Aaron Simpson is a vegan athlete. Specifically, he is a mixed martial artist. His career started in high school, where he won four state championships in wrestling. Following that, he was recruited to the Arizona State University. His highlights there saw him become an NCAA All-American in 1996 and 1998. After college he became a mixed martial artist. Over the span of his career he has 12 wins and 4 losses. He has worked for Ultimate Fighting Championship, World Series of Fighting, and he also served as a coach on the Ultimate Fighter
So what makes an athlete, someone who can justify eating meat, decide to become a vegan? In an interview with PETA, he talks about how he became influenced by his wife:
“My wife has been a vegetarian going on 10 years. Everything she taught me about being a vegetarian made sense to me. I considered myself an animal lover (like most people), yet by eating meat I was contributing to the deaths of so many animals. So, with the birth of our twin babies, 3 years ago, I was on my way towards becoming a vegetarian. We always talked about raising our kids vegetarian and teaching them compassion and empathy for all living things. I could no longer be a hypocrite and stand by and eat animals.”
He did not think much about it until they had children and wanted to raise them as vegetarians. This caused him to stop eating meat too, and educate himself on the harms meat has on your body. Additionally, he loves animals and that provided extra motivation to become a vegan.
Aaron says how there are many local restaurants in his town that he regularly visits. He also references on of the benefits of being vegan:
“My taste buds have seemed to ripen since I stopped eating meat, and I really enjoy trying all sorts of new foods.”
His passion is educating himself on the benefits of being vegan, and promoting animal rights. He passes on his knowledge to his children, and serves as a great role model supporting a great cause. He proves that athletes can be vegan and still remain successful.