Vegan athlete after half ironman in Muskoka

John with mom after Muskoka Half-Ironman September 2014

Who are you?

First off, I am neither a doctor nor a dietitian.  Everything I write about is based on my own personal experience as I adopt a completely vegan lifestyle.  Nor am I a writer, or even enjoy writing for that matter, but the reason I decided to keep this blog is I believe there are people out there who are similar to me.  That being someone who recognizes there are massive problems with our diet and what we consider food – and curious if you really get everything your body needs from a plant based diet?

So then, my name is John, I’m 31 years old and I’m a web development student in Barrie, Ontario, Canada and I am Vegan.  I enjoy participating in many physically challenging events, from marathons to Ironmans and everything in between.

Why did you start The Vegan Cow?

The Vegan Cow | Vegan Inspired T Shirts has 3 Goals:
1. Create fun, unique and inspirational vegan shirts that people will be proud to wear.
2. Help spread the message about what it means to be vegan, and why choose vegan.
3. Raise money to support vegan charities.

Why Vegan?

For me, it all comes down to not supporting what I know is wrong.  There is no need in this world to inflict unnecessary suffering on another living being.  Animal agricultural is built and survives on people buying their products.  If you agree that factory farming of animals is wrong, there is a very simple solution to the problem – stop consuming it, and stop buying it.  I don’t want to start the introduction with a rant so we’ll just say more to come on this subject.

Why the blog name “Powered by Plants, Insulin and sometimes beer?”

Plants – obviously because I’m vegan.
Insulin – because I’m type 1 diabetic and require insulin to live
And Sometimes Beer – because I don’t want people to think vegans are on this crazy unrealistic, unsustainable diet, completely different diet – and all we eat is greens.  In fact, I’d venture to say that most vegans eat a larger variety of foods than most meat eaters.

What is the purpose/goal of this blog?

I want to use this blog to share how I switched from a total meat heavy diet to vegetarian then eventually vegan and why I think everyone else should do the same.  It wasn’t a smooth transition – there was a lot of trial and error and things I wish I knew then that I know now.  I also enjoy cooking and will be sharing lots of my favourite vegan recipes.  Since I do a lot of physical training there will be plenty of protein rich dishes and simple tricks for getting more protein in your diet (which was my biggest concern of the vegan diet).

I will track my progress as I push my body to the limits on a 100% vegan diet.  I will be begin with the 30K Around the Bay road race on March 30, in Hamilton, Ontario (further than I’ve ever run before).  I will continue to track my progress as I train for the 2015 Ironman Muskoka in the fall of 2015.  For those of you who don’t know, an Ironman consist of a 3.86KM swim, 180.25KM bicycle ride and a 42.2KM run non-stop, which must be completed in under 17 hours.

To training vegan – I say cheers to the good life – low carb beer, beans n rice burritos, and 5 units of insulin. Time to get a runnin’.

I would love to hear any feedback, advice, suggestions for content or any questions you have for me or about living vegan.  I can be reached at or subscribe to our mailing list below.


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Founder at The Vegan Cow
I am a vegan, type I diabetic and on a mission to train for and complete the 2015 Ironman Wisconsin on a 100% vegan diet. I hope to show others that animal protein is not required to live a healthy active lifestyle.