‘What the Health’ Is Going On With the NFL Right Now?

Published by Katherine Sullivan.
4 min read

Think you need meat to achieve pro-NFL status? Think again. These players recently switched to plant-based diets, and they’re crediting their meat- and dairy-free nutrition for their NFL success. Find out why they’re opting for vegan meals and discover how you can improve your life and the lives of animals, too.

Theo Riddick

This summer, Theo Riddick—a 200-pound running back for the Detroit Lions—decided to get real about what he puts into his body by switching to a vegan diet. He credits his “lady” and Netflix’s What the Health, saying, “Watching things like that is alarming on a lot of levels because of a lot of things you don’t know in terms of things you eat on a daily basis such as chicken and drinking milk has no nutritional value. You have to be conscientious of what you’re putting in your body.”

Brandon Mebane

Mebane, a defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Chargers, credits the recent Netflix documentary What the Health for inspiring his decision to eat more plant-based foods. After watching the film with his wife, Mebane wrote on his blog that his “jaw dropped.” Mebane admits to previously believing that “big football players” needed meat to maintain an ideal weight. But after watching What the Health, which features a number of vegan athletes, Mebane realized this just wasn’t true and is now working toward eliminating meat from his diet.

Trent Williams

Williams, an offensive tackle for the Washington Redskins, recently switched to a vegan diet—all 300 pounds of him. The five-time Pro Bowl selection also decided to ditch meat after watching What the Health.

Arie Kouandjio

Williams convinced Redskins teammate Kouandjio—an offensive guard—to opt for plant-based meals as well. Kouandjio watched What the Health shortly after Williams, and this led the NFL player to commit to a fully vegan diet.

Bennie Fowler

Fowler, a wide receiver for the Denver Broncos, believes his performance has improved since last season, and his teammates agree. The reason? Fowler asserts that his recent decision to eat vegan is what’s behind his success this off-season. The player says that he feels good, fast, and light since ditching meat and dairy.

Demaryius Thomas

Thomas, Fowler’s teammate and fellow Broncos wide receiver, also went vegan at the start of June. Fowler told the Denver Post, “Me and (Demaryius Thomas) have actually been vegan for about three weeks. I have to be ready to play 60 plays per game. That’s something I’m preparing for. I’ve lost 10 pounds. DT has lost some weight.”

Grady Jarrett

Like some of his fellow NFL players, Jarrett—a defensive tackle for the Atlanta Falcons—also sees how What the Health could convince folks to opt for plant-based meals:

Kendall Langford

Langford, defensive end for the Indianapolis Colts, was similarly affected after watching the documentary:

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These Players Aren’t the Only Winners—Animals Are, Too

By switching to a plant-based lifestyle, these players are improving their health and performance. But, they’re not the only ones reaping the rewards—these plant-based all-stars are also saving animals’ lives. These players are standing up for those who face horrific abuse on farms and in slaughterhouses. They’re actively making animals’ lives better while also improving their own—and you can, too!

NFL Players are Scoring Plant-Powered Points—You Can Too

More and more professional American football players are choosing to go vegan, proving that—yes—vegans can get enough protein. David Carter, also known as The 300 pound Vegan, may be retired from the NFL, but he’s committed to his cruelty-free lifestyle—and busting myths about vegan strength.

Aaron Rodgers, who is “mostly vegan,” leads the offensive team of the Green Bay Packers. Although it may be considered blasphemy in the cheese-obsessed state, Wisconsin’s golden child has ditched milk, cheese, and other animal-derived ingredients.

If you want to be compassionate and strong like Carter, Rodgers, and so many other professional athletes, Tom Brady has you covered. The five-time Super Bowl champion recently partnered with plant-based food delivery service Purple Carrot to bring vegan meals right to your home.

Brady’s “peak performance” company, TB12, teamed up with the vegan meal delivery service to offer you the same performance meals that he says have helped him stay at the top of his game—delivered weekly to your front door. Click here to learn more about the collaboration.

Want to find out more about the Netflix documentary that has NFL players going vegan? Click the button below for more information on What the Health, and order yourself a free vegan starter kit while you’re at it!

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind

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