1. tell me a bit about yourself and the label/distro
(what motivates you, what matters for you, your passions in life, what brought you to this point, etc, etc...an introduction to yourself basically...)
Well, it’s a long story… but here’s a short version of it. It all started when I was really young. I went to some punk / hardcore shows. I start thinking about a lot of stuff I never thought about, things I never thought it even existed like different life styles that were showed to be back then. I fell in love with the DIY scene and its ethics. I was (and I still am) extremely curious about everything and I was always opened to new stuff. I questioned myself a lot and after reflecting for some time I became vegan, I became drug free and a lot of other steps I took came from there. That was only the beginning, after that more shows, start going to demos, playing in bands, reading a lot of books, writing a zine, distributing other zines and that’s when the distro came to life. Later on I started the label to promote interesting bands with strong messages of liberation. Bands with attitude, with something to say and not just concerned about playing music. The label main purpose was serving the cause. At the moment I’m running the distro and the label at the same time to spread the word of political open minded vegan straight edge.
I was a young kid and like most of all kids kinda innocent. I swallow all the good things that punk / hardcore has to give and teach but I also swallow a lot of crap. I felt disappointed when I realize that some people aren’t true to what they say, that some ideas weren’t that “right”, that there’s a lot of shit going on in the punk/hardcore scene… and I thought they’re perfect people with perfect ideas - I was wrong and naïve but that didn’t bring me down. I just spit out all the crap I “ingested” in the beginning and after “digestion” I built my own ideal, with a little bit of everything I learned in my life. I’m not the kind of person that stagnates, as a lot of my friends did, vegan straight edge isn’t everything to me, not even close. I’m looking forward to know more and more, and always follow my own way. I’m not part of a flock.
There’s a lot of things that motivates me, giving me energy to stay true and to be myself. Life motivates me. Love motivates me. Hate motivates me. A mix of rage and sweetness fuel my struggle. I’m at war with the system. And I’ll fight until the end. This is me.
2. Tell me how you manage to keep that flame of positive activism burning for so many years now, how do you reconcile all the hate with all the love in your life?
(Tell me the secret for that smile...)
There’s no secret for this smile. I just love to live, maybe that’s it. Who dares wins, right? I use to dare but normally I don’t win, but that doesn’t make me quit. I’m a positive person, that’s true, but even though I hate almost everything nowadays. I hate this world so much and frustration takes over me sometimes when fighting against those bastards, those murderers. Hate eat me alive, it burns my soul. Civilization is a prison for my body and for my mind. Capitalism is the power to enslave all life upon Earth, including me. The struggle for freedom must go on, but the activism must be focus on freedom, joy and love so we could be strong and sane when fighting the machines.
I live in hell but if I manage to stay here is because there’s still a lot to be done. I hate because I love. I hate those who inflict pain in those I love.
But even though I try to direct this hate I feel into positive and constructive aims. Otherwise hate will blind me, and I wanna keep my eyes open in order to see.
3.You live by the Vegan Straight Edge Ethics for more than a decade now, what is the role you find of the VSE standpoint in the wider activist arena, what is in your opinion the importance of the VSE in the context of social change.
I still live by the Vegan Straight Edge because I believe this is the most ethical and anti system way of living in the cities (or other urban areas). Even though many people I know sold out I was never tempted to sell out, because change is urgent and we’re just a few who remained true so we must join forces and strike hard to dismantle the system once and for all. We should support our troops and dedicate all our lives to the struggle. Believe it, total liberation is possible.
In the context of social change VSE is a powerful weapon. In theory it’s the most perfect weapon against the system, authority, hierarchy, discrimination, pollution, capitalism, etc. but in practical use people waste all the potential that VSE has as a concept. People are VSE for many different reasons. VSE lead me to anti civilization, anti domestication, anti authority, anti speciesism. And with this comes rewilding, gathering for food, dumpster diving, shoplifting, squatting, self sufficiency, growing our own food, learn how to do everything by ourselves, treat our diseases with herbs and natural remedies, build our own houses, starting eco communities, helping each other, having sense of community, solidarity and mutual aid. I see VSE as the key to a free world. The concept itself means nothing when alone, its all the rest that gives VSE the importance it has in the struggle. For me VSE will lose meaning as soon as we start living our lives as REAL humyns because the idea will no longer be needed as a way to liberate one another once the aim is reached. The label means nothing, its just a name, and if I don’t fit it into a social role it will become just a personal choice, and for me it is not just a personal thing.
In my opinion, VSE should be linked to another struggles, should be supporting and representing all the oppressed. We shouldn’t just focus on animal liberation and forget about all humyn exploitation around the world, all the forests being destroyed, and we mustn’t forget that everything is connected - all struggles are one. I think we should fight all the battles, win all the wars. Animal Liberation (and this includes humyns cause humyns are animals too, never forget that!) and Earth Liberation. Until we win, we should never give in.
Almost every single VSE kid I know belong to middle class, therefore, they use to have no problems with money. Not every VSE kid understands what’s like to be poor, what’s like to be exploited and how it feels to have nothing at all. That’s why I see VSE people (for me they aren’t but they use the title) wearing nike, adidas, and other fucked up brands. Buying a lot of crap they don’t need, paying for everything, contributing for capitalism even though buying vegan products. Well, if this is VSE it means nothing to me. The struggle is for liberation, that’s why I relate VSE to anarchy, to ecology, to anti-capitalism, to sweatshop free and fair trade organic products (if people decide to buy stuff), to dumpster diving, to shoplifting, to buy less and less every single day. We’re fighting the third world war but no one even noticed. The war in on and we must use all the weapons we have to kill the machines and to liberate ourselves. No one is free until all are free. To buy is to support, have that in mind every time you go out. When you buy, you’re telling companies that you agree with everything they’re doing, and do you?!
Do you believe in VSE or this is just a sub culture to you? Something to belong to, something trendy? To be VSE is much more than that, it is a lifestyle that can change the world. Stop buying , stop consuming. And not only alcohol, cigarettes or other drugs or animal derived products, but also smash your TV, destroy your computer, squat instead or rent, steal instead of buy, find instead or steal, burn your money and live free for once. Capitalism means death. Civilization means domestication of life. Vegan Straight Edge is the answer to society’s spreading cancer.
VSE is important now, (in this stage) but means nothing or at least will mean less in the end. I’m VSE but those gather hunters (tribes) still living in the wild around the world make me look ridiculous with my VSE arguments. VSE is a weapon to fight this specific battle but maybe it will be useless when we win. Never let ideas blind you cause blind idealism is reactionary. Do you have ideas or do ideas have you????
4.Much has been said around the discussion of the concepts of veganism and freeganism. how absolute is veganism as a value in your life? how do you see the freegan concept of living and what positive and negative aspects you find to it.
Veganism is really important to me but I completely accept and understand freeganism and the arguments that justify it. To fight capitalism we should avoid being citizens, and with this I mean using as less money as possible. I totally support dumpster diving, I do it for a long time already. I don’t see nothing wrong when people dumpster dive non vegan food. Well, I personally don’t think it’s really necessary because most of the times there’s always vegan food you can get for free, but for the people that don’t see nothing wrong with that makes sense. The point is that we all should buy less and get as much stuff for free as possible, no matter what. Like this we’re fighting against capitalism and we’re winning. Dumpster diving is even better and more ethical than shoplifting. Would be better if you stay vegan even though you dumpster dive because IT IS POSSIBLE. Once I got cheese (from a cow) and decided to test myself. I ate that cheese with bread (also from the dumpster). The taste was weird, strange, not familiar. Conclusion : I didn’t need to eat that because I had other stuff I could eat, I didn’t need to bring that with me because I got other stuff too. And even if I had to skip one meal it wouldn’t kill me so I felt stupid in the end but I’m not ashamed by telling you this story. It helped me to see things more clearly. I have one more reason to stay vegan now and I don’t see any wrong by testing myself, even though I felt ridiculous after that. And IT WASN”T CRAVING, if you wanna know. I understand the idea behind freeganism but honestly it’s not for me. Well, it is, but I do it staying vegan.
For me it’s more important someone who’s freegan even though not vegan compared to someone who’s vegan but buy vegan food.
Buy nothing. Stay FREEGAN and VEGAN. That’s the challenge.
5. Do you hold any spiritual beliefs? do you think there is the possibility of a marriage between religion and/or spirituality and politics? What's your view of the cosmos?
why are we here? what for? is there any purpose in all this?
I think I’m a spiritual being. But actually I’m not sure what exactly it means to be spiritual.
Honestly, I really don’t care if there’s a reason for us to be here. The topic is interesting but we never reach an unquestionable conclusion because we’re talking about something that NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE. It’s weird for me to conceive an existence of a Creator, of a God. The Creation theory doesn’t convince me. If you need a fast answer I would say “no, I don’t believe in god”. What I know is that evilness was spread in God’s name, more than love, kindness and solidarity. “Witches” were burned alive, people persecuted and murderer, men, women and children killed, wars and conflicts based on religious stands. Oppression, discrimination and dictatorship. Good things were done in the name of religion too, no doubt about it. But the bad things are so twisted that goodness seems like an act of disobedience to God him/herself sometimes, if you know what I mean!
I don’t like religion in general and institutionalized religion I just hate it. But I have to admit that there’s some interesting concepts in some religions. I believe in no absolute truth, for me that doesn’t exist because each situation is an unique situation. I don’t believe in dogmas. Moral is a tricky thing to stand for. Sin is also a tricky concept. Good vs Evil, right vs wrong, heaven and hell. Well, in my opinion the world is not black and white.
No idea if everything was predicted before, if destiny is written already. I don’t even know if God really exists. I actually don’t care that much. And if God exists why does He has to be “good”? Why can’t he be mean? And why is always “He” (for most of the religions), and never “She”? That’s typical patriarchal tricks to illude the masses. And why should we pray for him/her? What’s the point in doing that?
I believe Life’s an adventure, the long road of experiences. The universe might be infinite, or maybe not. Who knows? I don’t. It kills us not knowing things so we justify and find proves at all costs. Some are fake and false, others are true. Cosmos is definitely an enigma, our daily life dilemma.
Regarding religion inside the punk and hardcore community I don’t see it with good eyes because for me religion means oppression in most of the cases. I already admitted that I think there’s lots of good and interesting things in religions but for me punk is about total liberation and total freedom and I see no liberation or freedom in a “pack or rules and laws, morals and truth”. I don’t even agree with those “rules and laws and morals and truths” that most of religions stand for. I don’t discriminate people who believe in god, it’s their own personal thing, I just think its weird because for me makes no sense at all. Promoting religion in the hardcore scene makes no sense when the goal is to think for yourself. Of course people can be religious in a way they have no impact on other people, environment, other animals, etc, but they carry an idea that I don’t agree with. They carry an idea of submission to a “superior” being/energy/god. People tend to discriminate others based on religious sayings, cause if you don’t fit in those models, you’ll be cast aside. That happens all the time.
Religion can fight for the same causes sometimes and religious people really believe that religion is liberating, I don’t. It’s my sincere opinion. I really like the mote “no god, no masters”, but that doesn’t make me going to do whatever I want without knowing that my freedom ends where other people’s freedom begins. Common Sense helps to make things right. We just lack of sense of community and family ties. I don’t need a god to tell myself to be good and to act in the name of love. I do it because I’m an animal and we all strife to have a peaceful life, enjoying what’s good and avoiding pain, unhappiness and boredom.
Have totally no idea why we are here, or why I am here. Don’t bother me though. And it fits me being God Free.
6.tell me about a wo/man (historical or not) who is an inspiring figure for you and why is that so?
I must choose Robin Hood. He steals from the rich, and gives to the less fortunate. That’s noble. We need thousands and thousands of Robin Hood’s to fight the real enemy. We must all become “Robin Hood”.
7....ok revolution and then what???? how do you envision a radical social and political change in the world (not easy i know...) tell us just some of the things that would have to happen from your opinions and ideas?
First of all I must be the change I wanna see in the world, I must always give the example. That’s the first step to any revolutionary liberation.
I believe revolution will never come, because everyone’s waiting for it, waiting for “The Revolution”. I think it happens everyday. There’s lots of revolutions happening all the time but we’re not aware of it. Every time I dumpster dive, that’s revolution happening, every time I refuse to use unnecessary cosmetics, when I walk instead of taking a bus or something, when I steal instead of buy, when I act to help someone for the sake of solidarity, that’s revolution. Revolution is happening and this might seems kinda naive but everything counts, every little thing actually count. All this small actions and efforts mean something in the end. Small is small but small is already something, it’s more than nothing so it’s good. It’s one step closer to freedom.
There’s a lots of things that have to change in the world, we have to start respecting each other, helping each other. But it’s impossible to live in a better world when there’s overpopulation. People tend to get greedy, possessive, stressed and that might lead to violent acts. Society is organized to makes us think we need all this shit to live happy, that we need comfort, a house, a car, lots of money, lots of material stuff, lots of useless products. We blindly believe all this is true. We follow their standards and laws. And we’re so busy living our painful lives that we forget how good it feels to be in love, how good is to spend all night talking with your best friends, how important is love in our lives, and how much we miss to be free.
To me it’s only possible a more balanced social lifestyle (cause humyns are social beings) when we’re organized in smaller communities, maybe by the hundreds or less, never thousand or millions. It saturates, create wars among people because they don’t know each other, there’s no family ties of any kind, only selfishness and egocentric behaviors.
We must unlearn everything we’ve been taught. That this is life. That capitalism is needed. That society is organized in a way that everyone benefits from it. That governments and politicians do what’s right for all citizens. That police is here to protect us. That civilization is the greatest thing that happened to us. We must reject civilized crap as perfumes, deodorants, plastic food, clothes, machines of any kind, shops, supermarkets, products, etc etc because this is being our death sentence.
So many things have to change but the most difficult thing to change is people’s mind. Because if everyone change themselves, revolution will happen in a glimpse. But people won’t change that easily, and maybe the world will collapse soon, probably a lot of people will die and/or kill each other. Everything will be destroyed but after the collapse life will reborn and with much less humyns around will be better to reach a balance on Earth. Unfortunately, I believe this might be the only solution.
We must change ourselves first, only then we can fight for something real.
8. If you had to choose one moment in history where you wouldn't mind to give your life to defend (or attack...) something what moment would that be...
There’s lots of moments in history I would liked to be part of but … I didn’t mind to be part of Cristovao Colombo crew when he discovered Brazil so I could sabotage the entire plan. I would try to sink all the ships.
What’s the point in saying that someone discovered a piece of land already with people living there? If I went to your house and say “I reclaim this place, I discover it”. You probably would answer “Sorry man, but I’m living here since I’ve born, this is my home”. And I would reply “Not anymore, I found it now so I reclaim it. I’ll kill you, rape your mother, exploit your father, and after that I’ll convert everyone from your neighborhood to my religion cause you’re all a bunch of savages with no manners and we want to save your poor souls, sounds fair to you?” That’s what happened in Brazil. Genocide. Occupation. Exploitation.
9.Tell me your thoughts about the HARDLINE.
When I first got in touch with Hardline I was curious. Since the beginning that I look forward to know more about it, the ideas and beliefs behind it caught my attention. I wanted to know what was the concept all about. I read a few zines and interviews, and listen to some bands.
Even though, no one around me was into it, and most of the people I knew didn’t like the ideas because they all thought it was too extreme, homophobic and stupid, I always liked to take my own conclusions and that’s why I looked forward to know more. I liked Hardline literature, their texts and propaganda. I liked the militancy and the way they expose the problems, their articles and its arguments. Of course I didn’t agree with every single idea but with me that happens with almost everything in life. I like their vegan attitude. I totally understand all the pro-life arguments, although I’m not totally pro-life (and I don’t like to use this term because it comes from a religious background) neither totally pro-choice. I’m against abortion but the world is so fucked up that I understand that sometimes we have to open exceptions to some specific situations. I understand the arguments that justify homosexuality as something unnatural but reality is a complete different dimension. There’s a lot of people that say that hardliners are homophobic, well, I really don’t think they are, because having that idea doesn’t mean that they’re gonna reject people that are gay, or treat ‘em bad or discriminate them. It’s just their plain facts, arguments and conclusions.
Hardline has rigid rules, and sometimes “hard lines” tend to break more easily than more versatile lines.
Hardline was always connected with religion, and that was the most difficult part for me to take it seriously. But I managed to filter all the information in a positive way.
Lots of hardliners were hardcore kids with no punk roots, but when Hardline began, people were into punk too. And that’s the missing link nowadays cause when I see people wearing nike shoes and calling themselves Hardline I can’t hold it, I just laugh in their ignorant faces. People sometimes become Hardline because it’s the most “extreme” thing around. What the fuck are you thinking? This isn’t about who’s the craziest or more extreme but about who really gives a fuck? Do you?
I always imagined hardliners as freedom fighters, animal rescuers, earth defenders. Soon I realize it wasn’t exactly like that. Some of ‘em were activists but not all. Theory means nothing because only actions speak louder than words.
Natural order is a complex concept but I find it really interesting. I also don’t believe in no absolute truth, and that is the base of Hardline - the absolute truth.
I liked to read HL literature because it was more like essays and pretty well organized articles. They were well written arguments (most of ‘em).
I always felt related with social struggles, animal liberation, environmental awareness. And Hardline has it all.
10.Seeing the sea of suffering the world is (specially in terms of poverty and impossibility of even having a choice), what hope or shall i say legitimacy do we have to think that our small self-enclosed revolutionary niche of ideas will ever effectivate change in the world and in the specific particular conditions of individuals?
As a sub culture or an underground community we’re not a threat at all. But a few of us are. We have almost no impact at all but we still have some. And the point is exactly that one, we have some impact as tiny as it can be, but it’s something, it’s our contribution. Too bad that underground is not as big as “mainstream”.
We oppose the machines, therefore we’re not machines, we have feelings, we’re animals. We might be revolutionary but if we’re not good people what’s the difference? If I don’t try to be a better person, revolution means nothing at all and serves no good. Revolution conquered with the same mentality as the oppressor will not last.
And we must reach other people with kindness motivated by love so they could see that another world is possible.
Everyone have the power to change the world.
11.How do you reconcile the ideas of a return to nature and primitivism/tribal living (most probably beyond the non return point by now unless a major cataclysm happens...) with the "need" to use net, computers, machinery etc to advance causes, communicate and create social change?
The perfect scenery would be small groups of people living sustainable lives and interacting and trading food and knowledge with other groups eventually. Inside the activist community computers and internet are used as a network for people with common goals and/or ideas. But actually we don’t need machines in general. We don’t even need electricity. Nowadays internet can be used with a purpose, for something really needed on a revolutionary basis, but sometimes it turns against us, like another civilized addiction we should get rid off or abstain from. The goal is to achieve a balance on Earth and for that civilization must fall, and with it all the machines too. Computers and internet are just weapons as the Vegan Straight Edge is. Rewildi is the process to reach a life of pleasure and joy. We’re all wild animals and we should live wild and free.
We should spread this message around as fast as possible. Using any means necessary to pass on this information to others. Meanwhile learning how to grow food, how to identify edible plants, how to build houses and huts, how to make fire, how to live more sustainably.
Computers and internet are useful now, so I could answer to this interview and so you could do this zine, for example.
12. Do you believe that any small scene can create a change in the world?
Well, I wouldn’t say exactly a change, but it could ignite a fire that would lead us to a big turn of events. A small scene can be compared to a seed, Soon it might sprout (if it sprouts) and become a beautiful and strong tree.
But no, I don’t think that our little “alternative” communities will create a change in the world, but it’s all we have, it’s our hope. Almost none of the people take it seriously, but there’s a few warriors willing to give their safeness and freedom for the other living beings, for the Earth.
One (alternative) small scene has little impact on society, but a lot of small scenes can make some noise.
13. Future: plans, dreams, advices,....whatever mate...
Thanks for the interview and for giving me the chance to speak up my mind. I enjoyed doing it and I liked the questions. They were stimulating. Putting out all this feelings worked as a therapy to me.
I don’t wanna sound arrogant with what I said and I really don’t wanna look like I know all the answers. I’m an eternal ignorant in search from wisdom, that’s all. Everything’s written here are just my personal opinions.
I try to stay Vegan and to stay poison free. I’m normally kind to other people. I love my girlfriend, my friends, my family. I act that love. I try not to hurt people in general, specially the ones I love. I avoid at all costs to betray my beloved ones. I fight to reject giving in into sexual desires just for lust. I’m true to myself and my to heart. I defy my limits. I’m gonna get rid of all my material possessions. I value love, life and the people who love me. I fight for my freedom. I fight side by side with all the oppressed for liberation. I read as much as I can while still living in the cities and having direct access to books. I steal those books if possible. I learn as much as I can. I have as much experiences in life as I’m able to.
I realize that I’m an animal and I should live wild and free, like all the other animals. Domestication will lead us to civilization. I refuse to be a living dead in urban areas where capitalism kills. I try to live more sustainably. Try to do everything by myself. I start growing food in my balcony.
I always reflect about my own life and try to get to know my true self better.
I open my eyes and see for the first time, only then I’ll see things as they really are.
Every single little actions have consequences.