Moby, 42, has been a vegan for more than 20 years. As a New York City DJ and a vocal advocate for animal rights, he is also widely credited for bringing electronica to the mainstream with the album Play. His newest album, Last Night, hit shelves in April.
Moby: Growing up in Connecticut, breakfast was Frosted Flakes that I would actually put sugar on, lunch was McDonald's, and dinner was usually meat loaf with egg noodles. But as I got older, I became more socially and politically aware, and I started trying to reconcile the fact that although I loved animals, I was also eating them. I feel very simply that if you have a choice between one action that causes suffering and one that doesn't you should always try to choose the action that doesn't cause suffering. So I guess when I was around 19, I became a vegetarian; that same logic eventually led me to become a vegan.
When I first went vegan I was very judgmental of people who chose to eat meat. As time passed, I realized that I wasn't necessarily being a good apologist for my beliefs; I was just annoying people. So I've become a lot less militant. I'm still a vegan, but I'm much less likely to judge people who disagree with me. I found what's most effective is actually talking to people rather than trying to be didactic.
It's gotten a lot easier. When I started touring in the early nineties, being a vegan was very difficult. But now almost every decent-size town or city has a health food store or a vegetarian restaurant. The only thing I miss is the convenience airport food. I do travel with my own food, but it's the one time when I really wish I could just put my veganism on hold and go to Sbarro for a piece of pizza.
There's a restaurant in Los Angeles called Real Food Daily that has vegan tacos. Every time I'm in the city, I probably eat them three times a day.
Politics and social causes are important to me, but whenever I've written music that's carried a strong message, the music has suffered. So instead, I just make music that's personal and subjective.
HAPPY COW'S VEGETARIAN GUIDE TO RESTAURANTS & HEALTH FOOD STORES - I use this whenever I travel. It lists just about every vegetarian restaurant and health food store on the planet.
THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES - I work with the society quite closely — their website has great information about animal welfare.
PEOPLE FOR THE ETHICAL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS - Its marketing can be offensive, but PETA does remarkable work on behalf of animals.
Vegetarian: A person who doesn't eat any type of meat product from any type of animal.
Vegan: A vegetarian who doesn't eat any animal products, including butter, dairy, eggs, and honey. Also abstains from wearing leather, fur, or any other animal-derived product.