[Photo by: Joe Banker]
Veganism is the practice of completely abstaining from products that come from animals, most notably the food, clothing and toiletries that you purchase. It’s sweeping the planet, as more people are going vegan every single year. In fact, 6 percent of Americans identify as vegan, up from only 1 percent in 2014.
Some of your favorite bands, musicians and personalities have adopted the popular dietary lifestyle, including 30 Seconds To Mars, Frank Iero and Kat Von D. And new to the list? Rise Against bassist and co-founder, Joe Principe.
Principe explains that after being a vegetarian for a significant portion of his life, this year, he decided to cut out dairy completely and become a vegan.
“I felt like it was time to make the full commitment,” Principe says. “I’ve been toying with the idea for a long time and, really, it was just our rigorous touring schedule that prevented me from fully committing to it. Then I realized it was kind of a bullshit excuse, especially in 2017 where it’s a lot easier to be vegan globally than it was 10 years ago. My wife has been vegan for 20 years. So, I figured I would give it a try. The first month I was vegan, I didn’t tell anybody. I was going on to see if I could do it, and it’s been fairly easy.”
Rise Against established a lifelong relationship with PETA in 2003 on Warped Tour. “As far as animal rights organizations go, they are extremely effective in getting the facts out there to as many people as possible. Whether it’s through shock-value or making use of celebrities to raise awareness, I see the merit behind that and we wanted to focus our efforts to one organization,” Principe says. “We have a great history with them.”
The band have brought PETA on the road many times. The organization has frequently set up tables near the merchandise stands to provide an abundance of information for gig-goers who want to know more about their work tackling animal cruelty. “The goal is not to force-feed anything to anybody, but to present the facts and they do a great job at that,” Principe says. “Us and PETA are a great match.”
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Principe has some great tips for the perfect feast, whether you’re already a vegan or simply want to try something different this year.
“Gardein is a company that makes vegetarian meats, and they have a holiday roast that they put out every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s made from wheat gluten, so if you have a gluten intolerance, it’ll probably be bad for you. But it’s good, and it comes with vegan stuffing. Tofurky makes a great roast. Field Roast also has a great roast. All three are very good. They’re very easy to get; go to whoever sells organic groceries like Whole Foods and places like that.”
Dairy (butter/milk for mashed potatoes/yams)
“PETA.org has a whole section on substitutes for food items like dairy to make it easy on you. If you don’t want to go to a higher-priced organic grocery, PETA lists anything that’s vegan in a regular grocery store. There’s definitely a lot of information out there and a lot of resources, but PETA.org is a great avenue.”
“We’ll always do a vegan pumpkin pie, and my wife does vegan cookies. There’s a website we use called Oh She Glows, and they have amazing vegan recipes, especially for the holidays.”