Vegan Rock Stars

Whether eclectic DJ or soul-singing diva, these four musicians prove that living cruelty-free really rocks.

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Beastie Boys band member Adam Yauch recently announced to fans that he has adopted a vegan diet to help aid in his cancer recovery. While Yauch is the latest celebrity to go vegan, an entire crop of veg musicians—from the compassionate crooners to the punk-inspired politicos—are all singing the same tune: the praises of a meat-free lifestyle. Whether or not their lyrics reflect what goes on their plates, VN’s profiled musicians prove again and again that compassionate living rocks.

Erykah Badu
Erykah Badu (pictured above) has more than her 20 years of vegetarianism to celebrate: Last year she released her fourth studio album, New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War, which sold more than 100,000 copies in its first week. The Texas-born-and-raised chanteuse is now gearing up to release her next album, tentatively titled New Amerykah, Pt. 2: Return of the Ankh. A longtime vegetarian, Badu has been happily living a vegan lifestyle for more than two years. For Badu, the motivation to choose to live a compassionate lifestyle was relatively straightforward. “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,” she says.

Chrissie Hynde
To the music world she is a rock goddess whose powerful vocals fuel The Pretenders. Debuting onto the scene in 1980, The band has earned a wide and dedicated following, and in 2005 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Animal-rights activists know, however, that Hynde has dedicated her life to another passion as well—one she shares both on and off stage. She is an active member of PETA and was even arrested in 2003 for leading a protest against KFC in France. In 2007 she opened her own vegan restaurant, VegiTerranean, in her hometown of Akron, Ohio. Veg since her teens, Hynde uses her killer set of pipes to bring awareness to the plight of animals everywhere.

Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling artist Moby released his latest album Wait For Me last May—his 20th musical offering. The record is dialed down considerably from his more danceable 2008-studio album, Last Night. Known for his signature ambient, complex, and unmistakably urban sound, he is also an outspoken vegan. Turning out albums with candid, issue-driven liner notes and titles like “Animal Rights”, Moby uses music as a vehicle for both ethical and artistic expression. A practicing vegan for more than 20 years, Moby opened Teany, a veg-friendly teahouse, in 2002 in New York City.

Davey Havok of AFI
It was no mistake that devoted PETA2 fans voted Davey Havok the World’s Sexiest Vegetarian in 2007. The AFI front man has been rocking and advocating cruelty-free living for more than 10 years. In a video for PETA2, Havok described his veganism as love and respect for animals and for himself: “As human beings we are not meant to consume animals, we are not meant to consume animal products.” A further testament to Havok’s passion for compassion is his vegan clothing line, Zu Boutique. While some T-shirt slogans kill with kindness—one depicts a cartoon rabbit covered in animal-tested make-up—while others take a more straightforward approach. Last month AFI released Crash Love, their eighth studio album, which entered Billboard’s Top 200 at number 12.