WHEN the champion wrestler ‘Killer’ Kowalski went over to a vegan diet in the 1950s, someone asked him where he got his protein from. His reply was “all the biggest and strongest animals on earth are vegetarian; elephants, horses, cattle, etc. None of them eat meat.”

Many top athletes followed his example: when Carl Lewis went vegan in 1990, he claimed that was his best year in athletics. He won nine Olympic gold medals.

Kowalski was apparently inspired by the first two men who broke the four-minute mile – Roger Bannister, above, and John Landy, both vegetarians.

HUGH MANNING Great Clarendon Street Oxford