YES! WWE Star Daniel Bryan Debuts New Vegan Championship Belt

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3 min read

Vegan professional wrestler Daniel Bryan successfully defended his WWE Championship title Sunday night during the 2019 WWE Royal Rumble at Chase Field in Phoenix. But it was his next move that made us cheer the star’s name at the top of our lungs: He unveiled a new, vegan, eco-friendly belt made entirely of hemp.

We applaud the self-proclaimed “amateur environmentalist” for spotlighting just how cruel and unnecessary it is to use intelligent, sensitive cows’ skin to make a belt.

I said when I became the WWE Champion that I was going to change the world, but to change the world, we need new symbols!” Bryan said on Tuesday.

His “new symbol of excellence,” as he calls it, is changing the game for animals. The animal-friendly hemp material that the new belt is made from prevented cows, crocodiles, and other animals from being exploited and killed for their skin.

Animals Are Not Ours to Wear

A PETA video exposé revealed that at cattle ranches in Brazil, gentle cows and bulls were branded on the face, electroshocked, and beaten before finally being slaughtered so that their skin could be used to make leather.

A PETA Asia eyewitness investigation revealed that dogs are bludgeoned and killed so that their skin can be turned into leather gloves, belts, and other accessories. Many mass-market retailers import cheap leather from China, so there’s no easy way to be sure that items aren’t made of dog skin.

Belts and other accessories are made from exotic-animal skins, too, like those torn from alligators and crocodiles. Time and again, PETA eyewitnesses have documented the appalling conditions in which animals are raised and killed for their skin. One investigation revealed how alligators are packed in dank pools and crocodiles are crowded in barren concrete pits for months or even years before finally being slaughtered for their skin.

It’s no wonder that Bryan refused to strap a dead-animal belt around his waist. We applaud him for thrusting cruel industries into the spotlight, and we urge all other WWE stars to take a page from the kind star’s book.

Bryan Eats Compassionately, Too

You can tell by scrolling through his Instagram photos that he’s a fan of vegan food. He credits his animal-friendly eating with giving him much of his success in the ring. And as with his accessories, the wrestler has proved that he’s not shy about speaking up for animals. Last Thursday, after Chase Field tweeted a photo of its “Royal Rumble” burger (essentially, a dead pig on a bun, topped with some aged cow secretions), Bryan responded with his own tweet:

“Chase Field should be ashamed of themselves,” he wrote. “Made from factory farmed pigs, an intelligent and extremely social mammal, and cheese from cows, [whose babies] were ripped away from them. THEN add the heart disease delivered to the people who eat it.”

Talk about a champion for animals, always.

Bryan and countless others know there’s no reason to wear or eat animals. The vegan leather game is on fire. Animal-friendly materials are nearly indistinguishable from animal-derived leather, which makes breeding, skinning, and killing animals entirely unnecessary. Plus, vegan leather—which can be made from plastic bottles, mulberry leaves, mushrooms, kombucha tea, coconut water, pineapple leaves, fruit waste, and even upcycled coffee grounds—has been proved to be far more sustainable and environmentally friendly than animal-derived leather. In fact, the Higg Materials Sustainability Index found that the production of cow leather has nearly three times the negative environmental impact of that of polyurethane vegan leather.

Bryan is far from alone. Other individuals (Joaquin Phoenix), companies (Tesla Motors), and even entire events (Helsinki Fashion Week) are steering toward a leather-free world, too. Are you?

Join Bryan—Change the World

You, too, can be a champion for animals. It’s easy! Just do what Bryan and countless other compassionate consumers do: Leave animals out of your wardrobe and off your plate. Click the buttons below for simple and free guides to get started:

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