TJ Perenara, a New Zealand rugby star has recently made the transition to a plant-based diet, sharing with his followers on Twitter that contrary to common belief, veganism has had no negative impact on his athletic performance. In fact, he says that his diet has made him "feel pretty good pre and post-game." Perenara, who used to be vegetarian, recently made the transition to an entirely plant-based diet.

In September of 2019, Perenara was featured on fellow Rugby player Ardie Savea's Youtube channel where he voiced his desire to transition from a vegetarian diet to one completely free of any animal products. At the 40 minute mark of the video, Savea asked how Perenara's vegetarian journey started, to which he replied, "I ate meat until about two years ago. I started on the India tour-- I was massive on the environment, pollution, stuff like that. And then I watched the documentary called Cowspiracy. It talked about how much agricultural farming accounts for pollution in the world and I was like man, I can't really say I care about it if I eat meat. My journey is to become vegan, so that's what I'll get to."

After digging into Perenara's Twitter replies, it seems that he officially made the jump from vegetarian to vegan in November of 2019. The rugby player also explained to another Twitter user that his main motivation for making the switch was for ethical reasons, which is in line with what he said in September about being inspired by Cowspiracy.

Once the pandemic is behind us and rugby is in season again, we look forward to watching TJ prove that vegan athletes can perform at just as high of a standard as players that eat meat. The Game Changers movie is a great resource for athletes who may want to transition to a vegan diet but are skeptical of how effective vegan protein sources can be. The documentary features spots stars, Olympians and world champions and helps destroy the narrative that athletes need meat to build muscle.

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