Professional athlete James Newbury—who has held the title of “Australia’s Fittest Man” four times—recently went vegan for the animals and the environment. The athlete—who also placed fifth in world fitness competition Crossfit Games—took to Instagram to announce his transition.

 
 
 
 
 
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Ok so a few questions have been coming through about the plant based meals I’ve been posting so this post should nail them for you guys, here goes. Turning more plant 🌱 based has been on my mind since about 2013. I even did a couple of months of it. To say I was prepared at the time would be a lie. I didn’t educate myself and didn’t take the time to make good eating habits, so I stopped. Back then it was looking at performance benefits rather than ethical reasons. I guess since then I’ve almost turned a blind eye to a lot of what you see on YouTube with how animals are treated, and I avoided videos like that like the plague because it made me so sad. Then I started to think to myself by not watching the video because it makes me sad, this doesn’t actually contribute to a solution, yet it actually supports it. No matter the size of the contribution, it’s still a contribution, so I made the choice to do it properly. Not only for the animals but the environment too. Before the @crossfitgames open started in the beginning of October I stopped eating 99% of animal products. I did however keep a collagen protein in my diet as I wanted to ease my way into it. 3 weeks later I fell off my bike and broke my back, ribs and punctured a lung. I continued eating 99% animal free through this period. 2.5 weeks later I went in for follow up xrays. I then received a call later that arvo from the cardio thoracic doctor saying there was no fractures left to be seen. Not to say the way I was eating is the cause of this because I’m sure the shape I was in played a role and my ATT to recovery is almost obsessive. As of the 12th of November I quit 100% of animal products. December 1st I completed my ever full distance Ironman and then finished a 7 day fast in Bali. I’m now back in the gym and I’m looking forward to sharing the journey of getting back to CrossFit weight from here. My collagen of choice now is @atpscience vegan aminos 🌱- At no point am I going to push this choice upon anyone else but hopefully it allows everyone to keep an open mind just like anything in life regardless of the stigma attached. #livekindly however looks for you ✌️

A post shared by James Newbury (@jamesnewbury) on

Newbury explained that he has been considering going vegan since 2013 and previously attempted a plant-based diet for several months. “To say I was prepared at the time would be a lie,” Newbury said. “I didn’t educate myself and didn’t take the time to make good eating habits, so I stopped.” Since then, the athlete has been haunted by the knowledge that animals are brutally exploited for food. “I’ve almost turned a blind eye to a lot of what you see on YouTube with how animals are treated, and I avoided videos like that like the plague because it made me so sad,” Newbury said. “Then I started to think to myself [that] by not watching the video because it makes me sad, this doesn’t actually contribute to a solution … it actually supports it.” Newbury began his permanent transition to a plant-based diet in October and replaced the final animal product (collagen) he consumed with a vegan version in November. After recovering from a major bike accident this fall, Newbury completed his first Ironman in December—where he swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles, and ran 26.2 miles in 10 hours and 14 minutes.

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