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As a nutrition and fitness expert for almost 80 years, Jack LaLanne dedicated his life to inspiring people to eat properly and exercise. So it’s no wonder that the nonagenarian was still remarkably spry when he passed away on Sunday at the age of 96. For LaLanne, eating properly meant avoiding meat and milk. When questioned about his aversion to milk during an interview on Dateline NBC, the always jovial Jack said, “It’s not good for you. It’s good for a suckling calf. Are you a suckling calf?”
Among his many credits, the “godfather of fitness” authored many books on health and hosted the longest-running television exercise program in history, The Jack LaLanne Show, for 34 years. LaLanne opened many health clubs and designed much of the equipment used in gyms today. He is also known for his amazing feats of strength, such as swimming from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco while handcuffed (vegan PETA Foundation staffer and endurance swimmer Becky Fenson has made the same trek—swimming the butterfly, no less—but admittedly handcuff-free), towing up to 70 boats long distances while handcuffed and shackled, and doing 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes. LaLanne set several world records for strength and endurance.
Jack LaLanne’s feats brought him fame, but all he really wanted was to show people how to be healthy. If you would like to follow Jack’s long-lived example, you can start by picking up PETA’s free vegetarian/vegan starter kit.
Written by Michelle Sherrow