A PROFESSIONAL footballer originally from Burton is set to become the poster child for veganism.
Dean Howell, who was brought up in the town, is set to star in a new campaign spearheaded by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), designed to prove that being a vegan does not stop people from becoming professional athletes.
The 33-year-old, who currently plays for League Two side Bury, is taking part in the initiative to showcase how changing his diet helped him achieve his dream of being a footballer.
He said: “I started my career as a schoolboy with Stoke City, where I was nicknamed ‘beefcake’ because of my size.
“After adopting a vegetarian diet at the age of 20 and then a vegan diet at 24, I maintained the same weight but slimmed down and saw my stamina go through the roof.
“I believe my diet has spared me serious injury, and on the very rare occasions when I have taken a knock I have bounced back to full health in a fraction of the time.
“I encourage other professional athletes to adopt plant-based diets.
“Many people are interested in why I changed my diet.”
The footballer will soon be seen bare chested in posters with the slogan: ‘I’m Dean Howell and I’m a vegan’.
He states on the poster: “Being vegan gave me a professional body and the stamina that I need to be a professional athlete.”
Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients.
Away from the pitch, Howell’s veganism has also seen him set up a website – www.revolution-foods.com – to bring the products he uses to the attention of others.