06 June 2011

Vegan race car driver pays visit to rescued animals at Farm Sanctuary, makes pledge

Vegan race car driver Spencer Pumpelly not only visited Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, he also pledged to give the non-profit a portion of his winnings if he took the top spot at last Saturday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen race.

The grueling sports car endurance race takes place annually in Farm Sanctuary's hometown of Watkins Glen, see the connection?

Pumpelly’s relationship with Farm Sanctuary began after he saw the organization’s founder, Gene Baur, in the documentary that is making waves throughout the vegan world, Forks Over Knives.

“We are excited to have Spencer Pumpelly’s support,” says Baur. “We hope his dedication to protecting farm animals and compassionate living will inspire other race car drivers and racing enthusiasts to pay us a visit the next time they are in Watkins Glen.”

Obviously racing requires endurance, stamina and the ability to focus for long periods of time. Additionally drivers have to travel frequently, so how did the 36-year-old racer, who was a vegetarian for 8 years, make the decision to go vegan?

“I knew vegan was the right thing to do, but I always figured it would be too hard with all the traveling I do,” says Pumpelly. “I decided to give it a try last summer when several things, including my favorite local pizza joint starting to carry Daiya non-dairy cheese, seemed to point me in that direction. After a few weeks of adjusting, I now find it quite easy no matter where I go.”

Regardless, a vegan race car driver that visits farm sanctuaries? When one thinks of racing rarely does plant-based food and animal rights come to mind, but that's the great thing about veganism, the new generation making the lifestyle change are breaking the old stereotypes.

And in case you are wondering.

Unfortunately due to mechanical difficulties, Pumpelly didn't have the chance to make good on his promise but hey it's the thought that counts anyway.

TDIV wishes Spencer Pumpelly the best of luck in all of his future races.

Eric Fortney | @elfortney | email
Eric is the co-founder and executive editor of the animal rights and eco-friendly news source, This Dish Is Veg. In addition to his work at TDIV, Eric is a father of three, runner, and lover of the outdoors.

Photo credit: Farm Sanctuary