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“Vegan” and “Kick your butt” are not words usually associated together. Sure, some may throw fake blood on unsuspecting fried chicken enthusiasts, but that's less in the “butt kicking” category and more in the “being a jerk” category. It’s easy to make fun of vegans, (there's the flatulence issue, just to name one popular way) and we can all do it safely knowing that either they won't notice because they're off somewhere dressed as a chicken or sitting in a pig cage or, if they do find out, their protein-lacking diet will render them helpless in a fight. But that assumption is wrong: here are some vegans who really could kick your butt, and probably would if they caught you milking a cow.
Hanshi Ridgely Abele – Karate master
Ridgely Abele was the winner of the First Florida Professional Championships, the United States Karate Association Internationals, and the 1983 USKA World Championships... and that's just stuff he won. The list of competitions he's been in goes on forever. We really should be calling him Dr Ridgely Abele because the guy has a Ph.D in Asian Combative Studies from Hong Kong University. We speculate that such a field of academic study did not exist before, and was invented purely because there needed to be a way to recognise Abele's sheer awesomeness. As in instructor, he has produced over 300 black belts throughout the world and maintained schools on two continents. And all without a single slice of cheese.
Lori Petty – AKA Tank Girl
You have to have some major chutzpah to steal a tank and survive in a post-apocalyptic waste land. Yes, that was fictional, Lori Petty is not really Tank Girl, but the world were to end tomorrow we're pretty sure Petty would come out on top, and do it all without compromising her vegan ethics. Check out this quote from Jam! Showbiz.
"I'm vegan and we were shooting outside of Chicago and there was nothing I could eat. So I lived on vitamins and Guinness for three months. I don't usually drink beer, but someone told me pregnant women drank it -- that it had extra vitamins in it, or whatever."
This woman lived for ninety days on beer and pills, and directed a movie while doing it! Actually, that doesn't actually say a lot about her after Armageddon survival skills- I mean 'outside Chicago' that's not exactly hostile barren waste land, surely there was a grocery store somewhere accessible? Still, a history of playing tough roles and an upbringing too gritty to recount on a humor website have made her into the staunchest thing under a crew cut. Ask yourself, would you pick a fight with Lori Petty? Would you?
Kenneth Williams – Body builder
See those muscles? Soy protein. Lots and lots of soy protein, enough to be responsible for the clearing of large swathes of rainforest to grow soy beans. Guy eats a lot of soy, is what we’re trying to say here. Williams placed third in the 2004 Natural Olympia contest, a competition who's contestants have been described as looking “less like men than ideas of men as imagined by comic book artists”. Before he became a body builder he was a fire fighter, meaning the man has conquered fear itself. Before you start to worry though, he probably has no beef with you (excuse the pun) and he has little time for fisticuffs between the seven meals his sport requires him to eat every day.
Ruth Heidrich – 6 time Ironwoman champion
She may look like a sweet grandmother, but Ruth Heidrich is the most hardcore person on this list. Ridgely Abele's epic karate skills were no match the cancer that took his life in 2009, Ruth Heidrich on the other hand fought cancer and won. Also, her Ph.D is in Health Education, which is actually a real thing. Kenneth Williams may have placed third in Natural Olympia, but that's small potatoes compared to Heidrich, who is a six time iron woman champion who holds -get this- 900 gold medals for running, at distances of almost any number you can imagine. In 1999, she was named one of the top 10 fittest women in America, meaning she's fitter than about a hundred and fifty million other American women. Being the ubervegan that she is ('vegan' is not hardcore enough for Ruth), she lives entirely on raw food. At 75 she has lived for longer than many of the people reading this article will, unless she shares with us which raw vegetable it is that provides super strength and immortality, though it’s not any of the books she's written so far.
Keith Holmes – Boxing champion
Keith Holmes has knocked twenty five people unconscious, but he did it in a ring wearing comically large gloves, which makes it OK (otherwise it would be assault, and we don't condone that). Holmes is the winner of the 1996 middle weight boxing championship; sure it’s not the heavy weight championship, but what championships have you won lately? Not being one to go beltless, after he lost the championship in 1998, it was only a year later that he got a rematch with the winner and won it back. Though he's lost five matches, no one has ever knocked him out. You don't stand a chance.
Nicky Cole - First woman to walk to the North Pole
Nicky Cole was the first woman to reach the North Pole - on foot. She walked one hundred miles to reach the northern most part of the planet. Walked. What does this have to do with Butt kicking? Everything. She may not be a boxer or a body builder or a karate master, but can you imagine the endurance required to walk to the freakin' north pole? All she has to do is wait to you get tired before giving you a little push, then its game over and she's off home to help Santa with his diet.
Jane Black – Weight lifter
Jane Black is a weight lifter, and not just your average weight lifter, but one who has set world records. Her personal record competitive lifts are a 65 kilo (143 lb.) snatch and an 82.5 kilo (181½ lb.) clean and jerk, which shows whoever came up with the names for weightlifting moves is a big fan of double entendres. But let’s go back and look at those numbers again, 181 pounds. Go get the scales out, we'll wait. How much do you weigh? Could Jane Black lift you off the ground and toss you on your sorry behind? 181 pounds is hardly the scrawny-weakling range. Jane believes, "If I am anything of worth for this earth, it is to be nice to other animals." So she won't hurt you. Well, she won’t eat you at the very least.
But don't get too complacent, Black has been working through The Vegetarian Resource Group, which helps other athletes interested in becoming vegan. So it’s not just these seven people, the ranks of the vegan army are growing, afraid? Perhaps you should be.
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