My name is J.D. and I live in NYC. I’m a very proud dad to a beautiful three-year-old daughter, and I have the most amazing wife. I’m very blessed. I’m a SAG-AFTRA actor/model/personal trainer. I’ve worked on a number of web series/indie films and also did some acting work on All My Children. I’ll also do the occasional modeling job. I’m vegan and loving every second of it, my wife and daughter are also vegan as well. If anyone here is interested in vegan food, and fitness motivation they can follow me on Twitter or Instagram @tofu_fit_guy
What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?
I remember being on YouTube and watching some fitness videos, and somehow a vegan YouTuber by the name of Vegan Gains popped up on my home page. So I decided to watch a video and he was very aggressive and in your face about being vegan, and why everyone should be vegan. I was shocked at some of the things he said about animal cruelty, and how being vegan was better for the environment, and so on. I had no idea what being a vegan even meant. So I did more research and stumbled upon a vegan activist by the name of Gary Yourofsky, and watched his speech “The best Speech You Will Ever Hear,” watched the documentaries Forks over Knives, Cowspiracy, and Earthlings and it was a done deal.
How long have you been Vegan?
I’ve been vegan for a year and some change, but honestly I wish I was born a vegan.
Why is being Vegan important to you?
Being vegan is so important for many reasons. Most people think it’s only good for the animals, that’s true, but it’s so much more than that. The thing that actually hit me the hardest was that going vegan can help end world hunger. Isn’t that crazy? Just by changing your diet to a plant based diet you can help save millions of lives. Over 900 million people don’t get the proper nutrition they need. Sadly over 2.5 million children under the age of 5 die every year from starvation. That is heartbreaking to me and unacceptable. The thing is, we have plenty of food to give to everyone, but we feed it to animals instead so we can bulk them up and kill them. We kill over 50 billion farm animals every year for food, and none of them die hungry. Some experts say that up to 65% of all grains, 50% of corn, and 70% of soybeans grown are given to these animals. Do the math, we could feed every man, woman, and child starving in this world.
Do you have a blog or favorite vegan blog you read?
Any recommended Vegan books?
A few of my favorite vegan books would be: “The Starch Solution” – Dr. John Mcdougall, “How Not To Die” – Dr. Michael Greger,”The Kind Diet“- Alicia Silverstone, “Thrive”- Brendan Brazier, and “Vegan For Life“-Jack Norris and Virginia Messina.
Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?
Adaptt.org is great, nutritionfacts.org has some great info, and I really like veganhealth.org.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
Like I said before, watch “Cowspiracy“, “Forks over Knives” and Earthlings.
Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like.
I promote veganism through my Instagram and Twitter accounts. I also show that you can eat an animal-free diet and still be strong and have “muscles”. Most people don’t believe that I’m vegan when they meet me because they think you need animal protein to build muscle. It just isn’t true. I will also promote the vegan lifestyle when anyone asks me what my diet is, or if they want diet advice.
Do you miss any non-Vegan foods?
I don’t miss any nonvegan foods. I have so much more energy, I feel so much cleaner inside, and even happier as a person since going vegan. I’ve also put on strength and size as well. If you really love pizza, burgers, turkey, chicken, ice cream, cheese there are vegan options of all that stuff and they taste amazing. You should check out a brand called “Gardein” they make amazing mock meets, or Ben and Jerry’s nondairy ice cream, and Daiya cheese.
What is your favorite Vegan meme?
I guess my favorite vegan meme I’ve seen so far would have to be this 1950’s looking guy in a suit with is hand raised saying “Hold on, I said I was vegan, I didn’t say, ask me what I eat and then argue about our lifestyles.”
What is your favorite Vegan stereotype? If someone asks you a question about it, how do you respond?
My favorite vegan stereotype would have to be that all vegans are skinny and weak. When someone brings that up, I say look at me. There are so many actors, models, athletes, Olympic level powerlifters, and professional bodybuilders who are vegan.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
What’s your favorite recipe? Please share it.
I could never pick one recipe, but if I had to I love baked tofu in barbecue sauce, and brown rice with sautéed scallions, mushrooms, cilantro, and tomatoes mixed with Daiya cheese.
What is the one big stereotype you hear about Vegans that you want to dispel?
It would have to be that vegans are weak. So many people tell me they would love to go vegan, but they’re afraid they will get weak and lose their muscle because they won’t get enough protein in their diet. There is no difference between animal protein and plant protein. Protein Is made up of amino acids, get the proper amino acids and you can build quality muscle. It doesn’t matter if you eat steak, or tofu, or beans, or lentils.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
It’s not as scary as you think. Expect some pretty amazing things to happen. Better skin, more energy, you can actually eat more, because most vegan food is not as calorically dense, and of course better karma. Now if you want all the benefits of the plant-based diet you have to eat mostly whole-foods like veggies, fruit, grains, starches, beans, lentils things like that.
Are you Cruelty-Free?
Yes, I am! I don’t wear animal products, and I don’t use anything tested on animals.
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
Gardein for mock meats , So Delicious for nondairy milks, Desert Essence for face and hand cream, Toms toothpaste, Meyer’s hand soap and Jason for body wash.