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66 year old athlete says he is ‘visual proof that being vegan long-term is beneficial for our minds, bodies, and self-respect as a species

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The vegan athlete as a young child was warned that he had less chances of surviving because of his dietary choices.

John Machin has been a lifelong vegan. He has never eaten meat and dairy.

He is 66 years now, but as a young child was warned that he had less chances of surviving because of his dietary choices.

This didn’t deter young Machin then and now in his  seventh decade of life, the determined athlete continues to exude strength, flexibility and resilience that belies his age.

‘Spectacular physical results’

“There’s a belief that vegans must be pale, weak and skinny; I’m hoping to show that the exact opposite can be true,” Machin said in a statement.

“I can also demonstrate that a life eating purely plant food offers lasting and quite spectacular physical results.”

He added: “I have been vegan since childhood. Back then, people like me were just known as fussy eaters. If my parents gave me anything from an animal such as meat or dairy, I felt disgusted; I couldn’t even consider eating it. I knew I’d be physically sick. 

“This caused some consternation and, at the age of five, I was gravely informed by our doctor that, unless I began eating meat and dairy, I wouldn’t live to see the age of ten. 

“I think he got that one slightly wrong.” 

Workouts with minimum fuss

The energetic athlete spends around two hours a day honing his strength and fitness. He is now down to doing home workouts and finds gym workouts overrated.

In a recent post on Instagram, he said: “I left the gym at the first lockdown, nearly two years ago. Since then, I’ve been training at home with just a pull-up bar, two Bosus & a pair of press-up handles. That’s all.

“As an environmentalist, I wince to think of the natural resources wasted on all those silly gym machines which are purported to be essential equipment for strength & fitness.”

 The vegan movement’s trajectory

Machin continues to use his experience and knowledge about vegan nutrition to bust myths around plant foods and educate people about the benefits of an animal-free diet.

“Plant foods are ideal for health and fitness; they’re what we naturally thrive on. Now in my seventh decade, I have never been fitter or healthier. I love the vegan diet and training, and how they make me feel,” he said.

While veganism is no longer considered a fringe movement and has seen tremendous growth over last few years, it wasn’t the case for Machin.

He had been vegan for well over 50 years before he met his first fellow vegan, so he finds the growth in veganism as heart-warming as it is surprising.

He said: “It’s never been easier to be vegan with so many positive health and environmental studies and with such a wealth of fabulous vegan food on the shelves, there are no longer any reasons not to try veganism. Just excuses. 

“I don’t preach about veganism anymore; pictures speak louder than words, so I just show people what years of plant foods can do. I hope I’m visual proof that being vegan long-term is beneficial for not just our minds and our bodies, but also for our self-respect as a species.”

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