A vegan pensioner is planning to do 1,000,000 press-ups over the next 10 years in a bid to prove what's possible on a plant-based diet.
Paul Youd, who lives in Somerset, went vegan 15 years ago. Since then, he completed a charity event doing 1,000 press-ups in less than an hour.
Now he has significantly increased his goal, and will have to do 274 press-ups every day, to meet his 1,000,000 total in the next decade. He has already clocked up 170,000 press-ups after starting the challenge on his 80th birthday in September 2017.
"A few years ago I raised around £850 for charity for completing 1,000 press ups in an hour," Youd said in a statement sent to Plant Based News. "I used to think that people had a set exercise routine and they stuck to it and that was that.
"But I wanted to push myself even further and do 3,000 press ups a week. Last night it took me 39 minutes to do 1,000 so I have done a fair amount this week...I'm going to do it. I am determined."
The pensioner, who also does kettlebells, says his vegan diet has filled him with energy. "I dance across the room in the morning to open the curtains and skip down the path when I leave the house," he said. "I have so much energy. I feel so good, I feel like a 40-year-old. I want to show people the health benefits of a vegan lifestyle because it’s never too late to go vegan."
According to Youd, who went vegan following the BSE outbreak, once he learned a little about animal welfare, he started making a change.
"I had never really taken an interest into meat, where it was coming from and animals' welfare but that seemed to spark it off," said the former civil servant.
"I then started looking into the egg and dairy industry and realized just how cruel it was and just knew I couldn’t be part of it anymore. It took around two years for the blinkers to come off, then I went vegan."
He has also been inspired to get involved with activism, aiming to take part in weekly 'Cube of Truth' events where activists wearing masks hold laptops playing footage of animal farming. Youd says the public responses are generally positive.
"Because I'm going to be out every weekend with the animal rights activists, I have promised to do more around the house," he added. "It's only fair."
Rise of veganism
He describes the rise of veganism as 'incredible', adding: "When I went vegan it wasn't really the done thing, I remember eating out was a lot more tricky than it is today. But to see the increase of veganism is fantastic. It's going to grow exponentially. I want to be part of that and help educate and inspire others to see the benefits."
Amanda Woodvine, is CEO of charity Vegetarian for Life, which supports older vegans and vegetarians. In a statement sent to PBN, she said: "Paul's energy is great to see and just goes to show that you can be strong, healthy and live life to the full on a vegan lifestyle at any age.
"Paul demonstrates that people can switch to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle at any point in their life. We have a wealth of recipes available if anyone is wanting to give it a go. We wish him luck on his challenge and hope he achieves his goal."