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Animal Man is a vegetarian-turned-vegan superhero from DC Comics, who first appeared in Strange Adventures #180 in 1965.
Bernhard “Buddy” Baker was a normal, everyday punk rocker before he discovered a downed alien spaceship, was bathed in radiation, and became able to mimic the abilities of animals. Like the strength of a bear or the healing ability of an earthworm.
Buddy gave up eating meat after a fight with another costumed hero, B’wana Beast, who attacked a lab to save a captive ape. Animal Man was brought in to help the scientists track down B’wana Beast, but soon learned about the horrific experiments being performed on the animal.
Shortly after that adventure, Buddy throws out all the meat from his fridge and tells his family he is a vegetarian now.
When the universe got rebooted in DC Comics’ New 52, many heroes got reworked. Animal Man became vegan instead of vegetarian.
Jeff Lemire, writer for the New 52 Animal Man run, said in an interview that “Buddy is more known as an activist and symbol for animal and vegan rights than he is a superhero.”
Other characters wear animal liberation shirts inspired by his activism. So it seems like he is having an impact– and not just through punching bad guys.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a currently running Animal Man comic. If you want to check out his adventures though, there are some collections available. Most notably from Grant Morrison’s run in the late 80’s and early 90’s and the aforementioned Jeff Lumire run.
If you want to give up meat like Animal Man, visit www.tryveg.com for tips and recipes. Plus watch our video on Animal Man above.