“Hi, I’m Moby and I’m vegan.”
Thus begins an article written by musician, singer, songwriter, DJ and animal rights activist Moby in Rolling Stone magazine. This simple introduction is followed by a touching story about how Moby became a vegan. The impetus was the love for animals, which began at a very young age.
After describing a photograph taken when Moby was only two weeks old, and where he is in the company of pets, and they look at each other rather, Moby writes: “I am sure that at that moment the neurons of my limbic system connected in such a way, what I realized: animals are very affectionate and cool. He then writes about the many animals he and his mother have rescued and taken care of at home. Among them was the kitten Tucker, whom they found in a garbage dump, and thanks to which an insight descended on Moby that changed his life forever.
Savoring memories of his beloved cat, Moby recalls: “Sitting on the stairs, I thought, ‘I love this cat. I will do anything to protect him, make him happy and keep him from harm. He has four paws, two eyes, an amazing brain and incredibly rich emotions. Not even in a trillion years would I ever think of harming this cat. So why do I eat other animals that have four (or two) legs, two eyes, amazing brains and incredibly rich emotions? And sitting on the steps in suburban Connecticut with Tucker the cat, I became a vegetarian.”
Two years later, Moby understood the connection between animal suffering and the dairy and egg industry, and this second insight led him to go vegan. 27 years ago, animal welfare was the main reason, but since then, Moby has found numerous reasons to stay vegan.
“As time went on, my veganism was reinforced by knowledge about health, climate change and the environment,” Moby writes. “I learned that eating meat, dairy and eggs has a lot to do with diabetes, heart disease and cancer. I learned that commercial animal husbandry is responsible for 18% of climate change (more than all cars, buses, trucks, ships and planes combined). I learned that producing 1 pound of soybeans requires 200 gallons of water, while producing 1 pound of beef requires 1800 gallons. I learned that the main cause of deforestation in the rainforest is the clearing of forests for pastures. I also learned that most zoonoses (SARS, mad cow disease, bird flu, etc.) are the result of animal husbandry. Well, and, as a final argument: I learned that a diet based on animal products and rich in fats can be the main cause of impotence (as if I didn’t need more reasons to become a vegan).”
Moby admits that at first he was very aggressive in his views. In the end, he realized that his sermons do more harm than good, and are quite hypocritical.
“I realized in the end that yelling at people [for meat] is not the best way to get them to listen to what you have to say,” Moby writes. “When I yelled at people, they went into defense and took hostility everything that I wanted to tell them. But I learned that if I talk to people respectfully and share information and facts with them, I can really get them to listen and even think about why I went vegan.”
Moby wrote that although he is a vegan and enjoys it, he doesn’t want to force anyone to go vegan. He puts it this way: “It would be ironic if I refused to impose my will on animals, but was happy to impose my will on people.” By saying this, Moby encouraged his readers to learn more about the treatment of animals and what is behind their food, as well as to avoid products from factory farms.
Moby ends the article quite powerfully: “I think at the end, without touching the issues of health, climate change, zoonoses, antibiotic resistance, impotence and environmental degradation, I will ask you one simple question: can you look a calf in the eye and say: “ My appetite is more important than your suffering”?