NFL Says Vegan Players are “Breaking the Mold”

National Football League promotes David Carter and Griff Whalen for breaking common “beefy” stereotypes.


A recent feature on the National Football League (NFL) website profiled vegan football players David Carter and Griff Whalen to illustrate how veganism is breaking the beef-eating stereotype historically associated with the sport. Writer Rachel Wenzlaff points out that the NFL is “a place that isn’t typically known for meatless meals,” before exploring how the vegan athletes answer the age-old question, “But where do you get your protein?” Carter and Whalen reveal they rely on legumes such as beans, peas, and peanuts. “I need protein to be big and strong, but look at some of the largest and strongest animals in the world and none of them eat meat,” Carter says. Wenzlaff discusses Carter’s continued efforts to promote veganism—for health and ethical reasons—through his blog The 300-Pound Vegan, as well as through his nationwide travels speaking at events such as this year’s National Animal Rights Conference in Los Angeles, and this weekend’s Chicago VeganMania celebration. Beyond just football, veganism is being embraced more and more in the sports industry, with athletes such as former Mr. Universe Barny Du Plessis, boxer Nate Diaz, and ultramarathoner Scott Jurek—who broke the Appalachian Trail record in 2015—all crediting their choice to abstain from animal products as keys to success in their respective athletic endeavors.