On the other hand, gladiators were also slaves forced to kill others in the arena for the entertainment of the populous; a very violent aspect of Roman society I'd prefer not to be associated with. Their vegan eating habits were likely forced upon them by their masters, probably through some ridiculous belief that purity of diet would favour them in the eyes of the gods. I would find it hard to argue that gladiators practiced veganism and had respect for all life, which is the only aspect of being vegan I particularly care about.
Instead of linking ourselves to dead gladiators and Roman legions, let's talk up the living vegan body builders (such Robert Cheeke) and athletes (like Carl Lewis) of today if we want to portray a more macho image - these people are vegan out of choice.
Peas and Rice,
Your points are well taken. I think Dr. John McDougall, who included information about vegan gladiators in one of his lectures, was simply pointing out that that the Romans, despite their cruel ways, understood that the vegan diet is the best way to go when it comes to athletic conditioning.
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