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Many top athletes find success with vegan diet

Baseball season is here, and many fans are eager to see vegetarian and 2009 home-run derby winner Prince Fielder hit a home run, or Minnesota Twins vegan pitcher Pat Neshek return to strike-out form.

  These powerhouses get all the protein they need from veggie burgers, veggie dogs, and vegetarian versions of other stadium favorites, as well as wholesome foods such as vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. They're true champions for promoting healthy eating and helping to stop animal suffering.

  Many athletes, including Ultimate Fighting Champ Mac Danzig and record-holding endurance runner Scott Jurek, get their strength and stamina from vegan foods. Atlanta Falcons tight-end Tony Gonzalez, a 10-time Pro Bowl selection, also touts a vegan diet, and Olympic winner Carl Lewis says that his best year of track competition was the first year that he ate a vegan diet.

  It doesn't matter if you're playing for records or just playing for fun--these athletes are proof that if you want to excel, practice hard and eat a healthy vegan diet. See for recipes that are fit for a champ. -- Heather Moore, Research Specialist, PETA Foundation, Norfolk, Va.