Arnold Schwarzenegger is perhaps the most influential bodybuilder of all time. There are only a few who can rival the 7-time Mr. Olympia title holder. The impact that Arnold has had on the sport is immeasurable, and his influence transcends the stage. His principles and teachings have influenced generations of bodybuilders, and he continues to do great work in the industry even today, despite being years past his competing days.
However, there is one trivial piece of information about the Austrian-born legend you may not know. He's vegan! Or, well, to an extent. Arnold Schwarzenegger says that he's been "80% vegan" for the past five years and even attributes his good health during that time to veganism. In this piece, we'll look at why Arnold opted for a change, and how he's feeling about his new plant-based diet.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's Plant-Based Diet
Five years ago, Arnold decided to change things up and gave up meat by eliminating a portion of animal protein from his diet. He has spoken out about the benefits of a vegan diet and even claimed that it helped him lower his cholesterol. However, he hasn't entirely eliminated meat from his diet. In an email newsletter shared by the bodybuilding legend earlier this year, he said that he still likes "juicy steak" and "crispy wiener schnitzel."
The Terminator star wrote,
“I have been about 80% plant-based for the past 5 years of my life. Even though I still eat meat sometimes, because I can’t resist a juicy steak when I have friends over or a crispy wiener schnitzel in Austria, I mostly eat plant-based because it is better for my overall health, and as my friend Jim Cameron taught me, better for the environment because the clearing of forests and the raising of animals for meat causes so much pollution. "
Schwarzenegger further stated,
"My bad cholesterol number is so low that my Doctor thought I might be a different person and feel healthier and younger overall. If any of you have recently gone vegan, what are your favorite recipes? And if any of you are thinking about going vegan, what’s stopping you? Send me an email with the subject VEGAN and let me know!”
Apart from the obvious health benefits of going vegan, it seems that there's a lot more to the game besides that. Veganism is healthier not just for oneself but also for the environment. In a world where corporations are setting in motion an irreversible negative pattern of industrial pollution and deforestation at an alarming rate, it's important to play your part as a responsible citizen and help offset the damage caused by those in charge.
For anyone looking to stop eating meat for any reason, veganism offers a long-term food solution that is produced sustainably. Arnold was even joined in a documentary by James Cameron and Jackie Chan, in which the bodybuilding legend stated the importance of veganism and how it reduces carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.
Of course, not everyone agrees on the subject of veganism. There are several who stand by him, while there are others who disagree. Strongman Stan Efferding is of the belief that Arnold would never have achieved the physique he did in his prime, and he would never have conquered the Mr. Olympia on a plant-based diet.
It's good to see the Terminator Genisys star join the fight against the destruction of the environment by doing his bit. In doing so, he joins a long list of celebrities who have pledged their loyalty to veganism. Arnold's decision is primarily a dietary one, though he has been made aware of the negative effects of animal protein and is relieved to be making the switch, claiming that he feels healthier as a vegan.
Poll : Do you like Arnold's vegan diet?