You read it right! There is indeed a vegan football club, and it is the only one in the world!
Forest Green Rovers or FGR, based in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, England, became the world’s first vegan football club in 2015 under Dale Vince’s chairmanship. In 2017, FGR was officially recognised as the world’s first vegan football club after it received the Vegan Trademark from the Vegan Society.
The club has replaced red meat with freshly made veggie burgers, vegan fajitas, and a revolving menu of locally-sourced vegan dishes. Their website says that they have reached an audience of almost two billion people since they officially became a vegan club. This just shows how popular vegan and sustainable lifestyles have become today!
FGR turned vegan as it felt strongly about the huge environmental and animal welfare impact of livestock farming, besides the aim to improve the performance of players and give its fans healthier food options during matches.
FGR website says, “…from a performance perspective, vegan food is becoming the diet of choice for athletes. More and more sportspeople are choosing a vegan diet because of its health benefits and finding that it improves their athletic performance.”
Several top athletes have turned to veganism due to ethical, health and allergy issues. Some notable ones include Venus Williams, Lewis Hamilton, Chris Smalling, Hector Bellerin, Serena Williams, Alex Morgan, Virat Kohli, Novak Djokovic, Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero.
FIFA describes FGR as the greenest football club in the world! Besides being the first and only vegan football club in the world, it is also the first club to be certified carbon neutral by the United Nations.