James Willstrop Asks You to ‘Squash Obesity’ by Going Vegetarian
James Willstrop, Britain’s second-ranked squash player, has teamed up with PETA to produce a new ad asking people to “Squash Obesity – Go Vegetarian”.
In the ad, the handsome hard-hitter points out that
“[m]eat has no place in a professional athlete’s diet. Since I stopped eating meat, I’m faster, I have more energy, and I know that my decision has saved countless animals’ lives”.
Read on to see what else James said about vegetarianism, how it affects his game for the better and how it saves more than 100 animals’ lives every year:
What made you decide to star in a “veggie testimonial” ad for PETA Europe?
I had first heard about PETA through Morrissey actually. I’m very keen to support animals, and I liked what PETA were doing, so I got in touch because I wanted to make it known that meat is totally unnecessary, and detrimental, to a world-class athlete. People laugh at me when I tell them, and I can’t for one minute believe that so many people find it perfectly natural to mercilessly slaughter animals and devour them for their own gratification. I did it once, but having seen the atrocity that is the battery farm, I want to convey to people to stop and actually think that they are eating dead, slaughtered flesh that has been battered around, tortured and plied with nasty chemicals.
What difference do you feel your vegetarian diet has made to your performance on the court?
It’s made a great difference. I am lighter and can feel it, I’m faster and more alert and I have won major world events with such a diet. No one can tell me we need to eat meat to function as athletes.
Are there any other animal issues that you feel strongly about?
I feel instantly saddened when I hear about any animal cruelty. The fur and fashion industry makes me sick. To think people use cosmetic products which have [been] tested on animals, just to look good; to think of rich companies boasting about selling leather goods; to think that McDonald’s and KFC are among some of the richest … food corporations in the world. … This is the world we live in, and it is amazing that human life exists in this way. But nobody ever tells people what happens to these animals. It is all hidden by governments and such like because of one thing: money. The meat industry sadly carries immense power.
We are all so confused and blinded that we don’t know why we kill chickens so freely and yet are seriously frowned upon should we harm a dog or a cat.
What tournaments are coming up for you?
I have a busy September. There are four tournaments starting in Chicago, followed by the British Open, the Petrosport Open in Egypt and then the World Team Championships. It looks busy right up until Christmas, so a lot to look forward to.
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