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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.

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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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Written By

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.

94 Comments

94 Comments

  1. Geoff Maddock

    January 6, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    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.

  2. Uruhu Kayla

    January 6, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Raul

  3. Man Madeof Starstuff

    January 6, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    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 energy and whatnot… so blaspheme veganism all you want, i’m sticking to it.

  4. Eric Schwerdtfeger

    January 6, 2015 at 8:47 am

    What a disappointing article.

  5. Ashley Duncan

    January 6, 2015 at 7:03 am

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

  6. Herbert Soden

    January 6, 2015 at 3:21 am

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

  7. Alessandro Di Benedetto

    January 6, 2015 at 3:08 am

    What a vapid article.

  8. Federico Ichi Scargiali

    January 6, 2015 at 2:33 am

    What a waste of time

  9. Cody Jackson

    January 6, 2015 at 12:44 am

    I hated reading this. The whole experience of it.

  10. Clayton Lopes

    January 5, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    All this topic can be summarized by…
    🙂

  11. Nick Lorge

    January 5, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    go listen to grateful dead hippies

  12. Nick Lorge

    January 5, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    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.

  13. Mike Martin

    January 5, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    I heard varg only eats German Shepard meat….

  14. Yannich Rï

    January 5, 2015 at 12:55 pm

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

  15. Mad'moiselle Ténèbrae

    January 5, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    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 don’t understand what’s so bad about being gay, another thing that’s quite annoying about the Black Metal scene, hating on gay people, what the fuck…). And you can be vegan and still hate humankind and want the whole fucking population of us bastards to go extinct.

    • Juliana Lira

      January 5, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      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. 😉

  16. Juliana Lira

    January 5, 2015 at 10:13 am

    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 we are all parasites destroying this planet and being vegan doesn’t mean i hope to save this world, just means i understand it and don’t agree with killing innocence. If that doesn’t makes me tr00 kvlt black metal i simply don’t care 🙂 i leave the cool kids to pretend online how evil they are.

  17. Militant Hippie

    January 5, 2015 at 9:26 am

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

  18. Andrei von Headcheese

    January 5, 2015 at 9:23 am

    no. no one cares. fuck you

  19. Andrea Petrosinelli

    January 5, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Veganism is degrading society.

  20. Alex Mejia

    January 5, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Whales are but food to us

  21. Roy Hombre Benson

    January 5, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Axl Goredeth hahahaha

  22. Mike Gallagher

    January 5, 2015 at 8:44 am

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

  23. James Arson

    January 5, 2015 at 8:42 am

    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…

  24. James Arson

    January 5, 2015 at 8:41 am

    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.

  25. Derek Jelsma

    January 5, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Man Madeof Starstuff

  26. sonic3dblast

    January 5, 2015 at 8:11 am

    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.

  27. Cräig Benttimäki

    January 5, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Doubtful

  28. Alexander Phillips

    January 5, 2015 at 6:47 am

    Poseurs gonna pose

  29. Timothy D White

    January 5, 2015 at 6:27 am

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

  30. VVill Smith

    January 5, 2015 at 6:14 am

    What was the point of this article?

    • Chris Glisczinski

      January 5, 2015 at 6:17 am

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

  31. Cristöbal Talamilla

    January 5, 2015 at 5:50 am

    Francisco Reyes 🙂

  32. Luh Ayu Suardhana

    January 5, 2015 at 5:48 am

    Dannus Darmawan before 1992..

  33. Kobra Khan

    January 5, 2015 at 5:45 am

    black metal – shitty trend since 1982 <3

  34. Mike Martin

    January 5, 2015 at 5:39 am

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

    • Keenan Griego

      January 5, 2015 at 6:06 am

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

    • Mike Martin

      January 5, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      Please do.

  35. Scott Niemet

    January 5, 2015 at 5:35 am

    This article made absolutely no sense.

  36. Stephanie Koithan

    January 5, 2015 at 5:22 am

    Joseph Horowitz

    • Joseph Horowitz

      January 5, 2015 at 6:24 am

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

  37. Richter Belmont

    January 5, 2015 at 5:04 am

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

  38. Graig Quazar

    January 5, 2015 at 5:02 am

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

  39. Ricardo Figueiredo

    January 5, 2015 at 4:49 am

    varganism

  40. Fraulein Schwarz

    January 5, 2015 at 4:20 am

    Why did I read this?

  41. Gent Mehmeti

    January 5, 2015 at 4:13 am

    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

      January 5, 2015 at 4:50 am

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

    • Kevin Nuñez

      January 5, 2015 at 9:44 am

      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.

  42. Mykk Noise

    January 5, 2015 at 4:11 am

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

    • Chad Bylsma

      January 5, 2015 at 6:05 am

      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.

  43. Dave Black

    January 5, 2015 at 4:09 am

    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 better. In this case, it may be about eating chicken and/or listening to Nickelback.

    Your piece seems a tiny bit on the defensive at the end there… But that’s cool, I welcome any opportunity to get this vegan discussion out in the public sphere, without it turning into a vicious shitfight. Good work.

  44. Bronson Barton

    January 5, 2015 at 4:03 am

    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.

  45. Thomas David Shaw

    January 5, 2015 at 3:51 am

    Jessie Anne Salmon Ⓥ ha no.

  46. Iwan

    January 5, 2015 at 3:50 am

    Vikernes rules (y)

  47. Dante Legion

    January 5, 2015 at 3:47 am

    Go Vegan xxx 😉

  48. Kobra Khan

    January 5, 2015 at 3:41 am

    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.

  49. Thomas Edwin Elliott

    January 5, 2015 at 3:38 am

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

  50. Isaac Enrich Martínez

    January 5, 2015 at 3:38 am

    Bullshit

  51. Isaac Davies

    January 5, 2015 at 3:35 am

    At last you guys gave this a little credence, shame the article was a bit lacking and not even any vegcore tunes where interspersed amongst it. For the followup you need to mention animals killing people, anophelli, xrepentancex, avvika, gather. As well as the rise of cosmetic ecocore among mainstream metal and even pop

  52. Yuriy Kalistratov

    January 5, 2015 at 3:32 am

    Veganism is disgusting!

    • Keenan Griego

      January 5, 2015 at 6:01 am

      Have you ever tried veganism yourself? Don’t judge something before trying it dick.

  53. Bunny Reeves

    January 5, 2015 at 3:31 am

    Clickbait

  54. Robert Gamble

    January 5, 2015 at 3:30 am

    Hope Fedora Reich can get their debut out before starving to death

  55. Ollie Bombard

    January 5, 2015 at 3:30 am

    Can you give an example of a false anti cosmos band ?

    • Robert Gamble

      January 5, 2015 at 6:53 am

      Basically all of those trendy hipster black metal bands you see now that don’t hate the entire cosmos. Bands like Thee Church of Behringer

  56. Robert Gamble

    January 5, 2015 at 3:28 am

    true anti cosmos black metal bands like Wartorn Kosovo and Circumcyst hate absolutely everything and eat absolutely nothing which is why most of those bands only last 1 album.

    • Gent Mehmeti

      January 5, 2015 at 6:35 am

      There’s a black metal band called Wartorn Kosovo?! Can I have a link please?

  57. M Bear Wintar

    January 5, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Nobody gives a fuck about what your diet is. Acting like it’s a big deal is the same as bragging about going to the gym. Fucking stupid, they can eat raw fecal matter for all I care, their music will still suck balls.

    • Robin Ehres

      January 5, 2015 at 11:08 am

      Although, veganism is not a diet… Ethics and politics, Bear.

    • M Bear Wintar

      January 5, 2015 at 11:20 am

      When I was like 20 and still relevant to the scene, whatever that means, vegan meant a diet that excluded all foods of animal origin, including milk, eggs, cheese, and so on. It was a way for posers to be more HARDFUCKINGCORE than the vegetarian crowd. And now it’s a hipster trend in metal. It’s cool that the thing outgrew itself and is now also about ethics and politics, I ain’t gonna front. But vegan black metal just sounds like a really lame way of trying to sell records to the wrong audience.

    • Stefan Cizinsky

      January 5, 2015 at 12:08 pm

      Just because you eat a certain way doesnt make it a diet. most of us dont eat humans and its not because we’re on some kind of diet is it? Vegans dont eat or otherwise consume animal products (leather, wax, going to the zoo etc) because they believe its unjust treatment of animals, ie Animal oppression. Veganism is a moral principle, not a diet.

  58. Krissy Krass

    January 5, 2015 at 3:23 am

    is this article the onion or just written by retards?

  59. Merryn Western

    January 5, 2015 at 3:23 am

    Robert Gamble

  60. Paul Hamlin

    January 5, 2015 at 3:23 am

    Reminds me… I ended up at a few vegan/animal rights activist punk shows in the late nineties where people were talking about successful raid on mink farms and sabotaging fox hunts… hardly front page stuff though

  61. Ollie Bombard

    January 5, 2015 at 3:21 am

    Extreme Black Metal Vegans eat raw meat.

  62. Paul Hamlin

    January 5, 2015 at 3:20 am

    Veganism is not extreme. Also, no-one in the mainstream gives a shit about our niche musical genres, regardless of the political ideology attached. Although if vegan black metal activists commited arson or murder to further their cause the press would no doubt lap it up like they did in the early nineties.

  63. Malory Knox

    January 5, 2015 at 3:19 am

    Interesting thoughts, I believe that you are right about the way people think about certain events. It is all about random sequence of news that influences their final opinion, without looking for a deeper context. I actually wrote a blog piece about it yesterday:
    https://futureisafuckingmess.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/on-the-irrational-rationality/

  64. עיוור המלחמה צבעים

    January 5, 2015 at 3:17 am

    Having a look at how much potential for any kind of discussion this topic bears this article is disappointing in every way…

  65. Milos Vojinovic

    January 5, 2015 at 3:12 am

    Vikernes is cunt.

    • Bunny Reeves

      January 5, 2015 at 3:32 am

      Hey milo lets listen to your albums then!

  66. Niltzsche Foukoopmann

    January 5, 2015 at 3:12 am

    I actually expected more of this article…

  67. Madeleine le Despencer

    January 5, 2015 at 3:10 am

    my god… we have come to the point that Vegan Black Metal Chef is actualy used as an example of Black Metal extremism…. I thought it was bad when Cradle of Filth showed up….

  68. Ben Ediction

    January 5, 2015 at 3:10 am

    Hopefully.

  69. Neko Negde

    January 5, 2015 at 3:06 am

    into hipsters, yes

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