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Meet the Plant Gang: Darian Yasar 🌱

In the world of sports, where strength, discipline, and dedication reign supreme, it's not often we come across athletes who challenge conventional norms and adopt a lifestyle rooted in compassion...

In the world of sports, where strength, discipline, and dedication reign supreme, it's not often we come across athletes who challenge conventional norms and adopt a lifestyle rooted in compassion and ethics.

We had the pleasure of crossing paths and sitting down with Darian Yasar, a dedicated boxer and advocate for veganism, and member of the Plant Fam. Darian's journey is a unique blend of power and compassion, as he shares his experiences in the ring and his profound commitment to a cruelty-free existence. From his early days in boxing to his transition into the world of veganism and animal rights activism, Darian's story is one of resilience and purpose. Dive into his incredible journey with us and discover how he's carved a path that combines a love for the sport with a deep commitment to ethical living.

 

Darians' fave— the Eat Plants Goth Flames long sleeve

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey to becoming a vegan boxer?

I’m boxing since age 14.

Went vegan around age 27.

Oldest out of three brothers.

I’m mixed raced.

I love tattoos, art, photography, sunshine, the ocean, old Porsche cars, good conversations, sitting in nice cafes, reading books by Nick Hornby or Matt Haig, boxing, and music (some favorites: Lil Peep, Mac Miller, Juice WRLD, Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, The National, Lana Del Rey, Birdy, London Grammar, Cigarettes After Sex, Jacob Banks, Stormzy, Loyle Carner, Post Malone, 070 Shake, Joji, Bob Marley).

Got into boxing because I loved to play Knockout Kings and Fight Night on Playstation.

Got into veganism through Christian fasting month.

How did you discover Plant Faced Clothing and what drew you to the brand?

I discovered the brand on social media. I really liked the designs combined with ethical statements.

Were there any specific moments or experiences that solidified your commitment to a vegan lifestyle?

Definitely videos of the dairy and egg industry when I switched from living vegetarian to vegan. Few months later I was already in animal rights activism. I took part in two vigils infront of slaughterhouses. I could look directly into the eyes of these animals who were scared to death. Overcrowded trucks. They were exhausted and heavily breathing. Few minutes after you could hear how they got forced out of these trucks into these killing halls.

How has adopting a vegan lifestyle impacted your boxing training and performance?

I was able do go down one weightclass easier and I’d say I have faster regeneration and more energy if I eat the right food.

What are some misconceptions people might have about being a vegan athlete, and how do you address them?

First concern is mostly still about lack of protein.

I just explain that it’s actually pretty easy to get good amounts of protein as a vegan living person. Legumes, oats, plant based milk, soy and peanut butter for sure ! Even some veggies are high in protein. If you want you can also take vegan protein shakes.

Could you share some of your favourite plant-based meals that help you stay energised for your rigorous training sessions?

If I gotta go for an early training session in the morning I mostly eat a full grain bread with peanut butter jelly (strawberry).

Besides I eat a pretty nutritious oat meal almost every day. Oats, different seeds (chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower), different nuts, banana, apple, sometimes berries, dates, grapes and cinnamon.

Warm dish with a lot of rice, veggies and vegan schnitzel or full grain noodles.

Darian's fave— the Eat Plants Goth Roses tee in Black

Are there any vegan athletes or figures who inspire you, both in your boxing career and your commitment to animal-free living?

In boxing, I only know of a few who went vegan at some point in their careers: Timothy Bradley (former world champion), David Haye (former world champion), and Bryant Jennings (world title challenger).

Additionally, I'm aware of Novak Djokovic and Lewis Hamilton. Lewis Hamilton is dedicated to promoting veganism, and I really appreciate that. Joaquin Phoenix, the actor, is a genuine animal rights activist who truly inspires me. Besides these celebrities, it's Earthling Ed for sure as well as, Leah Doellinger, Gary Yourofsky, Joey Carbstrong, Seb Alex, and Menkay (an Instagram video creator).

How do you stay motivated to push your limits, both inside and outside the ring?

There’s just something inside of me. I want to go after my dream. I have to say that I learned recently we can’t rely on motivation. Some days it’s there, some days it’s not. It’s actually more about consistency. Going to the gym even on these days when you absolutely don’t feel like. Yeah, and recently I get pushed a lot by putting my headphones on and listening to these motivational speeches by Eric Thomas and these guys.

For many, veganism is about more than just a diet – it's a lifestyle that includes ethical considerations. How does your veganism align with your personal values?

To me a vegan lifestyle can only be sustainable and long lasting if you include ethics. It is built around just this. Animal liberation is the goal. Choosing not to harm innocent beings in a world where it’s just common to do so. I think there shouldn’t even be "my veganism" and "your veganism". It’s about justice. Animals deserve a life without being enslaved, tortured, mistreated, kidnapped and being murdered. The more we go forward in science, the more we find out about how damn smart animals are and how similar they even feel like we do. As well we are seeing more and more that we can live a really healthy life, if it’s done right maybe even healthier.

Do you have any go-to motivational quote that keeps you going during tough training sessions?

Not really. Sometimes I just think about my boxing idols and how they overcame hardships in their fights. In general often I like to think of a quote from Israel Adesanya a lot (former UFC Middleweight Champion); "just keep moving - fortify your mind"

Favourite exercise?

Pad work, sparring and sprints

Favourite place to grab vegan food where you live?

I love to go to cafés and snack vegan bagels, cake and different kind of pastries.

For warm dishes I really like a place called "Apple and Eve" (great vegan burgers, and cakes) or "AN Vegan House & TA Vegan House (Vietnamese cuisine)".

Favourite snack ever?

Puhh..not an easy one…

I’d say cake if I had to pick just one. Mostly chocolate based ones.

The final two questions to tie this all up… Shoestring or thick cut fries? Cats or dogs?

Hmmmm…I go with thick cut fries. I am definitely a “dog person“. I would love to have a dog at some point in my life but I like cats, too.

 

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