How have we never had Dan Piraro on the site before? A regular fixture in the animal rights community, the Bizarro comic creator took some time to “stand up” at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary’s Komedy for Karma event last week. We had the chance to chat with Dan about Woodstock, factory farming and how he was inspired to go VEG. Check out the interview below!
Ecorazzi: How did you become involved with Woodstock?
Dan Piraro: Well I’m actually a founding board member. My wife and I got to know Doug and Jenny about the time that they were setting up the farm and getting ready to buy it and sort of start the whole project. And so we signed on as the first board members and we helped them build the farm and fundraise and we’ve stayed active in it for 4 or 5 years now.
E: Now I know you’ve been vegan since 2002 and you’ve stayed very active in the community. How did you get involved with animal rights?
DP: It was because of my wife. I was a guy who was compassionate to animals but not particularly involved in anything. I never wanted to be a vegetarian – I always thought vegetarians were hippies with too much free time. And then when I met my now wife and we started dating, she just opened my eyes to factory farming and a lot of stuff I’d never heard of. So once I started seeing it through a clear vision of what was really going on it took me no time at all.
E: So you didn’t find it challenging?
DP: No, I really didn’t. I was living with her – we had just moved in together — and she had been vegan for years and vegetarian all her life. So yeah it was actually easier for me because there was no real learning curve. She already knew how and where to shop and what to eat. She was giving me all this great food, so I really didn’t even miss a beat.
E: If you have advice for any people out there considering going VEG what would it be?
DP: I would say that once you figure out how to do it, it’s much more of a lifestyle substitution rather than a sacrifice. Your substituting food that’s better for you, tastes just as good, is just as filling, healthier and is just way better for the environment. It’s a win, win, win situation. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze!
E: Final question and one I always ask: If you had the chance to meet one person who you’ve found specifically instrumental in the vegetarian community – dead or alive, past or present – who would it be and why?
DP: Wow! I don’t know! da Vinci would be a great one. I admire him for so many reasons and it would be interesting to pick his brain. I would love to know his philosophy behind it. He was one of those guys that was vegetarian when it was utterly unheard of. His philosophy about animal compassion was hundreds of years ahead of his time.
A big thanks to Dan Piraro for taking the time to chat with us and Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary for having us as their guests!