"I stopped eating meat when I was old enough to make the connection between the animal and the food, when I understood that this cow was this burger. I was like, ‘Oh, hell no.’"
Q: How long have you been vegan?
A: Completely vegan two and a half years now, but I’ve been vegetarian since I was a child.
Q: What made you go vegetarian initially and what led you to transition to veganism?
A: I stopped eating meat when I was old enough to make the connection between the animal and the food, when I understood that this cow was this burger. I was like, “Oh, hell no.” And that was that. It was always just really instinctual for me that killing and eating another living being was wrong, so I never really watched any of the documentaries or the undercover videos—in fact, I kind of avoided them. I already knew it was wrong: I didn’t need to see why it was wrong. They’re not easy to watch. It was only much later, when I decided to watch some and started learning about the realities of the dairy and egg industries, that I realized these industries are just as horrific as the meat industry and that I could no longer support them. I say “completely” vegan because there was somewhat of a transition. I actually stopped drinking milk six or so years ago in response to the very simple, but often overlooked question: “Why do adult humans drink cow’s milk?” And I think that’s kind of the underlying theme you see with anyone facing veganism—this sort of very obvious question that we don’t even think to ask because we are so conditioned to accept things the way they are. And for good reason. You’re talking about billion dollar industries working in concert with the federal government telling you that burgers and hot dogs are “American,” that eating a steak makes you a “man,” that you need milk for strong bones, etc. I don’t blame people for not questioning things on their own, but it’s hard not to blame people who have all the facts and still decide that a plant-based diet isn’t for them.
Q: What kind of reaction do you get from people when they find out you’re vegan?
A: Disbelief. Shock. “Wow, how are you so big? I’ve never seen a vegan this big before!” “Where do you get your protein?” Which is crazy to me, because I’m really not even that big compared to real bodybuilders, but look, it’s not rocket science. Eat and lift. Yes, you need to make sure you’re getting enough protein, just like you need to make sure you’re getting enough carbs and fats, but (a) it’s not as much as people tend to think, and (b) from a muscle building standpoint, your body doesn’t really know (or care) if those proteins are coming from tofu or chicken. The funny thing is how people try to “justify” it—like, “Oh, you must have crazy genetics” or “You must be on drugs” or, before I went vegan and they found out I was vegetarian, “Well, I guess it’s because you’re not vegan.” Sorry, but no. I work my ass off—you should try it sometime.
Q: Being an attorney is a demanding job; where do you find the time to work out and meal prep?
A: It’s all about priorities. If something is important to you, you find time for it. Don’t believe me? Imagine you’re having an insane week at work, but the girl you like wants to hang out. I bet you just figured out a way to see her, huh? It takes discipline, but it’s very much do-able. I spend about 20 minutes each morning preparing my meals for the day (I don’t do a week at a time like many people because I like my food fresh, but you can) and one and a half to two hours at the gym in the evening (but you can get a great workout in an hour if you need to). Really, the question is: what do people do after work if they’re not going to the gym? Happy hour? Every day? Invest in yourself. It will pay dividends like nothing else.