SEPULTURA frontman Derrick Green recently sat down with PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals) to discuss animal rights, vegetarianism and the concept for their controversial video "Convicted in Life". A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
PETA: What prompted you to go vegetarian?
Derrick: "I have a lot of friends that were from New York that were working in various health-food stores, and they gave me the names of different books to check out on animal rights. It was something that I just really wanted to test out. I had always eaten meat my entire life, and I never questioned it until that time in my life when I started questioning a lot of things. I experimented with not eating meat. And then after a while, I didn't have the desire to eat it anymore. I just opened my mind to it and just stayed with it."
PETA: That's great. What books influenced you the most?
Derrick: "There was one book, 'Diet for a New America', and then a book by Upton Sinclair called 'The Jungle'. Those are the two books that really opened up my eyes to want to stop eating meat. Just the description of the actual slaughterhouse, the lack of concern for the people working there, and the way they described, like, the floor — sort of a factory of death."
PETA: Yeah — a lot of people don't see that side of the industry.
Derrick: "Right. Our new video, 'Convicted in Life', shows a bit of what is happening in the industry. You are what you eat. Like a karma thing: What you do in your life may affect you in the afterlife. The video kind of follows that. In the video there are scenes taken from a DVD, 'Meat Is Weak', that I watched about the meat industry in Brazil. It was extremely shocking to me, because everyone always talks about how clean meat is and blah, blah, blah and how the industry here is great. So it was pretty eye-opening. We were fortunate enough to be able to get in contact with the people that did the documentary, and they gave us permission to use some of the images from it."
PETA: The metal scene isn't generally a scene that's associated with animal rights, so I was wondering: Why do you think your fans should be interested in vegetarianism or animal rights?
Derrick: "I think animal rights is important because you can really tell how civilized a society is by the way that it treats its animals — everything is connected. And that compassion is very important. I mean, even at a young age, it's important to learn to have compassion for other things, especially living organisms. You have to have compassion for animals, because they're a part of us as well. So it's really important to have that respect and knowledge about other animals and other people as well."
PETA: Do you have any advice for somebody who is thinking about going vegetarian?
Derrick: "I would definitely say to do as much reading as possible and to find out what your body needs, as far as experimenting with different types of vegetarian cuisine from different parts of the world. Try to find a balance, because a lot of people can go overboard with eating a lot of crappy food and just not getting the energy or the protein that they need."
Read the entire interview at www.peta2.com.