Our latest in the 5 Questions series comes from a good friend of peta2′s, and vocalist of Los Angeles band Silver Snakes, Alex Estrada. Read on to find out what inspired Alex to take action for animals and live a compassionate vegan lifestyle, and check out an exclusive stream of a new track from the band’s forthcoming album, Pictures of a Floating World, out August 30th on Siren Records.
“Constant” from Pictures of a Floating World
1. How long have you been vegetarian/vegan? What influenced you to make that decision?
I’ve been a vegetarian since October 7th 2003. I went to the Plea for Peace tour on that day and peta2 happened to have a booth by the merch tables. They were showing “Meet your Meat” on a small TV and I was blown away! I had never seen anything like it and had no idea that such awful things were happening to animals on account of our meals, clothes and other day-to-day objects. In 2007 I was working with a band called Restrained at my studio in LA. They were the first group of vegans that I had ever really met and talked to. After seeing how easy it could be, I decided to make the jump a few months later. I haven’t looked back since!
2. What are some of your favorite vegan meals to make at home?
I try sticking to a mostly macrobiotic diet these days, so most of my home cooked meals consist of tempeh, grains, beans, and whatever local vegetables I find at the farmers market. Although I still have it in me to make some really crazy stuff. I’ve made everything from a vegan “western bacon cheeseburger calzone” to some crazy raw chocolate brownies and nacho kale chips.
3. Of all the major animal rights issues are there any issues particularly close to your heart?
Animal exploitation sickens me in general—the circus, rodeos, bullfighting, etc. The conditions on factory farms and vivisection are other things I care deeply about. Many people fail to realize the full extent of animal testing. Cigarettes, hand soap, cosmetics, and many other things are tested on rabbits, beagles, monkeys, and other helpless animals. Buying products that are cruelty-free is an easy step in the right direction.
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?
Go online and do some research! I would have never gotten involved had it not been for peta2, so I would say that they are a great resource! A.R.M.E, Sea Shepherd, Pelican Rescue Team, and local animal shelters/sanctuaries are also great places to learn and volunteer.
5. What’s coming up next for Silver Snakes that we can be looking forward to?
Our record, Pictures of a Floating World, comes out on August 30th via Siren Records. We are super proud of it and will be touring throughout the fall and winter to support it! The songs mostly deal with situations in which people struggle to find their role in society. In this day and age, we can’t really just sit back and accept the routine that is pushed on us. There is a lot of power in individuality. Why not use it to make some much needed changes in the world?