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Professional wrestler Austin Aries has spoken out about veganism and what inspired him to shun animal products, after writing a book about food advocacy earlier this year.
The book, Food Fight: My Plant Based Journey from the Bingo Halls to the Big Time, also looks at his career in wrestling.
A vegan since 2011, Aries gave up meat after learning about animal mistreatment. He then discovered the health benefits that come with a plant-based diet.
The athlete, whose real name is Daniel Healy Solwold Jr., told media outlet the Orlando Sentinel: “If I can have an impact on changing [people ‘s] lives by planting the seeds of change in their head, that’s so fulfilling.
“I’ve been blessed for 17 years to have a job where I make people forget their problems for a little while.
“But now, how much cooler is it to help people fix problems in their lives, like how we take care of ourselves and how we eat?
“If I can have an impact on changing their lives by planting the seeds of change in their head, that’s so fulfilling.”
Aries went on to say that he doesn’t encourage anyone to go vegan ‘cold turkey’ without having the right tools.
“I’m not going to shove anybody in the deep end before they know how to swim,” he said.
“I’m confident that if you keep an open mind and dip your feet in the water, you’ll say, ‘that feels nice’.
“Maybe you’ll get in a little more and think, ‘that feels real nice’. And soon maybe you’ll be swimming on your own.
“It’s about taking ownership over your food choices.People say it’s expensive or it’s inconvenient, but isn’t your iPhone expensive, or your designer shoes? Why are you not buying the easiest, least expensive shoes or car?
“Our priorities are quick, cheap, and easy – and those have to change.”