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Bay-area pop-punk rockers Set Your Goals are freakin’ everywhere. They have toured with peta2 friends Anti-Flag and Big D and the Kids Table, are doing their own headlining tour, and will be hitting up some dates on this year’s Warped Tour—that’s a lot of miles traveled, people! All that, and the sweethearts still find time to rescue lost dogs from the side of the road and nurse them back to health. Falling in love yet? Well, how about after hearing that together, Matt and Dave save more than 200 animals every year just by being veg? That’s what we thought!
Your upcoming tour schedule is insane! You have quite a lot going on in the next couple of months, and then you’re wrapping it up on Warped. How do you stay energized when on the road for that long? Do you have any favorite ways to pass the time?
Matt: Dave drinks a lot of Red Bull, and he built us these sweet bunks in the van, so whenever one of us is driving, the rest of us pretty much sleep all the time.
Dave: We also eat lots of snacks. We have lots of snacksidents!
Matt: Yes, our entire day revolves around what kind of snacks we are going to buy at the next gas station.
What are your favorite veg snacks?
Matt: I like Swedish fish a lot.
Do you have any comments or advice for those who say they can’t be veg because it’s just too difficult and they wouldn’t have anything to eat?
Dave: Honestly, it’s not that difficult. You just have to learn how to eat around meat. It’s not really that tough, especially if you’re at home. Being vegetarian is no more expensive—actually, it’s probably less expensive than eating a meat-based diet, especially if you use raw foods. Just learn how to cook a little bit and you’ll feel way better than you ever did before.
Matt: I’ve been vegetarian for nine years, and Dave’s been veg, I think, 10 years. It’s all just habit after a certain point. After six months, you don’t even think about meat—it becomes second nature.
We have a campaign against KFC where we’re asking the company to adopt basic humane standards of care for the chickens killed for its restaurants, which would end practices such as cutting off the sensitive beaks of baby birds, slitting birds’ throats while they are still conscious, and scalding birds to death in defeathering tanks. What do you guys think about this, and what do you think is the best way of dealing with a company like KFC?
Dave: I think the only thing you can do with something like that is to boycott their products and spread awareness about what’s going on. Obviously, try to encourage the heads of the company to change their methods.
Matt: It seems like they’ve always had a nasty reputation with that sort of stuff. Not a very ethical company as far as I’m concerned, and I haven’t supported them for awhile.
If you met Colonel Sanders, would you have any choice words for him?
Matt: Dude, you’ve got enough money! Run your business the legit way, at least—the most humane way possible. I mean, how much money does that company make, seriously?!
Do you guys have any companion animals? If so, what are their names? Have any stories you’d like to share about them?
Matt: I don’t think any of us have companion animals, because we are on tour all the time, but I do remember one time when we were in Texas and there was a little dog running around. Mikey picked him up, and we actually ended up taking him home with us because he didn’t have people taking care of him. We named him Pepperjack. He was in the van with us for three days until we got home. Then we took him to the vet and found out he had heartworms. We got him proper medical care, and then our friend ended up adopting him for us. There’s a little heartwarming tale from Set Your Goals!
Do you have any advice for fans who want to get involved in animal rights but are unsure how to get started?
Matt: I’d say just do your homework. Reading up on it is what got me involved and kept me going. I read a book called Diet for a New America—it definitely changed my life. And if you’re not already vegetarian, I recommend it!
OK, now I have to ask what was up with that MySpace quote you had up that said, “Joe is still in the band.” Was there ever any doubt about this? I mean, what the hell was up with that?
Dave: It was a really big April Fools’ joke! We sent out a MySpace bulletin saying, in a funny and obviously joking way, that Joe was leaving the band to go home to father a child. It was definitely a joke, and we listed a bunch of criteria required for new members …
Matt: They were completely ridiculous!
Dave: Yeah completely, completely ridiculous, but the number of responses we got from people who wanted to be in the band, through MySpace alone, was overwhelming! We got more than 100 responses in a matter of a couple of hours. Even people at our label said that they actually went into the office the next day and were like, “Joe is out of the band!” Everyone bought it—it was extremely entertaining for us!
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See, I told you that you’d fall in love! Now pass that love along to animals and pledge to go veg today!