When people think sports and sports nutrition, not many would discount that there is meat on the menu. However, vegetarianism and even veganism has been espoused by many a high profile athlete, both past and present. Would you be surprised to find out that wannabe cannibal Mike Tyson — he of the affinity for ear munching — is a vegetarian? Or that Mac Danzig, UFC competitor, is a strict vegan? It’s not that surprising, really, when one marries the benefits of a meat-free diet with career longevity. Just ask former NBA legend Robert Parish, who played at a high level for 21 seasons and was voted to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003. Meat, Schmeat.
Laraque, a bruiser who played 695 games in the NHL and was a feared enforcer does not only eschew meat, but he is a vegan and active animal rights activist with PETA. Laraque became vegan before his final NHL season in 2009-2010 and has stated he’s “never felt better or so healthy in all (his) life.” For a guy known to “throw down” for his teammates, being a vegan certainly doesn’t fit the stereotype of the hockey pugilist. Not to mention that the post-game buffets certainly feature some kind of animal or fish product, as well as dairy products like cheese (which vegans also give up). Laraque also gets to hang with fellow PETA activist Pamela Anderson and owns a Vegan restaurant called Crudessence, in his hockey retirement. It serves all raw food, which is gluten free. Laraque may have fed his opponents meaty knuckle sandwiches during his career, but now he feeds the masses veggies.