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How Moby is Changing the World One Vegan Concert at a Time

The acclaimed musician and restaurant owner is involved in every aspect of organizing the massive vegan event.

From pop-up dinners to multi-block street fairs, Los Angeles has an array of vegan events. Some of these gatherings include a charitable component, and some feature a local band or DJ, but nothing compares to Circle V. The concert/food event—which takes place November 18 in LA—is curated by vegan musician/Little Pine owner Moby and will benefit animal-rights organization Mercy For Animals. With an impressive lineup of artists, speakers, and chefs (read below for who will be in attendance), Circle V has Moby’s influence in nearly every aspect of the event, as he is a major player in the curation of Circle V. With such a large role in Circle V, we decided to ask Moby about his role and what makes this show different from other vegan gatherings.

The founding
Circle V was created through “an intersection of kismet and synchronicity.” Two years ago, author Kathy Freston asked him why there were no vegan music festivals—two days later, Mercy For Animals founder Nathan Runkle asked him the same question. These two unrelated promptings were enough to convince Moby to create Circle V.

Moby’s touch
Moby’s role in Circle V involves much more than making a few calls to his celebrity friends. In fact, the musician helped organize everything from the speakers and musicians to the food and the placement of trash cans. This hands-on approach stems from Moby’s desire to constantly work for animals. “It's a full-time job,” he said. “I’ve been vegan for 30 years. Veganism and animal-activism is my life’s work. On a daily basis, what I do is figure out how I can be an effective animal-activist. My criteria for judging activism is twofold: is it effective and is it sustainable? If you’re yelling, are people paying attention, and can you keep yelling?”

The lineup
Attendees can look forward to savoring food from more than 20 of Los Angeles’ top vegan vendors, including Donut Friend, Krimsey’s, Sage Vegan Bistro, SunCafe, and Little Pine. With regard to music, Moby secured Waka Flocka Flame, Dreamcar, Raury, and Reggie Watts, in addition to playing his own set. He is proud of the diversity his lineup offers but wishes he could have included more gender diversity. “Scheduling conflicts,” he explained. Circle V’s entertainment showcases the advances the vegan movement has made recently. “Thirty years ago,” Moby said, “there weren’t many vegan musicians, and there were hardly any vegan restaurants. Now, everyone from Paul McCartney to Miley Cyrus to all these artists in the hip-hop and punk rock world are vegan. And there’s 10 times more vegan restaurants now than there were even in the early 2000s.” Those looking for some plant-based inspiration can check out the speaker stage, which will feature vegan celebrities such as Rich Roll, Kat Von D, Kip Anderson, and Bruce Friedrich.

The purpose
Moby believes we can all make a difference, no matter our occupations or social standings. “Everybody has the power and responsibility to spread activism through what they do. Especially with social media, each individual is the media now. I really wish we lived in a world where people could just be lazy and selfish. I wish we lived in a world that wasn’t an inch away from environmental collapse, and I wish we lived in a world where 100,000,000,000 animals weren’t being killed every year by humans. But we don’t live in that world. We live in a world that’s kind of a disaster, and I think every person, be they a musician, writer, toll booth operator, UPS employee, etcetera … everybody needs to do all that they can to raise awareness of what's going on and to try to change the world and keep it from falling apart.”

Tanya Flink is a certified Master Personal Trainer based in Orange County, CA and host of the The Vegan Potluck podcast.

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