One Step Beyond


S2E6: The Write Way out of PTSD

Season 2, Ep. 6

Michael Anthony is the 36-year-old author of the new graphic memoir JUST ANOTHER MEAT-EATING DIRTBAG, published by Street Noise with art by Chai Simone. While Michael describes his new book as essentially a ‘love story’ between two seemingly distinct characters with different outlooks on life and death in the human and animal kingdoms, it draws in part – as did the entirety of his first two books, Mass Casualties and Civilianized – from his experiences serving in the US Army in Iraq in the 2000s and the PTSD he suffered upon release from duty. After penning his way out of his troubles, which included additional substance and drug abuse, Anthony became a writing mentor to other Army veterans so that they too, can learn to live with their experiences by putting them on paper.

In this discussion with host/fellow author Tony Fletcher, the pair tackle all manner of subjects: the merits of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the bloody field hospital operations that Anthony assisted in, the sense of failure knowing that Iraqi lives saved in surgery were likely lost once the Americans left, the cowardice and deception of certain military ‘leaders’, the prevalence of PTSD and suicide among veterans, how writing can help, how writing directly from experience can help even more, how Anthony came to pen a graphic memoir, and the all-important role of the illustrator. Especially, he discusses the relationship, detailed in Just Another Meat-Eating Dirtbag, with the love of his life, ‘Coconut’, a vegetarian and animal rights campaigner who Anthony describes as having a soul like ‘exposed nerve endings’. As their relationship develops, the memoir follows Anthony’s attempts to go ‘under cover’ by becoming a vegetarian in the hope of converting Coco, who had been fat-shamed by her mother as a child, back to meat. The conversation wraps up with a discussion about slaughterhouses in the food industry and on the battlefield, the surprising prevalence of vegetarianism among 'bad-ass army dudes', the movie The Game Changers, and the difficulties of giving up life-long habits, from meat to cigarettes. It is, believe it or not, an upbeat conversation!

More info about Just Another Meat-Eating Dirtbag, including links for purchase:

Michael Anthony is at He can also be contacted directly through his website.

Street Noise is at

Chai Simone is at

One Step Beyond on socials:

Instagram is OneStepBeyondPodcast

Facebook is One Step Beyond with Tony Fletcher

Twitter is OneStepBeyondP1

Theme song is 'Yes Men' by The Dear Boys. Listen in full here.

Logo by Mark Lerner. Logo photo taken at Arte Sumapaz in Cundinimarca, Colombia.

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