Make Do and Mend blend emotion with honest, heartfelt music and they made a big splash into the scene last year. We were beyond stoked when we heard that James Carroll, front man for MDAM is a caring and compassionate vegan! Check out our Q&A, and read closely, because we also have a contest for you to enter!
1. What prompted you to become vegan? Were there any bands, books, etc. that influenced your decision?
Before becoming vegan I was an unbelievable carnivore. Growing up listening to punk and hardcore I had always heard people preaching about the benefits of vegan/vegetarianism. Everyone tried to get me to watch “Meet Your Meat“ type propaganda, but it wasn’t until I made the decision to stop eating meat in order to benefit my own health that it started to all make sense. I had a few vegan and vegetarian friends who served as a bit of a support structure, but I wanted to make a positive change in my overall well being. That’s was my main influence.
2. What are some of your favorite vegetarian and/or vegan foods? Are there any restaurants that you love to eat at while on tour?
Luckily for me, I adore tofu. I could eat it in any form and be completely satisfied. When I’m home I love to cook. My big dishes right now are homemade sushi, and my girlfriend and I have successfully recreated a childhood favorite—vegan Beef Stroganoff.
3. Of all of the major animal rights issues (animal testing, factory farming, animals used in entertainment, dog fighting, etc.) are there any issues that are particularly close to your heart?
At a very basic level, I don’t like the idea of anyone feeling like they have dominion over someone or something else simply because they are stronger or more intelligent. Bottom line. On the whole, we do not need to eat animals or their by-products in order to thrive, so why torture and kill millions of animals every year, while doing grave detriment to our own health and that of our environment? It’s all a matter of selfish personal satisfaction, and I think that that is an awful way to go through life.
On another level, considering myself a “punk” or a socially conscious person dedicated to standing against a flawed status quo, I refuse to support an industry that spends billions of dollars (a great deal of that money being Americans’ tax dollars) creating and pushing a product that is bad for the environment, bad for the economy, and downright bad for our health. It’s the same reason that I don’t consume alcohol or smoke cigarettes. Why buy into such a corrupt system?
4. If a fan were to approach you with questions about how to get involved with animal rights, what advice would you give him or her?
I think that the strongest advice that I can give to anyone is to simply make a positive change in yourself. First off, we live in a supply and demand economic structure. If you don’t demand it, they are not going to waste the money supplying it. It’s as simple as that. Secondly there is a lot to be said for a strong confident role-model. I am of the mindset that more positive change can be done by someone who serves as an admirable example of change, someone who walks the walk, than someone who stands on a soap box and preaches.
5. What’s coming up this summer for Make Do And Mend that we can look forward to?
We are going to be touring pretty consistently in support of our new record, End Measured Mile. If you are reading this, bring me vegan baked goods!
MDAM announced this week that they are excited to premiere their new video “Oak Square” exclusively on mtvU’s The Freshman. Be sure to vote for your new favorite veg artist! Then, comment below and tell us what vegetarian artist/musician/band has inspired you the most for your chance to win an End Measured Mile CD and MDAM tote bag! The contest ends on April 5, 2011, and 1 winner will be chosen at random and notified by April 12, 2011.
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