Activists + > Celebrity Interviews

If you don't know who Bryan Adams is by now you've probably been living under a rock! This guy is dynamite – incredibly talented and incredibly popular in most countries around the world.

In his book, BRYAN ADAMS: The Official Biography (Firefly Books 1995) Bryan says "I always knew I'd be in music in some sort of capacity. I didn't know if I'd be successful at it, but I knew I'd be doing something in it. Maybe get a job in a record store. Maybe even play in a band. I never got into this to be a star. The idea of being 'famous' wasn't part of the plan. When I was fifteen or sixteen, buying records and listening to The Who was all the escapism I needed. Nothing else really seemed to matter. School seemed unimportant, music being the only thing that gave me something to look forward to. There were a lot of years sitting on a bus or a station wagon, slipping on black ice, touring across America and Canada before things started to happen ... I remember those times ... there have been many more since then. Some of them are remembered in this book".

Bryan, unfortunately for his many Aussie fans, has no immediate plans to return 'Down Under'.

Bryan's current album is "The Best of Me" and he has a single that was #1 in the UK and #3 in Europe with dance artist "Chicane". The song is called "Don't Give Up" on Sony Records and is available as a hidden track on his "Best of Me" collection or on Chicane's new album "Behind The Sun".

 

Interview by June Bird, April 2000.

June: Hi Bryan, I believe you're a vegan ..... when did you cut out all meat and dairy?
Bryan: I'm not completely vegan, I will accept tiny amounts of butter and I normally scrape off cheese when it's on top of pasta or something ... I completely stopped eating dead creatures in 1989.
June: Any difficulties with said veganism?
Bryan: Well, there is. Especially when you have to rely on restaurants. It can be grim. You never know what the soup base is made of or if they've slipped a little bacon into your sandwich ... I'm the worst dinner date!
June: What's the best part of being vegan for you?
Bryan: The concept that you're not ingesting rotting flesh sort of sums it up for me.
June: Why did you decide to go vegan?
Bryan: I ate a big steak in 1988 and never felt worse. That was it, boom, over. Never again.
June: Can you think of any significant events while growing up that shaped your compassionate thinking towards animals?
Bryan: Having dogs around us was great, that really shaped my compassion, but I also ride, and I love horses, so it wasn't hard to appreciate the beauty and intelligence of other creatures.
June: Do some people think that this is just a fad? That you'll change your mind and go back to eating animals?
Bryan: At first they did, but 11 years later .... no.
June: What do your parents and siblings think about you being vego?
Bryan: I have quietly convinced my mum, brother and my band to switch – altho' they are just vegetarians not vegans.
June: In the future will there be any songs from you that would promote cruelty-free living?
Bryan: Never say never!
June: Do you hope (like I do) that everyone else will soon realise that there's no need to eat animals to stay healthy?
Bryan: I don't actively campaign for it, but I'd like to think so. Ultimately you can't change some people. For example, my dad doesn't want to know.
June:

Funny that – neither does my dad – though my mother is 99% there.

So, exactly what sort of things do you weird vegos eat anyway?!

Bryan: Pastas, soups, roasted veggies, homemade pizzas, salads, potatoes ... it's endless.
June: When you're touring have you found that there's plenty of good vego fare around? What's the best and worst country for finding vegan grub?
Bryan: It's impossible and Germany is the worst, but then again so are most Far East countries. We travel with a cook on tour. Our schedule is so different to other people that we have to have someone looking after the food. Have you ever tried eating a full meal before you sing? It's impossible, you can only eat after the gig. that means dinner at 11:00 at night. What restaurant does that in every town ... ? Fuggedaboutit!
June: Are you a good cook?
Bryan: Baked potatoes and salad ... the best you've ever had!
June: Anyone ever make fun of your beliefs?
Bryan: Never! On the contrary, a lot of them have converted.
June: What about eating out at picnics etc with friends?
Bryan: I went out the other night with some Jamaican friends and they ate chicken ..... while I ate the rice and salad, and it was fine!
June: How far 'gone' are you with regards to wearing leather and using other animal by-products?
Bryan: I sometimes wear leather shoes and I have two different types of doonas. Admittedly, one still does have feathers.

June: Zoos, circuses with animals and rodeos – your thoughts on these please.
Bryan: It really sickens me to see some of the creatures in small pens.
June: Any comments on factory farming: such as hens in battery cages, pigs in cramped stalls, and cattle feedlots?
Bryan: I absolutely hate it, and it's no wonder so many people are ill and get cancer of the bowel etc. In Britain, they were feeding animals with their own excrement! Mad cow disease started this way.
June:

Yes, I believe that the animals are definitely fighting back!

Is there one particular area of animal exploitation that you find particularly disturbing?

Bryan: Supermarkets. It's too easy for people to just pick up hamburger and have no idea that it was a living cow at one time. People don't assimilate the two.
June: What about vego musician friends – are there many of 'em around?
Bryan: Loads of them. Chrissie Hynde is the most intense of them all.
June:

Oh yeah – she's the person I want to interview next – definitely!

How's your health since you went vego?

Bryan: I cured myself of many allergies that I thought were with me for my whole life. I used to have excema (skin rash). Within two weeks of eating fruit in the morning and nothing else, it went away. I still follow that regime and it has never returned. Other brilliant things include the fact that I've never had a weight problem and I definitely have more energy than most people I know.
June: Would you encourage your partner or children to eat a vegan diet?
Bryan: Without question. I couldn't go out with anyone unless they were veggie. My last girlfriend of 9 years converted to vegetarianism – of her own will, but she knew I was passionate about it. Could you imagine kissing someone after a big hamburger? Yuck.
June:

Yeah – the thought that someone might have a chunk of cow stuck in their teeth is absolutely repulsive!

Vitamin supplements – do you take them?

Bryan: No – but I drink soya powder shakes with fresh carrot apple and apple juice everyday. You have to be careful about soya powders, as some can contain animal products. I use a product called "Source of life – a burst of energy². You can get it in North America at: Natural Organics Labs, Amityville, NY, USA Tel: 516 9575600. It's delicious and vegan.
June:

Sounds scrummy. I don't take supplements either – why would you need to?!

Protesting for animals rights – have you been at the coal face?

Bryan: Yes, for whales mostly. I successfully campaigned for the southern Antarctic Whale Sanctuary in the mid 90s. We gave out 500,000 postcards on tour asking people to write to different heads of state to vote for the sanctuary. It worked!
June: How many people do you think you've influenced towards a cruelty-free lifestyle since 'coming out' and informing people of your beliefs?
Bryan: A friend of mine just had a baby and she's been bringing him up totally vegan. I think it could be the greatest gift to have the choice to eat meat or not. I wish I had had the choice, but I have the knowledge now. That's what I call it, and once you have the knowledge, you can never go back. But it would be hard to say exactly how many people I've influenced over the years.
June: Last but not least Bryan – what do you want people to know about veganism and animal rights?
Bryan: Very simply – if you love animals; don't eat them. Also I think that everyone should read "Fit For Life 2".
June: Thanks for that Bryan – and I hope I get invited around some day for some of them delicious sounding soy shakes, baked potatoes and salad!

Bryan Adams' website: http://www.bryanadams.com/