Is Veganism Changing the Face of Extreme Music?

Let me jump right in to it: when you say “black metal” to a random person above 40 or 50, he will probably think of burning churches, corpse paint and guys throwing pig’s blood at each other. One or two decades ago, they might have been around 20% right about what extreme music was, but with new wave of vegan musicians, that may not be true anymore (but I’d say there’s still is 5 strong percent of blood throwers).

Disclaimer: the title of the article says “extreme music,” but I’m going to say “black metal” a lot because it’s the most eloquent example. In the 90’s, when people who were not familiar with this genre heard about black metal, it was only in a negative way. Thanks to Mayhem and Varg Vikernes, the overall representation of extreme music was a guy who takes a picture of his dead friend to make a artwork for a live album, and another who stabbed his friend 23 times. There was obviously more to this kind of music, but you can’t really go further than that in terms of bad press, especially when you add the churches that were burned down. Sadly, most people who watch TV tend to believe that the only things that exist are the things they show you.

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However, this could be changing these days, and that’s the question I asked myself: could veganism change the way people see extreme music?

Think about it: in the new era of the industry, this wave of chaotic hardcore/post-black (for lack of a better word) bands usually have at least one vegan member amongst them. There’s always been a lot of people fighting for animal rights and vegetarianism, but veganism is taking it to another level.

So my point is, in the public view, we used to have burning buildings and killing friends, whereas now we have people refusing to eat anything that had any connection to an animal in order to respect the lives of all living things. Obviously, it is not the same people and not the same philosophy as the 90’s black metal bands, but music evolves from a common denominator, and maybe bands like Burzum, Mayhem or Enslaved influenced these new bands. But does today’s vegan respect for life counteract the obvious disrespect that characterized early black metal in the public mind?

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Let’s talk from the point of view of fans now, like me; I am a huge fan of extreme music of any kind and I’ve always tried to know about a band’s way of life so as to understand their music better. I don’t think I care if band members are vegan or not, and I don’t think it would bias my approach to their sound. Although, veganism is something that could be considered a “political opinion,” and some fans could be drawn to like or dislike a band because of their vegan or omnivorous culture. We could ask ourselves if political opinions of bands are crippling to the way we like their music, but that’s a question for another day.

The funny counterpoint of this could be that extreme bands are now so evil that they have absolutely no respect nor consideration for human life, they just despise human beings and prefer the company of animals. This could be a real witch hunt for the media, but let’s conclude seriously.

Sadly, I don’t think that veganism is going to bring a better image for extreme music, simply because the very people that were judging extreme music before still love to stereotype. If they were not interested in extreme music before, and judged it without knowledge of it, it’s highly improbable that they are going to take the time to know what this kind of music actually is. The close-minded are going to stay close-minded.

 

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The Author

Tom

Tom

Passion driven french redactor ready to talk about anything regarding music, cinema, literature, esotericism or any type of worthy subjects. Also part of the TCPC organization in France.

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DIY ConspiracyGeoff MaddockAlessandro Di BenedettoClayton LopesUruhu Kayla Recent comment authors
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DIY Conspiracy
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Geoff Maddock
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Although what constitutes the breadth and depth of extreme music has broadened and relaxed a bit in the past two decades, I don’t see the “face” of it having changed much. I can’t tell you anything about the vegan or non-vegan makeup of bands or fans now more than any other time.

In my experience, it’s always been more socially conscious than the general public.

Subjectively, I knew far more people into explicit veganism 15 years ago than now, but I wouldn’t say that really means anything.

Uruhu Kayla
Guest

Raul

Man Madeof Starstuff
Guest

i just wanna say i’ve been a vegan metalhead for the last year and vegetarian the year before that… i’ve never felt better. of course i almost died of colon cancer due to the SAD (standard american diet). i’ve become a master chef as eating out is a waste of money for us and would rather have something way more nutritious. i see both my parents who are in their early and mid-60s and they’re in horrible health. i’m not saying i’m f’n tip top shape but even my live performance has shown drastic improvement from the diet change. more… Read more »

Eric Schwerdtfeger
Guest

What a disappointing article.

Ashley Duncan
Guest

Author posits question in article, concludes by suggesting an answer to the contrary, negates entire purpose for writing useless article.

Herbert Soden
Guest

This article is the written equivalent of stepping on an upturned plug.

Alessandro Di Benedetto
Guest
Alessandro Di Benedetto

What a vapid article.

Federico Ichi Scargiali
Guest

What a waste of time

Cody Jackson
Guest

I hated reading this. The whole experience of it.

Clayton Lopes
Guest
Clayton Lopes

All this topic can be summarized by…
🙂

Nick Lorge
Guest

go listen to grateful dead hippies

Nick Lorge
Guest

stupid moot argument. black metal > veganism. also varg (no matter how much i love his music) is a crazy white supremisist; sorry to burst everyone’s bubble.

Mike Martin
Guest

I heard varg only eats German Shepard meat….

Yannich Rï
Guest

I like stereotypes, it keeps the scene safe from idiots.

Mad'moiselle Ténèbrae
Guest

Hmm, is veganism chaniging the face of Black Metal, because the vegan Black Metalheads don’t need such huge and hot fires to roast their boar? Well, the only thing I know is that we don’t need pig/ sheep/ cattle heads on sticks in black metal concerts, we don’t need animal blood splattered around, that’s some sort of compensation, just take a look at the later Mayhem… I wish there were more vegans in Black Metal. Don’t know, it’s possible to be vegan and at the same time love Black Metal, and not be a faggot, hipster or “gay” (though I… Read more »

Juliana Lira
Guest

Exactly, black metalheads can be so moralistic sometimes. And as for the use of animal parts and blood i see it as the same as eating meat. I’m against it and don’t do it myself but i respect people for their choices in life. I can’t say the same about the reaction towards vegans. 😉

Juliana Lira
Guest

Veganism and black metal are different things but one doesn’t stop the other. I’m vegan and i love black metal. To me this music represents life (since morbidity is a part of life), nature and will power more than anything else and that it self triggers me to have the strength enough to chose and live the way i intend to. Animals are the link with nature that we all seem to have lost a long time a go and respecting them and eating good food gives me mental strength. I also get the anti human side of it, since… Read more »

Mad'moiselle Ténèbrae
Guest

check him out, he’s awesome 😀 Vegan Black Metal Chef

Juliana Lira
Guest

he is great 🙂

Semra Serhadli
Guest

Thank you Juliana Lira! I couldn’t have said it any better!

Juliana Lira
Guest

We are legion!

Militant Hippie
Guest

This article says nothing at all. CVLT Nation, please stop publishing such mediocre shit…

Andrei von Headcheese
Guest

no. no one cares. fuck you

Andrea Petrosinelli
Guest

Veganism is degrading society.

Alex Mejia
Guest

Whales are but food to us

Roy Hombre Benson
Guest

Axl Goredeth hahahaha

Mike Gallagher
Guest

Haha what the fuck is the author on about? No one cares about veganism openly in metal except for Cattle Decapitation.

James Arson
Guest

also some of the united states top terrorist are enviromentalists. that makes it somehow extrem i guess + there have been connections betwwen bm and the radical animals rights movement from early on from what i heared…

James Arson
Guest

the lifestyle of wolves in the throne rooms is what has been refered from allmost all 2 wave bm bands. they live on their one. also there allways have been internal debates about politics but there where internal now everything is suppossed to be public.

Derek Jelsma
Guest

Man Madeof Starstuff

sonic3dblast
Guest
sonic3dblast

But like 90s grindcore, power violence, hardcore, emo and punk rock already had a strong presence of vegan performers and often paired with very radical (sometimes over the top and even ridiculous) opinions in their lyrics against animal explotation.

Cräig Benttimäki
Guest

Doubtful

Alexander Phillips
Guest

Poseurs gonna pose

Timothy D White
Guest

Huh? I looked for a coherent thought in that article, and found look a giraffe!

VVill Smith
Guest

What was the point of this article?

Chris Glisczinski
Guest

I think we’re all trying to figure that out. Not in the intriguing way but in the “wtf was the author thinking” way

Cristöbal Talamilla
Guest

Francisco Reyes 🙂

Luh Ayu Suardhana
Guest

Dannus Darmawan before 1992..

Kobra Khan
Guest

black metal – shitty trend since 1982 <3

Mike Martin
Guest

Black metal and veganism are both shitty trends. Kill yourself.

Keenan Griego
Guest

I want to kill myself after reading your ignorant comment. Holy shit.

Mike Martin
Guest

Please do.

Scott Niemet
Guest

This article made absolutely no sense.

Stephanie Koithan
Guest

Joseph Horowitz

Joseph Horowitz
Guest

You got a weapon ? “No” then you air changing anything. Lol

Richter Belmont
Guest

Nobody likes vegans, and just like many other vegans in the music industry, they will be ignored.

Emil Prakertia Raji
Guest

Hahaha no

Seb Villa
Guest

… And Carcass?

Rigo Melendez
Guest

Lol!!

Graig Quazar
Guest

wtf are you talking about man… vegans cant play black metal. Anyway there was no reason to write this 😛

Ricardo Figueiredo
Guest

varganism

Fraulein Schwarz
Guest

Why did I read this?

Gent Mehmeti
Guest

I don’t think veganism has any capacity to change anything. It;s pointless and serves no great cause. Animals should serve people as food, just like they serve other animals that are ranked higher on the food chain. If anything, somebody should fight the food industry for its ruthless mass production standards of meat. It’s totally fine if you could hunt down your piece of meat.

Michael Bryniarsky
Guest

wow now you’re a cheeky cunt’ aint ya?

Kevin Nuñez
Guest

Little contradictory, there. That’s what a vegan lifestyle is about, keeping money away from shady industries, like the highly-unsustainable meat and dairy industries. So pointless is hardly the right word.

Mykk Noise
Guest

veganism and extreme music rules, but this is just so poorly written

Chad Bylsma
Guest

They could have at least mentioned that Mayhem’s singer is a vegetarian, or perhaps given a mention to Cattle Decapitation and Napalm Death. Not to mention that Ghaal is also veg. Idk, maybe some research and actually mentioning these “at least one member of many bands” that are vegan.

Dave Black
Guest
Dave Black

Interesting thoughts, but I would say this is a case of illusory correlation… Extreme music and veganism both got more acceptable at about the same time. I do not think that one influenced the other, but I’ve long been interested in the connection between animal welfare and the nihilistic and violent nature of extreme music/death metal etc. Despite a growing mainstream acceptance of veganism, it is still demands a strong minded, individualistic personality, much like that of an extreme music fan. One has to be prepared to defend and argue a lifestyle point against a majority who don’t know any… Read more »

Bronson Barton
Guest

I don’t know who is more stupid, the person who wrote this or the people like me who tried to read and are commenting. If that’s a paid article I hope the editor is asking some serious fucking questions right about now.

Thomas David Shaw
Guest

Jessie Anne Salmon Ⓥ ha no.

Jessie Anne Salmon Ⓥ
Guest

Being vegan is pretty ‘extreme’ though ey.

Thomas David Shaw
Guest

extremely boring. yawn

Iwan
Guest

Vikernes rules (y)

Dante Legion
Guest

Go Vegan xxx 😉

Kobra Khan
Guest

i what way that vegan shizzel will change anything? the face of blackmetal keeps antisemitism and nationalromantic.. ok + dont eat animals but that is not an new picture at all.

Thomas Edwin Elliott
Guest

Black metal and veganism; two great tastes that taste great together