Jermain Defoe – Vegan athlete? Almost vegan athlete?

It’s difficult to know what is going on with this article. The title is:

“Is becoming a VEGAN the secret to hitting peak fitness? Jermain Defoe, 35, reveals how cutting back on meat gave him MORE energy – and credits it with extending his football career”

The contradiction is already implied: VEGAN in capitals and then cutting back on meat. Two very different things, but in this article by Imogen Blake in the MailOnline. Both concepts get merged into one.

The teaming up of Jermain with Quorn to promote its products is mentioned, and the cynic is no doubt left wondering if this is an attempt by an omnivore to jump onto the vegan bandwagon and attract some advertising fees.

Here is the problem:

“Defoe, who only eats salmon once or twice a week but is otherwise vegan, added: ‘I just feel like I can play for as long as I can.” [editor’s bold]

So if is is eating salmon once or twice each week and intends carrying on doing so, then he most certainly not vegan.

But there are some positives:

  • the benefits of a plant-based diet (albeit a mainly plant-based one) are highlighted – in terms of general health, feeling good, athletic performance extending into the 30s and 40s (good for footballers) and quick muscle recovery
  • promoting a plant-based diet
  • any publicity is good publicity – he is making people aware of a plant-based diet
  • So on balance – factually incorrect, mixed up, but essentially projecting a good message.