Heavyweight boxing champion David Haye has proved that he’s as kind as he is strong by starring in a new PETA U.K. campaign promoting the knockout power of vegan meals. In the ad (available here), he appears with his fists up in a boxing stance next to the words “I’m David Haye, and I Eat Vegan.”
In an exclusive video interview with PETA U.K.—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—Haye speaks passionately about his performance in the ring since ditching meat: “I’ve put on good lean muscle, feel strong, healthy, no injuries.” He explains how he made the decision to eat vegan after watching the documentary Earthlings, which “kind of hit home about … the unnecessary amounts of killing of animals.”
And The Hayemaker discovered some unexpected bonuses the moment he cut meat, eggs, and dairy foods from his diet: “I felt healthier, I felt cleaner, lighter. … I woke up brighter in the mornings, fresher.” He recalls how before going vegan, he would want to “crash out and go to sleep” after a meal, but now when he eats, he feels “more awake and perked up.”
Going vegan is a great way to improve your health, as vegans are less prone to suffering from heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer, and obesity than meat-eaters are. And each person who goes vegan prevents more than 100 animals every year from being killed on factory farms, in slaughterhouses, and on the decks of fishing boats.
Haye joins a growing list of athletes—including British boxer Nathan Cleverly, welterweight champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley, professional wrestler Austin Aries, and mixed martial artist Jake Shields—who have teamed up with PETA or PETA U.K. to promote kindness to animals.