5 Questions With Mall'd to Death
Minneapolis trio Mall’d to Death pack all the punch into a 90-second song that any Oi!-loving skate punk fan could ask for. And in true punk rock fashion, two members are vegetarian! Read on to discover what influenced bassist Tyler’s and drummer Dani’s views on animal rights, and stream a track from their new EP, The Process of Reaching Out.
Mall’d to Death – “Throwing in the Moist Towelette”
1. What was your first introduction to peta2 and/or animal rights?
Dani: Probably in Propagandhi‘s version of “I Want You To Want Me” where Chris says, “Megan—she don’t eat bacon. … She’s one of them vegans, and that’s all right.” From there it was just a matter of researching and finding out about organizations like peta2 and Vegan Outreach.
It’s very hard to say you heard about something from a band without sounding like some molded fanboy, but I think taking ideals from bands you admire and doing a little of your own research to shape your own opinions is a great way to learn more and find more information on issues like these.
Tyler: Aside from picking up some ideas from friends and music, my first real exposure to the animal rights movement was Peter Singer’s watershed book Animal Liberation. While I didn’t agree with him on everything, the overall message made perfect sense: Animals suffer needlessly, and we have the power to stop it.
2. How long have you been vegetarian? What influenced you to make that decision?
Dani: I first went vegetarian, just cold Tofurky, in ninth grade with little knowledge of how to actually eat right and stay healthy. I ate meat again for about three and a half years until my senior year of high school and haven’t eaten meat since. That was five years ago. It got to a point where I was actually feeling bad for consuming it. Like most, after seeing some of the many videos and photos available online, I realized I didn’t want to take part in that lump of our culture.
Tyler: I’ve been vegetarian almost two years. So not too long. But having spent 23 years as an omnivore, at least I “know what I’m missing,” which isn’t anything I actually miss. For me, I realized there was a disconnect between saying that I love my cat but then eating other animals for dinner. Anyone who has had a pet knows that all animals have different personalities, preferences, and all are capable of suffering. Making a decision to not eat animals is a very easy way to avoid contributing to animal suffering.
3. Of all the major animal rights issues, are there any in particular that are close to your heart?
Dani: It’s hard to say. Abusing nonhuman animals just because they’re not as “advanced” as humans is no different from oppressing someone for their race, sex, sexuality, creed, etc. Nothing was put on this Earth for the sole purpose of being food for something else.
Tyler: Vegetarianism is important to me because it’s not only a more considerate ethical decision but also better for human health and our ecosystem. Plus, it’s a personal decision anyone can do on his or her own that will make a lifetime of difference.
4. If a friend were to approach you with questions about how to get involved with animal rights, what advice would you give him or her?
Dani: It’s as simple as doing a search online for animal rights volunteer work near your home. Don’t be discouraged by defensive carnivores, and don’t think that just because you can’t do everything, that you shouldn’t do ANYthing.
Tyler: There are many animal-friendly choices people can make, including everything from adopting animals to going vegetarian or vegan to writing letters to Congress to stop needless and harmful animal testing. Organizations like PETA, the Humane Society, and Compassionate Action for Animals are all great places to find out more about how to get involved.
5. What’s coming up next for Mall’d to Death that we can look forward to?
Dani: We have shows booked through the end of this year and early next year. My other band, The Terrordactyls, has also been writing new songs. One’s called “In Conspiracy With Seitan,” so that’s cool.
Tyler: We just released a 7-inch vinyl EP on It’s Alive/GC Records called The Process of Reaching Out a few months ago, so right now we’re playing shows and promoting that as well as writing some new songs. I’m also busy with my hardcore band Triple Crossed, which is getting ready to record new material.
Thanks, guys! I’m pretty sure that “In Conspiracy With Seitan” is probably the best veg song title since “Killer Tofu.”