Oh hello there! Welcome back to the GGC blog – Mrs. GGC speaking.Today we have an exciting and different kind of post for you to read and enjoy. My amazing brother, Joe, is a musician who has lived in New York City for the last few years. Four years ago, he announced to my parents and I that he had decided to go meatless. That’s right – my brother, a third-generation southern Italian who used to LIVE off of chicken tenders and French fries and wouldn’t TOUCH a vegetable with a yardstick was now a vegetarian. We all gave him a hard time at first. Now, here I am in the same boat. This is the story of Joe, the coolest city-loving, vegetarian, environmentalist I know.

Rising from the Ashes

I was 23 years old when I became a vegetarian. A lover of acting and movies, I was inspired to make this change while I was re-discovering the films of the late actor River Phoenix. I learned that he was a vegan and was one of the first big names to spread the word about the environment and the animal rights movement. He once wrote “Vegetarianism is a link to perfection and peace.” That resonated with me in a huge way at the time, and knowing that I wasn’t always the healthiest eater, I decided to take action and educate myself more on the issue.

A short while after, I saw Paul McCartney’s video titled “Slaughterhouses Have Glass Walls.” It was then that I discovered the horror of the meat production industry. They are some the worst images of animal abuse that I have ever seen in my life. I thought to myself ,“Is this really what I am consuming? Is this really what I’am supporting?”. That night, I decided to become a vegetarian and gave up all meat, chicken and fish. I have not consumed any since.

I Love New York

I currently live in New York City, and one of the sacred things about living in New York is how welcoming and diverse it is, and food is no exception. Almost every restaurant has vegetarian options available and there are also many Vegan restaurants here. Vegan restaurants are also great places to bring a friend or family member, especially if they eat animal products. The dishes are always so inventive with great plant proteins. You would be surprised at how some dishes taste so much like the foods that they are replacing. As an example, one of my favorite restaurants, Peacefood Café, has a Vegan Cheeseburger that tastes like an ACTUAL cheeseburger. It is made of soy and wheat products with daiya cheese (crazy right?), but you would never know it.

We also have many organic supermarkets and Farmer’s Markets, where many little companies sell freshly grown vegetables and fruits. So ultimately, New York City does not present any issues to vegetarians! It is welcoming haven for anyone who wants to live a cruelty-free, green lifestyle!

A life-changing experience

Being a vegetarian has completely altered my lifestyle in the best ways possible! It has been almost 4 years and I am in a really healthy state, both physically and mentally. I am more conscious of what is in the food that I consume; I am more aware of the issues involved with climate change and animal rights (and how the two are one in the same); I am more open to the idea that even the smallest action counts!

Whether it’s giving up red meat, using an eco-friendly laundry detergent, or recycling that paper cup…we can all make a change and we can all be environmentalists in our own right. Peter Singer, the writer of the seminal book “Animal Liberation” (A MUST READ!) wrote this: what one generation finds ridiculous, the next accepts; and the third shudders when it looks back on what the first did. This is the issue we have faced for decades, but this is also that fundamental thought which will open the locket to everlasting change and to our truly beautiful world of perfection & peace.

Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. GGC for letting me share this, and thank you for all of your continuing work on this blog! (And thank you to everyone for reading!)

All the best, Joe S.

What a guy, right?! It must run in the family. Mr. GGC and I hope that you enjoyed our first guest post! Interested in writing from YOUR perspective? Contact us via our homepage. Thanks again to Joe for taking the time to share your story.

Love always – The GGC

Joseph Spinelli: Actor, Singer, Songwriter, Vegetarian, Environmentalist
Joseph Spinelli is an actor and singer/songwriter who resides in New York City. A Long Island native, Joe is brother to Mrs. GGC. Joe believes in the power of others to spark positive change and fully supports the going green lifestyle. Visit his Facebook page to listen to original songs from his EP album Certainly the End of Something or Other. Music can be purchased on iTunes or Amazon.

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