Bad Ass Vegan Founder, Health Consultant, Entrepreneur
SS: What made you go vegan and why?
JL: I had just moved to south Florida and I was starting to notice a change in my body that was hard to ignore. Basically I was a little too “Regular” if you know what I mean. So I took a visit to the doctor to have a check up and see what may be the problem. He asked me question that I will never forget… “John, do you eat a lot of meat?” I responded, “Sure, but I don’t think it is out of the ordinary, look at how big I am.” The Doctor told me that he wanted me to try not eating meat for 30 days and see how I felt after that 30 days. Well let’s just say that would not have been my first choice (I was a fan of a good Philly cheesesteak). I did figure that he was the Doctor though so I would try it.
Even though the Doctor suggested that I complete 30 days of this meat fast, I did not make it to the full 30 days. I noticed that only after 2 weeks of avoiding the meat that I had become completely regular and that my stomach felt a million times better. At first I was torn between the fact that I loved meat so much and the fact that I had healed myself by avoiding meat all together. So I had to make a call, and my health won that battle. And even though I gave up the meat, I still did not give up the cheese, milk & eggs.
My career in health and fitness was taking a turn for the better and my research into the human body and nutrition made me look more and more at my own health. I was a vegetarian for 4 years before I finally realized that I was in an “unfaithful relationship” to my health and finally made the commitment to drop the dairy and eggs. Even though I had felt so much better I was shocked at how much growth my body and mind was able to show when I went all out vegan.
SS: Has it been difficult for you? If yes what was difficult and did it get easier?
JL: It actually wasn’t that difficult for me, I am pretty honest with myself and I don’t allow myself to use excuses… much (I am still human). But I just made up my mind that vegan is the natural form of human and that if I want to live as a superhuman I have to do the right thing.
I also saw how my body reacted to the change of becoming vegan.
I was so impressed at how well I felt, I wanted to share with the world and my first website was bornwww.badassvegan.com I wanted to show people about how being a vegan is not a bad thing and that we can be cool, healthy & dispel the myth that we just sit around all day and hug trees J. Not only am I just a vegan in what I eat, I do not wear leather, nor
do I have leather furniture. I believe that all living creatures have a purpose and furniture and clothing is not one of them. Yes I get it all the time about animals being here for us to eat… and I respond all the time. “We are not carnivores, we do not even have carnivorous teeth… and if you think we do I want you to go up to a cow and try to rip the meat off of the cow with nothing but your teeth and if you are still conscious after the cow kicks you I want to know if you still think we are carnivores.” I have also done countless hours of research on what animal protein does to our “human” system and have seen the effects of how changing to a plant based diet has reversed various ailments and diseases.
SS: What are some animal rights related things that you participate in?
JL: PETA- allowing them to be an official sponsor of my latest campaign without any charge and handing out DVD’s as well as literature to thousands of individuals including “Glass Walls” and “The Vegan Starter Kit”.
Mercy for animals- Assist with event in Downtown Fort Lauderdale to show film on Animal Abuse
V-Dog- Assist in promoting vegan dog food and showing light on how animals are treated for pet consumption also
Animal Hero- Award Recipient, 2012
Compassion Barn – Sit on Board of Directors for South Florida based Animal Rescue Sanctuary for Farm animals.
Real Men Neuter- Winner of the 2011 award
ARFF (Animal Rights Foundation of Florida)- Attend various events in promoting Animal free eating.
APRL (Animal Protection and Rescue League)- Special Guest Speaker for “Turkeyless Thanksgiving Dinner”
I have rallied at various circus events in protest to how they treat are beloved animal friends
within those walls.
Badassvegan.com- which I promote healthy living through a compassionate way of life.
SS: What are your favorite animal rights organizations?
JL: I think these two questions go hand and hand, but I would have to go with Compassion Barn because of my close ties and the valuable work that is done with this foundation.
Animal Heroes because of the wonderful work has done with promoting kindness to animals for people of all ages… young and old alike. SS: What would you say to somebody who is considering going vegan?
JL: Don’t listen to the masses… listen to your body! Your body will tell you what is good for your body and what isn’t. Pay attention to the way your body reacts to every piece of food that you put into your mouth. When you eat meat and processed items you will see and fell the lack of energy that comes over your body. The more plant based your nutrition is based off of you will see the amount of energy you’re your body has. Just like a finely tuned engine, your body will only run the best when it’s full of premium fuel.
And for those thinking about training for the first time as a vegan it is just as important.
When beginning training for the first time, always listen to your body. It will tell you if you are pushing it too far or if you are just hitting a point that your body has never gone before. Know the difference between pain and injury. Pain is just that uncomfortable feelings you get with you are pushing yourself. Injury is what you get when you don’t listen to your body.
SS: Do you have any memories that stand out in your mind about someone saving an animal? Or relating to an animal in a unique way?
JL: Yes I do, this just happened last month… I was acting as a crossing guard for a Mother duck and her ducklings (It was a single lane road). There was an impatient driver with children in his car who was honking and yelling at me “Are you crazy they are just ducks!” So after the last duckling crossed I politely walked up to his car and said “ If it was your kids trying to cross the street, I would do the same thing” I smiled and walked away.