Olé Olé Vegan Football Won the Day!

For Christmas 2016, Wonderful Husband bought me a Forest Green Rovers FC football shirt. I’m not from the area nor have I ever watched them play, so weirdly, what may seem quite a random present was actually a mega, thoughtful present because… Forest Green Rovers are the world’s first vegan football team (to some extent!).

In the incredibly unlikely event that you’re not aware of the success achieved by The Green Devils (as they like to be known as) get ready to bask in vegan glory… On Sunday 14th May 2016, Forest Green Rovers FC were promoted to the English Football League!

Woah.

It’s like a vegan fairy tale. The club is super eco-friendly which entails promoting veganism… But let’s be a bit more specific. Apart from the Chairman, Dale Vince, I’m not aware of anyone else at the club that adheres to a vegan lifestyle. However the players are provided with a strict vegan diet when training at the ground and they are banned from eating red meat.

Taking meat out of their diet has significantly improved the performance of many athletes (check out my previous article). Also, Wonderful Husband, being an Arsenal supporter, told me that back in his Arsenal playing days, Robin Van Persie also cut red meat out of his diet. He said that Van Persie noticed a distinct difference in his performance. Unfortunately the only evidence I have to back up this very flimsy claim is Wonderful Husband’s word and a questionable article (here) with no sources. But hey… It probably happened.

Getting back to the mighty FGR, chairman Dale Vince is all about the environment and has totally fed his morals into the football club. This includes an organic pitch (both insecticides and pesticides have been banned), solar panels have been installed (that even power the lawnmower!) and all the club’s water and rainwater get’s recycled.

On top of this, the club only sells vegan food at the ground. For you hardcore non-vegan football fans, you may think this is a travesty, however the club has been awarded the Menu of the Year Award 2016 for their tasty vegan cuisine. This award had previously been won by establishments such as Lord’s Cricket Ground and the Eden Project. I’m tempted to go just to try their famous Q-Pie!

I think it’s great that a football team promoting veganism has done so well, some fans have even become vegetarian since the overhaul at the club. We can’t suddenly equate veganism to winning football games (because to be fair, Dale Vince has ploughed a whole lot of money into the club which means they can buy better players) but it does mean that their new diet has not had a detrimental effect to the club and maybe even a positive one.

I’m looking forward to following The Green Devils on their vegan adventure in League Two next season.

Vegan power! 💚

43 thoughts on “Olé Olé Vegan Football Won the Day!

  1. Heidi Coon says:

    I read they are not vegan, as they eat animal corpse outside of the club.
    Perhaps that is the ‘Vegan to some extent’…
    It’s is more like sea shepherd.
    Watson boasts a ‘vegan ship’, yet on land, crew scarfs corpse.
    Such loose terms, and tossing around the word vegan…dilutes the core message.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thecrumbyvegan says:

      Thanks for your comment Heidi.

      I would love the club to be vegan but I think I made it very clear that they weren’t when I said ” Apart from the Chairman, Dale Vince, I’m not aware of anyone else at the club that adheres to a vegan lifestyle.” 💚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Christina says:

    Okay, this is awesome! I love everything about this. Even if all the players aren’t strictly vegan they’re still vegan when they practice and the club is promoting a vegan lifestyle. This is amazing. It’s huge step forward to showing the world that veganism is important. And to help rid the world of the stigma that it’s unmanly to be vegan. I just cannot get over how cool this is. Seriously great post!

    Fromunderapalmtre.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thecrumbyvegan says:

      Christina that is such a good point that I failed to make in the post… That it squashes the whole idea that you need to eat meat to be manly. Thank you so much for that really essential addition!

      Thank you for your mega comment 💚

      Like

  3. wakeupmakeupnconquer says:

    As someone who is a vegan athlete it is so great to hear about other athletes applying this lifestyle and seeing positive changes. Really interesting post! There are so many misconceptions regarding vegan athletes and protein intake so it’s great to see pieces like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. fitasamamabear33 says:

    This is great! I just love that more people are becoming aware that you can be active/fit/healthy without meat based protein! it helps when big teams or organizations promote it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thecrumbyvegan says:

      You’re right, there is a huge awareness going on which is great news for the animals. This is the first football team I’ve heard of implementing a vegan diet when training but I know a lot of tennis players are vegan (at least when training) like Venus Williams and Djokovic 💚

      Like

  5. wildpreciousorg says:

    What an interesting post (and thoughtful gift from your husband)! I especially love that only vegan options are served at the club (as a plant-based eater myself, sporting events can pose quite a challenge…!), and maybe the Best Menu award will help draw in some folks who are a bit more wary of vegan eats!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thecrumbyvegan says:

      Haha that’s exactly what I thought… The usual football lads are going to need a michilin star next to this food to give it a try lol.

      Thanks for commenting and mega to hear you’re alread plant based (woohoo!) 💚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Amanda Appiagyei says:

    Whoa, that’s so cool. I’ve never heard of something like that before! I’ll have to send this to my husband, he has become since the beginning of the year, for health reasons, and he is in better shape than ever before, I can see why they provide that as their diet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thecrumbyvegan says:

      That’s so exciting that your husband is now vegan (obviously the health reasons aren’t exciting!) and very happy to hear that he is in great shape. There is the common misconception that you can’t get enough protein without meat but I’m so glad that you’re husband is showing everyone the opposite. Say hi from me 💚

      Like

  7. Dylan says:

    This is really interesting! Most athletes push that they eat a massive amount of protein from meat that helps them perform but this proves you can have a vegan diet and still do well!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beth Davidson says:

    I’m an American, so I watch our silly form of football instead, but this is really interesting. I’ve actually read that Tom Brady, who a lot of people consider the best American football player, only eats vegetables and occasionally fruit to make sure he can perform at his best. I don’t know if that’s all year long or not, but still. Who knew there would be all these benefits of veganism?

    Liked by 1 person

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