Time for a little lesson in punkonomics 101. What do you get when you add together three of the best and most influential underground punk bands from the East coast? Answer: The Loved Ones. Based out of Philadelphia and with members who cut their teeth in the D.C. punk scene, this three-piece outfit came together with the help of our friends at Jade Tree and Chunksaah to quickly become one of the most talked-about groups on tour today.

Dave Hause, Michael “Spider” Cotterman, and Mike Sneeringer recently sat down with us to talk about naming a band, healthy eating, and so much more. But enough of our talking, let’s just let the guys speak for themselves …

peta2: How did you come up with the name “The Loved Ones?”

DAVE: It is a title of an Elvis Costello song and the name of an Evelyn Waugh book, and we all three feel extremely fortunate to have the families and friends that we have.

peta2: Where have some of your favorite shows been? Do any of those cities have good vegetarian food?

DAVE: D.C., yeah, Ben’s Chili Bowl has vegan chili. Of course, VP and Red Bamboo in N.Y.C.

MICHAEL: The Black Cat in D.C. has a great café, Food for Thought, that serves amazing vegetarian and vegan food. The desserts are delicious.

MIKE: N.Y.C., Kate’s Joint and Red Bamboo.

peta2: Why did you decide to go vegan/vegetarian?

DAVE: I’m a vegetarian for health reasons.

MICHAEL: Me, too. I had an epiphany. It’s a gross story though … I was a relentless carnivore until I was about 21 or 22. My brother and I used to go to a sub shop near Baltimore that served something called “Meat Burger With Meat Sauce.” It was absolutely disgusting, but as hamburger lovers, we were psyched. One time, we brought a friend with us to partake in the dubious meal. Driving home, we stopped for gas, and our friend literally lost his lunch all over the pavement. There is a scene in Super Size Me that is similar. Anyway, seeing how his body just totally rejected it made me suddenly realize that I don’t need to eat meat. That was the beginning of my vegetarianism.

MIKE: There are too many tasty alternatives to meat not to.

peta2: If you had to tell someone just one fact that you know about factory farming or vegetarianism that would make them rethink what they eat, what would that fact be?

MICHAEL: I think meat production in general wastes natural resources and energy. A lot more goes into producing a pound of meat as opposed to a pound of vegetables or grains.

MIKE: I would just show them a veal box or a chicken coop.

peta2: What advice do you have for your fans if they are trying to go vegetarian or vegan?

MICHAEL: Something to keep in mind is that every little bit helps. It would probably have a big impact on their health over the years. Not to mention the impact it would have on the food industry.

MIKE: Find a good health-food store that has nice mock meats and alternative foods so that the transition will feel more natural.

peta2: What are some of your favorite alternatives to animal products such as meat, leather, wool, or fur?

DAVE: To meat—I guess seitan, tofu, and vegetables.

MIKE: Tofu, Denim, Canvas …

peta2: What do you think of companies like Iams, which perform cruel lab tests on cats, dogs, and other animals?

DAVE: It’s a bummer.

peta2: There have been studies showing the link between animal abuse and violence toward humans. What do you think about people who abuse animals?

DAVE: I don’t think much of them, that is for sure.

MIKE: They need serious help and are sick. I say lock them up, or commit them to treatment.

peta2: What are some other animal rights issues that are really important to you?

MIKE: I think breeding dogs for fighting is totally wrong …

If you want to know more about The Loved Ones, Good Charlotte, The Used, and all your favorite bands, sign up for peta2 News! And follow the guys’ advice—and your heart—and order your free vegetarian starter kit!