I’m proud to have contributed to a new book called Running, Eating, Thinking: A Vegan Anthology.
The backstory: Martin Rowe, president of Lantern Books (and a runner and vegan), noticed the ubiquity of vegan runners these days, and asked, why? Suspecting there was something to the phenomenon beyond simply the idea that a plant-based diet is beneficial for performance, he sought to pinpoint that something.
So he asked 15 of us to answer the question, “What does being a vegan runner mean to you?”, and Running, Eating, Thinking is the result. I’m not big on the word delightful, but to me, that’s what this compilation is. A perfect bridge between the ideological and the easier-to-approach health and environmental sides of this lifestyle — presented in a series of digestible, single-sitting essays.
Today I’m sharing an only-slightly edited version of the first draft of my original submission — which, it turns out, was not what they were looking for; they used my What It Means to Be a Runner post instead. This first attempt is a little all-over-the-place, but it was an interesting stretch for me, and I’m glad to have found an opportunity to show it the light of day.
Following the essay is a link to the latest episode of NMA Radio, where editor Martin Rowe was my guest. We had a great conversation about the new anthology and what exactly it is at the intersection of running and veganism that has helped so many people find joy.
Hope you like it. And I hope more than anything that this post, the podcast, and the book inspire you to think about what’s at the core of your own identity — and that somewhere, you’ll write or speak or sing your own version of what it means to be a vegan runner.
What Being a Vegan Runner Means to Me
It takes only one word, really: this lifestyle, to me, is a practice.
I use the word in the way it’s commonly employed in the context of meditation, yoga, philosophy, or even religion — where “practice” means an activity done for its own sake, something that is not at first pleasurable (and in fact is often quite difficult) but that is unquestionably worthwhile for the foundation of character that it builds. Worthwhile, ultimately, because it purifies the soul.
Many runners run for the joy of running. Many vegans, since coming to this diet, have discovered a love for food and cooking they didn’t know existed. But neither of these describes me.