I take some excitement as a vegan in learning that a band or artist I listen to and enjoy turns out to have some vegetarian/vegan related principles. I listen to a lot of music, but I will go out of my way to get hold of music by artists which have an underlying message about animal rights, or where the artist is an advocate of the issue. As Vegangstaz, we should celebrate some of these artists and give them a few extra kudos for championing a cause that we believe in. Seeing as we are Vegangstaz and it is the 14th anniversary of Biggie Smalls’ death, who better to post about today than one of the figureheads of the alternative and political hip-hop scenes?
Sage Francis from Rhode Island, US, has been active on the alternative hip-hop scene for a decade now. He was, in a sense, revolutionary for the genre, in that he was the first hip-hop artist to be signed to primarily punk label, Epitaph Records. He has since become an integral part of the label’s offshoot, ANTI-. He was also one half of the rap duo, Non-Prophets.
Francis refers to himself a ‘half-assed vegetarian,’ although this is not because he doesn’t care about the issue or anything to do with a lack of commitment, but rather it is to do with how he became vegetarian. As an affiliate of the straight edge culture, Francis was challenged by straight edge friends to give up meat for a year because of the drugs that are pumped into it. So, Francis started being vegetarian out of an affiliation with the drug-free movement, but after a year of vegetarianism he found the idea of going back to meat repulsive. “After that year was up I tried going back to the meat diet and I just couldn’t do it. Chewing flesh disturbed me.”
Growing up in a microscopic town prepared me well for this petri dish,
Where talk is invisible to the eye and they hate the guy they’re speaking with.
I’m a real vegetarian – No chicken, not even fish.
I’m a real underground rapper: My tape quality sucks, my records are warped and my CD skips.
– Different – Sage Francis
As if Francis wasn’t cool enough as it is, check out his website, Know More. The tagline of “Question your goods, vote with your wallet” essentially sums the website up. The idea of the site is to get people to question where their money goes when they buy products, and understand what kind of corrupt corporate businesses there are out there and how your money can essentially go to fund something which you find negative and morally wrong.
“You are not making a sacrifice to your body by depriving it of meat, that is a social fallacy. A true revolution begins with your daily eating practices.” – Sage Francis
Sage Francis is also CEO of Strange Famous Records. Check out his music and Know More if you get the chance! You can also find a very recent interview with him about his diet here.