Laraque touting taste of tofu

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:32 PM ET

The documentary affected him personally.

Georges Laraque changed his entire outlook on life after watching the film Earthlings.

"It shows the cruelty being done towards animals in the food, clothing and entertainment industry," Laraque said.

"So from that moment on, I decided to become a vegan. I've also been working with a lot of animal groups to try and defend animal rights.

"When you see that video, I don't think it was a tough switch. After watching what animals go through, it was a lot tougher to support the meat industry and the slaughterhouses."

Laraque cut animal products out of his life in May. Along with his diet, the Montreal Canadiens forward made changes to his wardrobe.

Jackets, gloves and shoes made of leather are now things of the past.

"I got rid of all that stuff," Laraque said. "Even my shoes. I got this pair I'm wearing from Payless, paid $40 for them. I don't wear leather now."

The reasoning for his new outlook had made the transformation easier for Laraque.

The main staple of his diet is now tofu.

"I never really liked tofu, but when you decide to make that switch, then all of a sudden, you like it," he said.

"You like anything that doesn't come from animals and then it was easy.

"When you do it just because of your diet, it might be harder, because you might miss the meat. But when you do it for the cause of animals, then it's totally different."

Now that the season has started, the Canadiens have been able to accommodate Laraque's diet during the team meals.

He's also been able to convince some teammates to follow suit, although some are tougher to convince then others.

"I'm a carnivore, I'm a big protein guy, I'm not into the hemp protein, I'm into the other stuff," said forward Mike Cammalleri.

"It's tough for me to imagine, because I eat a lot of meat and fish.

"I find it hard sometimes to just try and eat clean, so I think for him it would be extremely difficult to be a vegan.

"It's obviously a lifestyle choice he's made and like anything, if you want it bad enough, you'll find a way to do it. For Georges, that seems to be the case."

Not knowing much about the vegan lifestyle, Laraque needed to do some research before adopting it. However, he got plenty of help along the way.

"When I went that path, I got hundreds of e-mails from around the world, people were giving me tips on what were good things to eat," he said.

"I got help from everybody, and now I'm pretty much a pro at it and I can give people advice on what to eat and what to do to replace the protein that you need -- especially being a professional hockey player."

As a pro athlete, Laraque has had to make sure he still gets the proper amount of protein in his diet because it's important in order to maintain his muscle mass during the season.

"When you're vegan, it's so much easier to maintain the weight that you want because there are so many things that you can't have, things like any dessert with milk or eggs, you can't have any of that," he said.

"You can't have meat. But eating grains and stuff, your body processes it quicker, so it cleans out quicker. It's better. You can actually eat more be fuller and your body processes it quicker."

DEREK.VANDIEST@SUNMEDIA.CA


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