Erykah Badu

Texas-born singer/songwriter and practicing vegan Erykah Badu—who plays the VooDoo Festival in New Orleans on October 25—talks to VegNews about her views on soul food, veg values, and the real hip-hop.

VegNews: How did you decide to become veg?
Erykah Badu: I've been vegan for two years and vegetarian for 20 years. I used to be a dancer, and so health and vitality have always been important to me. I wouldn't say it took any one big event, vegetarianism just always made sense to me. [What farmed animals] endure is just terrible. It's horrible.

VN: What do you think of the prevailing misconception that veganism is an elitist, white lifestyle?
EB: I mean we-black people, poor people-we've not really been introduced to the injustices behind what we eat. Of course, people who have to worry about finding food, clothing, and shelter are not going to be as concerned about what they're eating. I mean, you almost have to have a record deal to shop at Whole Foods!

VN: Are people are born with empathy, or is it learned?
EB: It's both, but it has to be nurtured in children by teaching them to be honest. The more you are honest with yourself, the more you realize that everyone experiences the same pain, and when you see that, you can relate to people. You can be emotionally disturbed by what someone does, but when you realize where they come from, logically, you can understand why. It's pretty difficult to judge someone when you know you've felt exactly the same.

VN: Is vegan food the new soul food?
EB: Vegan food is soul food in its truest form. Soul food means to feed the soul. And, to me, your soul is your intent. If your intent is pure, you are pure.


More Featurettes

Vegan Stuff to Stuff

This Thanksgiving, get stuffed (literally) by filling one delicious food with another.
Read More »

10 Vegans with an Invite to Thanksgiving Dinner

Sorry I can‘t make it this year mom and dad, but Jared Leto and Betty White are in the midst of a game of Scrabble, and things are getting heated.
Read More »

13 Great Thanksgiving Events Around the Country

Why stare down a plate of turkey at your uncle’s house when you can share this special day with like-minded individuals?
Read More »

Feel Good Fridays!

VegNews editors bring you this week's most heart-warming vegan stories.
Read More »

11 Best Vegan Thanksgiving Instagram Posts

From quinoa stuffing to pumpkin pie smoothies, we’ve rounded up the most like-worthy Thanksgiving posts on Instagram.
Read More »

This Week on VegNews TV: The secret to these delightful sweet treats is white beans! Aylin Erman shows you how to make these simple blondies.

More Videos »