I'm sick of all the corpse eaters who point out how few sporting successes there are amongst the vegan 'community'. I have a few thoughts about it that might help others in debates and conversations.
As long as most sportspeople eat meat and drink milk, it is unlikely that vegans will rise to the top. And yet some do.
To get to the top in any sport you need to be dedicated. Many top sportspeople are so dedicated that everything else is of little importance to them. We are bombarded from infancy with lies and propaganda about the benefits of meat and milk and how they are necessary to health. Someone who is desperate for sporting success is unlikely to allow ethical concerns for other animals to get in their way. They will continue to consume meat and milk because they believe they need to to be successful. This will remove from the lists of potential vegans most of those who have the necessary dedication and self-discipline to get to the top - the really driven individuals who are blinkered by their own dedication and need to succeed at all costs. The same reasons will remove even vegans who are vegan for health or fashion reasons. They will resume the eating of meat or drinking of milk if they think it will help them. They will take the supplements that are said to be needed to become a champion. Only ethical vegans would have the strength to stick to their principles.
Even amongst those who live as vegans and have the dedication, it is unlikely they will have the genes to make them champions, because few people have those genes. Having said that, there could be vegans who have superb sporting genes but who have no interest in the sport at which they could excel.
There are very few vegans in the world. Even fewer have been vegan for their whole lives. What if a vegan became the world powerlifting champion but had only been vegan for three years and had been powerlifting for 12 years? The cries would go up that he had developed his strength before he became vegan. The only way to convince some people that vegans can be very strong or top bodybuilders would be for a life-long vegan to do so. You can probably count the number of life-long vegans who also are completely dedicated to one of those disciplines and who have the right genes, on the fingers of two fingers. Or less.
How many vegans are there? Who knows? We all know of 'vegans' who eat eggs and drink milk. We all know of 'vegetarians' who eat fish and chicken. Any estimate must be taken with a large pinch of salt. But not too much salt, especially if you have high blood pressure.
Many true vegans have only been vegan for a few months. Many stop being vegan after a few months. One estimate for the UK is that there are 250,000 vegans. Even if that were true - and I doubt it - that would mean 1 person in 240 was a vegan. How many people can become a world champion at shot putting, weight lifting or bodybuilding? Much less than 1 in 240. You have one vegan competing against 239 non-vegans for sporting success. It is very unlikely that that vegan will be the most dedicated, the best trained and have the best sporting genes. And be taking the best drugs, a cynic might add. I would never say that, though.
The estimates for US vegans is tiny compared with the UK estimates. US vegans have even less chance of reaching the top than do UK vegans. And UK vegans have next to no chance. But vegans do manage it sometimes. Again, the naysayers will point out that they aren't life-long vegans. It will be said they built up their speed, stamina or strength in their meat eating years and have managed against the odds to maintain it after a couple of vegan years.
We should hail the few vegan champions as truly remarkable and special people, because that is what they are.