Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Join the Discussion Group! We invite you to share your comments, insights and questions on the History of Physical Culture.

Moderator: peter yates

Post Reply
psychologist
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun May 31, 2020 1:38 pm

Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by psychologist » Mon Jun 01, 2020 2:14 pm

For about two years I have been trying to document every physical culturist that was vegetarian from the 19th or 20th century. This was long before the current vegan craze. There were not many of them but the few examples we have were lacto-ovo vegetarians (i.e. they ate milk and egg products, but no meat)

These are the ones I have found so far (in random order)

Lionel Strongfort
Gilman Low
Freddie Welsh (abandoned vegetarianism later in life)
Lou Nova
Joe Rollino
Andreas Cahling
Bill Pearl
Éder Jofre
Emmerich Rath
Eustace Miles (lacto vegetarian)
Percy Cerutty
Johnny Weissmuller
Roy Hilligenn

Bernarr Macfadden was never a strict vegetarian and much contradictory information exists about his dieting. He once embraced a meat-only diet and at another time a milk-only diet which he wrote a book on, he was a food-faddist so I exclude him from my list.

Does anyone know of any others? Thanks.

Mobster
Posts: 1558
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:53 am
Location: Aberdare, Wales

Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by Mobster » Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:22 pm

How many on the list were ALWAYS vegetarian?

raynobile
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:43 am
Location: bulgaria

Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by raynobile » Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:28 am

pearl was a lacto vegeterainian. became one after retiring from contests.

User avatar
David Gentle
Posts: 662
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:39 am
Location: England
Contact:

Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by David Gentle » Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:00 am

Its news to me that Weissmuller was a vegetarian, i always thought that Tarzan ate lions and king size apes for breakfast,? he had to surely to keep his energy up for Jane.....David Gentle.
David Gentle
Chief Moderator
Author & Historian,
Physical Culture
https://davidgentle.com

psychologist
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun May 31, 2020 1:38 pm

Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by psychologist » Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:08 pm

Bill Pearl is now 89 he became vegetarian at 39, so that is a long time vegetarian. You can read about why Pearl became a vegetarian in his book Getting Stronger: Weight Training for Sports pp. 374-376.

In brief at age 39, Pearl had pain in his elbow and knee joints, he was not well. He had high-blood pressure, high cholesterol and high uric acid. His cholesterol was at 309 (plus high triglycerides). This was all because he had eaten a high-fat animal based diet for years. So he decided with his wife Judy to give up eating red meat. After that they gave up chicken and finally fish.

He replaced meat with eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, rice and low-fat dairy products like yogurt. According to Pearl on this lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet he is "more healthy" and can "train with more energy". The diet is also more animal friendly. Pearl and his wife have expressed interest in the environment and welfare for animals.

Pearl has been a vegetarian for 50 years. He deserves to be on the list in my opinion.

psychologist
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun May 31, 2020 1:38 pm

Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by psychologist » Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:22 pm

This newspaper article says that Reg Park ate a "mainly vegetarian diet"

https://www.pressreader.com/south-afric ... 2042326298

Park was fond of drinking full cream milk and honey. I wouldn't classify him as a vegetarian though. I read elsewhere he ate a lot of steak.

psychologist
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun May 31, 2020 1:38 pm

Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by psychologist » Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:30 pm

Mobster wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:22 pm
How many on the list were ALWAYS vegetarian?
Joe Rollino was always a vegetarian, as was Lionel Strongfort. Emmerich Rath was a vegetarian from his youth. Gilman Low ate meat twice from what I read but was a vegetarian for the rest of his life. Andreas Cahling has always been a vegetarian I think. Percy Cerutty became vegetarian at 43. Éder Jofre became a vegetarian after turning professional.

Bill Pearl vegetarian from age 39. Freddie Welsh was a vegetarian during his prime boxing career but gave it up later in life. Eustace Miles was a lacto-vegetarian for most of his life.

Roy Hilligenn said he never ate meat. It's hard to find sources for how long Lou Nova was a vegetarian.

Do you know of any others?

Mobster
Posts: 1558
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:53 am
Location: Aberdare, Wales

Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by Mobster » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:27 am

psychologist wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:30 pm
Mobster wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:22 pm
How many on the list were ALWAYS vegetarian?
Joe Rollino was always a vegetarian, as was Lionel Strongfort. Emmerich Rath was a vegetarian from his youth. Gilman Low ate meat twice from what I read but was a vegetarian for the rest of his life. Andreas Cahling has always been a vegetarian I think. Percy Cerutty became vegetarian at 43. Éder Jofre became a vegetarian after turning professional.

Bill Pearl vegetarian from age 39. Freddie Welsh was a vegetarian during his prime boxing career but gave it up later in life. Eustace Miles was a lacto-vegetarian for most of his life.

Roy Hilligenn said he never ate meat. It's hard to find sources for how long Lou Nova was a vegetarian.

Do you know of any others?
Never paid it that much attention

peter yates
Posts: 2730
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:38 pm
Location: NEW YORK, USA

Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by peter yates » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:45 pm

This topic is getting over heated. While we can all agree to disagree there is no value in rudeness and name calling to get a point across. We are supposed to be responsible adults and above such things. The topic could be an interesting one,not to change another's opinion or view point but to open dialogue on the various ways Physical Culturists have approached the choice of eating patterns just as they chose various ways to train there bodies. If i have learned one thing in the past 60 years of training it is that there is no one way for everyone.Also what may be appropriate for one person may be totally not so for another and that can change over time. Just because some where able to develop on a diet devoid of animal flesh in no way makes it appropriate for others.There have been over the years strongmen from both camps and we can learn something from both and it also a part of PC history that is valuable to look at.In my opinion no one yet has come up with the best diet except what each individual decides for themselves is adequate to their needs. What interests me is how much time and energy is wasted trying to convince others to eat like them [also applies to training]when all they need do is take care of themselves. My own relationship to food is based on my upbringing,my father had to rely on the soup kitchen for sustenance as a child.Bill Hunt, the great all round strength athlete,told me many a time a meal consisted of bread and dripping [beef fat] yet he still made progress.My mentor, Maurice Ainsworth fought over a piece of bread as a child and always said "If you have known hunger [which he had] you are grateful for 3 squares of anything."I myself remember waiting in line with my mother for grocery rationing in the early 50s and would lick the pattern off the plate. So many people have never or never will have the luxury of being a vegan, paleo or any other form of dogma, their only concern is getting enough calories every day and surviving. So the opening question of Which physical culturists were vegetarian? is a relevant topic and one that could have been expanded upon in a positive manner. Please can we all take a step back and then proceed in a more civilized manner and demonstrate how a forum can be a place of understanding.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

Tom K
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:17 am

Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by Tom K » Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:36 am

K. V. Iyer was exclusively vegetarian.. He must have had guts of iron with all the lentils he ate.
10.jpg
10.jpg (194.97 KiB) Viewed 2530 times

Post Reply