Champion boxer and social justice advocate Adewale founded Black VegFest in Brooklyn, NY in 2018 to primarily address food sovereignty and the lack of plant-based nutrition information and food options in communities of color. The event has since expanded to the Bronx borough of New York, bringing together vegan presenters, restaurants, and catering businesses to advance the conversation around healthier solutions within the community.
I started eating vegan because I noticed that it made me feel better and perform better. After a couple of years, I became aware of factory farming, and what exactly is being done to animals all day every day in our society in order to create cheap meat, eggs and dairy products that are not even causing Americans to be healthy or fit. Knowing what I know now, even if being vegan didn’t make me healthier, energetic and stronger (which it does), I would continue to eat this way purely in order to keep my dollars out of the system that perpetuates cruelty and abuse.
I’m not against people that eat meat. I don’t pay your bills and put food on your table. Who am I to tell you what to eat? But I am empathetic about the world and the animals. I still stay in my lane, right, and my lane is wide, but I just eat plants, and I have nothing against it. I’ve seen my daughter lose 20 pounds. My dad lost 100 pounds. My mom lost 40 pounds, so it’s all healthy. No working out, just eating plants, and it’s the truth for me, and I just live that way, and that’s what keeps me at peace knowing that I have all this love and joy and joyfulness around me. They’re going to be with me for a very long time.
"Turning vegan was a natural progression from vegetarianism and I did it as soon as I was able to make a conscious decision. I honestly believe that the most benefit to me being vegan is that I don't carry the burden of guilt that I would have to endure knowing that I abused others for my own benefit."
“At first it was for health and athletic performance but it also became about ethics and the environment. My strength increased. I put 20lbs on my dumbell benchpress (10lbs each arm) in only 2 weeks and my endurance improved. Running is much easier now. I have more energy and recovery is better too. The whole protein myth is complete nonsense. Plant-based foods have plenty.”