Pro Sports as Vegan Activism: Dale Vince & Forest Green Rovers
Most vegans worth their salt can name a few vegan athletes, like Carl Lewis, Scott Jurek and Rich Roll. But it’s unusual to see an entire professional sport team adopting a vegan diet.
That’s exactly what Dale Vince, Chairman of the Forest Green Rovers Football Club, accomplished. Vince, founder of green energy company Ecotricity, bought the club in 2010 and immediately went to work transforming the diet of both the players and fans.
Thanks to his persistence and determination, Vince accomplished to do something most vegans can only dream of.
Baby steps can work
While certain vegan theorists might disagree with his approach, Vince went the gradual route toward having the team and venue go vegan, and experienced great success. He first eliminated red meat, then chicken, then finish, and finally dairy products. The food served in the stadium has been fully vegan since 2014, and the meals served to players before matches is vegan as well.
Of course, what players do in their private lives is their own business, but Vince’s persistence has made the Forest Green Rovers the first team in history to have a fully vegan stadium. Even the field is truly “green” and uses a robotic lawnmower to trim the organic, rainwater fed pitch.
Be the change
People often tell me that we’ll never see the world go vegan. That might be true. But we also won’t accomplish anything unless we try. Dale Vince’s record of “greening” the Forest Green Rovers illustrates how much can be accomplished when you stand by your principles, ignore the critics, and refuse to take “no” for an answer.