Moby on vegan jokes, people who want to stab him and learn how to be happy
Let’s talk about something you tweeted in March: “In a vegan world, there would be no pandemic.” There were doctors and scientists who said that was not correct. Do you agree?
It comes down to a question of nomenclature. People think that vegan means to eat vegan food. And I meant that in the broader sense of not using animals for human purposes and not encroaching on animal habitats. It is difficult for a musician who has dropped out of school to argue with a doctorate. [laughs]. But how do you explain this, in a nuanced way? So I gave up.
You haven’t read the replies to your tweets about veganism and pandemics, but I did. Can I read you two funny answers?
Just give me a minute, I’ll go get a razor blade. By all means tell me if you’re okay with my death in your hands [laughs].
I agree with that. When you asked, “Can anyone name a viral pandemic that does not have a zoonotic etiology?”, Someone replied, “EDM?”
It’s a good joke. A solid B.
Where would you rate that response, from @ yorkslass1972 ?: “The clitoris has 8,000 nerve endings. It’s still not as sensitive as a vegan on social media.”
The subtext of a lot of vegan dialectics with non-vegans is that people say, “Oh, relax. Why do you care about this?” Well, there are a trillion animals brutally killed by humans every year, and the consequences are pandemics, climate change, deforestation of rainforests, obesity, cancer, and heart disease. So what someone like that is really saying is, “You have to relax about the fact that as a species we are destroying ourselves.” It’s kinda weird. Plus, I’ve heard versions of this joke over the past 34 years. Unfortunately, it’s a C-minus.
You grew up poor and thought that getting rich and famous would make you happy. That was not the case. Do you think people are basically either happy or unhappy, depending on their childhood, and changes in circumstances don’t matter much?
Much of human confusion is simply being human in a 15 billion year old universe, with no idea if our lives have meaning. It’s a scary thought. There are so many ways for people to whip up a happy answer to this: fame, success, likes on social media, degeneration, cynicism, religion, jazz solos. There are so many ways that people are essentially avoiding a vacuum or trying to throw weather reports into a vacuum.
Are you happy now
Yes. I took a new York Time quiz the other day on completion, and according to the quiz I’m happy. Who am I to challenge a quiz in the new York Time?
Well, as you mention in Moby doc, it’s the newspaper that called one of your albums “the end of the music. You may want to answer the questionnaire with a grain of salt.
[Laughs] Years ago, before I got sober, I read an interview with the Dalai Lama, and he said that happiness really can only be achieved by being in service. I hated this idea, because at the time I was drinking and doing drugs, and I was a selfish dick, as you call yourself for the documentary. And over time, especially with the AA stuff, I realized, “Oh, he’s right. One of the only things that provides me with a foundation is the desire to be of service to animals, to fight climate change.
It’s esoteric, but since you and I grew up in Connecticut, I’m going to ask: who is the greatest musician to ever come out of Connecticut?
There weren’t many. Who is here? Meat Loaf, Youth Today, John Mayer, Me, Miracle Legion. It’s like comparing Sweden to Finland in terms of global creative output. So many phenomenally successful companies and musicians have come from Sweden. What about Finland? Maybe Nokia. I don’t mean to slander Finland, but I’m just saying Connecticut is New England’s Finland.