Nearly seven years after boycotting fast food giant KFC, the Rev. Al Sharpton has announced that he’s eliminating meats from his diet altogether and is a vegetarian.
Sharpton made the announcement in a post on a blog operated by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). He explained that he made the decision after years of gradually reducing his meat intake.
“I overhauled my diet after a 40-day hunger strike when I was in jail for the Vieques protest,” Sharpton told PETA. “I dabbled with weight loss ideas, wanting to keep off the pounds I lost. First, I gave up red meat, then chicken. I ran into Bill Clinton, who told me how he has more energy, needs less sleep and can think more clearly since going vegan, and I can tell you the same thing happened to me. I also kept in mind the words of another vegetarian friend—Coretta Scott King—who always spoke of the ethical reasons to give up meat.”
Sharpton, founder of the National Action Network and the host of the MSNBC show “PoliticsNation” has lost more than 120 pounds since adopting a healthy living regime.
“You can’t address our issues and demand social justices when you are a prisoner in your own body, and you can’t have a reckless social life when you are looking for social justice,” Sharpton told NBC’s The Grio in early December. “How do you pastor when they are in the church cafeteria frying. We can’t preach community control when we aren’t practicing self-control.”
Sharpton first partnered with PETA in 2005 when he joined with them in a boycott of KFC, according to The New York Times. He and the organization wanted the company to enact new standards for the treatment of 750 million chickens they process each year in the U.S.