252: The Convicted Vegan
with Anthony Bucci
Anthony Bucci goes by the name "The Convicted Vegan" for a few reasons. First, because he spent nineteen years in prison, and the other, because after he found veganism he felt "convicted" to the lifestyle.
Anthony's story is intense. He grew up in a rough setting and his own lifestyle soon followed suit. He was running the streets, selling drugs, and obviously didn't care what he was eating. He comes from an Italian background where food played a big part in his family heritage.
After a spiritual awakening in prison, Anthony found the idea of veganism, and hasn't given it up since. He's now on a mission to inspire and help others by sharing his story!
More about Anthony (from his website):
My name is Anthony Bucci. I am a plant based playwright/author currently in the process of publishing my first book called “Infinity Crew”. My book is based on some true crimes and some fictional events. And of course the names have been changed to “PROTECT THE GUILTY”.
You are probably asking, “Why the website name?” It’s simple: I am Convicted in my beliefs in veganism. I was also convicted of a one day drug conspiracy ( when no one was injured) after a 21 day trial and I was sentenced to 21 years. I just served 15 1/2 years in federal prison and I’m a vegan, hence I am “The Convicted Vegan”.
Five years into my sentence my wife decided she could not wait anymore and left me. My children had abandonment issues, and would not speak to me. My friends slowly dropped off and I stopped caring about anyone or anything including myself. One day an old school con pulled me up and said “Son I’ve been watching you, you’ve been walking around with a chip on your shoulder. You did this to yourself, guys would kill to be you so stop with the pity party, man up and be someone your kids and family can respect. You’re a waste of talent.”
His words struck me like lightening and I did some real soul searching. I began meditating, exercising, eating better (though not vegan because of survival reasons since there aren’t many vegetables or fruits available in federal prison), and taking 50 educational classes over the years. One being screen play writing, which became my passion. I also volunteered and took care of sick and terminally ill inmates.
I transferred to a prison that had a dog training program. I became a dog handler and trained dogs for handicapped people. I studied law and wrote my own compassionate release motion and was the first federal inmate in the United States to win an immediate release to take care of my handicapped mother. Before my motion, inmates were only allowed compassionate release for a spouse or a child. I personally broadened the scope of compassionate release to include parents. Due to my efforts, many inmates are now getting released because of me. Other factors the judge took into consideration when granting my motion were my extensive rehabilitation in prison, and because my sentence was too harsh for the crime. I was released from prison on October 7, 2019.
After my release in October I was able to get the proper amount of fruits and vegetables, plant based protein drinks, supplements, vitamins, and with today’s technology of having plant based meats, I was able to convert to 100% vegan. I did it for the animals, the environment, and my health as well. As I said before, I know what it’s like to be at rock bottom. Although it’s dark and scary, the upside to being in that place is what inspired me to write my book and get me to where I am today. I’ve made the choice to dedicate myself to helping people! Without you there is no me.
Everyone deserves a second chance. I’ve spent the last ten month’s working diligently to finish my Novel “Infinity Crew” which will be released October 31st 2020. I also launched The Convicted Vegan Wear store which is available at the main menu of this website. Don’t call it a come back I’ve been doing this for years!
More about Anthony's Book (from his website):
Born on the mean streets of Boston, Vinnie Bruno learns a life of crime. The judge sent him to a juvenile detention center to teach him a lesson for a string of robberies. But instead of learning his lesson, Vinnie recruits his crew – the men who become his chosen family. Under cover of the perfect alibi, they break out at night to commit a range of thefts and sophisticated crimes.
From the nefarious profits of these scores they build a cache of weapons and a significant stash of money. Once released, they use that cash to set up a ‘security company’ as a front that allows them to commit bigger and more daring robberies. But their perfect criminal enterprise is blown when their fence “Nicky Wrists” turns on them by selling them out to one of the many crime families that compete for ascendancy.
The Infinity Crew realize what is happening, Vinnie’s sense of loyalty is offended, and they decide that maybe Nicky needs to be taught a lesson. A lesson that will change their lives in ways they would never have believed. Written while serving a 21-year sentence in Federal prison.