To dream means to be bold, courageous, fearless, sensible and above all, to believe in yourself. The difference between having a dream and to make this dream come true depends on the strength of your spirit — the belief in yourself, how much you want to achieve this dream, and what effort would you invest to make it happen. This divine Strength of spirit drives mankind to new horizons.
My name is Atanas Skatov, I was born in 1978 in Sliven, Bulgaria. I’m an agronomist and entomologist.I hold a Master degree in Plant Preservation from the Agricultural university — Plovdiv, Bulgaria and aPhD degree in Agricultural science from the Humboldt University of Berlin, Gemany,February 2005. I have worked as a scientist in Bulgaria and Germany, as a university teacher in Sofia and as a manager in the private sector in Bulgaria and Germany.
I am conducting an experiment with myself for several years and here I will tell you briefly about it. I do not claim that everything I do in my life is right quite to the contrary, I am open to criticism and discussions, because this way we are getting closer to the truth. The world is changing every day, and we ourselves are changing and nothing can be extreme in terms of statements and actions. It is important for any human being to have the correct information and to take decisions on his own.
The experiment is supposed to test whether an ordinary person on vegan diet is able to overcome strong physical and mental challenges. The most important is to know if this diet regime is suitable for mankind, because in this way we will be able to significantly lower or even discontinue the consumption of animals, which is associated not only to many advantages and benefits for the human health, but also to protecting the planet from global pollution and finding a way to feed the increasingly growing population of people on planet Earth.The agricultural land on which we grow our food and the food for the animals we eat, is limited and although new farmland is developed in some areas, in other areas this land is urbanized and its status is changed mostly to industrial and residential use.Either way, the agricultural land cannot grow indefinitely, it is limited. But the population can grow as long as there is something to eat. The major share of the cultivated agricultural land and the pasture lands are intended for animal feed. If we reduce the consumption of meat and animal products, there will be more space for plant food for humans and thus the world’s population can grow twice as much. Another very important fact is that the industrial animal breeding is a very big polluter on the planet. The destruction of the ozone layer is mainly due to the methane, which is excreted by the digestive system of the animals. According to the United Nations data, the share of the greenhouse gases as a result of animal breeding is about 50%.Billions of animals are bred and eaten on the planet each year, and they are consuming 2⁄3 of drinking water and contributing to the water pollution and the entire planet. Also, in order to meet the needs of the market for meat and animal products, more forests and jungles are transformed into pastures or used for the needs of animal breeding.This industry has become the largest consumer of drinking water and user of natural resources. The extermination and exploitation of animals by humans is another important topic, which I do not want to discuss at present. This planet is a haven for all animal species and humans and everyone should have an equal chance to live on it without being grown for human consumption.
I’ve been a vegetarian since January 2007, then at the beginning of 2012, I excluded all food of animal origin from my menu, except honey. Since May 1, 2015, honey has been also out of my diet.
In order to test my body physically and mentally I chose the alpinism and organized two projects — „SE7EN SUMMITS VEGAN“and „Speed x 14 x 8000 x Vegan”, which are described in more detail at point 3 below. For me, the mountain is something very special, where I have found everything I needed. There, I feel free, balanced, in comfort with myself and I can reflect on everything that excites me and where I can find answers to the questions that I am asking myself.I feel that the mountain fills me up with energy and helps me to discover very fine details of my character. So, I can only recommend it to those who have not touched the magic of the mountain yet, and are willing to do so, just do it.If it is not your place, just find your own place. Everyone has its place on the planet where he feels well balanced and in harmony with himself and the surroundings.
It is very important to show that a man who have never played sports and have no coaches, leaders, teachers, managers and experience in the mountains, is able to achieve the desired results. At the beginning of 2012, I started to prepare for Subproject 1, which envisages climbing the highest summits of the seven continents on our planet without consumption of food of animal origin — as a vegan. Trainings are conducted in Bulgaria and abroad. In order to develop and improve my physical and mental condition and to acquire the necessary skills and experience I started practicing mountain walking, jogging, cycling and then added yoga, swimming and climbing.
In regard to my health condition, I am conducting detailed medical and laboratory tests on a regular basis. Additionally, I keep records containing descriptions of the physical activity, food consumption by type and quantity and other relevant details.
My goal is to show to more people that there is another way of life besides the most common one. That, if a man who had never done sports before could cope with one of the biggest challenges – high altitude alpinism, it means that we can live a full life without animal products. Behind all this we can see the Strength of spirit and the unlimited human capabilities.
The key goal of this project is to test whether the lack of animal food in the diet of a human would adversely affect his physical and mental capabilities.Moreover, to check whether without the consumption of food of animal origin, the human organism can function well and can achieve even higher physical and mental performance.
Another goal of the project is to show that there are no impossible things and everything is achievable if you believe in it and if you make the necessary effort for that. To explore our own body and discover what is best for it while trying to fully protect the environment and live in harmony with ourselves and the nature. To believe in ourselves and in the strength of our capabilities.
This is whyI started climbing all the highest continental summits of the planet as well as all summits higher than eight thousand meters without the consumption of food of animal origin from a man who has never been an athlete and has not practiced any sports.
To seek the limits of the human capabilities and the limits of the vegan which are directly related to the Strength of spirit and belief in the unlimited possibilities, are my top priority. Everything must happen first in the head and then to believe in it, and after that to apply it in practice.
Start of the project: 01.01.2013.
End of the project: 20.06.2017.
1. Climbing the highest mount on Earth – Everest, as a vegan (for the first time in the world);
2. Climbing the seven highest continental summits as a vegan (for the first time in the world);
• Climbing the highest summit in Africa – Uhuru, 5895 m., on 10.01.2013;
• Climbing the highest summit in Europe – Elbrus, 5642 m., on 06.07.2013;
• Solo climbing the highest summit in South America – Aconcagua, 6962 m., on 04.01.2014
• Climbing the highest summit on Earth – Everest, 8848 m, on 24.05.2014, and going down to camp ABC at 6440 m. on the same day; The first vegan in the world to climb Mount Everest.
• Climbing the highest summit in Australia and Oceania — Carstensz Pyramid, 4884 m. at the island of New Guinea on 19.11. 2014;
• Climbing the highest summit in Antarctica — Vinson Massif, 4892 m. on 22.12.2014;
• Climbing the highest summit in North America –Denali, 6194 m. on 20.06.2017;
On 20th of June 2017 Dr. Skatov comleted the Subproject 1: “SE7EN SUMMITS VEGAN” and become the first vegan of the world with this achievment. Seven Summits Summiter!
Results during the preparation period:
• First place at the „24-hour mountain bike marathon“ with my partner – 2012;
• Third place at the „Murgash Velorally Cup” — mountain biking, 63 km, with +2500 denivelation with my partner – 2012;
• Crossing Kom – Emine in Bulgaria – 2012;
• 100 km. mountain walking „Aleko“ for 17 hours — 2012;
• Tour of Vitosha 100 km. by bike for 5 hours and 27 minutes — 2012;
• Speed climbing of the seven highest peaks of Bulgaria for five days — 2012;
• Seventh place at “ХСо Adventure Cup 2012”: (256 km, 3 days, 7 disciplines);
• Speed climbing of Cherni Vrah by bike — 2012;
• “Velorally Zarata”, Bulgaria — 2012;
• Solo reaching 6900 m. altitude of the Lenin peak— 7132 m., Pamir — 2013;
• Climbing the highest summit in Germany — Zugspitze — 2962 m. from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 25 km. + 2570 m. for 6 hours and returning on the same day (50 km for 11 hours) – 2013;
• Trekking in the Bavarian Alps and climbing peaks under 2500 m. – 2013;
• Participation in the “Shumen Plateau” — bike rally — 2013;
Start of the project: 01.09.2015.
End of the project: 31.12.2020.
History of the climbing of the 14 highest peaks of our planet:
The first person to climb all 14 eight-thousanders was Reinhold Messner, who completed this project in 1988. It took him 18 years to climb all of the 14 summits without the use of artificial oxygen. For those 27 years, until now, a total of 34 people managed to set foot on all of the14 summits, among which there are three women. Of those 34 people, 14 did not use artificial oxygen while climbing.The fastest climbing of the 14 summits up to now is done for eight years. Excellent physical and mental preparation is needed for climbing each of these summits, as well as considerable amount of money.
Goals of Subproject 2:
1. Climbing 4 eight-thousanders in one season for 100 days; (for the first time in the world) – this one has been achieved;
2. Climbing of the 14 eight-thousanders as a vegan (for the first time in the world);
3. Climbing the 14 eight-thousanders for less than 6 years, or as quickly as possible on a vegan diet, to challenge the body as much as possible (for the first time in the world);
Even people consuming all kinds of food and having professional alpine training have not climbed all 14 eight-thousanders in such short period.
|2015||Manaslu||8163m||Himalaya||Nepal||Second vegan in the world|
|2016||Annapurna I||8091m||Himalaya||Nepal||First vegan in the world|
|2016||Dhaulagiri||8172m||Himalaya||Nepal||Reached up to 7900м, alpine style|
|2016||Makalu||8485m||Himalaya||Nepal||First vegan in the world/Expedition took only 4 days in alpine style|
|2016||Gasherbrum II||8035m||Karakorum||Pakistan||Reached up to 6350м|
|2017||Everest South||8848m||Himalaya||Nepal||First vegan two times on Everest|
|2018||Cho Oyu||8201m||Himalaya||China||First vegan without Sherpa and supplemental oxygen|
|2019||Kangchenjunga||8586m||Himalaya||Nepal||Returned from the top to base camp in the same day|
|2019||Gasherbrum I||8080m||Karakorum||Pakistan||Without Sherpa|
|2019||Gasherbrum II||8035m||Karakorum||Pakistan||Without Sherpa|
|2019||Dhaulagiri||8172m||Himalaya||Nepal||Fourth eight-thousander in 2019|
I have been a vegan for more than five years and I can definitely say that for the time being I feel very well and at this stage I do not intend to change my diet regime. I continue exploring new plant foods as well as their combinations.On the other hand, some doctors are sharing the opinion that at the moment my organism is consuming the reserves of my body and after the 5th or the 6th year as a vegan, my organism will suffer from health complications.I respect the opinion of the doctors, but for me it is far more important to test how my organism will function in the future. Of course, as I already said, this is an experiment and something can be changed at all times, if necessary. I believe experimenting is needed in order to find the optimal solution.
Every few months I am going through medical examination and giving blood samples, in order to monitor the status of major health indicators. The medical tests, I have been subject to, does not show anything disturbing. The levels of vitamin B12 and calcium are normal, just iron and bilirubin are slightly higher. However, I am taking vitamin B12 twice per year for 3 months just as a precautionary measure.
For the period 2014 — 2016 I have made more than 20 presentations in various Bulgarian towns. My example continues to attract young people who love the mountain and the healthy lifestyle and all those dreamers who believe in themselves, and who want to find themselves, and through my example, I am clearly showing the realization of the change to which they aspire.
My message to all is to find what makes them happy and in balance with themselves and the environment. Any dream can come true, if you believe in it and you make the necessary effort. I want to show that there are no impossible things. Everything is possible and let everyone believe in their dreams and the strength of their spirit.
But let us reflect on animal breeding, what it gives us and what it takes from us. For me it is important that all people have information about the food, especially of animal origin, and what are the results from its production. How the animal food got to the table and what did it cause. Then everyone can decide for themselves what to eat and how to live on this planet.
If this diet proves to be healthy for us humans, it could reduce the consumption of meat and animal products, which will lead to a huge reduction in the pollution of our planet resulting from animal breeding and production of food of animal origin in industrial quantities.Also, agricultural land will be released and can be used for the production of plant food and thus could help in solving the problem with the world hunger and the safe increase in the population on our planet. On the other hand, this will stop the destruction of forests and jungles, which now takes place in order to provide for the needs of animal breeding and will reduce the consumption of drinking water supplies.Planting new forests and jungles could begin on the released agricultural land. The experiment is of great importance to all mankind and the preservation of the nature on our planet.
We have a unique planet, which is a wonderful place for the existence of our human race. Unfortunately, with the globalization and industrialization, we are destroying more and more the nature and especially the ecosystems by building vast and numerous animal breeding farms. Every day plant and animal species are disappearing.It hurts me for this planet and I want our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to have the same chance as me to enjoy the beauty and inspiration of our nature, to share what I see now with my eyes, smell with my nose, feel with my skin and breathe with my lungs.Just let us all try to live as environmentally friendly as we can, and to try to protect our planet from pollution. No man can call himself and to think about himself as environmentalist while consuming food of animal origin at the same time.
We have to go back to Mother Nature. She teaches us many things and gives us answers to a lot of questions. We need to protect the nature because we will lose it.