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His early life was tumultuous, but changing how he thought about food saved him from the same early death many of his peers faced. Today, almost 30 years since first swearing off meat, John is training for an Ironman Triathlon, rocking insane mosh pits with the Cro-Mags, and hitting the gym every day. Needless to say, he has more energy than most dudes half his age.The knowledge contained in Meat is for Pussies worked for John, and picking up this book can be seen as the first step to transforming your life. To read more about John’s amazing journey, pick up his memoir, The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon, available on punkhouse.
Caryn Hartglass: Hi, I’m Caryn Hartglass and you’re listening to It’s All About Food. Thanks for joining me. We’re going to have a really fun, kickass show today! I’m really looking forward to it. But first I wanted to tell you, if you have any comments today during the show or any time after you can call in at 1-888-874-4888 or you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Okay, today we have in the studio live John Joseph and he’s the author of—check out this title—Meat is for Pussies. His early life was tumultuous, but changing how he thought about food saved him from the same early death many of his peers faced. Today, almost thirty years since first swearing off meat, John is training for an Ironman Triathlon, rocking insane mosh pits—whatever that is—with the Cro-Mags, and hitting the gym every day. Needless to say, he has more energy than most dudes half his age. The knowledge contained in Meat is for Pussies worked for John, and picking up this book can be seen as the first step to transforming your life. To read more about John’s amazing journey, pick up his memoir, The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon, available on punkhouse. Welcome John.
John Joseph: Well put.
Caryn Hartglass: Well I didn’t write it. So I’ve read your book and it’s an easy read. It’s very passionate, it’s very fun, but you really get right to the point. Every line it’s like, get the point, get right to the point.
John Joseph: Absolutely. Droppin’ bombs, as we say.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, and that’s what it should be because we need a revolution.
John Joseph: Absolutely.
Caryn Hartglass: Now I always like to get to know my guests. I didn’t read your memoir, but I’m going to. Even before reading it I am in awe of who you are and how far you’ve come based on your beginnings which, from what I’ve gleamed so far, were not the ideal.
John Joseph: Absolutely. My father was a professional boxer and became an alcoholic. Basically beat my mother every day. My mother had nervous breakdowns. State took us away and we were raised in an abusive… Bounced around through homes, me and my two brothers and ended up in a really bad foster home for seven years. That home was closed down by the state in ‘75 and then they put us in St. John’s School for Boys [in] ’76. January 4, 1977, I went onto the streets of New York City as a kid. Anyone who’s an old school New Yorker, you know what New York streets were like back then. After about eighteen months I got sentenced to two years upstate and I was in Spofford, Lincoln Hall. After that I joined the Navy. On my travels, that’s where I believe in fate and the universe stepping into someone’s life because out of all places my ship went to Jamaica and I met a Rastafarian down there who was into raw foods and Ital and clean livin’. I got that first bit of knowledge from him. The Navy’s just meat and potatoes. I actually ended up meeting a band called the Bad Brains and went AWOL from the Navy ‘cause I felt my spiritual calling was more important than anything else. I worked for them and became complete vegan, raw foods, met Viktoras Kulvinskas in that whole period, lived in burnt out buildings on the Lower Eastside 1980-81, listened to Gary Null on my little radio. I straightened out my military thing and all that back in ’95, so there’s no warrants. Don’t be comin’ up to the studio.
Caryn Hartglass: Nobody’s coming up here.
John Joseph: I just gained more and more knowledge over the years of doing raw foods and seeing the disease and people dying from completely treatable diseases. Basically the whole book is about preventative medicine because with the drug companies in cahoots with the FDA, Codex Alimentarius, everything else that’s going on, the real knowledge of health and food is being suppressed to the masses. There’s really a dumbing down process going on for several reasons that I won’t… That’s coming out in another book, but.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, maybe we’ll touch on it.
John Joseph: I really feel that the stupider they can keep us, the more easily we’re controlled. Foods of a higher vibration tend to enlighten one’s unconsciousness and then they start to stop and say, “What am I in this rat race for and what’s life really about?” When you start asking those pertinent questions, then you cease to become a consumer of crap and that’s what they’re putting out there.
Caryn Hartglass: Well, again I’m blown away because I know so many people that are fortunate. What I mean by fortunate is they have a family, they’re surrounded by love and support and a roof over their head and food to eat and a decent education. Okay, that’s fortunate. You don’t have to be on a six-figure or million-dollar salary to be fortunate. And yet these people that are educated still don’t know what’s going on, don’t realize what they’re eating, and are poisoning themselves and their family and the environment and are causing pain and suffering to other species and are really keeping their head in the sand about it. And here somebody like yourself, who has not had all the options and all the opportunities, came to this very profound realization. Hats off to you.
John Joseph: Thank you.
Caryn Hartglass: Sometimes I wonder, is that what it takes? Do we have to really reach bottom in order to find truth?
John Joseph: I’m skipping on his name right now, the Irish poet [Oscar Wilde] who said, “Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation.” I really believe that. People have gotten so lazy in America in particular. ‘Cause I mean, like I said I sing for the Cro-Mags, I’m still traveling around the world spreading the message of what’s going on, and not just in America with the food, because now with the EU and all this stuff. For instance the Netherlands used to ban GMO products. Now they’re one of the biggest producers of GMO foods for all of Europe. Even in South America. I was just down in Santiago, Chile. There’s all these protests going on, and what they’re doing is—if anyone is hip to the documentary Flow—what they’re doing now in Chile is trying to block the water flow coming out of the Andes and build a dam the same way so they can suppress Third World farmers. I mean, the stuff that’s really going on. I really feel fortunate that in my life for whatever reason I was fortunate enough to come in contact with very knowledgeable people. But I also applied the knowledge, and that’s the main thing. We have to apply the knowledge. To me, I feel indebted to those people. But also I feel there’s a need to pay the knowledge forward. As far as the title of the book, I train in martial arts. I boxed when I was locked up as a kid. I’ve been training in martial arts and fighting thirty years and I’m in the gym, I’m training for an Ironman, but the title came because someone in the gym said to me, not knowing that I was vegan, like he made some comment about vegans that, “Yeah, they’re all skinny little pussies.” I was like, “Dude. I haven’t eaten meat, fish, eggs, dairy, none of this stuff in thirty years. You wanna get in the ring?” So he’s like coming up with all these excuses. But the point is that there’s a misconception that to kill… I’m friends with Moby, and one of the things he said which I love is, “What’s so tough about killing an animal that eats grass?” There’s this sense of machoism behind eating meat and good steak. It’s all nonsense because… I even dedicated a whole chapter to the protein myth and all this crap that’s going on. The only thing we need in life is protein as a man. It’s like when you start getting into superfoods: chlorella, E3 Live blue-green algae, and all this maca and all this other stuff, chia seeds, these guys are like you’re speaking freakin’ Martian language or something. Like I said, it’s really out of compassion. I lost a lot of people I love to cancer and disease and all this other stuff and I’m like, the drug companies really are trying to suppress the knowledge that’s getting out there. What they really consider us as is nothing more than a revenue source from the moment we’re born to the moment we die. So if we are healthy… I don’t take any drugs at all, not for anything. I don’t need to because I don’t take intoxication, I don’t smoke, any kind of drugs. I make proper food choices and basically I don’t ever get sick so I am the drug companies’ worst nightmare. If I can do it, anybody can do it and that’s a fact. I’ve gotten thousands of emails on Facebook and everything. Somebody I know who is a Hells Angel read my book and got off meat. Someone else I know who’s an FBI agent read my book. I’ve got a cop and all kinds of people and that’s who I’m really trying to grab with this book. That’s why I put guys like Mac Danzig the UFC champion and Jake Shields and Mike Mahler and all of these really tough guys. They don’t eat meat and they don’t eat any dairy and they don’t support these industries that ravage the planet and cause suffering unnecessarily to living entities, animals and all that.
Caryn Hartglass: I like your book for a lot of reasons—Meat is for Pussies by John Joseph—and I recommend people picking it up. It’s a real easy and quick read and really gets to the point. The thing is there are so many different kinds of people on the planet. Different things will appeal to different people. Sometimes we talk about what would really motivate somebody to become a vegetarian and a vegan and some people will say, “Oh, it’s health.” And some people say “Oh, it’s the environment.” And some people say, “Oh, it’s animals.” There’s not one thing that will appeal to every individual. So I love it when more and more people are coming from different angles. I had A. Breeze Harper on who wrote Sistah Vegan, and she talked about the African-American or people-of-color situation and she came to the conclusion that being a vegan was the right thing for everything that she had been through and all the exploitation and all the discrimination, everything she had realized and she connected it to what’s going on with the animals. There are different people that have authored books coming from a Jewish perspective or a Christian perspective or a Buddhist perspective. I love it when people come from their own situation and come up with the reasons why it’s the right thing to do. Yours is the first from your circle.
John Joseph: The punk rock street crowd.
Caryn Hartglass: And it’s beautiful. We need it. I’m glad that you’re touching so many people and I hope many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many people read it and get the message.
John Joseph: I was going to punk rock—that’s one of the things when I was on the street. I was going to Max’s Kansas City in ’77. The first law of punk rock is to question authority. A lot of these guys, if I say, “Dude man, you shouldn’t eat animals because they cause a lot of pain.” Most of these people, they don’t care. The compassion aspect is not what I tried to push in the book. What I did try to push was to really get people pissed off as to what’s being done to them without their knowledge. For instance all the GMO companies, Monsanto… Everyone who believed that Obama was going to come in here and make all these changes for the people, look who’s the Food Safeties Administrator for America: Michael Taylor. All these are Monsanto goons pushing the GMO agenda on the people. If anyone has seen The Future of Food, then you know how deadly and untested these genetically modified crops are. So between this… One year they’re releasing medications to the masses. If you put on the 6:30 news, every commercial is for a new drug. And then five years later, there’s a huge recall. How did this drug get released in the first place?
Caryn Hartglass: Question is how do people swallow all this information and those drugs?
John Joseph: Exactly.
Caryn Hartglass: Just looking at the commercials alone. How could anybody take those seriously because they’re so creepy. And then the whole list of side effects that you face.
John Joseph: It’s death.
Caryn Hartglass: It’s a bad Saturday Night Live commercial.
John Joseph: Take this pill for acid reflux, but your penis won’t work, you’re going to have seizures…
Caryn Hartglass: It’s really crazy. The thing about Obama… I don’t want to slam him. He’s one man and he can’t do it all and he’s got a lot on his plate that other people did before he got there. The point is that we can’t expect one person to solve all the world’s problems. It’s up to each one of us individually and we have to do our own thing. We have to do what’s right, and part of what’s right is to not support, with our money, products that aren’t good for us, good for our family, good for the environment.
John Joseph: In that sense I don’t trust any government, any politician. To me this country’s been sold out to the corporations a long time ago. He was placed in office and the bottom line with the whole thing is when there’s an agenda going on it doesn’t matter who’s in there. That’s just the face. What’s really going on is the agenda of these corporations. If you just look at who’s in the Cabinet as far as… All these people, – Burzynski. These people are all Bilderberg and everything else. The point is, it’s kind of hard for the masses to not take to the agenda because it’s forced down their throat, as you say. When they’re looking to ban herbal medicines and all these other things that’s going on and Monsanto and having these people tell Taylor, Beachy,Vilsack, all these people in charge of this is very, very dangerous because their agenda is Codex Alimentarius. This is something, you never hear it mentioned in the news.
Caryn Hartglass: That’s right.
John Joseph: And little by little… You just had, what’s his name, McCain, try to push some of it down people’s throats down in Arizona. Little by little they’re chipping away, not only at the Constitution and our rights to health and everything else, but banning things, organic farming and all this stuff. All these bills that are going into Congress, people really need to pay attention. There is a great website if you don’t mind me mentioning it.
Caryn Hartglass: I don’t, go ahead.
John Joseph: It’s the National— I met Enrico Melson. He’s a doctor, he just moved to New Zealand to do organic farming. They’ve been fighting to keep natural health alive for many, many years. The National Health Federation, www.thenhf.com. You can learn all about Codex Alimentarius and see what’s really going on. Like I said, I travel around the planet because that’s my job. I do music, I’ve done spoken word, I give lectures, I do book signings, and it’s just really about making people become aware of these agendas, these hidden agendas. People like to attach the word “conspiracy theory,” but when you start seeing these bills coming up through Congress—
Caryn Hartglass: You think what were they thinking?
John Joseph: —and them raiding a health food store with guns, giving people raw milk. I mean, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The signs are there in front of us. We just have to pay attention to what’s going on.
Caryn Hartglass: What I always wonder about is these laws and things that benefit these people, it’s only a short-term benefit. They have families that are living in this environment. So I always wonder, how is it that they are promoting these things, foods that aren’t healthy for anyone? I know I’ve heard that in Monsanto they don’t serve any GMO; it’s all organic in their cafeteria.
John Joseph: And Michelle Obama has an organic farm.
Caryn Hartglass: And even George Bush didn’t want people to know that he ate organic.
John Joseph: Exactly. It’s funny you brought up that book Sistah Vegan because I’ve looked through it and I talk about it in this book, food deserts. They did a whole thing on it on ABC about how this guy walked home five miles—African American—five miles from work; he wanted to get in shape. All he passed the entire five miles was nothing but fast-food places and he could not even buy so much as a banana or an apple. You needed a car to go out to the suburbs to buy fruits and vegetables. Now how is anybody supposed to be healthy when this is the situation that’s going on?
Caryn Hartglass: That’s right. That should be a required…
John Joseph: You made a very important point. I had a lot of issues with Food, Inc. because they talked about grass-fed killing and all. I’m against all that. But what they did say is that something very, very enlightening. We have the greatest power, and that’s the power of our vote counts with what we put in our supermarket cart. What we support, if we support local, organic farming; go to the farmers’ market, support these farmers; support health food stores and restaurants like Angelica Kitchen—
Caryn Hartglass: I just had lunch there.
John Joseph: I love it. Leslie’s a great friend. Let me tell you about Leslie. Back when we were squatting and living in burnt out buildings, she helped everybody from the neighborhood. At ten o’clock you would roll over there and she would give you all the extra greens, beans. Not to mention Candle 79, Candle Cafe, Bart and Joy. These are amazing people who really support the animal rights movement and give food that can really… I’ve brought killers, literally. My friend’s Special Forces, I’ve brought him up there and he was like, “I could eat this kind of food every day.” Benay [Vnerib] all these people, they’re so loving and the vibration of the food is so high that you actually get high when you eat that kind of food. It’s true.
Caryn Hartglass: Why don’t you want to buy things from people that are full of love and only have quality things to give you? So if it’s a little more expensive it’s worth it.
John Joseph: You can pay or you can pay later. It’s about the quality of life and everybody makes that point. The thing is, yeah, you may pay a little more for organic food and stuff like that now, but as more and more people get into it the prices will come down. The thing is, look at your quality of life. What diseases are you going to have, Type 2 diabetes? You’re going to spend hundreds of dollars a month on medication and your time is going to be utilized going to doctors and this and that and the other thing.
Caryn Hartglass: Oh, it’s fun sitting in a doctor’s office for a few hours waiting to be seen.
John Joseph: You know what? I’m forty-eight years old, I just trained, I just was in the gym for two hours and then did twenty-five miles of sprints on my bike. I don’t have a pain in my body.
Caryn Hartglass: And you look like a kid.
John Joseph: I rode to Jones Beach Saturday, eighty-five miles. I can do what I want to do and that’s because I invested in my health and it really is the greatest investment we can make. I don’t consider food to be the end-all, but it’s a step in the progress of the evolution of our consciousness as people on this planet. We have to stop slaughtering these animals, polluting the ocean—destroying the ecological system of the ocean by the fishing and everything else, sewage from the slaughterhouses. All this knowledge is contained in the book, and if you don’t mind I’d like to pump the website, you get it?
Caryn Hartglass: Oh, sure.
John Joseph: It’s www.meatisforpussies.org. That’s where you can get the book. I’m on Facebook, John Joseph, if you want to hit me up. I would love to hear from you.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay. We’ve got a lot more to talk about. I want to talk a little more about factory farm fishing. You kind of mentioned it and it’s getting a lot of stuff in the press. There’s a lot of things to talk about but we’re going to take a short break.
John Joseph: Beautiful.
Caryn Hartglass: We’ll be right back.[BREAK]
Caryn Hartglass: Hi, I’m Caryn Hartglass and you’re listening to It’s All About Food. If you’ve been with us for the last half-hour I hope you’ve been having a good time. I have because I am with the amazing John Joseph, author of Meat is for Pussies. I’m sure if you call in, you’ll get some very interesting responses to your question. 1-888-874-4888. Or send me an email anytime during the week at email@example.com. Right, okay. So John, we were talking a little about… You just kind of touched on factory farming and there’s been a bunch of stuff in the news lately about allowing GMO salmon now and factory farming salmon and giving it this… I don’t know, this is some kind of magic potion so that it grows a lot faster in a shorter amount of time. And now they’re talking about the giant Atlantic Bluefin. They’re talking about farming that as well. Kind of crazy stuff.
John Joseph: It’s really a Pandora’s box once you start messing around with nature and eating these foods that… Especially GMO fish.
Caryn Hartglass: They haven’t been tested over the long term and we don’t know what they can do. We’re getting clues.
John Joseph: Like for instance I was just in England doing some festivals there this summer, and a bunch of cloned beef that was never meant to be released to the public got out.
Caryn Hartglass: Oops.
John Joseph: Oops, yeah, oops.
Caryn Hartglass: And was in your burger.
John Joseph: Yeah. It’s only going to get worse and worse and worse. To think about all this food and what they’re doing, these Frankenfoods, it…
Caryn Hartglass: What surprises me that scientists will go for this because there’s so many things that we’ve seen that don’t work and don’t work well. One thing we know is that diversity is better than one-of-a-kind of something. We need diversity not only in people, but we need diversity in our plant life, in our animal life. When we start cloning we start eliminating diversity, and diversity saves us from a lot of things. It prevents viruses and blights because if everything’s the same it’s going to respond the same way and we can wipe out a total crop, a total species, whatever.
John Joseph: Exactly.
Caryn Hartglass: That’s not good. And then there are other things. This whole thing with this aquaculture. This factory farming of fish. We started agriculture of land animals maybe 10,000 years ago and over time we’ve seen the devastation as a result. The same thing is happening with fish. So we’ve learned that we have to feed animals a lot of plant food in order for them to grow and then feed ourselves from the animals. This is really inefficient, it wastes a lot of energy, it wastes a lot of food. It’s the same with fish. So they have to scoop up all of these smaller fish from the ocean, grind them up to feed these factory farmed fish, and the oceans are devastated as a result.
John Joseph: Right. If you look at even economically the amount of resources that are wasted to do all of this factory farming and feed grain and all this stuff to animals, just the amount of resources needed to grind up fish and feed these fish to the other fish… I adhere to the Vedic philosophy of India. I read Bhagavad Gita, Srimad, I have for thirty years. That was part of my growth and evolution spiritually. They talk about foodstuffs in the three modes of nature, foodstuffs in the mode of ignorance, in the mode of passion, and in the mode of goodness. Foodstuffs in the mode of ignorance that tend to have a bad smell—it’s decaying flesh—does not promote longevity in life, whereas foods in the mode of goodness—fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes—they promote vitality and lengthen the duration of life. There’s no real reason. Everyone brings up the whole omega issue to eat fish. There’s so many other places to get omegas. The thing is, you ask a lot of these people where does the fish get the omegas from? They’re eating the plankton in the ocean, so why don’t you just go and get some spirulina or some chlorella or some E3 Live and get it direct? We just believe the lies of these corporations that have an agenda, and their agenda is to make billions of dollars. They could care less what the long-term effects of these foods are going to be on us because by then they’ll have another shelter company and they’ll be closed before the lawsuits can come.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, you’ve been doing this for over three decades now? Or about…
John Joseph: Well, thirty years. This year’s thirty years.
Caryn Hartglass: Great. I’ve been doing it for thirty years plus. You’ve probably seen some improvements over time in terms of the availability of food, more and more people know what the word “vegan” is now. You don’t get this deer-in-headlights look sometimes when you say, “I’m a vegan.” So we see some progress, even though at the same time there’s horrible things going on with agriculture and factory farming. There was an article that came out yesterday in the Men’s Journal. It’s not one of my favorite magazines, Men’s Journal.
John Joseph: I tried to get in there, they shut me down.
Caryn Hartglass: Well I think they’re ready for you now because they had an article yesterday called “The Men’s Journal Guide to Going Vegan.” They actually have information here from a nutritionist from PCRM, the Physicians Committee of Responsible Medicine, and Scott Jurek.
John Joseph: Oh, I love him, the endurance runner.
Caryn Hartglass: That’s right.
John Joseph: Who just took second place in the world endurance run back in the beginning of the summer.
Caryn Hartglass: And can we tell everyone what Scott Jurek’s diet is?
John Joseph: Clean vegan. There’s a difference.
Caryn Hartglass: Not junk food vegan.
John Joseph: Let me try to break it down for you. All that red bamboo and all that fried tofu with oil and all this crap is not what I eat. Yes it is vegan. But there’s a study came out that I was reading. It was in The [New York] Times, I think, about eighteen months ago, two years ago, and it said that a lot of these people that went vegan twenty years ago, twenty-five years ago, are now ending up with Type 2 diabetes as well because they eat processed food. They eat crap and just ‘cause it’s vegan they eat it. But it’s not… You’re not going to be able to do what Scott Jurek or my friend Brendan Brazier, who’s actually speaking next week at…who did the Thrive diet, mostly raw food, Ironman, friends with Rip Esselstyn, the guy that did the Engine 2 diet. You’re not going to be able to do what these guys do, and what I’m attempting to do, on junk food vegan. So yes Scott Jurek is vegan, but he’s clean vegan. He eats whole foods and superfoods and stuff like that and that’s really the difference. Just ‘cause something’s vegan don’t mean it’s good for you.
Caryn Hartglass: Sure, you could live on—well, not live well and not live long on—potato chips and French fries and Coke.
John Joseph: That’s vegan.
Caryn Hartglass: But it’s not really healthy. We want vegans to be models.
John Joseph: Exactly. Because the bigger issue is as human beings, we don’t have the right to destroy other living entities just because we want to eat them. That’s what’s at the real issue to me. I don’t wear leather, I don’t do any of this stuff because I just feel I don’t have the right to infringe upon the rights of other living entities to wear their skins or any of that stuff.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, let’s talk a little bit about nutrition and nutrition for athletes. Because I hear it all the time and I know one guy out there who’s always talking about heavy lifting and eating protein. What is it, a gram of protein for every pound? These heavy-duty protein powders, whey protein, and all these amino acids that they need from animals that you can’t get from plants. What do you have to say about that?
John Joseph: I say that’s bogus because if you Google Mike Mahler, Rob Bigwood, the arm wrestling—excuse the pun. He’s the arm wrestling champion of the East Coast. Endurance athletes, strength athletes. These guys are all coming up now and they’re staying away from any type of animal protein whatsoever. It puts so much stress on your kidneys. The stuff they’re doing to cows, even in the dairy industry, and the whey comes when they separate the milk into curds and whey and the curds goes for cheese or whatever. There’s so much crap in whey and it’s so processed. There’s so many great… Brendan Brazier supports the whole Vega sequel line. There’s so many super proteins, chia seeds. What do you need to take? The average person, if you multiply their bodyweight by 0.36—that’s the RDA, recommended daily allowance for protein. Now an athlete, a person who’s consuming foods to train as an athlete or a bodybuilder or whatever, I’m sure you probably want to pretty much double that. But the whole thing with this massive gallons of protein and all this stuff is that that’s the first thing that I’m told, and then I start bringing up where’d you get your vitamin K and they look at me all…
Caryn Hartglass: What? Huh?
John Joseph: It’s not just only about protein. You need good fats, you need all kinds of things to basically eat a very balanced diet. I was just in the gym. I had actually an argument—a debate—with one guy and he’s like an old-school bodybuilder with the tiger-striped pants. I said, “Dude, I’ll tell you what. Yeah, you got like fifty pounds on me. I’m still benching 230 pounds. But I’m like sure, you can bench 300 pounds but I’ll tell you what. I’m going to work out here and right after this I’m going to run twelve miles. Why don’t you come with me?” Because even in the military I tried to get into the Special Forces in the Navy and the test was not just how much weight. It’s strength, endurance, and flexibility. That is the military strength for overall fitness. Who cares if you have big huge muscles if you can’t do nothing with them? This whole thing of “I got to be as big as I can and crack walnuts with my bicep” is to me, it’s like it’s this whole Adonis… Who cares if you have all this unconscious muscle? I’ve seen women in yoga class do shoulder stands for fifteen minutes and these guys can’t even do it for thirty seconds. So what’s the real test of real strength and real fitness? To me it’s like what do you need all this protein for? In the long run, like I said, it’s putting so much stress. It’s building a very acidic body. There’s no pH in all that stuff. So what’re you doing to your body? You’re putting so much stress on your body and you’re eating all this crap. You basically can’t even have a good bowel movement. I hear these guys in the gym bathroom, and it’s like, “Yo dude. Get some wheatgrass juice.” You just want to tell them.
Caryn Hartglass: Isn’t it amazing? You have the simple answers to so many problems and yet people don’t want to hear it.
John Joseph: It’s simple for the simple, and I like to say that. People have made it seem like it’s unreachable and unattainable.
Caryn Hartglass: It’s not that complicated.
John Joseph: Because there’s an agenda. And once again it comes to the agenda. But it’s really simple for the simple. If you look at where the origin of martial arts came from, India. Everybody knows that, if you talk to any martial arts people. It originated in India. So what did they eat in India? What did all of those martial arts practitioners eat? They did not eat meat. They did not eat fish. They didn’t eat any of that. They maintained pretty much… They might have a little bit of raw milk, but it was a dairy-free, almost complete vegan diet. So to me I’m like, I’m forty-eight. Like I say, I like to be able to do whatever I want to do. I’m riding to Montauk this weekend and then I’m going to do a 2.5-mile ocean swim. It’s all about longevity in what you want to do in life and not at the expense of other living entities and that’s what it all comes back to. That was my point with him. And then I said to him, “No animal found in nature that’s made by the laws of nature to eat meat has a colon, has a small intestine.” There was just so many things I kept saying to him that he didn’t have an answer for. So then we both worked out for about an hour and then that’s when I said, “Hey, I’m going to go run twelve miles. Come with me.” And he was like, “Oh you know, I’m not really a runner.” And I’m like, yeah, you’re sitting here and you lift weights for three hours.
Caryn Hartglass: What do you do with it?
John Joseph: What else? I’m fascinated by even the old school, Mark Allen and all these guys, Dave Scott, who were vegetarian and winning the Ironman. When you see what these guys do, it’s like, it’s not about swallowing gallons of whey protein.
Caryn Hartglass: I like to tell people to eat from the Garden of Eden or go into the produce section of the supermarket to know that it really isn’t difficult. You don’t have to be counting anything, counting calories, making sure you get this certain kind of nutrients. You just want to have a varied diet of plants and fruits and vegetables, colors, and have a good time with them. It’s not that complicated.
John Joseph: Exactly. I’d like to just mention, the person who wrote the foreword to my book is Fred Bisci, PhD in Nutritional Science. Anybody knows all these new jack whacko raw foods people I won’t mention any names that are narcissists that came up in the last twenty-five years who like, one, I wanted to put my foot up his ass. He came up to me in a restaurant and I’m like, yo dude. I’m from the street. I keep it real. When someone has this attitude to me, there’s no humility… When I met Fred Bisci at Caravan of Dreams—I got in a conversation with him—the first thing I noticed about the man was his humility and his knowledge. I asked him to write the foreword to this book. I started talking to him about what he does every day. He runs ten miles every day. He’s been raw foods for fifty years. He’s cured 35,000 people all over the planet of disease through natural and raw foods. And he says the same thing: “It’s so easy. But people just want to make it so difficult.” I asked him to write the foreword to the book and the first thing he said to me was, “I have to read the manuscript first. I can’t put my name on it.”
Caryn Hartglass: I like that.
John Joseph: Well yeah.
Caryn Hartglass: Because I’ve read a lot of books that have comments and forewords and I know the people haven’t read the book.
John Joseph: Yeah. So when he sent me the email back he said, “John you left me a message on my cellphone.” He said, “John I read your book. I just got to say it’s a real kick in the nuts and these guys need to hear this stuff. I’m going to get the foreword to you right away.” I love Fred, man. He’s good people.
Caryn Hartglass: Well that’s what it is, “a kick in the nuts.” And everybody needs it. Get the point already.
John Joseph: Exactly.
Caryn Hartglass: Oh gosh. Okay, so I know people out there are thinking, “What does he eat? What does he possibly eat and he’s exercising all the time?” And you’ve got some very nice recipes in the back. So let’s talk about your day of food.
John Joseph: Some of the recipes, there may be some seitan and stuff like that because I know from when I came from eating burgers, when HR, the singer for the Bad Brains, first took me to Angelica’s and I got a Dragon Bowl I was like…your taste buds are covered over by all this crap—salt, oil, sugar—so you can’t appreciate the taste of…
Caryn Hartglass: Clean food.
John Joseph: Yeah. But I tried to do the seitan, a little healthier, and tempeh and stuff like that, so that people can transition away from those poisonous foods, replace their chicken maybe with some organic soy chicken or whatever. For instance last night that’s exactly what I had at Angelica’s. I went in and I got the Dragon Bargain, which is like a bowl of organic soup, organic bread, and then the plate is seaweed, rice, beans, grain, tempeh. All day long… The thing about America is, and this is why we’re the biggest, fattest, nation on the planet is because right now it’s like we live to eat. It should be the other way around. We should be eating to live, to maintain our bodies. We overeat. Just the other day I was walking down on the East Side and there’s this tour. My friend said something to me in Europe. He’s like, “Yeah man, you guys are making the whole freakin’ planet fat now.”
Caryn Hartglass: That’s right.
John Joseph: It’s true, we are.
Caryn Hartglass: ‘Cause they’re getting fat in Europe now.
John Joseph: These people were on a tour yesterday. God bless the woman giving the tour. She was definitely borderline obese and walking around, and all these people were walking around and they were just looking in all these food shops. I said, “Hey man, what kind of tour is that?” They’re like, it’s a food tour! Of like, poison.
Caryn Hartglass: But even those that are eating to live, eating healthfully, enjoy their food. I love the food that I eat.
John Joseph: Yes. Exactly, exactly. I had a bowl of all-organic fruit this morning. When I wake up in the morning it’s just like a car. You don’t wake up and start throwing all this crap in your system. Like, the stuff that people wake up and eat first thing in the morning, it’s unbelievable. I have a juicer, I juice in the morning. I start water, juice. One of the great things that Fred Bisci talks about is food sequencing, which I learned from him. That’s really what he talks about is that, you want to put in your juices and then your raw foods and then your cooked foods. Because if you do it the other way around, then all of the raw food is sitting on top of the cooked food trying to digest, whereas the raw foods and juices will be assimilated through the intestine much more rapidly and absorbed in nutrition. It’s really about paying attention to not just what you eat but how you eat and when you eat. Don’t eat before bed, it’s not good for you. That’s the quickest way to gain weight because your body’s… First of all you’re not sleeping properly, which puts stress on the body and it causes your cortisol levels to rise. Brendan Brazier told me a great story. He said, “When I started training for the Ironman,” he didn’t clean up his diet yet. This is when he first started and he said, “My first week I’m doing forty hours a week of training for an Ironman. First week I gained a pound. Second week I gained two pounds. Third week another two pounds.” So he went to an endocrinologist and he said, “Your cortisol levels are through the roof.” It was because he wasn’t resting properly and he was eating terribly. That’s when he cleaned up his diet and he really paid attention to when he consumes nutrients at what times. He’s consuming his carbohydrate meals before a workout. He does his protein recovery stuff after his workouts. Really it’s… I pay attention to a lot of that as much as possible.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah. I love his book Thrive and he certainly is a model.
John Joseph: He’s speaking next week. I think it’s the thirteenth or fourteenth, he’s speaking at Jivamukti.
Caryn Hartglass: When you talk about people having humility too, he’s another one who is very, very humble.
John Joseph: Super humble guy. Rip Esselstyn same thing, Engine 2 diet. Coming out with a line of super foods and whole foods. Very humble people and willing to give the knowledge. That’s why I gravitate more towards people like that, because I feel they’re the ones that’s going to really help people because people know when you’re talking down to them. It’s not good. Just because you’ve been given some knowledge, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be a jerk to everybody. Too many of these people in this field, they’ve taken this superiority complex over people.
Caryn Hartglass: Now there are some people that always mention grass-fed beef and that being an okay food. There are a lot of athletes and people promoting diets for weightlifters that say they should be eating grass-fed beef. These free newspapers you get from time to time, I just got one today and there’s an article about fast food without the guilt and they’re talking about some new fast food restaurants that popped up and there’s one in New York now that makes burgers with meat from grass-fed cattle. But good food, bad food.
John Joseph: What do you think I’m going to say to that?
Caryn Hartglass: Bad food!
John Joseph: First of all, as I say, I come back to the karmic aspect, which is something I believe in. When you’re taking the life of an animal, you’re… Metaphysically I have to say I would never, ever, ever eat grass-fed or anything like that. But the other thing is can the whole planet be sustained from a grass-fed diet?
Caryn Hartglass: I’m glad you brought that up.
John Joseph: No, it’s for the one percent of rich, wealthy people.
Caryn Hartglass: There is not enough landmass on this planet to grass-feed cattle to feed the planet.
John Joseph: Thank you very much. Instead of giving all these crops coming back to the factory farming, why don’t we start paying attention to what we’re growing in the fields across America and where that food is ending up? There’s no scarcity of food. There shouldn’t be people starving in Africa and all these other countries all over the world. It’s because the countries like Germany, the United States, England, France—it’s this global elite—Japan and all this other stuff that want to eat Kobe beef and all this other nonsense where it just creates scarcity really for the masses. We have to start thinking. One thing that the Internet did, it made the planet smaller in the sense that we realize more that it’s not just about the United States. What we do here, what they do in Germany, what they do anywhere else—in Australia—it affects the entire planet.
Caryn Hartglass: I think that’s the hope for this movement, is the Internet. Because there have been vegetarians for thousands of years and I’ve been reading some history that in the last couple hundred years things have been going on, but they just haven’t been getting anywhere and I think the Internet’s what’s going to take it on.
John Joseph: Well that’s why Brzezinski just had a Bilderberg meeting in Montreal months back and what he said was that this is a very dangerous time on the planet. The reason he said is because more and more people globally are becoming aware of global politics and paying attention to it and that’s a very dangerous situation. For him to say that—and that’s on YouTube, that’s not something made up. You can hear those words come right out of his own mouth. Because now we’re becoming aware and we realize that this Internet is really a tool to make people aware of what’s going on.
Caryn Hartglass: To educate the masses.
John Joseph: It really is.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay. Well I think we need a revolution in food and one way to be ready is to pick up Meat is for Pussies by John Joseph. John, it was great talking to you.
Transcribed by JC, 10/6/2016