During a recent interview with Australia's Heavy magazine, DEVILDRIVER frontman Dez Fafara spoke at length about his decision to become a vegan four years ago.
"I did that for the suffering of animals," Fafara explained," (hear audio below). "If you've ever seen how a cow suffers... Yeah, you may love cheese, but you don't know that that baby cow was stolen from its mother so it could give milk for you, and they dragged it off screaming. If you've ever seen the slaughter process of animals or the way animals are kept, especially in the United States, it's disgusting to me. A pig is two times smarter than a dog, so now you're going to keep thousands of them in the dark until you kill them six, seven months later? The way I saw those videos [and] how it touched my heart, it ruined me. I said to myself, 'I cannot be on this planet and be part of this.'"
Fafara went on to say how going vegan was a drastic about-face. "I was the barbecue guy," he said. "I started my career touring with PANTERA — like, of course we're going to barbecue. But now, I look at ribs as ribs of an animal that fucking suffered tremendously, all of its life. It was a sentient animal that actually could play catch and sit down and have loving, tender moments. We don't even need it. Over here [in America], we're getting Beyond Meat tacos, Beyond Meat everywhere. Carl's Jr. has a Beyond Meat burger. Del Taco has a Beyond Meat taco. People are starting to see [that] plant-based foods are good for your body, good for the environment. Right down the street from me, two doors down, a woman has a [pet] pig. She comes out every day — she walks it. That thing knows its name. It comes to me; it gets happy; it snorts; it plays. Now, I'm going to go hang it upside down and slit its throat because I like its ribs? It's fucking disgusting... I cannot be part of the terror and the torture and the fear that was going through those animals anymore, and that's what made me stop."
Fafara says that going vegan improved his health substantially. "Immediately when I did, going back to a doctor, he's, like, 'What happened here? You dropped 42 pounds. You have no cholesterol. Your blood pressure is amazing,'" he said. "I did a running test, and he actually said, 'You have the heart of a 25-year-old.' He smelled like cigarettes [and] was 50 pounds overweight, and he's a doctor. I said to him, 'Hey, dude. What did you have for lunch today?' He's like, 'A nice big burger and a cigarette.' I said, 'Exactly.' If you get in touch with yourself; if you get in touch with your body; if you get in touch with the fear-based foods that you've been eating your whole life, all it is is exposure to things you've been taught your whole life: 'You have to have your meat. You have to have your dairy.' Those things are killing you. Those things are creating heart attacks, so just stop. You wouldn't constantly poke yourself with a sword all day if it hurt. That's exactly what you're doing to your body every time you eat meat, every time you eat dairy. You've got to stop that shit. My energy levels are through the roof [now]. I was skateboarding last night until midnight with my kids. I'm in the best shape of my life right now."
DEVILDRIVER recently completed work on its new double album with producer Steve Evetts (EVERY TIME I DIE, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN). The follow-up to 2016's "Trust No One" will be released in two parts, with the first set to arrive in 2020 and the second in 2021 via Napalm Records.
The band will support STATIC-X's original lineup — bassist Tony Campos, drummer Ken Jay and guitarist Koichi Fukuda — on the "Wisconsin Death Trip" 20th-anniversary tour later this month.