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Ed Templeton.

1. What type of vegetarian are you?(vegan,lacto,lacto ovo,etc.)
I am a vegan.

2.At what age did you make the decision to go vegetarian? Vegan?
I decided to go vegetarian at 17, then vegan at 19.

3.What was your reason for going vegan?
Animal Rights. Some people I was friends with were vegetarians going vegan, and they gave me lots of stuff to read. I read and agreed with what I read. Once you know what goes on, and if you have any compassion, there is no other choice to make. As I kept reading and staying informed about veganism, another side of the issue came up, my health. Now I tell people the two main things are Compassion for animals and my own health.

4.What(if anything) do you find hard about being vegan?
At first I saw it as "hard." because it was new to me, and I was so used to eating what I ate before. I would go to Burger King and get a Whopper with no meat and things like that. I missed certain things. Travelling around the US and Europe seemed hard at first too. But time and learning has changed that. Now more people are into it and you can find good food almost anywhere if you look. I don't see it as hard because I am proud to not be spending my time and money on things that the whole system has told me I should. I am helping the world and sticking my middle finger in the face of the system and living a healthier life for it.

5.Do you find that you feel better or worse since going vegan?
I feel great, I'm a 29 year old professional skateboarder and I'm still going at it. I rarely get sick, which means I don't visit doctors regularly like most people do. And I am on no medications for anything.

6.What about animal rights do you have any thoughts on that?
That was the start of it for me. I cheer people that are very active in animal rights, I cheer people brave enough to break the law for what they believe. I myself give my thoughts to skateboarders everywhere in my interviews in skateboard magazines. I give money to good organizations I have done Public Service announcements for PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) about going vegetarian. Compassion is a must in this world. We could use more for animals and humans alike.

7. How far do you go? Do you wear leather?Visit circuses?Etc?
I don't want to use animals for anything in my life. There are other choices and I utilize them. I don't have to hunt to survive, I can go to the store. etc. I don't wear or buy leather. I don't visit Circuses. But I have gone to an Aquarium. I stopped eating refined sugar when I was 19 as well. So no sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup or anything like that. That started with finding out about the "bone-char" method of bleaching sugar in the US. They make it whiter by filtering it through charred animal bones. That sparred me to read a book called "the Sugar Blues" and what I learned from that book is why I don't eat refined sugar anymore. Once in a while I do though when travelling in Europe. I don't smoke or drink, or take any drugs whatsoever. No Tylenol, honey, casein, etc. I guess fairly hardcore but I'm not in anybody's face about it. I'm not "Straight-Edge." I do what I do and you do what you do. I don't make my non-vegan friends eat vegan with me, or scowl at people who are eating meat. Everyone must make decisions from their heart about their life.

8.What about family and friends are they understanding of this lifestyle? What about your spouse is she vegan?
My wife is vegan, and we eat the same. My family is not vegatarian or vegan. My brother was a butcher at one point! My grandmother has been influenced the most by me, she eats much healthier and loves eating vegetarian. They are supportive of me of course, but they may think I'm a weirdo a little bit.

9.What are some dumb things you hear from non-vegetarians?
I still always get the joke "hey Ed, want a burger!" I have heard people call it a "trend" as if eating meat is not the biggest trend in America!

10.So tell our readers alittle about yourself and where they may know you from.
I am a professional skateboarder. I own and run a company called Toy Machine Bloodsucking Skateboard Company. I have a signature pro model shoe on a skate shoe company called Emerica. My shoe is made with 100% synthetic materials. I am also an artist and photographer. I have a book of photographs out called "Teenage Smokers" It is a photo-series of young kids smoking cigarettes. I show at the Alleged Gallery in New York, and at New Image Art in Los Angeles.

11.Do you know any other famous vegetarians/vegans?
I know Ian Mackaye from the band Fugazi, and he was very inspirational in being a vegetarian for me. I eat up in LA a lot at different vegetarian places and I often run into famous people eating there. I always see music mogul Rick Ruben, Drew Barrymore, Laura Dern, Crispin Glover, "Bud" from Married with Children, Forrest Whitaker, Woody Harrelson, Andy Dick, musician Dave Navarro, Tobey MacGuire, Cindy Crawford, Kevin Nealon, Spike Jonze, Meg Ryan, I don't know if they are all vegatarian but I have seen them eating vegetarian!

12.What are some of your favorite things to eat?
Native Foods and Real Food Daily restaurants in LA are my favorites.

13. What advice would you like to give to young men and women who are considering going vegetarian?Vegan?
Stay informed! So many people I know went vegetarian, but didn't ever read about it. So after a year or many years they start thinking "why am I vegetarian?" and they can't think of why anymore. Because they never knew why in the first place, they just did it because everyone else was. If you read pamphlets, magazines, books, the internet, you will have a knowledge of what is going on and you will be able to make descisions based on your knowledge.

14.Have any last thoughts or words of wisdom?
Say Nope to Dope and Ugg to Drugs. Wash your teeth, and brush your hands.