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10 Vegetarian Athletes

Posted: 05/23/11 03:34 PM ET

2011-05-17-FlickrMikeTysonoctal.jpg

The words 'professional athlete' bring to mind toned bodies, strength, endurance... and incredibly large appetites. The average fan would naturally assume that the diets of athletes like Olympian Carl Lewis and slugger Hank Aaron include a lot of meat as a source of protein and bulk for their strong-bodied machines.

But that's not necessarily true. In fact, more current and former professional athletes than you would think have given up animal proteins and turned to a variety of alternative veggie-based diets instead.

Who, you ask? Carmelo Anthony, New York's most recent sports star, turns to vegetables when he's on a diet. Legendary boxer now turned TV host and pigeon-owner Mike Tyson is a recently converted vegan (yes, it's true!).

Former NBA star Robert Parish chose to chow down on vegetables before slam dunking for the Celtics while two of the greatest female tennis players in history are also both veg-heads. But the list does not end there, and includes multiple hall-of-famers and rising stars alike.

For those of you who are looking for inspiration to follow a meat-free diet and want a famous role model, or for those of you who just want to see who else is on this list, keep reading for more vegetable-loving athletes.

Below, the 10 Vegetarian Athletes Slideshow.

- Yasmin Fahr, The Daily Meal

More from The Daily Meal:
Where the NBA's Biggest Stars Eat
10 Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants
The Best Places to Watch Baseball in America
Extravagant Athlete Birthday Cakes
From Pau to Yao: 10 Athlete Foodies

Ricky Williams, Running Back for Miami Dolphins (NFL)
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A Heisman Trophy-winner who played for the University of Texas (go Longhorns!), Williams left the game during the height of his career to explore yoga and marijuana, among other things. He co-owns a restaurant in Miami that serves meat, but he makes sure that there are plenty of vegetarian-friendly options on the menu.

Related: 9 Foods Athletes Should Never Eat
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