Credit: Michele Zezima
Author and activist Mickey Z. will be the key-note speaker at this Sunday’s Veggie Pride Parade. The parade begins at 11am in the West Village; he’ll take the stage at 1pm in Union Square, where the parade ends. There will be additional speakers sharing the stage to educate the masses about the benefits of a veg diet but my vote goes to Mickey for being the most bad ass of the lot.
Mickey’s books include The Murdering of My Years: Artists and Activists Making Ends Meet, 50 American Revolutions You’re Not Supposed to Know: Reclaiming American Patriotism, and Self Defense for Radicals: A to Z Guide for Subversive Struggle–and he’s published by some of the edgiest indie publishers around, such as Soft Skull Press, Disinformation Company, and PM Press. Oh, and Newsday called Mickey Z. a “professional iconoclast” and Time Out New York has referred to him as a “political provocateur.”
SuperVegan: Well hello there Mr. Fancy Pants. How did you end up being the key-note speaker at this year’s parade?
Mickey Z.: Wow, that’s funny because I’m the furthest thing from fancy pants. I tend to wear my clothes until they fall off me. Anyway, I’ve known parade founder Pamela Rice for many years and she invited me to speak at the 2009 event. I ended up going on very late and reaching a much smaller crowd but Pamela said I still “stole the show.” This year, well… I guess I got bumped all the way to the front of the line.
SV: How do you find the time and the inspiration to keep churning out writing, speaking and blogging projects for your Cool Observer blog, VegNews, Discovery’s Planet Green, ZNet, CounterPunch, and other outlets?
MZ: In terms of time, I’ve always had lots of support from my partner Michele. On top of that, I write quickly and efficiently. If I sense a spare 10-15 minutes looming, I’m on it. Creatively speaking, what can I say? In all my years of writing, I’ve never encountered anything even approaching writer’s block. As for inspiration, when things are this fucked up, I simply must do something to try to provoke change.
SV: You are a brave man for tackling Foodswings’ “Handwich.” What did you think of it? Do you think it’s a positive or negative sign that even the most appalling meat concoctions are veganized? Meaning, are we helping the cause by offering fried treats in response to KFC and other fast food or potentially harming it by removing the “do it for your health” part of the argument for a veg diet? Or perhaps you possess a more “it takes all kinds” approach?
MZ: The Handwich was positively orgasmic and I kinda like the idea of openly mocking death joints like KFC. Of course, you wouldn’t wanna live on vegan comfort food but I eat simply (lots of salads) and maintain portion control, and I workout every day so… I’m cool with the occasional binge.
SV: You’re a personal trainer and martial artist and have noted in a previous interview that Bruce Lee inspired you. Do you have any issue with my referring to you as a “vegan warrior” from here on out then?
MZ: (I think I just heard someone from Homeland Security shout, “A-ha.”)
“Vegan warrior” is definitely cool, but I also like “The Warrior from Astoria.” It would be cool to hear a boxing announcer say it.
SV: You write a lot about lefty issues and politics. What I really appreciate is that you bring together animal advocacy, environmentalism and progressive politics, which is refreshing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been disappointed by “progressives” who indignantly cling to a diet that causes so much harm–to the planet, slaughterhouse workers, small independent farmers and animals–as if they have covered their asses by being lefty already so why should they have to evolve when it comes to their diet too. Do you also run into this attitude and if so, what’s your favorite response?
MZ: The Left is at least a decade behind on the environment and maybe 3-4 decades behind on issues pertaining to diet, health, and animal rights. It’s pathetic. They’ll spend the next 6 months analyzing every aspect of George W. Obama’s Supreme Court pick and meanwhile, 100 plant and animal species will go extinct every day. Here’s something I said at the Left Forum, back in March:
Like the bull in a bullfight, the Left focuses on the elusive red cape instead of the matador…distracted from the real targets. But, fear not, some bulls see through the red cape bullshit and quite justifiably introduce the matador to the business end of their mighty horns. Of course, as things stand now, those bulls are promptly killed while the matador is mourned as a brave hero. But ask yourself this: If every single bull in every single bullfight were to gore every single matador, how long would it be before bullfights were a thing of the past?
SV: What’s your next book going to be about?
MZ: My third novel is due out later this year from Raw Dog Screaming Press. It’s called Darker Shade of Green and tells the story of a homeless prophet who inspires a young man and his cohorts to engage in a campaign of ecotage.