Bryan Adams knows that Earth matters more than Billboard charts. For many years, the Canadian-born rock star has combined hit-making with animal rights activism, asking whaling countries to save the whales and KFC to kill its chickens more humanely. Not surprisingly, Adams is a vegan.
You travel a lot. What do you do when you can’t find a vegan meal?
It’s usually not a problem, but it can be a bit worrying when you’re in an Asian country. If you want a salad, travelling in India or Turkey can be trying. But luckily there are a billion Indians who are mostly vegetarians, so finding vegan meals isn’t so hard there.
PETA nominated you as the world’s sexiest vegetarian. Does being sexy help when you’re trying to help animals?
Being sexy helps when you’re trying to do anything! Seriously, that is all PR nonsense. What’s important is getting people involved in helping the cause, so if that is what it takes, fine. But what’s laughable is that most of the people on those lists probably eat fish and other non-vegetarian food.
How can our readers help chickens?
Every day when you pick up the paper you see more and more news about the devastation of habitat and cruelty on a massive scale. I’ve made a conscious decision not to be part of the cycle of killing animals because I couldn’t see the point of crusading for Greenpeace and then eating a fish. Seriously, if you are going to talk the talk, you need to walk the walk (become a vegetarian to stop cruelty against animals).
What’s the most amusing thing that has happened to you while campaigning for animal rights?
I took David McTaggert, one of the founders of Greenpeace, on tour with me. It was a mission to help create the southern Antarctic whale sanctuary. We distributed postcards at my concerts in order to persuade countries supporting the whaling industry to vote yes to the sanctuary. We succeeded and had lots of fun doing it. But in one case, the government of a small Polynesian island wrote back pleading with us not to send anymore postcards, because they couldn’t handle the volume.
You’re also involved in the fight against whale hunting. What would you tell a Japanese fisherman whose family has been in this business for generations?
I say, if you were doing (hunting) like your forefathers (did) out on the high seas with a harpoon and a sailboat, then I suppose it’s understandable. But they’re not… For some reason, (people) seem to think the ocean is completely sustainable and they can plunder it endlessly, and everything is edible and it will be OK.