More animal-friendly fighters

Written by Roger on July 3rd, 2011

Check out Matt Wiman's butt! Um, I mean, what's written there.

This is just a quick note on some animal-friendliness at Saturday night’s UFC event. First, Matt Wiman, who lost a close & controversial decision to Dennis Siver, had the Meet Your Meat and Food Inc websites on his shorts. Second, I learned from the broadcast that middleweight Aaron Simpson has now gone vegan. (He went vegetarian several fights ago, after reading Eating Animals.) Simpson won every round of his fight with Brad Tavares on Saturday.

It’s not news that there are vegans and vegetarians at the top levels of mixed martial arts & other sports–and I don’t know much about Wiman’s diet–but this stands out to me as clashing with even more false stereotypes than usual. Aside from the stereotype of vegans and vegetarians as anemic, limp-wristed weaklings (which should be quite thoroughly shattered by now), it’s interesting to see Wiman and Simpson taking an ethical stand on animal agriculture. It’s one thing to fight the misconception that you need to eat meat to be strong, but it’s even better to fight the misconception that it’s somehow unmanly to care about how animals are treated, or that only the overly sentimental are concerned with cruelty.

Here we have two people who make a career out of punching other people in the face, yet who find our treatment of farmed animals unconscionable. And they’re not alone, either. Mac Danzig is probably the fighter most famous for being vegan, and he’s another ethical vegan–it was his experience on a sanctuary that persuaded him to go vegan.

(From another angle, this also contrasts with the stereotype of professional fighters as boneheaded thugs. In fact, as professional athletes go, fighters tend to be highly educated & often quite thoughtful people.)

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9 Comments so far ↓

  1. Adam says:

    I couldn’t be more stoked about this! Thank you for the information!

  2. David says:

    Yes. Unfortunately, so many people dismiss veganism because they despise the stereotypical conception of the effete vegan. And nobody turns that stereotype on its head faster than Mac Danzig and other warriors in mma. Now if only we could get GSP.

  3. Erin says:

    ….and Alistair Overeem!

  4. Roger says:

    Yeah, it would be great if we could get Overeem, but I think he might be about as likely to switch as Brock Lesnar….

    Interesting tonight seeing Mac Danzig fighting Matt Wiman, who had meetyourmeat.com on his shorts again. Great fight, too.

  5. Peter says:

    Great observation Roger- I had completely forgotten about Mac and Matt’s fight, or rather didn’t realize that it was 2 kindred spirits (pro-animal) fighters doing battle. It was unfortunate how the fight ended (the Ref stopped the fight b/c he thought Danzig was unconscious while Danzig was actually doing just fine).

    Btw- Dan Hardy, another high-ranking fighter for the UFC, is also very much pro-animal. Of late he has been REALLY jumping all over Matt Hughes — who is himself a UFC fighter — for Hughes’ recent African trophy hunting excursion, during which Hughes slaughtered a BUNCH of animals and then gave all the meat away.

  6. Roger says:

    Thanks for pointing that out, Peter! Yeah, Hardy’s been all over Hughes in the media, but it looks like he won’t get to fight him: Hughes officially retired this weekend & took a desk job with the UFC.

    Re: Wiman & Danzig: at least they got to fight the rematch, which was super close. The judges had it for Wiman, but I thought it was Danzig’s fight. Then again, I’m a bit partisan–Mac’s always been a favourite of mine.

  7. Peter says:

    Yeah- I heard that Hughes was just offered the position of VP with the UFC. I wonder how long that will last- he has a way of frequently offending people, if not with his cockiness, than his evangelizing.

    I have to say that given how marginalized AR people are, as well as how unpopular UFC people are, at least among my groups of friends (“What are you- some kind of violence freak?”), it is GREAT to meet another AR person into UFC/MMA! It is very nice, and a little reassuring, to meet you Roger.

  8. Peter says:

    Ha, I just noticed- you wouldn’t be the same “Roger” that wrote this article, are you?

  9. Roger says:

    Haha, yup, that’s me! Good to meet you too, and thanks for commenting. Drop me a line sometime (roger at liberationbc dot org)–I’m always interested in talking about MMA and/or AR.

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