Vegan Figure Competitor (www.simicollins.com)
1. Why are you vegan?
Animals are not commodities, and their lives are no less valuable than our own. No living being deserves to be enslaved, exploited, abused, slaughtered or neglected.
Animal agriculture of all kinds is rampant with cruelty. Beyond the obvious factory farming, transportation and painful slaughter of farm animals, even organic dairy and egg farming involve practices which cause immense suffering to animals. The most ‘humane’ egg farm still unavoidably hatches male chicks which, as they cannot produce eggs, are deemed a ‘waste product’ and often ground up alive. Even on the most peaceful looking dairy farm, cows are artiﬁcially inseminated and kept almost permanently pregnant, only to have their calves stolen, abandoned, sent to veal farms or straight to slaughter. The cows themselves are killed when they stop producing enough milk, which is many years short of their natural lifespan.
Zoos keep animals in unnatural conditions, and circuses exploit and injure animals simply for entertainment. Don’t even get me started on horse racing or rodeos.
For more information on these issues and current actions, please visit www.alv.org.au.
All of these practices are completely unnecessary to our survival, and hence I choose not only to boycott these industries, but also to ﬁght for their closure. Animals are here with us, not for us.
2. How has becoming vegan given you purpose (or healed you)?
I feel more positive about my lifestyle choices, knowing I am reducing my own contribution to the suffering of other beings, and my impact on the environment.I also feel healthier and much more exuberant.
Training and competing in ﬁgure/bodybuilding is not just my pas- sion, but I also see it as an effective form of activism. It’s a great way to show people what can be achieved through a vegan lifestyle and at the same time spread a positive message, while hopefully busting a few myths and stereotypes surrounding veganism.
3. What are your achievements so far?
- ‘International Transformation of the Month’ Bodybuilding.com for March 2013
- ‘International Transformation of the Year’ on Bodybuilding.com for 2013
- 2013 IFBB Australian Amateur Grand Prix, Figure Novice Tall – 4th
- 2013 IFBB Australasian Championships, Figure Novice Tall – No place
- 2013 IFBB Victorian State Titles, Figure Novice Tall – 3rd
- 2014 IFBB Australian Amateur Grand Prix, Figure Novice Tall – 6th
- 2014 IFBB O’Mara Classic and World Qualiﬁer, Figure Open Over 168cm – 2nd
4. What is your title, occupation/what do you do for a living?
I am a graphic designer for Doherty’s Gym. I also freelance in design and I am studying my personal training certiﬁcations so I can become a vegan personal trainer.
5. How do you think being vegan is the next step of our evolution?
I truly believe that compassion and veganism are the next step in our evolution. Evolution is based on survival, yet we no longer need to kill other living beings to survive in our world. Despite this we continue to cause suffering. Not just through wars on our own species, but also through the enslaving, exploitation, and violent mistreatment of animals. To move forward, we need to learn to think beyond our own needs and desires. We need to wake up and realise that we all share this planet, we have all been given this gift called life, and we must do whatever we can to enjoy it fully, live peacefully, and allow others to do the same.