OK, it's true. We were a little nervous about contacting John Joseph, the author of 'Meat is for Pussies', for an interview. Come on, this guy is tough!
John grew up on the mean streets of New York, in and out of foster homes, he's survived shootings, stabbings, even jail time! He has more ink than a squid learning calligraphy, he trains like a demon in the gym everyday to compete in ironman triathlons and he heads up the highly influential and in-your-face hardcore punk band, The Cro-Mags, who have been rocking out since the 80s!
But possibly the best thing about John is that he hasn't touched meat for almost 30 years. Oh, that and the fact, that he really ain't so scary when you talk to him (even if they do call him Bloodclot!).
John's no chump with a pen and paper either. 'Meat is for Pussies' is a great read. Click here to check out a review by Kylie from the Unleashed team. But don't run just yet, 'cause we've got a copy of 'Meat Is For Pussies' to give away. Keep reading to find out how you could win. Anyway, somehow John found the time in his crazy schedule to chat with us about his new book "Meat Is For Pussies" and has a word or two of advice for Unleashed supporters.
Tell us about your decision to stop eating meat. How old were you and what inspired the change?
I was 18 years old and had just gotten out of juvenile lock up, was in the Navy and went AWOL after meeting the Bad Brains and the D.C. punks like Ian MacKay and Henry Rollins. I got to roadie and help Bad Brains and they were all veg. Their soundman and producer Jay Dublee and HR (lead singer) talked to me about giving up meat. I haven't looked back since 1981.
How has your life improved since?
My health, my consciousness, my life has improved in every way possible. Disease is rampant in the USA. 1/3 is obese, 2/3 overweight. When I became veg my outlook on life changed, new worlds opened up, I got into yoga, meditation. It was a real eye opener to learn what they do to animals, I wanted no part of it. We can't just stick our head in the sand anymore. People do that when I tell them to see the documentaries, "Earthlings" or "Meet Your Meat". But I feel that to truly have peace on earth, all killing must stop. Now my effort is to pay it forward, spread the word out of compassion, to save people's health. If you have your health, you have everything. Everyone's eyes can open, but the first step is to get off the meat.
Between triathlons, working out and hitting the stage, it sounds like your life is high intensity. What's your secret? How do you get the energy?
I get the energy from my Ch'i, my internal spiritual energy. Nothing moves in the body if not for the soul and the soul's power. I also eat a lot of organic green foods, fresh juices, whole foods, no processed crap. I don't drink, smoke or take drugs. That's my trip, but hey it works. I don't want to make excuses, I have actually seen that with some bands on stage; "Sorry we suck tonight we got really drunk last night."
Your band, the Cro-Mags have been very influential in the hardcore/punk scene. What inspired you to get into hardcore music?
You've had an incredible life. You've survived being stabbed, being shot and being locked up in prison. How do you think prison would compare to life on a factory farm?
Well animals are innocent, I wasn't innocent, that's why I was locked up. I compare slaughterhouses and factory farms to the Nazi Death Camps, as The Cro-Mags song suggests.
Who, in particular, would you most like to read your book 'Meat Is For Pussies'?
Everyone. But mostly your typical guy who is under the false conception that you need meat to be strong; to be a 'real' man. That's bullshit! My friend Moby said in one interview, "What's so macho about eating a docile, grass eating animal?" But seriously, there's info in there for everyone though.
Teenagers don't always get the luxury of buying their own groceries. What advice would you give to Unleashed supporters who are trying to adopt a cruelty-free lifestyle, but running into obstacles?
Eat out, there's plenty of veg spots in Aussie land. Actually we toured there and I was surprised at how many vegan and veg spots there were serving organic food. But you can get your parents the book and inform them, my mother went veg, your parents can too if they have any brain cells. Seriously, people are literally being poisoned on this planet. It's got to stop. If we want peace, we must have peace for all Earthlings!
Who's gonna argue with that? Take it from John, vegetarians are a force to be reckoned with! Now here's your chance to get your hands on a copy of John's great new book 'Meat is for Pussies'.
Prove you're no pussy by pledging to go veg for a week (or for good!) and you'll go into the draw to win John's new book. If you've already proven your 'tough'-credentials by taking animals off your plate, then you can also let us know with the form below to go into the draw. Enough said, time to man up, devour a vegan cheeseburger, get into that gym and turn the volume up ... LOUD!!!
Too late! This contest has expired. But wait—there's more!
Check out what's new for the latest features and competitions.
POLL: What's tougher?