Professional skateboarder Ruben Najera is a busy dude. Between tweeting, blogging, running Struggle Skateboards, and being a doggie daddy to his pup Nollie, I don’t know how he finds time to do what he does best—skate. In true Cali style, Najera is always on his grind, and I’m happy to say that he can add peta2 to his growing list of supporters. We recently caught up with Najera at the Rancho Santa Margarita Skate Park in SoCal to find out why he chooses to live a cruelty-free, vegetarian lifestyle.

As an active athlete, Ruben Najera knows that the key to skating hard every day is keeping your energy up by staying healthy. One surefire way to screw that up is by chowing down on Big Macs all day. As a vegetarian, Najera stays fit by eating a healthy, meat-free diet. Meat-based diets are directly linked to some of the nation’s biggest killers, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and strokes. Not to mention that meat-eaters tend to weigh an average of 10 to 20 pounds more than vegans. If you’re looking to shed some winter weight, maybe it’s time to trade in the steak for some seitan!

Najera joins an impressive list of athletes who are fueled by veggies. MMA fighter Jake Shields, WWE superstar Daniel Bryan, NFL running back Ricky Williams, and scores of skaters, including Ed Templeton and Bob Burnquist, are all steadfastly proving how beneficial a vegetarian diet can be. Following a plant-based diet is also the best thing that you can do for animals on factory farms, who endure filthy, cramped conditions before being sent to slaughter, as well as the environment, which is being devastated by the mass production and consumption of animal products. Check out our two-week vegan sample menu to kick things off, and then grab your board and get outside!