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.
Delicious Living: Why did you decide to go vegan?
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.
How do you discuss veganism with meat eaters?
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 must be difficult to follow when you're on the road.
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.
Do you have a favorite meal?
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.
Does your new album incorporate your ideals?
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.
Moby's vegan resources
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.