Shaquille O’Neal recently lost a lot of weight before his 50th birthday in March. The L.A. Lakers legend has been in his best shape since retiring from the NBA in 2011. In a recent interview, O’Neal revealed that he’s trying his best to go meatless and become a vegan.

The four-time NBA champion told Rip Michaels in “Urban Eats and Treats” at Pinky Cole’s Slutty Vegan in Atlanta. He said:

“My friend Shaka introduced me to this place, and it’s healthy. For example, I like cheeseburgers, right? But the way she cooks it, I can eat healthy but still feel like I’m eating bad.”

O’Neal added that he goes to Slutty Vegan whenever he wants to have his cheat meals. He’s currently on a diet comprising chicken, steak, fish and salad, but he has admitted his love for burgers. So whenever he has cravings for the same, his go-to-place is Slutty Vegan. O’Neal said:

“For me, diet is chicken, salad, steak and fish. But I’m a burger grab guy, so when I got to get that burger taste, when I got to look at a burger, a burger, I always come to Slutty Vegan.”

Shaquille O’Neal invested in “Beyond Meat”

Shaquille O'Neal at the 2022 NBA All-Star Game
Shaquille O’Neal at the 2022 NBA All-Star Game

Shaquille O’Neal is renowned for his investments that made him one of the richest athletes in the world. He has an estimated net worth of $400 million, with connections to several food franchises such as “Auntie Anne’s”, “Krispy Kreme”, and “Papa John’s”. He also owns a bunch of Big Chicken fast-food restaurants.

In 2019, O’Neal and other athletes became investors and ambassadors for the plant-based meat substitutes production company “Beyond Meat”. O’Neal was joined by several NBA stars, including Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Harrison Barnes, Victor Oladipo, DeAndre Jordan, JaVale McGee and former LA Lakers player and coach Luke Walton.

PETA wanted Shaquille O’Neal to add vegan options to his restaurant

Shaq and his Big Chicken fast-food restaurant.  (Photo: CNBC)
Shaq and his Big Chicken fast-food restaurant. (Photo: CNBC)

In February, members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) staged a protest in front of Shaquille O’Neal’s “Big Chicken” fast-food restaurant in Las Vegas. PETA demanded that O’Neal have a vegan option for “Big Chicken”.

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk told KSNV NBC Las Vegas in this regard:

“Until he introduces a vegan option, there’s a Shaq-sized gap on the Big Chicken menu. With our ‘Fight the Bite’ campaign, PETA hopes to sign up customers to the birds’ side of the ‘chicken wars’ and let them keep their wings.”

O’Neal founded “Big Chicken” in 2018 and has it at several locations in the United States. “Big Chicken” can be found in Glendale, California, Las Vegas, Nevada and Rochester, New York.

Shaq’s Big Chicken franchise will open 50 new locations in Texas including Dallas!

It’s also available in arenas such as Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Moody Center in Austin and UBS Arena in Elmont, New York.


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