Article by our friend Rob Crypt at Mr. Crypts Curiosities!:
I’ve been listening to punk and hardcore for more than half of my life. The music and corresponding scenes mean a lot to me, and carry a predominantly positive message. They’re not without their criticisms, but that’s another discussion for another time. This is about what punk and hardcore mean to me, and how I believe the ethics and beliefs within these scenes align with veganism.
Firstly I’d like to go back a few years, to 2004. I’d seen Reel Big Fish play with Goldfinger and in doing so managed to get a vegetarian starter kit signed by John Feldmann and one of the other guys in Goldfinger. I’ve still got it somewhere. I only really bring this up because Goldfinger were the first band I’d heard to directly highlight veganism and animal rights in their lyrics and activism. In the liner notes of the album Open Your Eyes they provide facts and sources about how animals are treated and the environmental impact of animal agriculture among others.
This wasn’t the first time I’d encountered a band that had a real message within their lyrics, but it was definitely the first time I’d paid attention. It opened a lot of doors, and my music taste got heavier and angrier.
So what does hardcore mean to me? Firstly, it means integrity. Being true to yourself and building your life and yourself on a strong moral foundation. Most bands will sing openly about their experiences or use their music as a platform to discuss a wide range of social issues. It’s easy to see how this fits into veganism, which in itself is a movement based on ethics, morals, compassion and honesty.
Another thing hardcore means to me is the encouragement to ask questions. Why do we do things this way? Is there another way? In time you learn to question the information you’re given, to dig deeper, to find out the sources of the information and trying to find out where the power really lies. The further you read into things the more you start to understand why hardcore and punk are seen as such angry, anti-establishment subcultures. It’s all very anti-“they”. They want you to do this. They don’t want you to know that. And it’s this anti-“they” ideology that fits into veganism. It’s a growing movement as, with the help of social media, more people are able to spread the message about what “they” are hiding from people. And let’s face it; “they” seem to be trying to hide a lot from us. From all angles it seems “they” have it covered. Think about one of the reasons you decided to go vegan. Animal rights, environmental concerns, your own personal health or the wider social impact. There are probably more. At some point in your research you will have realised you were lied to about something, which in turn forces you to ask the questions:
“What else have I been lied to about?”
“Is there another way?”
There’s always another way.
At any hardcore show the bands will stress the need to look out for each other. They don’t want anyone to have a negative experience during their set. Going vegan extends that message to the rest of the world, to attempt to minimise the negative experiences felt by every living thing.
Keep asking questions, maintain your integrity and look out for each other.