Watch: Manchester United legend Phil Neville gives meat the red card in new PETA video

The Reds star extols the virtues of his new vegetarian diet in a video for animal rights charity PETA.

He describes how he now gets all his protein from plant-based foods such as quinoa (although he can’t quite pronounce it – it’s keen-wah, Phil) – after being inspired by his wife to turn vegetarian.

He said: “I always used to think as a footballer, as a sportsman, that it was so important for me to eat meat, to have that in my diet.

“I thought if I became a vegetarian that would take away a lot of the nutrients that I would require to be a professional footballer and an athlete. I was really ignorant.”

Bury-born Neville made the lifestyle change after promising his vegetarian wife Julie, who runs a health food shop at the Trafford Centre, he would try her diet for two weeks.

He said: “I started to feel healthier, leaner. I started to feel great.

“You can get your proteins, you can get every kind of nutritional values in vegetarian dishes.”

He added: “I like quinoa. Two years ago if you put quinoa on my plate I’d have said: ‘What are you giving me?’”

Neville’s new diet also includes plenty of nuts, seeds and soya protein.

He joins a growing list of top no-meat athletes including boxer David Haye, Olympic cyclist Lizzie Armitstead and squash world champion James Willstrop.

“I think it’s become more and more fashionable now,” he said.

“I think people are understanding the benefits, not just for yourself but for the environment.

To see the video of Phil Neville speaking about his Vegetarian lifestyle click here: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/

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