Truth On Earth: Tikkun Olam Set to Music
“We could change it if we wanted to.
To stop ’em suffering, don’t buy it.
Let’s build a planet that’s good for me and you.”
—Truth On Earth, “Starvation Diet”
Serena, Kiley, and Tess—better known as Truth On Earth—rock. And that’s not just because these vegan, Jewish, teenage sisters sing in a rock band. Truth On Earth’s lyrics—which the sisters write themselves—are hard-hitting and deep. Truth On Earth is all about social action set to music.
“On a large scale, our primary goal is to bring solutions to problems in an entertaining way that leads to a safer, healthier, happier world that will be worth inheriting by future generations,” says Kiley.
Serena, Kiley, and Tess don’t just kvetch. Their lyrics are a call to action. Everything from their Web site to their press pack is filled with tips on how to make a difference on a variety of issues, including cruelty to animals, world hunger, and child abuse. They give 70 percent of their profits to tzedakah. And the music video for their song “Factory Farm” includes eye-opening video footage to show viewers exactly what the band’s talking about.
“Factory Farm” exemplifies how Truth On Earth songs make listeners think about issues for which people might otherwise take an ignorance-is-bliss approach. The powerful lyrics get listeners to empathize with animals on factory farms and in slaughterhouses:
From the time I was born, this is all I recall. Blood and guts on the floor, smell of death down the hall …
Is it normal, I wonder, to live in fear and pain? Never loved for a minute. Just tormenting my brain.
What kind of a person slaughters the helpless all day long? If a child kills animals then humans, is it wrong? …
Have a look inside my jail. You eat my suffering. I’ll stand in one place all my life while you’re digesting my misery. And when your end is near, you’ll feel our agony.
Serena, Kiley, and Tess have been vegan their entire lives, but as with everything else, adhering to a vegan diet is not something they do blindly. Serena noted that she considers veganism to be beneficial for spiritual, environmental, and health reasons. And while their nonviolent diet can be seen as a foundation for their general outlook, so is their connection to Judaism.
“Jews have historically been quite possibly the most persecuted people and at the same time maybe the most blessed by G-d proportionately to the small size of our population,” says Serena. “Because of this experience, we believe we must be fully respectful and obligated to G-d by always practicing the most peaceful and humane lifestyles possible. In our case that has manifested in our diets, our views and our music, and we plan for it to continue in all of our activities throughout the course of our lifetimes.”