"I've noticed that quite a lot of people who are prominent in the animal liberation movement are Jews. Maybe we are simply not prepared to see the powerful hurting the weak." --Peter Singer (Author, Animal Liberation)


Jonathan Richman: Heeb and Vegan

What do Joey Ramone of the Ramones, Mick Jones of the Clash, and Jonathan Richman of the Modern Lovers have in common? In addition to being punk pioneers who were Jewish, all three are known to be vegetarians that eschew dairy products.

Earlier this week, The PETA Files posted that it had "confirmed ... indirectly" that Richman is vegan. The post also quoted from a 2004 interview in which Richman identified himself as vegan.

In The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB's: A Secret History of Jewish Punk, author Steven Lee Beeber writes, "Richman was ... a Jewish kid straight out of an earlier generation, the kind of kid who epitomized 'the nice Jewish boy.'" Beeber contends that Richman's lyrics formed "a template for the emotional concerns of the Jewish New York punk bands." He also claims (albeit not with the most convincing of examples) that "Jonathan's Jewishness cannot be separated from his music." According to Beeber, a trip to Israel served as a "cathartic experience that resulted in revelation" for Richman, motivating him to found the Modern Lovers in the first place.

The list of prominent vegetarian Jews in the punk scene keeps growing.


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