Serj Tankian has always been known as an outspoken musician with a strong voice. As frontman for experimental hard rock band System of a Down, he’s known for speaking out on issues such as terrorism and genocide. Continuing the same themes through his solo career, Serj maintains his political voice through music, and we were thrilled to meet up with him to discuss his views on animal rights.

“We are all animals,” begins Serj upon sitting down to chat. Of course, he’s right, but it’s something that is often forgotten given the way that animals are treated and used for food, clothing, experiments, and tests. Serj has a lot of compassion in his heart. He lives with two rescued huskies, has stood up against military trauma training, and speaks out about human rights as often as he can.

The best way to find an animal companion is through your local animal shelter or rescue group. There are millions of unwanted dogs and cats dying every year in animal shelters, and adopting from a shelter or rescue group saves lives. Because shelters are so crowded, there is no reason for animals to be bred and sold by puppy mills, pet stores, or private breeders.

Check out peta2’s news section for tips, advice, and stories about animal adoption, and if you’re ready to bring an animal into your life, check out your local open-admission shelter with your family.