I love Chris Walla. Not only is he a member of one of my favorite bands, Death Cab For Cutie, he also produces for one of my other favorite bands, Tegan and Sara. And he just released a great solo album, Field Manual, that has already seen a lot of play in my iPod.
Yet another reason why I love Chris is that he was more than happy to sit down and talk to peta2 about why he has been a vegetarian since he was 15. Here he is in his own words.
So, tell me about the new album.
It’s a really intensely personal record, but it’s an intensely personal record by way of C-SPAN, I suppose. It’s sort of what I live, eat, and breathe these days.
You’ve been vegetarian since you were 13? Is that right?
More like 15, I’d say.
What was it that made you want to stop eating meat?
Actually, it was a pair of things. One of them was tied to fast food. I realized, as I started to drive and as a kid who was living in the suburbs in middle America, that I was going to eat a hamburger–if not two or three or six hamburgers every day–for the rest of my life if I didn’t decide to make a couple of restrictions to my diet.
The other thing was just being introduced to the concept of factory farming for the first time. Man, you only have to see a couple of pictures … it doesn’t take a lot. So it was that combination of things in pretty rapid succession that pushed me over.
It was a bit tricky as a 15-year-old living at home in a household where, you know … my mom and dad were “meat and potatoes” Americans. Their diets consisted of a meat main dish, potatoes and gravy, and a vegetable side–that sort of thing. It’s a little difficult to get through that when you’re so dependent on somebody else for your food. Just know that if it’s something that’s important to you, there will be a point in your life when you’re in control of what you eat and why you eat it.
What are some of your favorite vegetarian snacks when you’re out on tour?
Amy’s Kitchen frozen meals. They are so wonderful and so easy! Pretty much everything that company does is pretty great.
So do you have any advice for people wanting to get involved with animal rights?
Well, clearly peta2 is a good place to go for resources. Everybody has the desire to want to do it right and to do the right thing, and I think that the only advice that I can give to people is to dive in and find out the facts.