by MPD
Categories: Animals, Eats, Music
Tags: .

Well guys it looks like we’ve lost another one. just alerted me about some “fishy” news regarding hip-hop star Common.

Common recently told The University Daily Kansan, “Yeah, I eat fish, man. I needed some protein. I’ve been eating fish for like two years now, two and a half years. It’s great too. I’m glad to be eating it. It was tough being a vegan. I salute all vegans and vegetarians”

Red Rover, Red Rover bring Common back over. Ya’ll this is bad news on the veg front!! In case you’re a little late to the party, Common has done some really awesome things for the animal rights movement which makes his fall off the boat, so to speak, an even bigger downer. But wait — is Common still a vegetarian if he eats fish? I kinda say no, but what do you think? Chime in Ecorazzi readers and tell us if you think you can still call yourself a vegetarian if you nosh on that stuff from the sea. 

Oh and check out this video that was filmed back when Common was still veggie. It brings tears to my little vegan eyes.


  • Sara

    I really do not think you can call yourself a vegetarian if you eat fish.

  • Carmen

    Oh well. I eat bison, because my Plains Indian relatives send it to me.

  • John Archer

    Hey lovelies-

    Something I don’t understand from a spiritual and an ethical perspective is how vegetarians have made themselves believe that abandoning the sentient beings we call “pigs”, “cattle”, “lamb”, etc. to the meat packing industry is supposed to be an act of compassion.

    To my way of thinking – a way informed by 30 years of Buddhist and Taoist practice and study – if one felt sympathy or empathy for our fellow mammals then one would engage husbandry to encourage those who are practicing sustainable and dignified relationships. Deep spiritual practice brings me close to the death that my life causes. Vegetarianism is a big part of Buddhism and Taoism but so is acknowledging the paradox of shame and gratitude: that we kill in order to live.

    I think a shift to a more engaged, moderate, and low flesh-consuming diet/lifestyle needs to be explained and articulated. Some folks will go raw vegan, only eating live organisms. Some folks will reduce their consumption of dead flesh.

    Could those of you at ecorazzi articulate that message a little more?

  • dan

    this is very disappointing news for me as i used to deeply respect common for his diet and his music, but now….
    and no, if he eats fish, i don’t think he can be called a vegetarian.

  • parrish

    Archer- I hear what you’re saying. I’m definitely someone who doesn’t believe that one must be vegan or vegetarian to make a difference. With that said, it’s always disappointing to see a long-time veg go back to eating animal products, especially when it’s a celebrity who – whether you like it or not – serves as a paradigm to society. I still think Common is awesome and I respect that he lives a more sustainable life than say…Joe Schmo (no offense, Joe), but still I remain disappointed that his dietary choice will now contribute to the over-fishing problem we have in this world. So it’s a mixed bag, John, a mixed bag.

  • Anwynn

    Le sigh. Le weep.

    First of all, you can get bucketloads of protein as a vegan, you don’t need to eat fish (which if you eat, you are an omnivore).

    Second, while I agree you can be an omni and make a difference in the world, I think you can make more of a difference as a vegan. As for the “paradox of shame and gratitude,” how is it spiritual to engage in cruelty and death that is completely unecessary? “We kill in order to live?” Well, we don’t have to kill animals to live. In fact, I’m much healthier and expect to live much longer now that I’m a vegan. I appreciate that you expressed yourself calmly and graciously, Archer, but I simply cannot accept your argument.

    If pressed, I would have to say that I do think it’s positive for omnis to reduce thier exploitation of animals if they can’t yet face veganism, because it does make the world wee bit better, but it still doesn’t make what they do right. Doing less wrong is still doing wrong, and there is nothing spiritual about it. Paradoxes abound in life, and death and sacrifice is ubiquitous. We don’t have to engage in cruelty to have a spiritual awareness of these things.

  • primusluta

    In many ways vegetarian/vegan diets work against our modern society. You can do it but sustaining it is far more difficult than it would seem.

  • parrish

    primusluta- I SOOOOOOOOO disagree with you….SOOOOOOOOOOO disagree

  • Jennae Petersen

    I don’t personally believe you have to be a vegan to make a difference or care about the world. There are millions of ways to make a difference. Case in point: I had a co-worker last year who was vegan, biked almost everywhere, but drove a hybrid when he did drive, had dreads because he didn’t want to put toxic hair products in his hair…I can go on and on. But…he smoked cigarettes. Fine way to kill yourself, I say. But did I think any less of him? No. We are all human and have our own vices.

    That said, I respect those who can follow vegan and vegetarian diets and stick with them. However, I refuse to think any less of Common because he now eats fish. He still lives a more eco-friendly life than the average person, and the quote in the University Daily Kansan probably only shows one very small factor in why he decided to eat fish. Truth is, we don’t know the whole story.

    Visit for eco-friendly home decor products and tips!

  • Saraphina

    parrish, being a vegetarian/vegan is not always about making a difference. Sure, that would be nice if we could, but it’s not realistic. People are never going to give up animal products. I think vegetarians/vegans realize that. As a vegan, I just don’t want to participate in such cruelty. It makes me feel good knowing I do not contribute to such an unethical practice. Also, becoming a vegetarian/vegan can make a small difference. Yes, it is quite small, but it is SOMETHING. In my lifetime, I will have saved hundreds of animals. At least I make a difference to some of those innocent animals. If you have the attitude that you do, then you might as well not donate to charity because the little amount of money that you donate is nowhere near enough to make a difference. Every little bit counts.

  • matt

    Divisive topic, but great post. I don’t consider myself a vegetarian as I now eat fish. I went 10 years veggie, then added a little bit of fish in (influence from my wife). Well, as the saying goes: you can’t be just a little pregnant, so that is what it is.

    That said, vegetarianism still calls me. I may switch teams again soon!

  • Matt

    Fish are not swimming vegetables, they are living, feeling beings like cats, dogs, cows, pigs and humans. Eating fish is eating animals and does not make you a vegetarian. It isn’t even a question up for debate.

    I am dissappointed by the people who try to make excuses for those who intentionally cause others to suffer needlessly. It doesn’t matter if other people do worse things, causing unnecessary pain and suffering is always wrong.

    I think the Buddha had something to say about this… ah yes, it was…

    “There may be in time to come when people make foolish remarks about meat-eating, saying, “Meat is proper to eat, unobjectionable, and permitted by the Buddha.” Meat-eating is forbidden by me everywhere and all the time for those who are abiding in compassion. From eating meat arrogance is born, from arrogance erroneous imaginations issue, and from erroneous imagination is born greed; and for this reason refrain from eating meat.” ~The Buddha

  • leslie@ the oko box

    I was vegan for ten years, but because i was diagnosed with a food allergy autoimmune disease my diet became scarey limited. I began eating fish and eggs – only free range, wild, organic, etc… I totally agree with a few people here that it’s ok to eat a low flesh consuming diet and still be an eco powerhouse. What is cool is that COMMON promoted awareness and that is a great thing! If he felt he needed protien and wasn’t feeling well, then best that he change his diet and eat what he needs, then feel like sh*t and not be able to continue to promote eco awareness.

  • Saraphina

    Matt, great comment! I completely agree with everything you said.

  • mary ann

    A lot of “meat substitute” products contain more protein than the meat it is replacing, so it is odd that he thought he needed protein. Call Peta, Common. they can help!

    Everyone MUST read the CHINA STUDY! The proof for plant based diets is in and the links to cancer, disease and other illness is scientifically linked to meat protein and dairy. Everything we always knew, but it is now in one book for everyone to read. WOW. Amazing book.

  • colleen

    I don’t know, Common just probably thought he had to have an answer for bent-out-of-shape vegans. If his reason was anything like one of my main reasons for experimenting with fish this year after a decade plus as a vegetarian (3 of those as a vegan), maybe he just had one shitty veg meal too many while on the road. I moved to the Deep South last year from Brooklyn. And yeah, there is a Whole Foods here and a farmer’s market, but when it comes time to get a meal while out of the house, good luck to vegans.
    I haven’t been crazy about much of the seafood I’ve tried yet, but the best fish I’ve tried was at our neighbors’, they caught it themselves, and it just seemed like food to me, and natural. Maybe even healthier than some processed veggie burger. I don’t feel bad about expanding my options, and Common’s happy with his decision, too, so lay off the guy.

  • colleen

    Oh and PS–I’ve been told (while entering a crawfish boil) that down here, most vegetarians do eat seafood. This was by someone who worked in the environmental science department at the university and said he knows a lot of said “vegetarians.” For whatever that’s worth…
    Things are different here.

  • TheUnsilenced

    Is someone a vegetarian if they eat fish? That depends. Are fish plants or animals? What is it about fish that makes them viewed, by the vast majority of people, as “less” than other animals? Does it have to do with their lack of “cuteness”? That’s what I think. Society is vain; you’ve either got the good looks, or you’re “just” a _______. The hype over the Canadian Harp Seal massacre is a perfect example of this discriminative compassion. As for Common, he’s lost a lot of vegans’ respect, including mine. There is no justification for him eating fish, especially when his excuse is the age-old “protein” myth. I’m not even going to list all the plant sources of protein, because I figure if you really care about knowing the facts, you’re on the Internet – do your own research. I don’t agree, either, that we need to eat farm animals in order to help them, that it is in their best interest that we kill them. We vegans are not “abandoning” these 10+ billion farm animals. We’re abandoning cruelty and violence, something I thought was at the heart of spirituality. The Buddha once said, “All beings tremble before violence. All fear death. All love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?” His philosophy was to do no harm, and I honestly doubt that he would agree with the kill-them-to-save-them logic. If you oppose violence, don’t support it. You’re either vegan, or you’re not. It’s that simple.