Name: Bryce Draper
Weight: 140 lbs
Birthplace: Chandler, AZ
Current Residence: Logan, UT
Sports: Cycling, with a bit of bodybuilding on the side.
Why did you become vegan?
I had always known animals were treated poorly but hadn't thought it worth my notice until I was confronted with arguments as to why animal suffering is just as important as human suffering. I was first confronted with these arguments when reading Peter Singer's "Writings on an Ethical Life" though I've since moved beyond his utilitarian framework to a more rights-based approach. Once I recognized that animal suffering is just as real and important as any other suffering, the only option was to become vegan.
When and why did you become interested in fitness?
I was first introduced to the lifting world when my dad took me to a gym when I was 15. I lifted off and on, never really committing myself or becoming very interested in it, until I was 18 when I entered a shape-up contest hosted by veganbodybuilding. That was the first time I really committed myself and the results were staggering. I've tried to keep busy at the gym ever since.
I got on a bike for the first time in years last spring and immediately fell in love with the sport. I bankrupted myself on a new bike, set aside my car keys, and have been riding on my college cycling team since.
How would you describe your nutrition program?
Being the starving college student I am, I can't afford to eat like a bodybuilder. My first concern is with keeping my stomach full. Other than that, I do my best to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, remember my multivitamin, and eat plenty of carbs to keep me going.
What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
That vegans are scrawny misguided fools who would rather kick a baby than swat a mosquito.
What do you think the most important aspect of fitness is?
I think that dedication and enjoyment are the two most important things. You'll never see real results unless you stick with it and you'll never work as hard unless you actually enjoy what you're doing.
What do you like best about being vegan?
Aside from feeling good about seeing a problem and knowing that I'm doing something to fix it, I feel more energized than I ever was as a carnist. I hardly get sick anymore, I never have digestive problems and I can just get up and run (or ride) miles where once I could hardly run yards. I also think that, because of being fit, I sleep better, even if I sleep less. That's something every college student would appreciate!
What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
Do it. Do it now.
What motivates you to continue to be a successful vegan athlete?
I feel fantastic when I'm fit and I never want to lose that feeling. Aside from that, I love breaking stereotypes. People are always flabbergasted when I tell them that I'm vegan. They can hardly believe that one can be fit and healthy (and buff ;) ) as a vegan. I want to continue to prove to people that not only is veganism not unhealthy, it can be one of the best things you can do for your body.
How has the website www.veganbodybuilding.com helped or inspired you?
This was the site that first got me into the sport and has helped keep me in it. The people on the forums are always helpful and just knowing that there is this community out there keeps me going strong.