John Joseph

By day, Meat Is for Pussies author John Joseph bikes, runs, and swims, training for the grueling Ironman triathlons that he started competing in four years ago, at the age of 49. By night, he performs equally grueling high-energy live sets with his legendary hard-core punk band, the Cro-Mags.

How does this 53-year-old modern-day Renaissance man—author, athlete, musician, and mentor (more on that in a minute)—find the energy and stamina needed for such physically demanding feats? Simple: plant-based foods and a PMA (positive mental attitude). As he explains in his book, John’s been eating vegan for more than three decades.

John suggests three steps toward optimal health. The first is eliminating meat and other animal-based foods. “You’d be surprised by how easy it is to replace that disgusting, poisonous meat with delicious combinations of fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and endless other options,” he writes. For readers who need help getting started, the book includes an ample array of recipes by authors and former athletes Brendan Brazier and Rip Esselstyn and by author and celebrity chef Tal Ronnen.

Step number two is to cut out the rest of the junk—processed foods with hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, added sugars, and other questionable ingredients. And the third step is to exercise. Walking and doing basic yoga is “a great, simple way to start,” John writes.

John also tackles every vegan’s favorite question, “Where do you get your protein?” (Short answer: from food). “You don’t need to eat a cow to be as strong as a bull,” he notes, proving it by spotlighting several plant-powered, elite athletes, such as Mac Danzig, Jake Shields, and Rich Roll.

* The content of this page was excerpted from a PETA Prime interview posted by Paula Moore.

Watch John as he's followed by Munchies in this video. (Language may not be suitable for work or youngsters)