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Name: Ben Carr
Year of Birth: 1995
Height: 5'7"
Weight: 150
Birthplace: Maryland
Current Residence: Maryland
Sports: Men's Physique
Social Media: IG: @bencarr95

Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have
I'm a natural men's physique competitor and compete with the OCB. I'm going to Bond University in Australia to study health science. I am passionate about the environment, along with health and animal rights.

Why did you become vegan?
Mainly to reduce my carbon footprint and my contribution to animal cruelty. Taking environmental science in high school was a real game-changer for me. It opened my eyes more than I could have imagined. Once I realized that my fitness lifestyle could go along with a vegan lifestyle, I made the switch.

When and why did you become interested in fitness?
Ever since elementary school, I wanted to be strong. I started to do a lot of push-ups and things like that, and it progressed intowhat it is today.

How would you describe your nutrition program?
I am pretty much a "clean eater." I love fruit and go heavy on the veggies. For protein, I get the bulk of it from grains, legumes, and nuts. I eat a few fortified products such as soy milk so that Ican avoid any deficiencies. If I feel the need, I might have a protein shake or bar, but I only go with quality brands that aren'tjust candy in disguise (I love Vega). The majority of my calories come from carbohydrates, as I feel that my body runs best on high carb. When cutting for a show, I drop fat initially, then drop a little more along with carbs if I plateau, and eventually increase protein to maintain lean mass when I become extremely lean.

How would you describe your training program?
I probably go a little heavier on the volume than I should, but Ijust love working out, and I figure that if I feel I can comfortably keep pushing, I will. I follow a 6-day split, but incorporate different exercises every week. I constantly play with rep ranges and sets. I could go on about how I'm shocking my muscles into growth, but the real reason is that I get bored with the same thing every week. I typically spend 1.5-2.5 hours in the gymeach day, and keep the intensity high. I'll do HIIT if I feel that Ineed it. I do my best to listen to my body.

What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
I'll occasionally use a protein shake out of convenience, and BCAAs when I cut. I'll use a pre-workout if I feel out of it as well, and take a daily multivitamin.

How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
They're usually confused as to why I'd do it, but I do my best to explain all the benefits.

What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
That we're all self-absorbed and snotty. Some people seem to take offense when you tell them you're vegan.

Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others?  If so, how did you go about it?
I've been working on it. I've helped a few people reduce their meat intake and switch over to plant-based protein sources. The internet has been a great tool to reach out and spread info.

What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
Consistency. You can kill a workout and feed your body well, but if you're only doing for the long-term, you won't see much results.

What do you like best about being vegan?
It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I don'thave the lives of others on the line for my nutrition.

What do you like best about being fit?
Feeling well and looking great.

What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
Take it slow. Small changes are the way to go. If you try to go all out from the get-go, you will be overwhelmed. Instead, startsmall and make it a progression. 

What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
Read up on vegan nutrition. It's easy to develop some nutritional deficiencies, or try and make some changes that'll simply lead to failure. It might help to start out as a vegetarian and then make the switch.

 What motivates you in life?
The fear of wasted potential.

What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com?  Has it helped or inspired you?
I love it. Before I found it, I didn't think I would be able to pursue competing and be vegan, but it convinced me otherwise.It is certainly a key player in my switch to plant-based food.

Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share? 
If you're thinking about becoming vegan, try it out for a week or so. It's not as hard as it may seem, and it feels great.