MS: Many women fear getting older and you seem more active and vibrant than ever. What are your feelings about aging?
JG: Well, it’s an unfortunate thing that happens. I mean, yes, you can have millions of face lifts and all these different things that women have done to their bodies – whatever they’re called, bum tucks and boob enhancements [laughs] – but personally, well: A) I haven’t the money for that, and B) I haven’t got the time for it and C) I mean, there are more important things to me than how you look. I think the most important thing is to keep active, and to hope that your mind stays active. I mean some people can’t help minds going, but that’s a disease. But if you’re lucky and your mind is working … And I have to say that I attribute vast amounts of my energy to the fact that I stopped eating meat. I really, really believe that it helped me.
MS: In what way?
JG: Because the moment I stopped eating meat I felt lighter. I did this book Harvest for Hope and I learned so much about food. And one thing I learned is that we have the guts not of a carnivore, but of an herbivore. Herbivore guts are very long because they have to get the last bit of nutrition out of leaves and things. The carnivore guts are very short, because they want to get rid of the meat quickly before it starts putrefying and doing bad things inside them. And so we have this meat going round and round inside us. And I don’t think that can be terribly good. And I think that meat has created lots of problems. In addition, the animals to be kept alive are fed all these hormones and antibiotics and we are imbibing them as well. So anyway, all I know is that when I stopped eating meat, I just felt lighter and had more energy. My body wasn’t wasting time trying to cope with the toxins that the animals were trying to get rid of when you eat them.
MS: Well, that’s good to hear because I have been considering going vegan.
JG: Well, I can’t go vegan because travelling like I do, I really, really don’t think I could. You know, it’s really difficult. And I stay with people – we had a vegan staying us one time, and it’s very difficult. Three hundred days on the road – you go to North Korea – it’s jolly hard to be vegetarian much less a vegan [laughs]. But I do my best. And if people would think about intensive farming – if they would think of the damage to the environment of growing all this corn or raising all these cattle. If they would think about the torture of the animals on the intensive farms. And then if they would realize about the antibiotics getting out into the environment, the bacteria building up resistance and the superbugs that we are breeding, more people would become vegetarians.