California’s Creation Skateboards is run by a very compassionate team. Chris Dyer, Creation’s brand manager, took some time to chat with us about the totally awesome, brand-spankin’-new peta2 skateboard that he designed and why he’s chosen a meat-free diet full of love and compassion. Check out our interview, and pay attention cuz we’ve got some AWESOME prizes up for grabs:
1. We’re so excited to have the very first Creation/peta2 skateboard deck! What was your inspiration for the design?
Well, around a year ago Concrete Wave magazine asked me to paint up a board for a traveling gallery/silent auction they where having at last summer’s Vans Warped Tour. I had the option of doing this painting for any of a number of cool charity groups, but I chose to do it in benefit of peta2. I had just watched the movie Earthlings, and it really pumped me to do a piece that spoke about my love for animals and their right to live a nice life. So in my painting I don’t show the negative reality but the happy situation I’d like to be normal. I also gave a voice to the animals, which somehow makes people laugh.
Turning this painting into an actual graphic for Creation Skateboards, the California brand I manage, was a no-brainer, as most people in that company (including the owner) are already vegetarians or vegans who support conscious ethics. Conscious themes and art are rare in the skate industry, so we usually swim against the current. I hope this board gets spread far and wide so that many youth can see it hanging in their local stores. Even if they don’t buy it, the message will reach them, hopefully planting a seed that will sprout later on.
2. Have any artists, bands, or books influenced your views on animal rights?
The person who turned me into a veg-head was my girlfriend from 1998, who gave me a bunch of pamphlets (including PETA’s) to read. Once informed, it was difficult to keep on the carnage. Other than that, [the novel] Ishmael comes to mind. My buddy Skinner, who is a great artist, also is big on this issue, even though his art ironically depicts monsters devouring humans.
3. What are some of your favorite vegan foods?
I avoid meat and dairy. As for favorite meals, my wife, Valerie, cooks delicious veggie curries, pastas, tempeh burgers, etc. Stoked!
4. Are there any other animal rights issues that you feel passionate about (e.g., animal testing, animals used in zoos and circuses, or animal adoption)?
All of the above? I try not to dwell on all of the many, many, many negative issues there are on the planet at this time. Cruelty to animals, in all of its flavors, is part of the whole mess we are in. I think if I let myself be too passionate about any issue, I will end up depressed because it is hard to solve these things from one day to the next. I prefer to embody what I wish for in others, walk the talk. I try to be informed about as many matters as I can and then choose the option that causes less harm to animals, people, and the planet. I dream of a world where we will awaken our spiritual potential and know better what is right or wrong and how to live as better humans, where every living creature is respected and happy.
5. What are some easy things that people can do to help animals?
I’m no expert—I think you guys are. But I would say, start by not killing and eating them as if they don’t suffer. Just have respect for God in all of its manifestations. Be less self-centered (if you are). Be informed because people prefer the bliss of ignorance than the pain of truth (can’t blame ‘em, though). Don’t buy animals from pet stores—[adopt] from rescue spots. Avoid zoos, circuses, and bullfighting activities.
6. Any plugs before we pull the plug on this interview?
I would want to ask the fans of PETA to support this collaboration and buy one of these boards. If you don’t know some kid who can skate it (and share the art and message with their friends), then it can also be hung on the wall. Creation is also the only brand that uses recycled wood and bamboo, so it is more sustainable for the environment we all love. If your local skate shop doesn’t carry us, ask them, and if they refuse, you can still buy it online.
An epic coffee table book on most of my work was also just released by Schiffer Publishing, so you can get that from Amazon.
Thank you for supporting well-intended grassroots skateboarding and art!
And thank you for your support, too, Chris! For your chance to win one of two Creation/peta2 skateboard decks, comment below by telling us who your favorite vegetarian athlete is. Two winners will be chosen at random.* Good luck!