James Spooner

Tattoo artist and model.

SS: What made you go vegan and why?

JS: I loved eating meat. I fucking loved it. At 15 people around me were going vegan and I was making fun of them. A lot. I was punk rock. I was an asshole. But I had one friend who started turning me on to some really amazing bands. Vegan bands. I remember hearing drop dead and down cast scream about vivesection, and chokehold youth of today talk about vegetarianism.

At the same time I was thinking about race and class and feminism and gay rights and it all just clicked. I didnt see how I could justify the systematic murder and tourcher of animals while spouting off about other forms of oppression.

I read diet for a new america, Animal liberation and some ALF book and I was hooked. By 16 I had my own vegan fan zine called Blinded by lies, blinded by draino and well on my way to converting other people to a more compassionate lifestyle.

SS: Has it been difficult for you? If yes what was difficult and did it get easier?

JS:It really has never been that tough. The stuff people struggle with, cheese or chocolate, for instance, I never liked int he first place. I am also SUPER lactose intolerant (but didn't know it at the time) so as much as i liked eating donuts, pancakes and all kind of other stuff with dairy ingredients, I would end up with crippling cramps after eating them so I didn't really do much of that either.

Later to find out I could eat non dairy versions of those things with out a hitch was a pretty good incentive.

It was really pretty simple. But in full disclosure, I'm totally not a foodie. I actually find it annoying to have stop what ever I am doing to eat. Of course I enjoy the taste of good food but If I could trade the sense of taste for never having to eat again, I would seriously consider it. I have so much to do with my life; cooking, eating, cleaning up has always just been an a chore.

SS: What are some animal rights related things that you participate in?

JS:I've been vegan for almost 20 years now. when I first got into it I did some protests, started grassroots movements with in the hardcore scene etc but now It's just a part of my life. No big deal, no badge of honor.

I am a tattoo artist, and found it inconsistent to tattoo using all the standard animal based products, so I did do the research to make sure that everything I use is vegan. The soap, the stencil applicator, the after care and of course the ink. I even make my own petroleum alternative.

SS: What are your favorite animal rights organizations?

JS: Im gonna go with gentle barn on this one. The opportunity to meet animals face to face is important to "humanize" them. The fact that they were all rescued from deadly situations is phenomenal. I really appreciate the ground level application of veganism, saving lives one animal at a time.

SS: What would you say to somebody who is considering going vegan?

JS: my animal buddies thank you. haha