Metal icon and film director Rob Zombie became a vegetarian at age 18, and nine years ago, he went fully vegan. In a new interview, Zombie opened up about the benefits of his diet and lifestyle, as well as some of the challenges.
As Zombie explained to GQ, he never liked the taste of meat even at a young age — nor was he converted by the food industry’s “brainwash” tactics.
“Whenever I was served pork chops or something it would just taste awful to me,” he said. “We’re all brainwashed from the moment we’re born that all the cows are happy and the pigs are happy and everybody’s so happy and it’s all ‘Old McDonald Had a Farm’. And then I saw a movie that was the first time I really saw how brutal and disgusting factory farming was. That’s when I was, like, ‘I’m done.’”
Initially, Zombie became a vegetarian, where he was still consuming cheese, putting creamer in his coffee, and eating the occasional egg for breakfast. But even those began to gross him out, leading to his veganism.
“It was about nine years ago that I was eating eggs for breakfast,” Zombie said of the breaking point. “And I was just, like, ‘This is disgusting and I’m done.’ And that was it. I’ve been 100% vegan since that moment.”
Like many embarking on a vegan lifestyle, Zombie had to adjust to removing things like pizza from his diet, which he said was hard at first. He does note that in the nine years since he went vegan, the meatless and non-dairy food industries has improved exponentially, allowing greater accessibility and diversity for vegan diets.
“It was challenging,” he said. “Vegetarian is easier, because you can still have scrambled eggs or pizza. Once I went vegan, it was, like…now there’s nothing to eat. Every day it gets easier, and every day the food gets better. Veggie burgers used to be like tasteless hockey pucks, and now they’re so delicious.”
He added: “It’s transitional. … Your tastes change and what you consider healthy changes. But it is a process, and if someone tries to go hardcore instantly they might fail. It’s like if you’ve never worked out before and you go, ‘I’m gonna work out three hours every day!’ Why don’t we just start with two? See if you can survive that. Ease into it, friend.”
While vegans are still in the minority when it comes to established diets, Zombie sees a transition happening in today’s world.
“So much of punk rock was about fighting the establishment, fighting the norms, fighting the path that’s been laid out for you by corporate America telling you how you’re supposed to think and how you’re supposed to be,” he said. “Veganism is … anti-establishment [but] it’s becoming more of an established thing — every day some new chain like McDonald’s or Burger King starts working a sandwich into their repertoire, because they can see the meat industry has an unsustainable future.”
And if you want some insight into Zombie’s productive day-to-day life as an artist, he admits to eating the same breakfast with his wife Sheri every day: “We have oatmeal, toast, and fruit. And I have coffee.
It helps that the couple have their own garden of fresh produce. For lunch they might eat “frozen vegan stuff” if in a hurry or a “super-elaborate salad” if there’s more time. All he ever drinks is coffee, water, and green drinks from the juicer.
Rob Zombie is set to release his new album, The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, on March 12th. Pre-order a copy via Amazon, and stay tuned to Heavy Consequence for our upcoming interview with the veteran rocker.