Activists + > Actors

If you haven’t heard of Goldfinger already, you probably will soon. In addition to headlining their own shows, the ska/punk band from L.A. has opened for 311, The Buzzcocks, and No Doubt. (You’ve probably already heard their top hit, “Here in Your Bedroom.”) This band is just what the doctor ordered if you like jumping up and down like a maniac—and if you like animals.

Lead singer John Feldmann is a dedicated animal rights activist—he slapped a “Meat Is Murder” bumper sticker on one of the band’s amplifiers, wears animal rights T-shirts onstage, hands out literature at concerts, and sings a song about aging hunter schlock-rocker Ted Nugent whose lyrics are too naughty to print in a family magazine.

During a recent tour, John stopped by the PETA office to restock his literature arsenal. We asked him a few questions about animal rights ...

PETA: How did you first get involved in animal rights?

JOHN: The first dog I ever adopted was a homeless dog in L.A. I put up “found dog” fliers and three months later, someone called and said, “You can have her.” It struck me how people have such disregard for life. It really made me mad. Having a dog changes your perspective. I just watch my dog and I think, “This dog has emotions just like I do. Why would a cow or sheep be any different?”

PETA: Are you a vegetarian?

JOHN: I’ve been a vegetarian for about four years. Every time I go to visit my parents in San Francisco, I go past a huge factory farm. I had to take a look at what I was doing. I’m almost vegan now. It can be hard on the road, though. I basically live on Boca Burgers and Smart Dogs.

PETA: How many companion animals do you have?

JOHN: I have a dog and a cat. My dog, Foxy, was rescued from my friend. He picked up a hitchhiker with a dog and kept the dog. I took her because he was living in his car and couldn’t take good care of her. My cat, Hissy, had been thrown into a dumpster with his littermates. He was wild, and all he did was hiss (which is where he got his name). He loved the dog at first sight, though. Foxy was scared at first, but now they’re best friends and they play and sleep together.

PETA: What issues really touch you?

JOHN: Fur is inexcusable. It’s 2000—get over it. My dog looks like a fox. I couldn’t imagine my little dog being killed that way. Just because some guy like Puff Daddy or Kid Rock wears fur on a magazine cover, you don’t have to wear it. Hunting is another thing that really bothers me. I always make a point of talking about hunting at my shows.

PETA: How do you get active for animals?

JOHN: I volunteer at animal shelters when I’m on the road. When animals are on the street, that’s the worst. At least euthanasia is humane. It’s better than trying to survive on the street. I dream of opening a fast-food vegetarian restaurant. Factory farming is something that everybody who’s not a vegetarian participates in. I want the whole world to be veg so that when I’m on the road, I can find something to eat! I just try to be an example. The most powerful thing you can do is the power of example.

PETA: What would you urge kids to do to get active?

JOHN: Go vegetarian, fight dissection.


While on a photo shoot in New York’s Central Park, Fiona Apple came across police officers who had rescued a dog abandoned in the city’s subway. While other people hurriedly passed by the dog, thinking, “places to go, people to meet,” Fiona took the dog to her interview and immediately phoned PETA for help. Our volunteer arrived and took the dog, who’s since found happiness with a new human family who named the dog Fiona.

“I feel like it’s your fault if you know something might happen to that dog and you don’t do something.”
—Fiona Apple


Catnip to World Championship Wrestling’s Goldberg—a tough guy who’s a softie for animals. He spoke to U.S. lawmakers on Capitol Hill about dog- and cockfighting. He pointed out that while he chooses to go into the ring, “animals don’t have a choice.” Animal fighting “makes me sick,” he said.

Hairballs to fur-wearers Kid Rock, Puff Daddy, and Left Eye (Lisa Lopes) of TLC. None of them seem to give a rip about animals killed for fur. Let them know that fur-wearers never look hip, only heartless and stupid. Send Left Eye a message by logging on to TLC’s Web site at:

� DMI � DMI � AP/Wide World

Tell Puff Daddy to stuff his fur—into a box to donate to PETA’s Fur Campaign. Write him at:

And fire off a letter to Kid Rock (c/o Atlantic Recording Corporation, 1290 Ave. of the Americas, New York, NY 10104) letting him know that fur isn’t cool.

Catnip to South Park for poking fun at hunters who claim to be helping deer by blasting them to bits. While hunters claim that humans must “thin deer herds,” biologists note that Mother Nature does a fine job of keeping their numbers in check, without any “help” from hunters.

Catnip to superstar soprano Charlotte Church. The girl with the golden voice also has a heart of gold—her Web site points out that Charlotte would never wear real fur. Thank her by writing: Charlotte Church Fan Club, PO Box 7000, Kiln Farm, Milton Keynes MK13 7YX England.

Hairballs to drugstore chain Walgreens for selling AquaBabies, tiny prison cells for sea animals. Imagine spending your whole life in an empty closet—you’d be cramped and bored out of your mind. That’s what life is like for the unhappy fish, frogs, nd snails forced to live in AquaBabies cubes. Write to Walgreens, Corporate Offices, 200 Wilmot Rd., Deerfield, IL 60015; and call them for free at 1-800-289-2273. Remind them that it’s cruel to keep any animal in such a small, sad space.

“I need Tuno.” Is he trying to tell us something?

Could it be that salsa sensation Marc Anthony is a closet vegan?

To the casual observer, the title of his hit song may sound like “I Need to Know,” but we suspect he’s really singing the praises of the amazing tuna substitute “Tuno.”

In fact, lots of musicians seem to be subliminally selling vegan chow and animal rights ideas. For example, doesn’t “Hey, Macarena” sound suspiciously like “Hey, Macaroni”? Other examples include Lou Bega’s “Mango #5,” Sarah McLachlan’s “Your Love Is Better Than Rice Dream” (the yummy nondairy frozen dessert), and the classic Little Richard tune “Tutti Frutti, Tofutti” (yet another nondairy delicacy). And, maybe it’s just us, but we could swear Ricky Martin has named a new dance after his favorite animal protection group: “Diggin’ the PETA Polka.”

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin,