05 February 2010

Ultimate Fighting Championship event features Vegan Mac Danzig

(photo credit: macdanzig.net)
Mac Danzig faces Justin Buchholz in the Feb. 6 pay-per-view Ultimate Fighting Championship event, UFC 109: “Relentless.”  A noteworthy side story to the event: Mac Danzig is a vegan.

“Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had a profound respect and interest in nature and animals,” Danzig explained in an interview with PETA. “I guess it’s just in my blood. I grew up poor by American standards and was raised to eat whatever we could afford. I remember being 13 and seeing a truck on the interstate filled with pigs all headed to the slaughterhouse. One of them made eye contact with me for a while. It was one of the saddest moments I can remember. There was so much intelligence and spirit in him, and here he was, being sent to an awful death.”

When Danzig was 20, he was working at an animal sanctuary in Pennsylvania and began experimenting with a vegan diet but was advised to eat meat again when he started training full time for fighting. “I believed what certain people said and started eating chicken again because I thought that I had to have some kind of animal protein in order to be a successful athlete. It was crazy because my diet was still pretty much vegan, except for chicken about three times a week. It never sat right with me.”

The 30 year-old Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Fighter switched to a plant-based diet in 2004 after reading about vegan athlete Mike Mahler and has never looked back.

Follow This Dish Is Vegetarian on Twitter

More Dish:
Step in a positive direction as animals slaughtered for food in U.S. declines
Paul McCartney joins Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP to promote Meat Free Mondays
Second Humane Society relief assistance team arrives in Haiti
Ricky Williams chooses faux chicken winner for Super Bowl parties
Humane Society launches new line of cruelty-free dog food