Former NFL Player David Carter Shares Story As ‘The 300 Pound Vegan’

David Carter has a reputation as the “300-pound vegan”.Source:Twitter

Former NFL player David Carter , also known as “The 300 Pound Vegan ,” came to Penn State on Monday night to share the story of his transition from a meat-eater to a vegan.

Speaking before an audience in the Thomas Building, he explained that his switch to a plant-based diet was spurred by a series of chronic injuries such as arthritis, tendonitis, muscle fatigue and nerve damage that plagued him during the third year of his professional football career.

Carter said his unhealthy eating habits had caught up with him at that point, and he was confused as to why he was being prescribed medication for “old man” diseases in his mid-twenties but he refused to change his food intake.

However dismissive he was before about others’ suggestions that he should go vegan, he said it all changed around Valentine’s Day 2014 when his wife coerced him into watching a documentary called “Forks Over Knives ” that answered many questions about the nature of his ailments.

“That documentary changed my life,” he said. “I learned that milk, which I always thought would make me stronger, was actually causing my tendonitis.”

Within a month of switching to an entirely plant-based diet, his tendonitis and arthritis disappeared and he experienced numerous physical benefits such as improved sleep and stamina.

Lynn Jiao (senior-supply chain management) said hearing Carter’s success with adopting a vegan diet removed any skepticism she previously had about veganism, as she feels there could potentially be “a lot of role models” for anyone going vegan.

Carter went on to address a series of misconceptions about the food world including the limited possibilities of protein sources, which he refuted by showing an extensive list of vegan protein sources ranging from fruits and legumes to hemp and maca powder.

“Protein comes from plants. A lot of people don’t know that — they think protein is just meat,” he said.

In addition, he explained his reasoning for why humans are inherently herbivores and not carnivores — they don’t have canines.

Carter said the process of a slab of meat rotting outside in 98 degree heat is essentially what happens when meat festers inside the human body over a period of days, adding that it is the source of several body diseases such as colon cancer.

“Have you ever heard of a lion or a tiger dying of cancer, or being overweight?” Carter said. “That’s proof we’re not carnivores — we’re herbivores.”

Furthermore, Carter said the harmful effects of an unhealthy eating habit can be shown in the fact that the average NFL player dies at 56, which might seem unlikely due to their image as being “perfect physical specimens.”

However, it is because they often continue their eating habits after finishing their career and their “crazy” workout schedules that leads to swollen joints and other problems, causing them to die prematurely, he said.

“Most of them die of a stroke, diabetes or heart complications,” Carter said.

Hussain Altarakmah (sophomore-engineering) said the topic of veganism is especially important because there are different factors that might lead people to veganism.

“For me, it’s mostly environmental reasons,” Altarakmah said. “Other people might be in it for ethical reasons and health reasons.”

Carter said his recent efforts to raise vegan awareness have involved lobbying to implement plant-based meals in schools and educating people of color about the plant-based diet.

“With a plant-based diet, you can control the fat that you eat,” he said. “But with animal products, you can’t control the amount of fat — it’s just there.”