MANILA — Heavyweight boxing champion David Haye stars in a PETA Asia campaign promoting “the knockout power of vegan meals”, the region’s People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals group said in a press release.
In the ad, Mr. Haye appears with his fists up, behind the words “I’m David Haye, and I Eat Vegan.”
In a video Q&A posted on Peta Asia’s YouTube channel, Mr. Haye spoke about his performance in the ring since ditching meat: “I’ve put on good lean muscle, feel strong, healthy, no injuries.”
He explained that he made the decision to eat vegan after watching the documentary Earthlings, which “kind of hit home about… all the unnecessary amounts of killing of animals.”
The “Hayemaker” also said he discovered some unexpected bonuses the moment he cut meat, eggs, and dairy foods from his diet: “I felt healthier, felt cleaner, lighter… I woke up brighter in the mornings, fresher.”
He said that before going vegan, he would “crash out and go to sleep” after a meal, but now when he eats, he feels “more awake and perked up.”
PETA — part of whose motto reads, “animals are not ours to eat” — said that compared with meat-eaters, vegans are less prone to heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer, and obesity, and each person who goes vegan saves many animals every year from daily suffering and a terrifying death.
Mr. Haye is the 2009 World Boxing Association champion and “is widely recognized as one of the best boxers of his generation”, PETA Asia said. The British heavyweight joins a growing list of athletes — including 2014’s Mr. Universe, Barny Du Plessis; Germany’s Strongest Man 2011, Patrik Baboumian; American Ninja Warrior veteran Tim Shieff; football great Phil Neville; and many others — who have teamed up with PETA affiliates to promote meat-free meals.