FEATURE: Arien Smith


I have been vegan for about nine months now and these have been some of the best months of my life. I tried going vegan several times because my girlfriend has been vegan for three years and I told myself I wanted to try her “diet.” Every time I tried I failed and blamed it on my need for meat.

Being originally from North Carolina and playing football my whole life only gave me one perspective when it came to food. Back during my playing days as center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2011 to 2015, I was 290 pounds. Most meals I consumed were focused heavily in the areas of meat and potatoes. So nine months ago, I finally decided to go vegan for myself. I cut off all animal products completely and I was amazed by how easy it was and how much energy it gave me on a daily basis.


Becoming vegan was a big achievement for me, not only because of my former lifestyle, but because my father passed when I was two years old from colon cancer. Family and friends always told me of his love for big cookouts with all types of meats. In my previous lifestyle I was unknowingly falling in his footsteps. I hope that in my vegan journey I can influence more in the black community to care about what they consume. Theres so much we can’t control in this world so why not take full advantage of the things we can.

Social Media

Instagram: @air_smith74