetarianism’s healthful benefits. In an interview with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the former Premier League player notes that he decided to ditch meat for two weeks as a way to appease his wife—who has been vegetarian for nearly five years—but now he may never go back to an omnivore diet. “I started to feel healthier, leaner,” he says. “I started to feel great.” Neville also says that he hopes vegetarianism will increase his longevity, and he understands that going meatless has benefits beyond individual wellness: “2.5 million animals a day are being slaughtered,” he says. “That is a damning statistic that we need to do something about.” Other high-performance athletes who keep their diets cruelty-free include ultra-marathon runner Scott Jurek, Olympic skating medalist Meagan Duhamel, and NFL defensive lineman David Carter.
Photo credit: Phil Neville