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Being a person of color is unusual enough in the National Hockey League but when Georges Laraque announced that he had gone vegan, well, he officially became an exclusive club of one. Now, says Jeff Z. Klein of The New York Times, Laraque is famous in Canada for his animal-rights work. "He saw the animal rights documentary Earthlings in 2006 and was inspired to become a vegetarian," writes Klein. "Last year he became a vegan, forsaking leather and all animal products, including milk and eggs." Says Laraque, "Even though it's quite a change in terms of nutrition, I have never felt better or so healthy in my life."

Known as an "enforcer" for the Montreal Canadiens, Laraque also has a far gentler side. "I try to educate people to be more compassionate toward the animals and toward the environment," he says. "What we're doing with the meat industry is destroying the environment."

Thanks to his Haitian heritage, Laraque has been understandably concerned about the recent earthquake and when he scored a rare goal (his first in 21 months) on January 14, he called it a "magic moment." He said that night: "I dedicate this goal to all the Haitians, to my family members and to all of those who lost loved ones or who are looking for them."

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