Considering I have my headphones on pretty much all day every day, I’m always on the lookout for new music. One of the best things about my job is discovering new bands that are awesome and that care about animals. So I’m sure you can imagine my glee in discovering self-proclaimed “heart-quaking doom pop” band War Tapes.
peta2 caught up with Matt and Becca of the California quartet at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, TX. Here they are in their own words …
What prompted you to want to go vegetarian?
Becca: Growing up I always had pets, and animals have always been a really big part of my life. I worked on farms when I was a little kid and I just couldn’t imagine ever killing an animal just to eat it. As people we have the right to make a conscious decision on what to eat … if I can chose to not eat an animal why would I choose otherwise? You don’t eat your dog. You don’t eat your cat. Why would you eat a cow or a pig? It just doesn’t make sense.
Matt: Yeah, I have a much less intellectual answer actually. I think in middle school I got really into Morrissey and that definitely sparked the interest.
What animal issues are close to your heart?
Becca: Pretty much anything involving animal cruelty is really close to our hearts. The over population of domestic animals is definitely a big issue. I’m a really big proponent of adopting your pets. There are so many rescued animals in shelters. There are so many people giving away their animals because they can’t keep them. There’s just so many options rather than going to a pet store where dogs are from puppy mills.
Any thoughts on fur?
Becca: (I’m) definitely anti-fur. It’s disgusting. It’s cool too because I feel like now you can find cool things that are not made of leather. There are a lot of stores that are using plastic synthetic leather for shoes, or canvas, and it looks just as good. There are a lot of good options today, so I think it makes it a lot easier to choose non animal products.
How do you feel about companies that test products on animals?
Becca: I think animal testing in general is barbaric and archaic. I don’t think it needs to exist anymore. It’s just a really cheap way for these companies to get their testing done. They make so much money, I think they could invest in safer ways of testing their products. It just doesn’t make sense and I think it needs to be publicized more.
What advice can you give fans who want to be more involved in animal rights?
Becca: Daily choices you make are really a great way to start. I think it all starts inside, so if you decide that (animal rights is) something that’s important to you, and hopefully it is, I think it’s easy to start vegetarianism everyday. Every menu in every restaurant is going to have a vegetarian option. You can request things be made without meat. It’s really easy and it tastes just as good. Starting where you can is the simplest way, and making those decisions everyday … once you get comfortable with that it’s so much easier to expand upon. You can do research online; you can find local groups …
Matt: There’s definitely some issues where it’s up to you. I learn a lot from Becca and it’s become part of our daily lives.
You can catch War Tapes on tour with VNV Nation this summer and their new album The Continental Divide is available now. You can purchase the album on Amazon or iTunes, but it just so happens that I have 5 copies of their new CD to give away to you! For a chance to win, leave a comment with your favorite song to put on a summer mixtape. The 5 entries with the most creative songs will be chosen by June 2 and notified by June 9.
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