Monday, March 26, 2012

March of the Hot Vegan Army - Day #26 - George Laraques

Georges Laraque

Know him from:
Georges is a recently-retired* hockey player from the noble northern nation of Canada (a country I love almost as much as my own). During his active career, he played for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Phoenix Coyotes, Edmonton Oilers, and, most recently, the Montreal Canadiens. Since his retirement, Georges has been actively involved with Canada's Green Party, of which Laraque is now a deputy leader. Georges also hosts a sports radio show based out of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. OMG I just read how he owns Crudessence, a vegan raw food restaurant with 2 locations in Montreal. I totally went there this past fall. Georges you are my hero...

Why he's vegan: Laraque became a vegan back in 2009 because he does not believe in treating animals as commodities. After this animal lover saw the film Earthlings, he could not, in good conscience, eat animals, wear animals, or pay to see them in circuses or zoos. Georges also cares about the environment, and notes that the environmental toll of animal agriculture is incredibly high. Georges is an athlete though, and thus also cares very much about his nutrition and physical health, so he contacted a nutritionist to help him ensure that his nutritional requirements were being met with his very active lifestyle. Seriously, you have to be on your game if you're either body-checking someone into the wall in an ice rink, or getting checked yourself. So, "check yourself before you wreck yourself" is kind of a rule with Georges Laraque. I can respect that.

Why he's awesome: Georges says that he's not on a mission to "veganize" everyone, but rather to help people to educate themselves about what they buy, and about what they are putting in their bodies. He notes on his website that if you can get through Earthlings and still eat meat, then that is your choice, but he still thinks that people should see what their dollars contribute to with open eyes. Georges states on his website that, when you make a strong stand, there will always be people who react negatively. Georges' stance on the slaughter of seals in Canada's yearly seal hunt (many of the seals are killed at age 3 mos. or less), and his affiliation with PETA, will not make him friends everywhere he goes. And also, when you connect yourself with any political party, there will obviously be people who disagree with you. I appreciate that Laraque is willing to put his opinions out there, come what may. And honestly, with his fight record in professional hockey, I wouldn't want to mess with him...

I know I'm not making too much of a "Laraque Leap" here, but Georges isn't just another pretty face. He is a businessman (see his restaurant holdings above!), a published author, and philanthropist. Georges was born to Haitian parents, and has been active in the recovery effort in Haiti after 2010's devastating earthquake. If that weren't enough, Georges also reads. He took part in the "Canada Reads" literary competition last year. He also practices yoga. I'm pretty sure that growing up in Montreal with Haitian-born parents, he probably also speaks French. Go ahead y'all. Swoon away.

So, Mr. Laraque, given that you eat organic food, market your own special juicer, and that you own Crudessence restaurant (p.s. loved the raw avocado key lime pie!), I am going to ask that you head up the raw nutritional division of the Hot Vegan Army. I think I just also really want to hear people all around the Hot Vegan Army barracks shouting "Can you smell what Laraque isn't cooking?" :-)

Welcome to the Hot Vegan Army man. Glad to have you.

*Please note: Laraque retired due to herniated disks in his back - not because of his veganism. I mean, it is hockey after do kind of get slammed around a lot...The end.

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