Fauja Singh Hits His Stride In New Pro-Vegetarian PETA Ad

Poster Featuring 93-Year-Old Marathoner to Debut at Great Scottish Run

For Immediate Release:
20 August 2004

Sean Gifford +44 20 7357 9229, ext 226

Glasgow – Showing him in mid-stride as he trains for his next marathon, alongside the tagline “Fauja Singh: Age 93/Champion International Marathon Runner/Father of Six/Grandfather of 13 … Vegetarian”, Fauja Singh – the man who at age 81 rediscovered his passion for distance running and at 93 shows no signs of slowing down – appears in a brand new ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that aims to caution distance runners and other athletes about the perils they face from eating meat. The ad will make its debut along the route of the 2004 Great Scottish Run on Sunday, 22 August, and will also appear at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon on 26 September, both of which Singh will compete in.

Why does eating meat leave many competitors finishing at the back of the pack when it comes to health? According to the American Council on Exercise, “[S]tudies have shown that individuals on vegetarian diets have lower blood cholesterol levels, better digestive function, and lower occurrence of certain types of cancer”. People are increasingly choosing plant-based diets as a means of safeguarding or improving their health. Consumption of meat and other animal products has also been conclusively linked to strokes, diabetes and obesity, as well as salmonella, E coli, listeria, campylobacter and other potentially life-threatening bacterial infections.

People who consume a low-fat, vegetarian diet typically have much lower cholesterol levels than meat-eaters, and heart disease is uncommon in vegetarians. Vegetarian meals are typically low in saturated fat and usually contain little to no cholesterol. Since cholesterol is found only in animal products, such as meat, dairy products and eggs, vegans consume a cholesterol-free diet. Also, studies show that replacing animal protein with plant protein lowers blood cholesterol levels – even if the amount and type of fat in the diet stays the same. Those studies show that a low-fat, vegetarian diet has a clear advantage over other diets.

Other superstars who credit their vegetarian diets with giving them a leg up on the competition include tennis legend Martina Navratilova, multiple Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis and six-time Ironman competition champion Dave Scott.

“Fauja Singh is living proof that adopting a vegetarian diet can help athletes maintain their winning edge and their health”, says PETA UK’s Poorva Joshipura. “Clogging up their systems with residues from meat and other animal products can turn once-promising competitors into sideline spectators.”

A copy of the ad is available upon request. For more information, please visit GoVeg.co.uk.