John Joseph is not afraid to say what’s on his mind. That, dear readers, is for sure.
The Cro-Mag frontman can’t help but exude infectious energy as he talks about the importance of good health, exercise, and a vegan lifestyle. Currently training for an Ironman Triathlon, the famous singer credits his plant-based diet with providing the gusto needed to maintain a rigorous lifestyle.
Ecorazzi: You’ve been vegan for almost 30 years. What inspired you to write this book now?
John Joseph: I got sick of seeing friends and family die of diseases caused by bad diets. I got sick of the animal abuse, and I am fed up with the corporations who have an agenda: drug companies, the beef, fish, dairy and egg industries, and GMO companies like Monsanto. They keep the masses ignorant, spreading lies like “meat makes you macho,” “dairy makes strong bones,” “GMO’s are safe,” etc. My good friend Moby said it best, “What’s so macho about killing baby sheep and cows that eat grass?”
E: As you just mentioned, many people still believe that a vegan diet isn’t particularly…manly. Why, after all this time, do you think that stereotype still exists?
JJ: Get in the ring with Mac Danzig. Work out with Robert Cheeke, Mike Mahler, Brendan Brazier, or get in the mosh pit at a Cro-Mags show. Don’t ask me that same redundant question: ”Where do you get your protein from, dude?” Where do they get their chlorophyll, their selenium, bromelain and many other nutrients one is missing with boiled chicken and white rice. And don’t even get me started on the variety of a vegan organic diet versus the meat and potato knuckle-dragger diet. Sorry, you lose!
E: Your book Meat is for Pussies has a pretty controversial name. What do you say to people who find the title offensive?
JJ: Get a sense of humor! Lighten up! The book is reaching everyone from Hells Angels to convicts in maximum security prisons to New York City cops — people they’d never reach. I really don’t give a shit about the people who are offended; they attacked Rory Freedman, too. But her Skinny Bitch books made millions of vegans and saved countless animals. I’ve been doing this for 30 years; the Cro-Mags have inspired tens of thousands of people to give up meat. I will never change who I am. As they say in India, “The dogs may bark, but the caravan must go on.”
E: I know you eat a vegan diet rich in organic and whole foods. Why do you believe that eating organic, as well as vegan, is so important?
JJ: GMO’s are poison to you and the environment; they also contain animal, fish, and insect DNA, so they aren’t vegan. And pesticides and processed foods…come on now! If we [vegans] are the examples for the planet, we better look good. Not for vanity reasons, but because we want people to say, “Damn, those peeps are healthy!” Many people look at most vegans and say, “Fuck that! I dont wanna look like that dude.” We need to get our shit together first. Example is better than precept.
E: You talk a lot about protein in your book and the myth that surrounds it. How much protein do you eat in a day, and how much do you think people really need?
JJ: The USDA says the RDA for protein is achieved by multiplying your body weight by .36. So I weigh 165; that means I should get 59 grams of protein. But being an athlete, I get upwards of 110 grams per day. Why? Because I burn it, and I need it for muscle recovery. On days I’m resting, I get less: 70, maybe.
E: How has the vegan movement grown and changed since you first became vegan?
JJ: Today, the vegan movement has much better food and cooler people. Sorry, but the earlier vegans were very judgmental. Be humble; the message goes further. Veganism isn’t the all in all; it’s a step in the process of higher consciousness for the human race. When we have compassion for all earthlings (humans too), we can make the world a better place. Then we can figure out how to evolve out of the cycle of birth and death: Samsara. That’s the real thing. We are all one. Instead of criticizing, show some love and help your fellow man.
E: If you could meet one notorious vegetarian, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
JJ: Ben Franklin. So I can say, “What’s up with them shoes, dude?” But seriously, Arjuna — the greatest Vedic warrior. Because he knew we must fight to spread the truth — even if it offends some. When I hear people are offended by the title of my book, I think about the millions of terrified, helpless animals in the feedlots, packed into trucks going to slaughter, or on the kill floor. And then I say, “Screw those people; they’ll get over it.” And if not, eff them; my job is to stop this insanity at any cost. Sorry for being blunt, but that’s the Cro-Mag way. I don’t pull punches.
A big thank you to John Joseph for taking time out of his busy schedule to sit down for a chat! To learn more about how John is helping veganize the world ,and to get your copy of Meat is for Pussies, stop by MeatIsForPussies.org!