Athletes from across the world are coming to East London – where we produce the show – but what are the vegan perspectives on the Olympic games?
- Diana talks to Sandra Hood, who wrote the book on raising vegan children, about carrying the Olympic torch
- Amazingly, keeping the Olympics supplied with a vegan mince that caters can use as a drop in substitute for ground meat is down to one small company – I visit the father and daughter who are supplying the Olympic games with the vegan option
- What do the locals think? The staff of the nearest vegan cafe to the games have their say.
- We fill you in on the stories you might have heard in the media – Venus Williams‘s diet, the Chinese volleyball team, and the use of animals in the opening ceremony
Venus and Serena Williams
Venus Williams and Serena Williams represent the US at Tennis.
The publicist told me that:
Serena’s diet is more “Raw” then “Vegan” although it is quite close.
- Carl Lewis, who competed in Barcelona on a vegan diet.
- Fiona Oakes, who cycled for Britain in Barcelona, and now runs Tower Stables animal sanctuary.
Nearly Olympian Vegans
James Southwood is one of the world’s leading Savateurs – French kickboxers – as well as being a former marketing officer for the UK Vegan Society. Paris was a close second for hosting the 2012 games, and would likely have added Savate as at least a demonstration event, as it did in 1924.
An already-Olympian we didn’t mention is Kara Lang, Canada, Football/Soccer – who competed in Beijing (2008) but was prevented from competing this year by an injury. She’s in London as a journalist.
Diana suggested athletes you might want to cheer on the basis of their vegan sponsors rather than their flag:
- US Rowing, sponsored by “Perfect Snaque”
- US Water Polo, sponsored by vegan hair care products Malibu C
- Canadian Triathlete Simon Whitfield, who uses and endorses the approach and supplements of vegan ultramarathon runner Brendan Brazier.
Sandra Hood, Registered Dietitian
Sandra Hood has spoken for the UK Vegan Society on diet issues, and wrote Feeding Your Vegan Infant with Confidence. The Olympic Torch Relay page on Sandra Hood has more information about her work on diabetes.
We discussed the Chinese volleyball team, whose complaints have been mentioned by NPR’s The Salt (who mentioned they were on the road without access to untainted meat) and The Guardian (who reported that they were only avoiding pork, whilst eating fish and “protein powder”).
I did not mention that the additive Clenbuterol is also unlawful. In 2009, over 70 people in China fell ill after eating Pork contaminated with Clenbuterol.
Animals at the Opening Ceremony
You can read more about that story at:
- LOCOG announcement about the opening ceremony, including that it will involve farm animals
- UK group Viva’s page about the campaign against the use of animals in the opening ceremony
- Guardian coverage of the controversy
The calculation of 20,000 chickens being eaten was based on the quantity of poultry mentioned in the LOCOG Factpack, assumptions that this was from birds of the same weights and proportions as 2010 UK production of carcasses and that 85% of a carcass is, ethics notwithstanding, edible.
We recorded the show on Friday afternoon and uploaded it (without show notes) as the opening ceremony was beginning.
Frys’ Veggiemince at the Olympics
Local radio in Durban, South Africa also interviewed manufacturer Tammy Fry.
Our thanks go to Robb Masters for the music, to Sandra Hood and to Fry’s and Pogocafe for their time.