77-year-old bodybuilder says vegan diet gave him the strength, stamina

LOS ANGELES: Bodybuilders are known for their massive consumption of foods, from chicken breast to meat and dairy products on a daily basis, but for 77-year-old Jim Morris, he chose a different route and believes that his physique is the direct result of cutting out the animal products and going vegan those many years ago. Morris maintains his superb health, even late in life, as a result of his animal-free diet, and believes that more people should go vegan in order to advance both physically and mentally. “Prior to becoming vegan I suffered digestive problems all my life,” Morris told Frugivore. “I started taking anti-inflammatory medication in 1966 for my joints. At one point I was getting cortisone injections directly into both elbows every week. The arthritis kept me awake at night. “I would get 2-3 colds yearly and allergy attacks as often. Since becoming vegan, all my health problems have completely disappeared. My yearly checkups are perfect.” Morris, who’s a pioneer in many respects, began exploring veganism in the 1970s. Morris began eliminating all animal products from his diet except for fish and cheese in 1974, and then converted to a complete vegan diet 13 years ago. “My first awareness of vegetarianism was 1969,” he recounts. “Having won all of the contests on the East Coast, I moved from New York City to Los Angeles and started training for the national contests under the coaching of three-time Mr. Universe Bill Pearl. “I had met Bill in New York at an exhibition he gave at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and was very impressed by him and his demeanor. Bill was a lacto-ovo vegetarian (a vegetarian who doesn’t eat animal products, but consumes dairy and egg products). Morris eventually turned to full veganism once he saw how muscular his friend Bill was while consuming no animal products of any kind. “In 1972 at the age of 42, Bill began training for the Mr. Universe,” he says. “Having followed the bodybuilding obsession with animal protein for my entire career, I was amazed at Bill’s strength and gain in muscle. He won the Mr. Universe for the fourth time. “Still afraid to mess with a winning formula (I had won Mr. Los Angeles in 1969, Mr. California in 1970, Mr. USA in 1972) I continued to eat meat until after the Mr. America in 1973, which I won. Between 1974 and 1985 I gradually eliminated all animal products except fish and cheese. Between 1985 and 1999 I weaned myself from both.” Morris, who gets a weekly injection of vitamin B-12 and testosterone, says his annual physical check-ups are “perfect,” and says ethical reasons are the key drivers for his vegan lifestyle. “I believe every creature is born with the inalienable right of freedom,” he says. “Freedom to live in its natural environment, with its own kind, making its own decisions. I believe the law should prohibit the enslavement of all non-human species for any purpose whatever.” For those aspiring bodybuilders out there, Morris is yet another example that defines the positives of a vegan cuisine. Source: BikyamasrImage: flickr.com

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