Catching Up with Russ Rankin of Good Riddance
Good Riddance, seminal punk band from Santa Cruz, CA, has been no stranger to peta2 over the years. These guys have always kept it real with their political ideals and have been fighting the good fight for animal rights for as long as I can remember! The band technically called it a day a few years back, so naturally as soon as we heard their new b-sides album was dropping, we had to get a few questions answered by vocalist Russ Rankin, who has never been shy about expressing his voice for animal rights.
Photo by: Tim Snow
Of all of the major animal rights issues out there, what has been bothering you the most these days?
The massive cultural disconnect between the meat and dairy industries and global warming. Everyone wants to save the planet and we’re all concerned, but so many people continue to eat meat and animal products and just go on perpetuating the problem. Also, with the oil spill in the gulf, everyone is sad that the animals are being covered with oil but have no problem eating them.
A lot of people aren’t aware of the abuses elephants and other wild animals face behind the scenes of the circus Being chained for up to 100 hours at a time, beaten with sharp metal objects called “bullhooks,” electro-shocked, hit, tied down, and denied everything that is natural to them in order to force them to perform confusing and unnatural tricks. What are your feelings about circuses like Ringling Brothers, who continue to use animals in their shows, as opposed to circuses like Cirque Du Soleil who rely solely on willing and talented human performers?
I went to circuses when I was a kid and didn’t know any better. I wouldn’t go now.
Instead of spending money supporting the circus, can you recommend some fun things for fans to do this summer?
Go to the beach or the park, go hiking or camping, ride bikes or skateboards, volunteer around your town, plant a garden, organize a protest.
If younger kids were to approach you with questions about how to get involved with animal rights, what advice would you give him or her?
I would recommend they go to PETA or peta2’s website and check out all the links. I would tell them that it’s really easy to cut meat and animal products out of their lives and it gets easier every day as more and more of us decide to change our lifestyles. It has definitely gotten easier and become more common to be vegan since I did it a million years ago.
Are there any other animal rights or non-profit causes that you are involved with right now?
At the moment no, unless you count the Green Party of the United States.
Thanks Russ! We’ve also got another special treat—Fat Wreck Chords gave us a free download of “Lame Duck Arsenal” from Good Riddance’s new record, Capricorn One, to share with you, and all you have to do is click here! Check it all out, and remember, it’s never too late to take our pledge to go veg!