The name Jonah Matranga is not new to music lovers. After all, this is the man whose influential band, Far, helped inspire the emo and screamo sounds that are so popular today. He’s also the only man behind the beautiful music of onelinedrawing. That’s why we’re so excited about his awesome new band, Gratitude.
But Jonah isn’t just a talented musician; he’s also a well-spoken veggie lover. In fact, AP named him one of the 10 hottest vegetarians just last year. Want to find out more about what this gifted artist has to say? Then start reading…
Do you have any advice for kids who want to go vegetarian but don’t know where to start?
Be more aware of what goes into the food you’re eating. Put the rank smell coming from those disgusting trucks and ranches together with the McWhatever. Understand what’s actually happening. Learn about the lives of the animals that go into our food. A little learning goes a long way.
How do you feel that small, personal choices, like choosing a veggie burger over a hamburger, impact our society?
Just in that simple way, the little things add up. If everyone ate, say, 50 percent fewer animal products, there would be an inconceivably huge change in the economics of food (i.e., non-animal stuff would get cheaper and more abundant, and animal stuff would have less leverage in the marketplace). Every choice is a chance to switch it up.
Do you consider yourself an activist? How do music and activism fit together?
I don’t aspire to the title of activist or musician as much as I aspire to come from a passionate (and compassionate) place in whatever it is that I’m doing. And yes, in the case of performance, I am happy to talk about issues on my mind, just as I would be if I weren’t on a stage.
How do you think animal rights relates to other social justice issues like environmentalism or human rights?They are all acts of speaking for a group that is having trouble speaking for itself in a way that is clearly understood by society-at-large. It’s a flawed world, where all we get to do is try and aspire, and being cynical about it doesn’t help anyone. It’s one more convenient excuse to sit back. Anyone reading this comes from a place of immense privilege relative to so much of this world, and we have a huge amount of power to wield just by reading, writing, talking, making.
PETA recently completed an undercover investigation into a slaughterhouse in Moorefield, West Virginia, that supplies birds for KFC. The investigation revealed that birds were being beaten, thrown against walls like footballs, stomped on, and tortured. If you had the opportunity to talk to the CEO of KFC, what would you say to him?
That’s disgusting, I hadn’t heard about that. I’d ask him why he thought his employees were behaving that way, what led to that behavior. I’d ask what problems he sees and what he might do to change that.
If someone has seen our undercover KFC footage, and they want to do something to help those chickens and let KFC know that they think what’s going on is wrong, what would you suggest they do?
I’m a big believer in organizing, just simple numbers. I’m fascinated by the sensationalist, hyperpublic Michael Moore/Supersize Me approach. I really admire that sort of art. That said, especially in the age of the Internet, just talking about something in a passionate and articulate way can really get things going.