Vegetarianism in skateboarding

Updated 31 Januaryy 2021

Peggy Oki, original member of the Z-Boys (Dogtown), later became vegan (1), photo by Glen E. Friedman, who later also became vegan (12).

Check out this 2012 Q&A with Peggy Oki, where she says: "I like my Vans Rowley XLT’s and I’m disappointed to hear that he (Geoff Rowley) isn’t Vegan anymore." (and "I’m Vegan for Ethical reasons.")  

Independent, Claus Grabke (probably not vegetarian yet)

Adam Yauch used to skate. Mike D and Adam Yauch (MCA) are/were also vegetarians. But surely not back then. (Mike D was vegan for a few years in the late 90s.)

Dave Bergthold, founder of Blockhead, was/is vegetarian - but probably not back then. (22)
Santa Cruz, Claus Grabke (probably not vegetarian yet)

Rob Roskopp, Gotcha ad - not sure what that was about
Thunder, Jim Thiebaud is the co-founder of Real (probably not vegetarian yet)
Dave Bergthold, Blockhead (rumoured to have been/be a vegetarian)

In the Mike Vallely episode of the Nine Club (episode 138) Mike recounts how his first pro board graphic was an African elephant because he had seen a TV program about African elephants being killed for their tusks (ivory) or because of human-animal conflicts. Mike explains that it was this TV program that first created a "sensitivity" in him for animals. Mike received this graphic on paper at around Christmas 1987 - it was drawn by legendary skateboard graphic artist "VCJ" (Vernon Courtlandt Johnson).
Mike Vallely, Powell Peralta, elephant graphic 

The infamous World Industries Mike Vallely barnyard graphic. Mike Vallely was vegetarian then, outspokenly, later vegan, then quit veganism, then vegetarianism (see 1994) (2) Interesting why people stop being vegetarian (4).

"Please, don't eat my friends" was the graphic on top of the board.

"The Barnyard was my coming out as a vegetarian, in a sense, so the bottom graphic was going to be this funky folk-art piece of animals grazing and the top graphic was going to be a quote in simple bold black Helvetica, 'Please don't eat my friends', I left this idea with Rocco, but while I was on tour he got together with Marc McKee and tweaked things. When I returned they had the entire graphic completed. I hated it. To me it was stupid and childish. Rocco, however, felt strongly about it. He talked about George Orwell's book Animal Farm and how this graphic was a play on that with the animals rebelling and fighting back.
He made a good case, and I began to warm up to the design. It definitely looked different than anything I'd ever seen before, and I slowly came around, but I had two demands. One was that the top graphic be a continuation of the bottom scene with the quote worked into it, and the second was what I determined to be a vulgar and pointless image of a horse mounting another horse - the horse that was getting mounted is still on the board, you can see her smiling face peeking out from behind the barn. I wouldn't approve the graphic otherwise. This was easily the best-selling model I've had. Back then I was pulling consistent ten- to thirteen-thousand-dollar checks each month for almost a year, thanks to that board. To this day I have people come up to me and credit the Barnyard for introducing them to the ideologies behind vegetarianism."
Mike Vallely (25)

(Side note: According to Mike Vallely, the barnyard graphic was Mark McKee's very first graphic he did in the skateboard industry.)

Mike Vallely Poweredge interview by Christian Kline (Even though they were both vegetarians - nothing about vegetarianism in this interview.)

Powell Peralta ad with Mike Vallely, Lance Mountain and Steve Caballero (from Thrasher, April 1989)

Santa Monica Airlines ad with Jim Thiebaud (I don't know if he is or ever was a vegetarin, but there was a rumour that he was.)

Sean Sheffey, Venture ad, 1989. Sheffey was probably a vegetarian at that time (see 1991 below).

PETA writing about Mike Vallely (photo stolen from Vegan Skate Blog)

Thrasher Ed Templeton cover, February 1990 

Transworld, April 1990, Ed Templeton cover

Schmitt Stix, Ed Templeton

New Deal, Ed Templeton, pre-vegan shoes

From an Italian skate mag. Ed Templeton won the Münster Monster Mastership in Germany in 1990.

I'm guessing this photo is also from 1990.

Ed Templeton stickers, New Deal, ~1990

Ed Templeton interview in Thrasher (nothing about vegetarianism in the interview)

Mike Vallely, Santa Cruz Speed Wheels

Thunder ad (from Thrasher, 1990, not sure which month)

World Industries ad (from Thrasher, November 1990)

Sean Sheffey, Venture ad (from Thrasher, November 1990)

Matt Hensley, A-1 Meats ad (from Transworld, August 1990)

World Industries, Jason Lee (the non-vegetarian Ed Templeton). In 2019 (see here) Prime produced an Ed Templeton "Veggie burger" version of this board graphic. The ad for it states that Ed Templeton has been a vegan since 1991. 
(In a 2019 interview Ed Templeton states that it was Mike Vallely who got him into vegetarianism and veganism: "He’s the one who actually got me into veganism. He’d ask me out to dinner and offer to pay if I ate vegetarian. I’d be like, “Oh my God! What am I going to eat? But if it’s your treat, I guess I’ll eat some broccoli or something.” (laughs)" (37))

World Industries' Jason Lee burger board and the "cease and desist" letter by Burger King
Marc McKee (who did both the Jason Lee burger and the Vallely barnyard graphics): 
"I originally made the Jason Lee Burger King board for Mike V, and that did not go over well. I guess it goes without saying that Mike would not be down with having that kind of graphic, even though the intention was for it to be ironic since it was well known that he was a vegan. In hindsight I think he was right to turn down the graphic since it’s clearly a salute to cow-eating…. Then, when the ad came out with Jason eating a Whopper in front of Burger King—with a shaved head like Mike had at the time—that definitely came across as a vibe. Not cool." (8)

"The Burger graphic came out after I had quite World Industries. Rocco may have tried to persuade me to use this graphic before I quite - I do vaguely remember that being discussed - but I flat-out denied him. I really could have cared less about it except for the ad that Rocco ran advertising the board. It featured Jason Less with his head shaved, wearing a buttoned-up flannel - as I did at the time - holding a burger. Being the hardcore vegetarian I was, I definitely took this personal. So when I saw Jason next I confronted him about it. He played ignorant, and in some ways perhaps he was but I still gave him a tongue-lashing for being a pawn in Rocco's petty attacks. Jason apologized, and I let him off the hook. I didn't really have nor did I want to have a problem with Jason, but I was definitely hurt by the fact he participated in this obvious attack." Mike Vallely (25)    

(From a 2004 exhibition in Vancouver)

But there's more: 
World Industries - Mike Vallely & an unfinished drawing for a Jason Lee graphic

...and the answer by Blind with Laban Pheidias (maybe already vegan? not looking his best here though - this ad is from 1993)
A-1 Meats What did it all mean?

(I don't think Bo Ikeda was vegetarian. He was in Vision's Alphabet Soup video by the way...)

A-1 Meats Young Riders
Zero Two - The All Vegetarian Skate Shoe - Thank You For Not Killing Me.
I remember a Zero Two ad on the back of a Thrasher, that showed a skater walking away, wearing Airwalk NTS (Not The Same), leaving behind bloody footprints, with the slogan "Zero Two - There are no souls in our soles." I was not vegetarian then - and funny enough I had a pair of green NTS.

Was Sean Sheffey vegetarian during that time?
From the Sean Sheffey interview in Big Brother, issue 2:
"You’re a vegetarian right?
I don’t like meat. I think, it’s too heavy for me, it weighs me down I feel. I haven’t eaten a piece of red meat in two years now, so… I like pastas, salads but salads are kinda nasty sometimes especially at restaurants some of them aren’t too good. Soups, good black bean soup, good bread, I like rice.”
The skateboard company Life had a pro-vegetarian ad featuring Sean Sheffey
"P.S. I value my friends please don't eat them" (1991) [see below]

In an interview with Mackenzie Eisenhour for Transworld (2012) Sean Sheffey mentioned being vegan for a while:
"What about the Life ad with the backside lipslide on that high rail? [the ad below]
Yeah. The “Don’t Eat My Friends” ad.
Was it weird when the pressure flip stuff started coming in too? It seemed like all that stuff was a different style than what you had been skating.
I actually liked the whole method of it. It was what my teammates were doing so I enjoyed it. At the same time I was a little removed from it too because I was married and had a kid so young. I wasn’t always with the guys. Up to that time too I had been vegan, so I never wore leather shoes and all that.
There was the Zero Two Shoes and all that right?
Exactly. But it was only a matter of time until I got influenced by the team and started wearing Vans Half Cabs and Adidas. Just changing shoes made it a lot easier to learn a lot of the technical stuff." (31)

So it seems that Sheffey was vegan or something of the kind until around 1991. 

The Life "Don't eat my friends" ad (1991)
On this photo from around 1989/90 Sean Sheffey is wearing leather Vision shoes.
In this Speedwheels ad (which I had on my wall for years) he's wearing canvas Converse All Stars. (This ad is from around 1990.)
Life ad (from Thrasher, January 1991), Sean Sheffey

Sean Sheffey, Venture ad (from Thrasher, August 1991)

Sean Sheffey, 1991

In the February 2018 Jason Dill episode of "The Nine Club with Chris Roberts" (episode 83) Jason Dill says "I had the Sean in font of me that listened to REM and was a vegan" referring to the time when Sean Sheffey was already riding for Plan B. This must have been 1991. 

Mike Vallely, Venture ad (from Thrasher, February 1991)

Ed Templeton
New Deal, Ed Templeton
Ed Templeton, impossible noseblunt slide to fakie, in Transworld (I think), 1991

Ed Templeton, Thunder ad, Thrasher, October 1991

Around 1991, or maybe more towards 1992 or 1993 (?), Ethan Fowler seems to have had "a stint of veganism" as he recounted in the 2013 Ethan Fowler epidsode of Epicly Later'd. This must have been before or at the latest in 1994 when Toy Machine's video "Live!" came out. But he seems to say that it was when he was about 14 years old. If he was born in 1977 that would have been 1991. He also seems to have been vegetarian (not vegan) for a while.

Andrew Morrison, a pro skater from Auckland, New Zealand, who rode for New Deal during the Useless Wooden Toys (1990) and 1281 (1991) time had a "cow burger" deck graphic that I had never come across. Note the crying cow.  
His "sex" board grapic quite widely known at the time (at least that's what I think - the sex graphic likely being a much more popular board and T-shirt grahic than the burger graphic).

New Deal, Andrew Morrison board graphic

Plan B, Sean Sheffey

Powell & Peralta, Pat Brennen Meat Slick

Zero Two ad, Thrasher, May 1992

Zero Two ad, Thrasher back cover, September 1992 (my photo of my old mag)
Zero Two ad, Thrasher back cover, September 1992 (from the Thrasher website)

Zero Two ad, Thrasher, December 1992 (from the Thrasher website)

Brian Lotti, Zero Two ad
I'm sure I once saw a Brian Lotti board with an anti-hunting graphic.

From the book "Made for Skate"

blindfolded rabbit, carrot & trap graphic (World Industries)

Ed Templeton and Mike Vallely had a company called TV (Templeton/Vallely), which was later briefly called Televison. I still regret not buying the Ed Templeton "man eats cow" board (right) (When I saw that board in a shop, maybe my subconscious mind already knew I would become vegan.) The top graphic says “Eat me I’m probably delicious.” (7)

from Big Brother, issue 3

Laban Pheidias, Blockhead  
(check out this short Q&A with Laban where he says he has been vegan since he was 16 or so)
TV, Templeton and Vallely
TV, Jerry Fowler, Ed Templeton, Mike Vallely
TV, Arm Chair Adventure Tour 1992

Ed Templeton with a t-shirt that says "Human Racist"Television

Television, Ryan Fabry (btw, Steve Berra rode for Television.)

Jim Thiebaud "Vegetarian, Writer, Coffee Achiever", interview, TWS, September 1992

Real, Jim Thiebaud

John Montesi, New Deal board graphic "farmer". I don't know what the story behind this graphic is.

A-1 Meats ad, note the 43mm wheels are called "meat is murder".

The first Thrasher video (The Truth Hurts) had a short interview with Salman Agah and they asked him "Are you vegetarian?", and he said "No. N-O. I think it's stupid. Well I guess it's not stupid but..." [That's what Agah said.]

Ed Templeton, Salvage (Salavage was a clothing company by Zero Two)

Around 2005 a vegan skateboarder friend of mine from Australia told me that the owner of Zero Two had actually been a meat eater. He had pretended to be a vegan but Ed Templeton and Mike Vallely at some point found meat in his fridge - and that was the end of Zero Two ... that's how the story went if I remember right. Thsi stor was now confirmed by in a Chrome Ball Incident interview with Ed Templeton (from 2019) (37) It seems to me that this must have occurred in 1993: 
"[Chrome Ball Incident] What was the story with Zero-Two shoes? Didn’t you guys end up finding meat in the guy’s refrigerator or something?
[Ed Templeton] That’s a weird story, but yes. Zero-Two was ran by this guy named Dean, who was an inventor and businessman. He was always looking for a new marketing opportunity, that was kind of his schtick. He had invented what was essentially a Velcro shoe for kids. It came with a sheet of Velcro artwork where you can stick whatever your mood was for that day onto your shoes. “I’m happy today, I’ll put a happy face or a rainbow on my shoe.” He ends up taking this invention to the Action Sports Tradeshow. Totally clueless about skateboarding, he’s basically there to sell his business venture. Sean Sheffey [my highlighting] comes walking through, who’s vegetarian at the time, and he picks up the shoe, which kinda looks like a Vision Street Wear. “Dude, are these vegetarian?” Dean immediately answers, “Yes, they are”. That’s the kind of person Dean is. He saw the angle immediately. “Are you guys sponsoring? These shoes are cool. They’d probably be good for skating.” So Dean, on the spot, decides that it’s now a skate shoe and that he’s going to start sponsoring skaters. He actually had no stake in vegetarianism, veganism or skateboarding at all. But like I said, he’s quick. Him and Rocco actually got along really well, because he was such a huckster… like the Salvage [my highlighting] brand he did? Buying thrift store clothes and ironing on a Salvage patch so he could resell them at a higher price? What a scam! So Dean decided that a vegetarian skate shoe was going to be his thing. He starts doing ads, which are all super over-the-top with a skinned cow and bloody footprints. And, of course, Mike [Valleley; my highlighting] and I being vegans, we got sucked in. I can’t remember if Mike reached out or what, but we somehow got sponsored by him. We start working so much together that the 2nd iteration of our company, Television [my highlighting], was actually distributed through Dean. 
[Chrome Ball Incident] I didn’t know that.
[Ed Templeton] Yeah, that was the difference. Our company TV [my highlighting] was Brad Dorfman and when we left, we switched it to Television [my highlighting] with Dean. But that’s when things started to get weird on the business side and we broke up. And it’s also around this time that we found out about Dean. I got a call from Mike V [my highlighting] one night. “Dude, I’m up in Santa Barbara at Dean’s house and when I go to look in his fridge, there’s a fucking turkey in there.” Not that I was ever some super dogmatic vegan but Dean had been claiming to be this vegan crusader the whole time. And leading up to that night, Mike and I had both started to notice little things about him that didn’t add up. “Dude, there’s a turkey in there. I asked him about it and he said it was for his employees but I don’t believe him. There’s no employees here. I think it’s his turkey!” He’d totally pulled the wool over our eyes. Because all this stuff, I remember putting it all together with Mike after the fact. He was just some business guy who capitalized on us." (37)

Ed Templeton and Mike Vallely, Television ad, Thrasher, January 1993

Steve Berra, Television ad, Thrasher, March 1993 (Steve Berra may have been - or still may be - a vegetarian at some point, if I rememeber right.)

Moses Itkonen, Real ad, back cover of SLAP, September 1993

Toy Machine, Ed Templeton (graphic by Thomas Campbell)

Powell, Mike Vallely (a re-release of the World Industries graphic on Powell - Who knew?)

   From the Mike Vallely interview in Big Brother, issue 14:

Are you still vegan? [first question]
No, and I probably never was by some people’s definition. But yes, I eat dairy products and wear leather shoes now. I had a pretty strict diet for about two years that I took very seriously, too seriously. It got to the point where my diet and the standards I set for myself were negatively affecting the way I looked at and interacted with others. After a while I didn’t feel like I was doing it for me anymore, that I was doing it for my friends or to maintain an image. It was very uncomfortable. After our daughter was born my wife started eating dairy products again and bringing them into the house and I was jealous. So I broke to some extent. But I don’t feel bad about it. I feel very secure about myself – more so now then when I was vegan. The hardest part now is dealing with the people who can’t deal with it. I’ve had people come up to me on tour and hassle me because I’m not vegan anymore, and they give me this guilt trip about how I turned them on to it and how it’s changed their lives. And now they see me wearing leather shoes and eating dairy products and they don’t know what to do. Should they continue to subscribe to my every move or get their own lives? The answer is obvious.
Are you still vegetarian then?
I really don’t use those words anymore. I’m not a slogan, I’m me. Mike Vallely doesn’t an [!] never could eat the flesh of another living creature, that’s just part of who I am. I don’t feel I need to make a stink about it. When I first came out and said I was vegetarian it was a radical statement; these days it’s not, and I don’t really care. It’s hard to break your own mold, you know? If you don’t, you don’t grow. My biggest problem in my life was that I’ve always mistaken my politics for my spirituality. Because I got into vegetarianism, I took that on as my religion. And that’s just worldly politics. I know I could never eat meat, at the same time, I pretty much consider dairy products meat, but I’m willing to eat them. So I’m probably one of the biggest walking contradictions there is. I’m a lover and a fighter."
“A long time ago, Julio de la Cruz was talking some shit to Ed Templeton about, ‘Oh Ed, let’s go eat a turkey dinner.’ Something stupid like that and Ed can not defend himself, so he just let Julio walk all over him. So when I was in the San Francisco contest last September Julio was [there] and I said, ‘Hey Julio, lets go get a turkey dinner, man.’ And he’s like. ‘What? Oh, I heard you were sick, are you all right?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m all right. Let’s go get a turkey dinner.’ And he was like. ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ So I just said, ‘Yeah, you’re a pussy, dude.’ And Paulo Diaz was sitting right next to him and he was laughing, and I go, ‘What the fuck you laughing at, scarecrow?’ That was it. Then one day, I’m skating in LA, and Paulo was with the whole LA crew hanging out, and he comes up to me and goes. ‘Hey, let’s go get a turkey dinner.’ So I was like, ‘Dude, you better just sit down.’ The he said, ‘Come one!’ So I kicked him in the chest.
Karate kick?
Yeah.” [...] [typos in the original]

You can see a vegetarian, non-vegan Mike V in his video part in the 1994 Powell video "Suburban Diners".

 A-1 Meats - the logo in this ad says "environmentally alert".

Note the "environmentally alert - friends of animals" below.

A1 Meats, Bobby Kuhns "contains no animal bi-products [!]" in the stag logo circle
A1-Meats, John Reeves
Invisible, Jamie Thomas on a horse! (from horse rider to vegan to meat eater for Christ)

another Invisible ad - Laban Pheidias - the "healthy" alluding to his vegetarianism?

TWS, January 1994, Laban Pheidias interview

In Defense of Animals (IDA) ad, TWS, January 1994
The Beastie Boys/Spike Jonze/Girl connection, at around this time Mike D and MCA were already vegetarians (Ill Communication era). The Beastie Boys tour DVD "Awesome: I Fuckin' Shot That!" fom 2006 includes a BBQ contest of their tour manager vs. some other guys. Mike D was the vegetarian/vegan referee. The tour manager had also cooked some brown rice and beans for Mike D though haha. 
More recently (2009) Yauch was diagnosed with cancer (of the parotid gland - in the mouth) and wrote in the e-newsletter "i'm taking tibetan medicine and at the recommendation of the tibetan doctors i've been eating a vegan/organic diet ". (5) (6) There were some rumors in 2011 that Yauch had overcome the cancer, which Yauch quickly called "exaggerated".
UPDATE: Sadly Adam Yauch passed away on 4th May 2012.

Beastie Boys, Ill Communication, Girl, team deck

Sergei Trudnowski spotlight in Thrasher (October 1994)

In the Rick McCrank episode (episode 24) of "The Nine Club with Chris Roberts" from November 2016 Rick McCrank mentions that when he went to California, started skating for Plan B, and regularly stayed at Pat Channita's parents' house he was already a vegetarian. This must have been around 1994, 1995, or 1996.

Moses Itkonen

Ed Templeton went through a "skating canvas Vans" phase... (Toy Machine ad)

Matt Rodriguez has been vegetarian (according to mathematics) since 1995. (11) Deluxe ad.

Sergei Trudnowski - rumored to be vegan (Sub Zero ad)
Big Brother, number 20, with Jamie Thomas on the cover (I'm guessing this is from around 1995)

Mad Circle, Moses Itkonen
Moses Itkonen interview, Big Brother


Thrasher Moses Itkonen cover, September 1995

Real ad (from Thrasher, September 1995)

Is this a joke by Foundation? Or was Alyoop an actual company? Note Ed Templeton saying, "I respect them because they're vegans."

CSS, canvas Vans and Dickies

Sheep, the mystery
Sheep was a shoe company by Sole Tech (Etnies etc.), and I have read that Sheep only made "vegetarian" (leather-free) shoes, but I'm pretty sure this isn't true.
(Check out the Sheep Shoes video "Life of Leisure".)

vegan shoes? (Frank Hirata)

vegan or leather? (Mike Manzoori)

Laban Pheidias probably skating in leather free shoes (?)

It says "these shoes are either canvas or suede".

Birdhouse, Team
Big Brother, issue 23, Laban Pheidias on the cover (So this is apparently from 1996)

Late 80s Santa Cruz pro Claus Grabke and his band Thumb (all vegetarians I assume) pose for PETA (Germany). 
Ed Templeton, TWS, October 1996

WARP, June 1996, Ed Templeton interview

In 1996 Brian Anderson - and I'm guessing that he probably was a vegetarian at the time - front blunted Hubba Hideout in San Francisco, made famous in Toy Machine's "Welcome to Hell". One of the most iconic tricks in the history of the earth.

Moses Itkonen

Acme - cow and hamburger graphic.

This shoe ("Clocker 3") was interesting. It came with a "100% synthetic - no animal products" tag and it came in different kinds of vegan materials. (But Scott Johnston or anyone else on DC, except Moses Itkonen, wasn't vegetarian, I think.)

Tag from a pair of DC Clocker 3
Sheep. Brian Anderson, probably still meat-free at that time, but started eating meat again during an Anti-Hero Australia tour.

Already vegetarian back then? Rick McCrank  Vegan Shoes?

vegan shoes and blunt slides: Ed Templeton (You know it's true.)

Ed Templeton's vegan signature shoe on Sheep, that was just about to come out, when Sheep closed down (I'm not sure if it was ever produced.).
From the book "Made for Skate"

And Laban Pheidias had a vegan signature shoe on Reef. (Was the shoe only available in vegan? I don't know.) 

Note it says "vegan leather" (red section, first bullet point).

Tag from Laban Pheidias shoe
The Adil Dyani shoe (the black one below, the white one is the Laban Pheidias) by Reef was also vegan.

Jamie Thomas' heyday - before the fall  
Emerica ad "I'm gonna skate barefoot until you guys make a canvas shoe."
This shoe was available in real (animal) suede (black or white) or in vegan (navy canvas with rubber ollie pad). The rubber cap and sole looked slightly different than in the ad.
He was vegan then.
In the 2017 "Jamie Thomas | The Nine Club With Chris Roberts - Episode 68" (~02:59:00) Jamie Thomas says that he became vegan the time around filming Welcome To Hell - so that must have been around 1995 or 1996. Jamie Thomas adds that the first batch of the Emerica Jamie Thomas shoes were suede and the second batch were canvas and synthetic.

You have to check out this 2013 Ed Templeton interview with Vegan Skate Blog. Apparently Jamie Thomas experience blurry vision and wasn't feeling too well, a doctor then recommended that he eat meat. Ed Templeton: "I got this call from Jamie, and he said, “I just got this call from my doctor and he said I should eat meat. What should I do?”" So he went back to eating meat (unnecessarily so, I'm sure.) Also in this interview Ed mentions that Mike Vallely found (allegedly and according to Mike V himself) veganism to restricting. Ed Templeton: "So he [Mike V] was like, I’m sick of it. I feel like it’s running my life. I only live once and I don’t want to live by this set of rules. He found it constricting. He felt like there’s always a different level. Veganism and then raw and then airitarian.  [He said], “I don’t know where it ends when you’re trying to live by a strict code so fuck it.” " (30)

Stolen from the "Made for Skate" book

Invisible, Laban Pheidias

Moses Itkonen, Independent

Moses Itkonen

Kastel, Steve Olson (vegan shoes)

Shorty's, Steve Olson (the younger Steve Olson with glasses) was/is a vegetarian.

unconfirmed rumors
Sergei Trudnowski, First Division 
Sergei Trudnowski, Illuminati
Toy Machine, Mike Frazier

Zero, Jamie Thomas

Zero, team decks

Pig Wheels

Templeton's most popular shoe ever (probably). This shoe was everywhere you went. Emerica Templeton (all vegan)

One of the most popular vegan shoes at the time. DC "Syntax" (always vegan)
 I didn't know then, that Moses Itkonen was vegan.

Rowley's vegetarian, pre-vegan, pre-ex-vegan era, skating for Airwalk. I thought (then) Geoff Rowley was French.

Steve Olson's vegan signature shoe on Kastel

Even Duffs came out with a vegan shoe in 1998 (called "Veggie Sub"). They even made a T-shirt promoting the shoe (no photo atm).

Sheep ad

Still Ed Templeton 1 (Emerica)

In a 2009 interview Mike Vallely says: "I've been eating meat since 1999. I would say I have a pretty well balanced diet at this point in my life and that although I eat animal products I'm still a very conscientious eater, maybe even more so then when I was a vegetarian. I was a vegetarian since 1988 and a vegan for several years but those dietary choices were more like religious subscriptions than dietary or health decisions. When the hold of the cult of vegetarianism got old for me my diet changed and I think and feel in many ways it's personally for the better. The vegetarian diet never actually agreed with me physically so it was a very hard thing to maintain for nearly 11 years." (2) (4)

If you feel the same way and think a vegan diet doesn't agree with you healthwise, please know that you do not have to give up veganism. There are several experienced longtime vegan dietitians who can tweak a vegan diet to suit you. (by Jack Norris, RD) is probably the most complete source of vegan nutrition info. Animal products do not contain "magical" nutrients - it seems all essential nutrients can be obtained from non-animal sources, luckily. 

And I thought (then) Mike Vallely was still vegan - his very popular shoe on Etnies was vegan.

Etnies Mike Vallely signature shoe

An ad promoting vegetarianism by PCRM (Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine) with Ed Templeton and Jamie Thomas - both vegan at the time.
Jamie Thomas then had a few all vegan models on Adio.
Adio was Chris Miller's (?) company, but owned by the company K2 Corporation (the ski and rollerblade company).

just like Jeremy Wray (but Jeremy Wray was never vegetarian as far as I know)

Transworld (on Geoff Rowley's first shoe on Vans): 
 “Geoff leads a vegan lifestyle and likes hiking in order to see wild animals in their own environment. As a result, Geoff’s signature shoe, which will be available in Spring 2000, will be comprised of all synthetic materials.“ (20)

Geoff Rowley in Transworld: 
 “My bail was set for 1,400 dollars, and I had real problems contacting anyone. All in all, I was held for about 36 hours with no food (I’m a vegan) or water (the sink had been pissed in). After 24 hours I was given a change of clothes. I had to walk up to the officer completely naked and hand him all my old clothes before I was given new ones. Meanwhile, everyone sat and watched.” (21)

Toy Machine, Ed Templeton

Anti Hero
Julien Stranger

Thrasher Jamie Thomas cover, August 1999

Moses Itkonen with his signature frontside noseslide on the cover of the Transworld photo issue May 1999

Transworld article dated 19 July 1999, about the release of Geoff Rowley's first Vans signature pro shoe, states: "Twenty-three year old Geoff Rowley is known worldwide for his technical mastery of street skating. Born in Liverpool, England and currently residing in Huntington Beach, California, Geoff enjoys listening to bands like Fugazi and The Jam. Geoff leads a vegan lifestyle and likes hiking in order to see wild animals in their own environment. As a result, Geoff’s signature shoe, which will be available in Spring 2000, will be comprised of all synthetic materials"

From Transworld "The Complete and Uncut Geoff Rowley Interview" by Ed Templeton:
Do you eat at McDonald’s?
No. I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s since I was twelve.
Tell me about your eating habits. I mean I know you’re a vegan …
Well, I’ve been a vegetarian since my thirteenth birthday, so ten years.
What started it?
My friend Martin gave me all these really exaggerated leaflets, probably about McDonald’s meat processing, and how they kill the chickens, and slaughterhouses. So I stopped eating meat, and since then it’s been a gradual road to being a vegan. Probably from hanging out with you, too, I suppose. It wasn’t particularly about animals, because I’d already been a vegetarian, but the rest of it -the dairy products - was just a progression for my health. I don’t like to buy animal products, but I’m not 100-percent strict. I don’t base my whole life around it. I’m not your vegan police who’s gonna throw it in your face.” (18)

I once read that all Savier shoes were synthetic. I don't think this is true.
Brian Anderson (then a vegetarian)

From a Moses Itkonen interview in Transworld: 
“If you ever get the chance to spend any amount of time talking with Vancouver, British Columbia’s Moses Itkonen about who he is, you’ll quickly discover his formula for identifying himself: He is what he eats.

Moses is a vegan, which means he’s decided not to consume any animals, or wear them out at night, or go into business with them. In a society where animals and their many tasty parts have been blended, sprinkled, chopped, tossed, and beaten into just about everything edible, being a vegan isn’t like being a liberal, or a Scorpio, or a notary public, it’s infinitely more difficult. It requires constant label reading, interrogating waitresses, and feeling like a jerk as you ask the host of a dinner party if they used any refined sugar in the apple pie.
Being a vegan at home is rough, being a vegan on the road is a whole other story. Once you’re 30 miles from either coast or a major metropolitan city, the statement, “I’m a vegan,” often draws the response, “Welcome to our country.” Finding animal-free products in the Midwest is like finding a particular needle in a 50-foot-tall stack of needles. So with all the traveling involved in being a top professional skateboarder, Moses’ complicated eating situation becomes exponentially more complicated. But he’s not complaining.
He makes the occasional slip in his vegandom, but only to save the time and patience of those he’s sharing the uncomfortable seat of some tour van with [What he's referring to here is I think that Moses said he eats things like bread on tour without asking for every little potential ingredient, in restaurants for example]. In his decade of skate-related travel, he’s learned that not only are we a product of our decisions, a sum total of our actions, what we pretend to be, and what we eat. We are also only human, and to err is the ultimate expression of humanity.”

“So, in the place of a formal religion, what has your belief system become?
I believe in action and reaction - that the things you do will come back to you one day. If you try to be positive, positive things will come to you; if you’re negative, negative things will come. If you live a really fast life, then your life will be over fast. If you consume a whole bunch of crap, you’ll start looking like crap. If you eat a lot of foods that take a long time to digest in your body, you’re gonna be slow. If you’re gonna go vandalize everything, your car’s gonna get smashed some day. You’re not going to be able to do anything about it.”

How does vegetarianism fit into the picture?
I started out being really into animal rights, not killing or mistreating animals, and I feel strongly about that now, but there’s way more that I’ve learned through personal experiences that keep me into it. I’ve been a vegetarian for ten years now, nine years a vegan. I’ve found that what I consume comes out in a whole bunch of different ways. If you eat a bunch of meat, it’s gonna take a long time to digest, and you’re going to end up with all these problems. I’ve noticed that when people eat a lot of meat and fat they sleep longer, they’re negative, they’re unmotivated, and they don’t have energy. When an animal’s killed it has a lot of adrenaline running through its body, and I honestly believe that comes back in people who consume a lot of meat - they get really aggressive. When you go to Japan you notice that people eat less big, fleshy animals; they eat seafood and rice, and they’re just not as aggressive, or big, or angry.
When you were eating meat did it ever make you do something crazy and aggressive?
Like what?
Like, did you ever eat a four-pound steak and go rob a bank?
Moses laughs  Um, I don’t think so …
Colin McKay: He got fired from Dairy Queen for stealing hamburgers. Colin laughs
Just before I became a vegetarian, I had a job at Dairy Queen for six months, and I got fired for stealing hamburgers. Colin laughs again. I guess the quest for the meat made me break the law. They were gonna throw the burgers out anyway, so I didn’t see any harm in throwing a couple extra patties in my bag. Colin laughs even harder.
You make a living on the road, going town to town, crappy restaurant to crappy restaurant; does that make it hard to be a vegan?
I have to make small exceptions, like I know the white bread they serve me in restaurants might have some kind of animal products¿a small amount of processed lard. I can’t go around asking every waiter to show me the ingredients in everything I eat, and I can’t inconvenience the team or whoever I’m traveling with to search the town for a proper place for me to eat¿it could really get in the way of my job and my life. I don’t want being a vegan to be my life, it’s just the way I eat. At home I can pull it off, but on the road I’m sure I consume a certain amount of animal products. I’m not really militant about it, because being a vegan it will eventually affect my life in a negative way.
At what point did you realize how seriously your eating affected who you are and how you act?
These are things I’ve been learning more recently. I’ve slowed down eating refined sugar, and it’s helped me feel a lot better after skating. I’m not sore, my joints don’t ache. Sugar has a lot to do with arthritis, it’s a pretty powerful drug. Try not eating it for a week - you’ll realize how much you crave it. And you’ll probably start feeling better after a week. I sure did. I was smoking pretty heavy, and that made me feel pretty negative. I’ve got a bit of a temper, and smoking made my fuse really short. I’ve blown up a few times, and it’s gotten me in trouble. I grew up finding myself in situations where I was getting punched by grown men. I was just a little kid, and security guards would give me cheap shots. When you’ve gotten pushed long enough, you want to push back. If someone treats me with disrespect or violence, I’m gonna react violently. I’ve realized that being healthier and quitting smoking makes that fuse a little longer, so hopefully I won’t blow up so easily and hurt myself, or cause myself legal problems. Shit happens, you just need to be able to look back on things and learn from the past, and try not to make the same mistakes again.” (19)

There must have been a lot more anti-animal graphics by Birdhouse.
Tony Hawk promoting the Got Milk pro-dairy campaign. Glen E. Friedman sent him a truly idealistic letter (that was much too long) urging him to withdraw his support for such a damaging industry. Tony Hawk, of course, didn't care. Tony Hawk is wearing Jamie Thomas' vegan signature shoe in the ad.

Bob Burnquist, a vegetarian (then? now?), also supported the campaign.

Flip, Arto Saari (Arto Saari was eating a somehow semi-vegan diet at some point under the influence of Ed Templeton and maybe Rowley. Isn't Rowley something like the co-owner of Flip?)

A Transworld check out of Chris Jones (written by Ken Lewis) states: "His favorite food is vegan chorizo from Pokez."

An article from Transworld dated 14 August 2000, about the skate shoe company Vitastates: "Back in 1998, Vita began with a vision shared by head honcho Mark Oblow, pro skateboarder Natas Kaupas, and private investor Lance Theis [...]. [...] one version of the Dill shoe is made of vegan-friendly synthetic materials."


Brad Staba is/was a non-flesh-eater.

Stolen from the "Made for Skate book (Note that the pictured pair Savier isn't vegan, I think.)

The beginning of the vegan Rowley shoes era (all vegan). Rowley was more or less vegan then.

Vans, Geoff Rowley, XLT (all vegan)
Emerica, Ed Templeton 2

Scott Pommier - vegan, photographer, Canadian - reports in Transworld: “We go to a trendy little noodle place, and after ordering, but before eating, I ask about the ingredients in the pasta. The chef tells me that there are eggs in the pasta. Being that I’m vegan, I don’t eat eggs. I pay for my meal, but I hurl a roll into the street.
After everyone has eaten, I seek out another restaurant and this time I’m presented with a cheese-covered dish. After I complain, another meal is prepared for me. By now I’m so hungry I’m tempted to gnaw my own leg off, but my leg is chock full of animal ingredients. The chef assures me that the replacement meal is 100-percent free of animal ingredients, but during the course of the meal I begin to have my doubts. An hour later I begin vomiting. Is the upset stomach dairy-induced or psychosomatic? I’ll never know. Either way, I feel much better after purging. Perhaps I’ll make it a lifestyle.” [This photo of Scott Pommier, stolen from Ed Templeton, is from 2007, though.] (16)

Transworld, March 2001, Jamie Thomas "Last Words":

"Last time you ate meat: A long time ago. My doctor is telling me I have to start or I'm in bad shape." [Next time you meet a vegan who thinks they need to start eating meat, tell them to take a B12 supplement and check out - there are no magical nutrients in animal products that you cannot get from vegan sources.]  

Circa, Jamie Thomas (vegan pro model)

Duffs, Moses Itkonen (vegan pro model)
Epik, vegan shoes?
A Transworld article (written by Skin) dated 7 August 2001 about a Flip tour in the south of France mentions: "We ended up getting to Bordeaux a mere nine hours late, by which time Arto, Geoff, and Fred (who had flown into Bordeaux) had already booked into a hotel. That night we ate at a restaurant that was a vegan’s nightmare called Buffalo’s, where two small flies came free with our complimentary salads. Isn’t that a bonus? Boulala considered eating one in a green bean, but managed to control himself [...]."

Another Transworld article (written by Ryan Kingman) also dated 7 August 2001, about an Element tour in Japan, states: "Mike took us out for our first Japanese dinner. Down the street from our hotel was a very nice place that served raw everything, and when I say “raw,” I mean completely uncooked¿fish heads with eyeballs, and that sort of stuff. To our fickle-dieted vegans Jake Rupp and [filmer] Vern Laird (who would shortly realize a different kind of misery), this presented a problem, but to me it was heaven. I’ll eat anything, and fortunately so will most of our crew, but poor old Jake and Vern met despair in the food department."

Another Transworld article (written by Geoff Rowley) also dated 7 August 2001 - this is likel just the date the were posted online - about a Flip tour in Japan, ends with Rowley writing: "I want to thank Mr. Hasco for organizing the best tour I’ve ever been on, Yoshi for his help with my ever-awkward vegan diet and for his translation assistance for everyone on the team, and lastly all the Japanese skaters who attended our demos [...]."

Emerica, Ed Templeton 2
Emerica Ed Templeton 2
Duffs, Moses Itkonen (vegan pro model)
Vans, Geoff Rowley (vegan pro model)
Epik Footwear (vegan shoes?), Laban Pheidias
Circa, Jamie Thomas (vegan pro model)

Thrasher, Jamie Thomas cover, July 2002

In episode 113 of The Nine Club Corey Duffel recounts a weird story about Jamie Thomas stealing Corey's home-made (and presumably non-vegan) cookies out of his car, leaving a Reese's (the non-vegan candy bar) behind, and telling Corey how the cookies sucked and how he (Jamie) prefered Reese's. As this was supposed to have happened on the day the 411 issue 50 cover (Jamie Thomas on the cover, see below) was shot, this must have been in 2002 (or at least no later than 2002), and Corey in fact mentions that this happened "around 2002".  

Corey Duffel, The Nine Club, episode 113

411 Video Magazine, issue 50, Jamie Thomas cover

An article from Transworld about a Foundation tour in Europe in 2002, which included Ed Templeton, reported that in Berlin on 24 June 2002: "We skated and then ate at this vegan Chinese restaurant with Ed and Deanna Templeton [both vegans] and Rick McCrank [possibly already a vegetarian] and his Canadian posse every night at 10:30 p.m. ’cause Germans eat late [not true, I think] and the sun is just setting at that time, so it feels like it’s six o’clock." The tour also included Foundation team manager Charlie Thomas who might also already have been a vegan.

A Transworld article dated 8 October 2002 about the skate shoe company I Path states: 
"Uyehara [Kent Uyehara, manager of FTC in San Franciscosays. “I get the urban kids, and then the Marin County vegetarian dudes come in to buy them. I Path is able to cross the typical boundaries.” [...] One of I Path’s most dedicated consumers is the strict vegan. The company uses a variety of uncommon materials, like hemp and denim, as well as pebbled leather and suede. It’s hard enough to find a vegan shoe, and every little aspect matters. Uyehara recalls how a run of vegan shoes were mislabeled as using leather. Customers would come in, read the label, and immediately put the shoe back down. “I Path definitely brings in vegan customers,” he says."

Laban Pheidias' peta2 ad:
Laban Pheidas and his friend "Dave Bergthold—TV producer, owner of Blockhead Skateboards and Smash Technologies, and also a vegetarian—is getting a big-time national debut, thanks to Fusion TV, a nonstop action show that runs on Fox Sports. Although PETA originally planned to pay to run the spot a limited number of times on Fusion TV, the show’s producers were so impressed with it that they are running it—for free—through the end of the year." from Transworld (22)

Emerica, Ed Templeton 2

Scott Pommier writes in Transworld:
“I can count the number of times an airline has gotten my special-meal request right on one hand. So I was delighted to have some kind of vegan breakfast after a long night of traveling-although tomatoes and canned mushrooms on toast was a little unorthodox.” (14)

In Transworld (or Transworld Business (?)) in 2003 there was an article titled "Soles Without Souls" shedding light on the economical aspect of leather vs. synthetic skate shoes. It's interesting to see how many people in this article actually consider the factor of killing animals at all. Some quotes from this article:
"“It’s a money issue, of course,” shares Dylan Raasch, a footwear designer at DC Shoe Co. Virtually all skate shoes are manufactured in Asia. Considering that, import taxes in the U.S. play a big role in the shoe’s material makeup. Raasch explains that the shoe has to be approximately 70-percent leather. “If it doesn’t meet that you have to pay a duty fee, that puts the shoe up another eight dollars at retail,” he says.

Justin Regan, the Emerica team manager, seems to agree with Raasch: “Synthetic shoes become more expensive down the line than their leather or suede counterparts due to international materials duties. From a manufacturer’s standpoint, it means we’re less likely to use synthetics than leathers in order to keep our shoes priced competitively. Sucks for the cows.”

To a pro demanding a synthetic shoe, there is a price to pay. “A pro rider would lose a lot of money,” Raasch says. So for some pros debating synthetic versus leather and suede for their pro shoe, the potential loss of income could be a major deciding factor.

However, some companies have managed to make it work. Mark McGarry handles public relations at Portland-based Savier shoes, which offers an entirely synthetic line of shoes that are priced competitively with other major shoe brands. “Synthetic material itself is cheaper, but the (international) tax on synthetic material is three times as expensive as on non-synthetic material,” he says. But McGarry notes that by paying less for synthetic materials, the end cost to them and to the end consumer isn’t really affected: “It comes out about the same regarding margins.”

For many companies it seems that synthetic materials just aren’t worth paying extra money in taxes, and moreover, that skaters in the U.S. who desire vegan footwear are in a sense victims of geography. DC’s Raasch explains that over 50 percent of the company’s shoes in Japan are synthetic bause there is no duty on synthetic shoes there: “So it’s cheaper to make them (synthetic shoes).” Kelly Bird is team manager at Lakai shoes, where only ten percent of its line is synthetic: “We pretty much make that ten percent specifically for Japan.”"

“[…] Savier seems to be pushing the envelope of synthetic-shoe development the farthest. “We focus heavily on creating the ultimate in synthetic skateboard shoes,” says McGarry. “Water-soluble glues and solvents are used in all of our synthetic shoes, and all the materials are PVC free. We’re currently working with a material vender with a new synthetic leather called Green-Pro. It’s even better than the PVC-free synthetic leather we’ve been using in the past.”"

“You’d think I Path or Savier would be the skate-shoe companies with the largest percentage of synthetic shoes in their lines, but surprisingly, it’s Osiris. Almost the entire team requests it, and Head Designer Brian Reid says, “I make these type of shoes because they’re more durable, look better, and because of the obvious reason-animal cruelty.”
On the appearance front, RP Bess, team manager at DuFFS, echoes this sentiment. “The way it (synthetic material) cuts and folds-it works better, it looks nicer,” he says. “That was basically why our designer uses it. We’re going to be moving into more synthetics in the future.”Durability is a critical factor to consider. “Synthetic shoes are more durable, the split suede that we use in our shoes is the only material that’s just as durable as synthetic material,” says McGarry. But then again there’s the aesthetic variable that can’t be quantified. “Suedes are cool, though,” comments Bess. “Everyone seems to be doing more and more suedes this year.”
The grip and flex factor of leathers and suedes have long been the standard in skateboarding footwear, and for many skaters and companies it’s still the main concern. “Most of our skaters request suede,” says Lakai’s Bird.Kelley Peery, who handles public relations at Globe, echoes Bird: “Suede and nubuck have been the most requested materials.” It boils down to the skater, what works best for them, what will help them skate the best. Some skaters see the sacrifice of animal products as a fair trade for a more functional pair of shoes.
Skaters can support vegan footwear, get a long-lasting pair of shoes, and not have to pay an exorbitant amount of money. True environment-friendly footwear will be void of animal products and PVC plastic: natural materials like hemp and denim seem to be leading this trend already.” (24)

Brian Sumner, Analog ad - As far as I know Brian Sumner is or was a vegetarian. The photos are like The Smiths' "Meat is Murder" cover but the helmet says "Analog is Murder".
Ed Templeton's sticker for PETA2

Emerica, Ed Templeton 3

Ed Templeton interview (in which he talks about veganism, from around 2004) on the ¿Confusion? Magazine site. 

Beastie Boys To the Five Boroughs deck by 5Boro
Vans, Squares (all vegan), Geoff Rowley
Skull Skates, Moses Itkonen
From an exhibition in Vancouver (April 2004). The Moses Itkonen Mad Circle boards must be from the mid 90s.
This said "Moses meets security"

Skull Skates, Moses Itkonen board graphic

Mad Circle, Moses Itkonen McDonald's farm graphic

Mad Circle, Moses Itkonen
Consolidated graphics as usual (from an interview with Todd Bratrud, the designer - In the interview he says his favorite food is tofu.)
An article from Transworld dated 27 January 2004 which discusses Italian companies mentions the vegan straight edge clothing company Eblood and a shoe company (must have been vegan) named D.Mon: "Turin’s Fabio Raffaeli is the CEO of two such companies-Eblood Clothing and D.Mon Shoes, the first all-Italian skate-shoe company. 
Raffaeli began his entrepreneurship in 1998, when skateboarding in Italy was just breaking out of its slump. Although he had a rough start, Raffaeli persevered, using his companies to promote independent skateboarding in Italy and his personal beliefs, as well: “My purpose was to create an alternative to American brands that were way too expensive back then for the average kid. Plus, I wanted to push my concept through my designs related to veganism, critical thinking, and drug-free living.”"

A Transworld Last Words with Atiba Jefferson includes the following: "Last food that you ate: I would like to say Roscoe’s but it’s Newsroom I love them vegan chicken sticks."

Girl. Rick McCrank said he's vegetarian, for health reasons, not vegan, but some of his shoes are available in vegan. (10
An article from Transworld dated 11 October 2005 (written by Andy Henrie) about a skate trip in New Zealand mentions a "a Bonn Scott-looking vegan skate-shop proprietor" in (probably) Tauranga, NZ. (Neither the man nor the skate shop are named.)
Emerica limited edition Templeton pack (vegan)
From Transworld - TOP FIVE: ED TEMPLETON
Best Things About Being A Vegan:
1. I am not killing things, but I’m pro-choice.
2. Hopefully I will live a longer and healthier life. Mix that with skateboarding and I will live the same amount of time as everyone else.
3. I am contributing to helping the environment. Man, that sounds like hippie-sh-t and I hate hippies.
4. It makes me think about food in more ways than normal. I read ingredients and make purchasing choices based on that reading.
5. All the vegan treats they make now—soy ice cream and beyond.
Most Difficult Things About Being A Vegan:
1. Certain places in the world can’t even begin to get the idea of not eating meat in their heads. So if I have to visit those areas, eating becomes a real bitch—unsalted peanuts, applesauce, iceberg lettuce with vinegar.
2. Bumming out your non-vegan friends by only being able to go to two restaurants in town. “Oh, Ed’s with us, so it looks like we’re eating at Veggie-Heaven tonight…
3. Seeing an epic dessert case at a restaurant filled with decadent desserts you can’t eat.
4. Smelling hot dogs. Yeah, I said it. I used to love hot dogs as a kid, and although I am opposed to them on every level now, that smell brings back a certain nostalgia.
5. People thinking you’re some kind of freak or that you’re gonna preach to them. Yes, I’m a freak. No, I’m not gonna preach to you.” (17)

Charlie Thomas, a longtime, but not so well known pro had this graphic (sorry no better picture) on Hollywood. PeTA says he is vegan.

RE: Sheep
“Sole Technology used to have a brand called Sheep. The brand was created to offer a cheaper skate shoe to compete the influx of mall store brands. Unfortunately, the import duty for the canvas and rubber shoes was actually more costly than suede models. Sole Tech hyped the brand by appealing to a niche market: the vegan skater. Rider Ed Templeton signed on other vegan and eco-friendly riders. The company didn’t last, but Sheep paved the way for a multitude of synthetic kicks available today.” (Skateboarder Magazine) (26)

RE: Mike Vallely
"Vallely was known as a longtime vegetarian and vegan through the ’90s. According to Jason Rothmeyer Vallely broke from his strict diet while on the last day of a Black Label tour in 1999. He didn’t want everyone to make a big deal about him chowing down on some meat, so he had Kristian Svitak go inside a Wendy’s and buy him two chicken sandwiches which he devoured in the van." (Skateboarder Magazine) (27)

Thrasher Jamie Thomas cover, December 2006

Emerica, Ed Templeton Transist (all vegan)

Truly Fallen (say the kids)
Jamie Thomas, flagged and Chick-fil-A eating
Some of his signature shoes, somewhere, are sometimes available in synthetic at least (this one, too - but the shoe pictured is leather probably).

An Argentinian vegetarian would have been cool. Now ex-vegetarian (Diego Bucchieri, Toy Machine).
From a Thrasher interview (2009) "So are you still the vegetarian butcher, or are you eating meat now?
Fuck no, it's been so long since I started eating meat again. I'm actually into trying all kind of different meats. Argentinean asado; that's still my favorite one. I even slaughtered three lambs and a pig. They taste so much better if you do it yourself. I'm not into killing them, but I love butchering them." (13) [If you are an Argentinian vegetarian, or wanna-be Argentinian/vegetarian or whatever check

Michael Sieben's anti-vivisection T-Shirt (Michael Sieben has something to do with skateboarding.)
Scott Bourne's PETA2 poster. He said in an interview with PETA2 that he's vegan.

Were his signature Puma shoes vegan?
maybe not

Nyjah Huston (2006): "I've been a vegan my whole life, and eating right in these times is important." Not sure if he wore/wears leather, these (below) look like they could be vegan (2007 ad). (9)

As reported in Transworld, in 2007 Vans released a "Vans x Circle Jerks Old Skool" that "was based on the cover of Group Sex, the band’s 1980 debut album [...] and they personally requested that the typically suede and leather Old Skool be produced in all-over canvas in consideration for their vegan fans."
The end of Rowley's vegan Vans era. These shoes are leather (but there sometimes might be some colors that might be vegan.)

Glen E Friedman, vegan since '88 (13), with his son and wife.

"Park ranger" drawing by skateboard graphic artist Todd Francis

According to a Vegan Skate Blog interview from 2016 Dave Mayhew - of the Osiris D3 shoe fame - has been a vegan since around 2008. And still is vegan as of 2018 according to his instagram page.
2002 enjoi ad with Dave mayhew and Marc Johnson

Karl Watson stops being vegan (He was?!) 

From a Transworld Karl Watson interview:
"How did a guy who loved cheeseburgers so much as a kid become a vegan?
Man, I used to live on Carl’s Jr. and McDonalds, but in that first year when I moved out of the house I also thought about a lot of other things like how animals are basically enslaved. I started feeling compassion for them and just had to cut it all out. At nineteen, I became a vegan and was vegan for nine years until I went on a trip to Japan. We were out in the middle of nowhere and there was nothing for me to eat, so I gave in and ate some eggs. Then on the same trip I ate salmon and since then I’ve been a pescetarian, so I eat fish and eggs, but not red meat." (23)

Emerica vegan logo of Ed Templeton's signature shoe "The Archer". This was on the inside of the tongue of the shoe.

Transworld: this picture with the line: “Stone and Charlie Thomas. Guess which one is vegan.” (15

From LAST WORDS with Geoff Rowley (Transworld):
LAST animal you stalked?
"Mountain lion... we killed it." (see this photo from 2008

Enjoi Cairo Foster "dog meat" (artwork by Winston Tseng)

An eco-friendly skateboard company? Shred for Life, Laban Pheidias. (3)

Matt Rodriguez (2010): "I have been vegetarian for 15 years. I prefer not to wear leather shoes. However, until people stop eating meat, there is no use in letting the rest of the animals resources go to waste that could be used to its fullness, such as shoes. Unfortunately, most of the time when manufacturing synthetic leather and suede, it creates more harm to the environment than just using the natural hide that would otherwise go to waste if not used." (11)

I can see why maybe Matt Rodriguez would want to believe this, not using leather would make his job much harder. The main reason for farmed animals being killed is the production of eggs, meat and dairy. Fish and other sea dwelling animals are often caught in the wild (still) and killed in unimaginable numbers - with a huge percentage of "by-catch". The most animals are probably killed for fish, eggs, and chicken. 
I agree with him that the more something is a by-product, the less important it is to consider (e.g. casein in glue/car tyres/bike tyres/condoms/rubber gloves). Leather, however, is either one of the most profitable by-products - you could also call liver, brain, heart, or stomach by-products. They are all products making raising and killing animals profitable. Leather often comes from India, where cattle are killed specifically for leather, not for meat.
Third, the idea of leather as "natural hide" is romanticized. The tanning of leather is extremely toxic - a health disaster for the workers and for the environment - and all life in it.
There are synthetic materials and plant fibers, that are more environmentally friendly than others, like rubber, plant leather (made from rubber), PVC-free microfibers, etc. 

Consolidated, unsurprising 
(nothing to do with the band Consolidated - just to make sure you know)

$lave Jon Allie (artwork by Ben Horton)

Peggy Oki around 2010, vegan environmentalist 

In a Crailtap "Top 5" which seems to be from around 2010 Sean Sheffey (see 1991) lists his top 5 foods.
"Top 5 things to eat:
1. Burritos
2. Veggie soups
3. Subs
4. Snacks!
5. Pretty much anything" (32)

As reported in Transworld, in 2010 Vans released a "Rise Against Classic Slip-On 
which was the second project between Rise Against and Vans after the huge success of the first partnership in 2007. The Classic Slip-On showcases the artwork from the band's 2008 album Appeal to Reason. It was, as the prior release, entirely free of animal-related materials in consideration of the band’s vegan sensibilities as well as their fans."

Black Label, Salman Agah, how high can you ollie? Switchstance?

RE: Steve Berra:

“ “A lot of vegan restaurants don’t feel as bright as Café Gratitude [in Los Angeles],” said Steve Berra, a pro skateboarder, who swears that he lunched on I Am Fortified (sautéed vegetables and kale with quinoa or brown rice) every day for a month.” (New York Times) (29)

RE: Charlie Thomas:
"Things about World Industries TM Charlie Thomas:Vegan, awesome and kills it on a skateboard." (28)

In the Anthony Pappalardo episode (don't remember which part of it) of Epicly Later'd you can see a vegetarian cookbook - "How to cook everything vegetarian" by Mark Bittman (who isn't a vegetarian as far as I know). 

Mike Vallely hat a skateboard company named Elephant Brand from around 2011 to 2014. These graphics are from 2012 (all pictured in the 2012 Elephant Brand product catalog).

Ryan Lay seems to have been a dietary vegan since around 2012. In his vegan skate blog interview (2015) Ran Lay states: "[How long have you been vegan?] 
Somewhere around three or four years, I lose track. I took two months off around when I was getting knee surgery a year and a half ago. I had a torn meniscus at the time and was about fifteen pounds underweight. I was able to get some ethically sourced meat from this amish farm in Arizona as well as from the Coalatree guys, but it didn’t end up making me feel any better. After getting knee surgery, I realized that eating meat was weighing heavy on my conscience, so I decided to go back to being vegan.
[Was that doctor recommended?] My myopractor and chiropractor both recommended that I do it, but ultimately it was my decision." 

Don't listen to the wrong people, kids!

Ryan Lay (around 2012)

Don Brown, the brand manager, overlord or something of the kind at éS shoes, seems to have been a vegetarian since around 2012. (In 2015 Ryan Lay stated that Don Brown has been a vegetarian for 3 years.) 

Don Brown (The photo is probably from around 2016)

Don Brown riding on the freeway (in 2011, I think)

Emerica "Tempster" all vegan (two colorways)
Check out the amazing box art work on Veganskateblog.

Two more colours now, and these are coated shiny looking canvas.

Real, Happy Hunting UV graphic (exposure to UV light makes the background graphic appear)

Real, Clubbin' Time UV graphic (exposure to UV light makes the background graphic appear)

Assault Skateboards, Greg Harbour, "Butcher" (8.5)

Bacon Skateboards, Vegan 9.0 (Limited Edition). 
Chris Klich on the Bacon team is apparently vegan.

Toy Machine, Ed Templeton, Elepahnt Party 8.25 ("bringing shame onto my species" says the elephant)

Interesting how repeatedly some young men feel like they have to make the statement that animals are nothing but meat. Enjoi, Meat Market R7

Polar, Pontus Alv, Seagull Nuggets

Skate-Mental, Brad Staba, Seagulls

Servant Footwear: Dagon (all vegan) - the most durable vegan skateboard shoe in the history of the world


From a 2013 (August 14) interview with Spencer Hamilton on the Red Bull Skateboarding website:
"[Mike Munzenrider:] Hamilton has a three year plan for life and is sure of his convictions about food, though he doesn’t want to preach. He’s lived vegan and vegetarian, though has accepted the fact that if a friend orders a very proper steak at a restaurant, he’ll at least ask for a bite, if not order his own. “It’s more of a treat,” Hamilton says.
[Mike Munzenrider:] You pay attention to what you eat, try to eat local and as organic as possible… 
[Spencer Hamilton:] Yeah, it’s not about being perfect. Everyone’s got their little things that are important to them. There are easy things that you can do as far as food is concerned, that make a large impact on a whole lot of things."

Ed Templeton drawing that's also on the shoe box of Emerica's "The Heritic Ed Templeton" 

Emerica, The Heritic Ed Templeton, Black Brown (more pictures)

Vernon Laird who is the team manager for Bones Bearings and who has been vegan since 1992 (34) got a guest board on Surprise Skateboards in 2004 (35). Check out his interview in vegan skate blog in which he says: "[Why did you go Veg?] A combination of things. A lot of the hardcore bands in the late 80’s and early 90’s had songs about vegetarianism and animal rights. " (36) Writes Anthony Pappalardo:
"Before you could get a veggie burger at McDonald's or soy milk at every coffee shop in the United States, being vegetarian or vegan was actually challenging. Locating skate spots in new cities without the aid of the Internet was hard enough; finding meatless food other than French fries was a treasure hunt without a map.
When I met current Bones Bearings Team Manager Vern Laird in the mid-'90s, I quickly dubbed him "The Connoisseur." Laird, a vegan since 1992, not only knew every corner of his home city of Philadelphia, but he also possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of vegan food.
Through years of skating, filming and traveling, Laird's truly earned his nickname. His favorite destination for all things vegan is New York City, a place he started skating in 1990. We linked up with Laird in Brooklyn, NY, on the last day of 2012 to skate and to visit some of his favorite places to eat. While we were able to pack in a lot in a short time, there's a list of places Laird praised that we didn't get a chance to visit. Longtime staple stops include Vegetarian's Paradise 2, Red Bamboo and Bagel on the Square, as well as new favorites Blossom, BabyCakes, Wild Ginger, Dun-Well Doughnuts, Papacito's and Hana Foods." (34)

In the October 2014 issue of Thrasher there's a Miles Silvas interview - he is also on the cover - and this is from the interview:
"I heard you're a vegetarian. How long has that been going on?
I tried to go vegetarian five months ago--just jump into it for no reason and it only lasted one week because I wasn't educated in it. My girl recently went vegan. She was watching a bunch of shit, and she got into it. She told me to watch some stuff, and I learned more about it. I've been vegan for the last four months.
Do you feel healthier?
I feel like a lot of people do it and get weak because they don't know what they're doing. It happens to a lot of people. I feel good; I have a lot of energy. If you just keep eating all your normal foods and eat what you need to stay on point, it's perfect. I feel good."

Thrasher cover, October 2014, Miles Silvas

In an article about Ryan Lay on the Jenkem Mag website (November 2015) it says that "He enjoys learning, eating vegan, and meshing skateboarding with school, but he doesn’t define himself by those or any other singular hobbies, even skating.".
Ryan Lay 2015

In a Geoff Rowley interview on the Jenkem Mag website (October 2015), Rowley denies that his first shoes Vans pro model shoes (1999) being leather-free had nothing to do with him being vegan. A questionable claim. 
"What about being vegan? I remember hearing you were vegan for a while?
I wasn’t ever vegan in the ‘real’ sense of the word. I had leather in my car, had leather boots. What really was tough was when vegan started getting labeled on shoes and stuff like that. My initial first shoe used synthetic fabrics because it was more consistent and durable than suede, the material always wore out evenly. That’s why I used that material, because it was better at that point, not because I was vegan."

Servant and Street Plant: Barnyard Loiter (vegan, only one colourway)

Nyjah Huston who grew up as a vegan is not vegan or vegetarian anymore, as reported by GQ Magazine in 2015:

"December 1, 2015 11:08 am [...]

He grew up in a family of skateboarders, and they had a lot of time to practice together, living on an isolated farm in Puerto Rico, where his rigorously Rastafarian father moved them in 2006.

"My dad didn’t allow me or any of my siblings to eat any meat, no cheese, no candy even. He was super strict about that sort of stuff. I think that’s one of the reasons I manage to be so healthy and take all these gnarly slams without breaking any bones."

“I grew up very strict vegan,” he says. “My dad didn’t allow me or any of my siblings to eat any meat, no cheese, no candy even. He was super strict about that sort of stuff. I think that’s one of the reasons I manage to be so healthy and take all these gnarly slams without breaking any bones: I think the main thing is being raised without drinking any soda. Every one of my friends who skates has broken a ton of bones before.”

But veganism doesn’t have to be ascetic. A cheese-less life can be just as satisfying and savory. “Anything you think of that isn’t vegan, my mom would make vegan.” He continues: “When a lot of people think about eating vegan, they think of it as not being healthy because it’s hard to get protein. I think I managed to be even healthier than someone with a non-vegan diet. It’s helped me out too now that I’m on my own and living by myself—I’m careful about what I eat and I want to eat healthy.”

Today Huston is a reformed vegan, but he believes that his diet (growing up and now) give him a competitive edge.

“Once I had the freedom to be able to eat whatever I wanted it took about a year or two before I tried meat. To this day I don’t eat red meat—it’s something that was so foreign and weird to me that I couldn’t get used to it. I stick with turkey and chicken and fish. I don’t like eggs because I couldn’t get used to it after not growing up with them. I still drink soy milk instead of regular milk, and that’s about it. I’m used to everything else now.”

Breakfast, pre-workout
Protein shake with coffee-flavored protein powder, banana, and soy milk

Fruit shake with banana, mango, pineapple, papaya, and berries

Turkey sandwich with avocado

Chow mein with chicken and vegetables"(33) 

Deathwish deck series and sticker set with farm animals eating the farmer. The graphics are by Dylan Goldberger (see here and here).

The 2019 book "Skateboarding and Religion" briefly mentions veganism. It mentions the "20 Questions: Manny Santiago" in an issue of Transworld Skateboarding from 2015 and the book makes this statement: "In a similar way skateboarding, long associated with rebellion and anarchy, has incorporated an embrace of healthy lifestyles. In one of the leading skateboard magazines professional skateboarder Manny Santiago speaks of his vegan [near-vegan] diet as a way to maintain and prolong his career (Transworld Skateboarding, [December] 2015, p. 88 [see below]). Santiago explains that he changed his diet after being influenced by other skateboarders and speaks of the ills of chemically altered food, yet stops short of criticising the energy drinks that sponsor him and other skateboarders." (Paul O’Connor: Skateboarding and Religion, 2019,
The author of this book, Paul O'Connor, was kind enough to contact me and send me the original pages from this Transworld issue. Here's the full original quote (question + Manny Santiago's reply): 
"You're a vegetarian, almost vegan? What makes you choose that?"
"Yeah, I've been vegetarian for close to six years. I'm not trying to put any more muscle tissue in my body. Felix [Arguelles] went vegetarian around 2010, and I saw what it did for him. Body-wise he was just more active; he lost some weight just eating healthier. So I figured if it's doing that much for Felix in his forties, imagine what it could do for me now in my twenties. Even just health-wise there's so much junk pumped into food nowadays, why would you want to put that in your body? Half the 12-year-old-girls out there look like they're 22. Just eating all this infected food."
(Thanks, Paul!!)

Continued here from 2016 onwards

4. Why Do Most Vegetarians Go Back To Eating Meat?, Hai Herzog (20 June 2011)
5. "Post India Update", Beastie Boys e-newsletter (7 Oct 2009)
7. Ed Templeton interview, Memory Screened blog, Seb Carayol, Ed Templeton : “We were into Fugazi and everything political” (6 Dec 2008)
8. Marc McKee and Sean Cliver interview, Memory Screened blog, Seb Carayol, 
9. és Web site, Nyjah Huston Answers Your Questions! (14 Sept 2006)
10. és Web site, McCrank Answers More of Your Questions! (11 Oct 2005)
11. Huck Magazine, Matt Rodriguez interview (13 April 2010)
12. Glen E Friedman's Web site
12. Glen E Friedman interview with Herbivore Magazine, issue 2, Fall 2003
13. Thrasher Website, Diego Bucchieri interview (22 Oct 2009)
14. Transworld, Apr 17 2003, C’est PasVrais, Story and photos by Scott Pommier
15. Transworld, JOHNNY ROMANO SKATE JAM2009, by Blair Alley, Nov 9 2009
16. Transworld, NORTHERN EXPOSURE:CANADIANS TOUR CANADA … CHEAPLY, Aug 20 2001, by Scott Pommier
17. Transworld, TOP FIVE: ED TEMPLETON, Sep 15 2006
18. Transworld, THE COMPLETE AND UNCUTGEOFF ROWLEY INTERVIEW, by Ed Templeton, Jan 11 2000
19. Transworld, PROSPOTLIGHT: MOSES ITKONEN,  Jan 21 2000
21. Transworld, SIN CITY DESERTS, Sep 8 1999, Breaking The Law by Geoff Rowley
22. Transworld, PHEIDIAS IN PETA TV AD, Oct 9 2003
23. Transworld, VICE VERSA: KARL WATSON, by Dave Chami, Dec 15 2009
24. Transworld, SOLES WITHOUT SOULS, Feb 18 2003
25. Disposable, A History of Skateboard Art, Sean Cliver, Concrete Wave Editions, 2004
26. Skateboarder Magazine, Adam Salo, 15 Things: Shoes, Jan 5, 2006
27. Skateboarder Magazine, Adam Salo, 15 Things Mike Vallely, June 16, 2006
28. Skateboarder Magazine, Aaron Smith, The Tuesday 25 with Timmy Knuth, July 30, 2012 
29. New York Times, Deborah Schoeneman, Power Lunch with a Side of Homilies, July 20, 2011 
30. Vegan Skate Blog, Ed Templeton interview pt. 2, February 1, 2013
31. Transworld, Pioneer: Sean Sheffey, Full Interview—Power From The East, by Mackenzie Eisenhour, published online March 27, 2013 (full interview text from Sean’s Pioneer Column in our October 2012 Issue)
32. Crailtap, Top 5 with Sean Sheffey, 2010 (?) 
33. GQ, The real-life diet of pro skater Nyjah Huston, reformed vegan. Dec 1, 2015 (7 December 2016)
34. X-Games, ESPN: My spots: Vern Laird's vegan NYC. By Anthony Pappalardo. Jan 12, 2013 (23 December 2016)
35. Jenkem Mag: Vern Larid filmed a part for his 40th birthday. By Anthony Pappalardo. May 21, 2014 (23 December 2016)
36. Vegan Skate Blog, Kerry Weber: Vegetable Shredder Vernon Laird February 21, 2014 (23 December 2016)
37. Chrome Ball Incident: Chrome Ball Interview #128: Ed Templeton (24 April 2019)