Eating Non-Meat: Moby Q and A + Gristle Book Giveaway
Alex Nicholson | Apr 29, 2010 | 9:00AM |
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Photos by: Kimberly Cadena

Some people know Moby from his days as a Rave DJ, others from his turn as a pop star, and others as an activist and vegan. It was in this role that Kimberly and I saw Moby speak at a book event at Busboys and Poets. Gristle: From Factory Farms To Food Safety (Thinking About the Meat We Eat) was edited by Moby and Miyun Park, a DC local and Executive Director of Global Animal Partnership.

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The book is a series of essays touching on issues that range from the health issues behind eating meat, the environment, the cost to taxpayers, how workers are affected, the spread of disease  and global hunger issues. This books comes at a time when The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Food, Inc. are making people think differently about what we eat, and when Congress and the White House are actually taking a real look at the social, environmental and health issues behind our diet.

Gristle isn’t a vegan guidebook, just simply some information pulled together in a palatable way. The goal is to help people make smarter choices about the meat they eat, or don’t eat.

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We asked Moby for an interview and learned a few things in the process. First, it’s hard to interview someone via email when they are on tour in South America, Second, Moby doesn’t like to capitalize his letters. Third, Moby is succinct, self-depracating and has a weird sense of humility wrapped up in a fame package. It works great in person, but maybe not in writing.

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BYT: The event at Busboys and Poets was great. Really comfortable and a nice opportunity for readers to chat directly with you guys, the editors. It was also nice to find out that Miyun is DC-based. My question is, how did you guys meet and how long have you been working together?

moby: we met at teany(a restaurant i used to own)about 6 years ago.  we originally met up to talk about new and different strategies for advancing the cause of animal welfare.

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BYT: The book is a series of really smart essays from some really smart people, How did you go about selecting your contributors, and was there a topic area you would have liked to focus more/less on?

moby: we put together a ‘wish list’, and luckily 90% of the people on our wish list said ‘yes’. i’m really happy with the book, and i feel like it covers all of the areas that we wanted to cover. so we got lucky.

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BYT: There was a lot of talk about subsidies the other night and how they create a false cost for what we eat. The conversation was specifically focused around the cost of factory beef, but at its core its an issue of corn/soy and related subsidies. Knowing that corn/soy subsidies are such a huge problem as they relate to farming, health, the environment – how do corn/soy and their by-products factor into your diet and personal choices?

moby: well, i like corn and soy…to be honest i don’t know if subsidies are allocated differently. if the corn or soy are slated to go to animal production.  i’ll go do some research.

(BYT Note – you can read more about corn/soy subsidies here.)

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What are the 3 things you would tell someone who was looking to make a change to an animal and cruelty-free lifestyle.

moby: a-eating animals makes people fat. b-eating animals makes people die early. c-100,000,000,000 animals are killed every year for human purposes.

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This question is from my Dad. He heard Moby makes the best pancakes ever. Is that true?

moby: i make sub-par vegan pancakes at best.  my pancakes are sadly not as fluffy and tasty as ihop, but they’re healthier, so hopefully it’s a worthy trade-off.

(BYT Note – His vegan pancakes get high marks on Epicurious)

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GIVEAWAY: We have some copies of Gristle: From Factory Farms To Food Safety (Thinking About the Meat We Eat) to giveaway. Want one? Tell us your favorite non-meat recipe to make at home.