JAKE SHIELDS and MIXED MARTIAL ARTS: Fighting the Good Fight against the Systemic Mistreatment of Animals

“Our task must be to free ourselves…by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”
—Albert Einstein

It’s strange the beliefs that go along for people about other people who live a vegetarian lifestyle (and, of course, sometimes vice-versa). People still ask, in 2011 no less:

“Well, then what do you eat?”

And they’re serious. Sometimes I say things like, ‘I actually strain plankton through my teeth, in the bathtub, and when that runs out I gnaw on plastic, because that’s all there is.’

For the record, my favourite person in the entire world, including the rest of the universe, follows a vegan diet (no meat, no eggs and no dairy—except for a rare, slight, unstoppable flexibility with dessert). Wait, there’s more! She’s a poster child for vegan mothers: she gave birth to the most beautiful baby in history, according to recent polls—and for what it’s worth (which, I know, isn’t much), this little guy (with medium size folks) is in the 97th percentile in weight and height at the tender age of five months. Plus, he can run the 100 meters in 9.3 seconds. Okay, I made up the last sentence (he ran it in 10.3 seconds), but it’s good to see a few myths crumble.

Speaking of crumble, I love apple crumble. And blueberry crumble.

But this isn’t about me. It’s about the dispelling of incorrect assumptions and confronting systemic cruelty to countless animals—including animals that feel everything our pets feel. And how would we feel if our pets were brutalized? Horrified. Furious. Heart-broken. Vengeful. And yet…

My prediction: It will take a serious percentage of pet-lovers grasping this terrible irony, and truly caring, and opposing this brutality, to finally lessen the systemic cruelty to factory-farm animals. Without this awareness, how will enough people care?

In other words, to stop the relentless cruelty of factory farms, pet-lovers must become animal lovers.


And here’s one story that, I must say, surprised me. Regardless of how one feels about mixed martial arts fighting (and it brings up a lot of different feelings), the UFC mixed martial arts fighter Jake Shields, riding a fifteen-fight-winning streak, is a life-long vegetarian. Granted, he’s in for a super tough fight with world champion Canadian Georges St. Pierre in the summer. But isn’t that impressive? Who would guess it?

It was interesting to hear his point of view, and his disdain for the relentless brutality inflicted on billions of factory farm animals every year. Yes, there is irony in that the MMA fights are in themselves often brutal and sometimes bloody but, hey, much of life is ironic. It’s probably what makes British humour humorous and a fly in your Chardonnay bearable. Or maybe not, given the price of Chardonnay.

Also, unlike imposed, full-time cruelty against unprotected animals all the way up to their butchering, MMA fights are consensual, relatively brief (except for those fighting), and head injuries are surprisingly limited for a combat sport—and, finally, many of those involved appear to really like and want to do it.

So evidently you can be a great and competitive mixed martial artist and be a vegetarian. The great thing is, on the flip-side, and in case you didn’t know, you can be a vegetarian and it doesn’t mean you have to fight in an eight-sided cage against seriously tough people. In fact, you don’t have to fight at all. Except, if you so desire, for the better treatment of animals.

Here’s to more love and more kindness,



3 Responses to “JAKE SHIELDS and MIXED MARTIAL ARTS: Fighting the Good Fight against the Systemic Mistreatment of Animals”

  1. bark. woof. moo. meow. chirp. roar.

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeanie Witcraft and Danielle Knowles, Danielle LaPorte. Danielle LaPorte said: great piece from 1 of my smartiest friends: Fighting the Good Fight against the Systemic Mistreatment of Animals http://ht.ly/3Xh6s [...]

  3. Ms. Laporte, those are my sentiments exactly. With a double woof. Like a woof-woof. xoxo

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