Barny du Plessis is the world’s first vegan bodybuilder and Mr Universe 2014, amongst other national and international titles. Du Plessis went vegan after retiring from bodybuilding in 2013 due to an ever-growing list of health concerns which included hernias and acid reflux. After adopting a vegan lifestyle, the bodybuilder saw his fitness radically improve and he returned to the stage — winning the prestigious Mr Universe title in 2014. "These days I train half as much, do half as much but get better results. Why? Only one answer, going vegan, GMO free, and organic. My body is running perfectly," du Plessis told the Metro. On getting back into competing after turning vegan with his partner, Josie — World’s Strongest Woman 2010 — du Plessis said: "We now have a point to prove and a massive incentive. We are representing the vegans of the world, all the animals and the environment. My crusade is to show the world that we can live a healthy, happy, and prosperous life without exploitation of innocent creatures."