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Marrow Of The Matter

Tough break for longtime veg drummer Travis Barker

Tough break for longtime veg drummer Travis Barker

Did you hear about this? Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker says doctors told him to abstain from his vegetarian diet of 16 years after discovering his arm was broken.

“When I got back to L.A., I saw another doctor and had every test possible to see what was going on in my arm. The MRI/X-ray showed I’d been playing with a broken arm for three weeks and or possible tumor in my arm. I’m at a loss of words, just taking everything one day at a time. I’ve been told to eat meat and change my diet (I’ve been vegetarian for 16 years) cause its making my bones weak. I never thought I’d break a bone from playing my drums too hard/ too long…everything happens for a reason. I’m gonna spend the next six weeks with my babies and producing.”

Ok, back it up a bit. Travis said something about, “a possible tumor in my arm.” With today’s technology, he doesn’t know if he does or doesn’t have a tumor? Frankly, if his docs can’t figure out if he has a tumor in his arm, I don’t know where they get off telling him to eat meat again.

I’m not a doctor, but I know that exercise is one of the best ways to build and maintain strong bones in addition to a healthy vegan/vegetarian diet. True, we don’t know what Barker eats or his activity level, and I’m not saying he’s a bad guy, but I will say not all veg-ers consistently make the best food and fitness choices—which is totally their perogative—just don’t let that exemplify the veg lifestyle overall. Could his loss of bone strength be due to his particular diet/lifestyle habits and not necessarily the vegetarian diet in general? I think it is highly plausible.

I also know that some of the world’s physically most powerful land animals. The hippopotamus and the elephant, for example, are herbivores and have never seemed to suffer from weak bones before. So, why is it an issue for a wealthy star drummer in his early 30s?

Just stay active and eat well so you may live well. Here are some ways to stronger bones according to PCRM:

  • Get moving! Play and exercise every day.
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
  • Get vitamin D from the sun or from supplements.
  • Get calcium from plant foods and fortified products.

Here’s what to do to prevent weakening your bones:

  • Limit salty foods.
  • Avoid protein from animal sources.
  • Keep away from smoking.
  • Avoid caffeine.


  1. Comment by

    Olivia Lane

    on #

    Thanks for this article Jason! I’ve watched Travis’ reality MTV show several times but had no idea who he was or why he deserved his own show. Finally I know who the heck this guy is.

    So, does this mean he’s not going to be vegetarian anymore?!!

  2. Comment by


    on #

    How annoying! And he didn’t defend — vegetarian/vegan? ism!?? Why do the failures make news and the successes don’t?

    First, if he’s a vegetarian, he’s probably consuming dairy which is not healthy at all; nor is it good for bones. In fact, a diet high in animal protein and animal fat is conducive to diseases, including osteoporosis.
    He needs some serious nutritional guidance…
    And for corn’s sake, Travis, stop advertising your veg – ism if you’re not prepared to speak for it.

  3. Comment by

    frank language

    on #

    A lot of people who call themselves vegetarians are really carbo-tarians. (I’ve been guilty of this at times.) And it’s true; most “vegetarians” are fishchickandcheesatarians, which adds up to a lot of animal protein.

    You can’t expect any one person to represent a whole group of people; if you compare any two vegetarians, you’re going to be comparing apples and oranges. Yet, most omnivores will say things like, “I knew a vegetarian once…he was always calling in sick to work.”