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Bodybuilder, 78, strips off to promote vegan lifestyle

BODY IMAGE: Part of the advert featuring Jim Morris

BREAKING THE age barrier in bodybuilding, 78-year-old vegan Jim Morris dared to bare all for a new PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) campaign.

In a bid to urge people to adopt a vegan lifestyle – namely eliminate meat and dairy products from their diet – Morris stripped off last year, at the age of 77, to recreate the pose demonstrated by the iconic statue ‘The Thinker’.

The image now forms part of a new PETA campaign entitled Think Before You Eat, which encourages people to “muscle your way to better health.”

Entering the world of bodybuilding in the seventies, Morris, who recently celebrated his 78th birthday, retired from competitive bodybuilding in 1985 and he says his health improved after his retirement because he went vegetarian, and later vegan.

“The protein in animal products is so laden with fats and chemicals and all sorts of stuff that's harmful to you", Morris said in an exclusive interview for PETA.

"When I was competing and stuffing down all of that sort of stuff, I had lots of digestive problems. I was constipated and bloated and just miserable all the time.”

He added: “I know as a fact I would not be here and I would not be in this condition now had I continued eating the way I was."

Insisting that a vegan lifestyle “helps to prevent obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and strokes,” Morris says he now feels better than ever. He urges others to ditch dairy products from their diet in order to feel the same way.

"Milk is for babies", he says. "Humans, as far as I know, are the only creatures that continue to drink milk once they've been weaned. … I think a lot of people don't realise if they would stop drinking milk and [consuming] all of the milk products, they would say, 'Wow, I didn't realise I could feel this good'."

Morris is amongst a number of celebrities, including hip-hop icon Russell Simmons, Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker and Sister Sister actress Tia Mowry, who have teamed up with PETA US and its affiliates to promote healthy and humane meat-free meals.

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