Moby is one of today’s most recognizable electronic and rock musicians, whether it’s via his inimitably catchy samples and beats or his dedication to animal rights activism and outspoken vegan lifestyle. His first book, Gristle: From Factory Farms to Food Safety (Thinking Twice About the Meat We Eat), was released last spring. That’s right, Moby’s been rocking out regularly for over 30 years and published an extremely intelligent collection of essays on the dialogue of modern food consumption.
Right before he went onstage to headline at New York City’s Electric Zoo festival, he sat down with Food Republic to answer some of our burning questions.
What inspired you to write Gristle?
I believe that no animal should suffer. I did have one brief lapse in 1994 when I ate some yogurt. It was great. But I’ve discovered better ways to get a message across in large scale format than beating people over the head with it. I’ve been a vegan and an animal rights activist for 26 years, and you have to keep finding new outlets to get through to your audience. We worked with a great independent publisher and I’m proud of what came out of it.
I really like the essays you write on the inserts of your albums. If you were to offer your fans a recipe on an insert, what would it be?
After the release of Destroyed, Food Network approached me and asked if I wanted to do a recipe for Rachael Ray. I gave them my pancake recipe. It’s basically food for vegan bachelors, which is what I am. It’s just whole wheat flour, a little baking soda and some blueberries on the griddle. It’s totally idiotproof.
What’s the best thing you cook?
It’s really simple: I love making olive oil infusions. You just blend up olive oil, garlic and basil. I serve it to my friends — they’re always really impressed and ask me how I make it. I’m like, “Uh…”
Best keep that one under wraps. Sounds healthy, though. What are your picks for great vegan junk food?
There’s a lot of junk food that happens to also be vegan, and then there’s really great vegan stuff. I love Tofutti Cuties, those little ice cream sandwiches. There’s a great place in [LA’s] Los Feliz called Cruzer that uses Daiya cheese, which I really like. It’s not greasy or slippery like a lot of other vegan cheese.
What do you crave after a really great show?
Not to sound like a New Age hippie, but a really great green smoothie — Kale, spinach, strawberries, banana, fresh ginger and some homemade almond milk.
Who’s an artist or band you’ve worked with who surprised you by also being super into the food they eat?
I was on tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and they brought along a vegan chef. Everyone thinks they’re these insane party animals, but after the show we’d hang out, meditate a little and then have really great vegan food together.
Check out Moby’s new album, Destroyed, as well as Gristle: From Factory Farms to Food Safety (Thinking Twice About the Meat We Eat) and tell us how you rock an awesomely vegan lifestyle in the comments below.