Jonathan Richman of the Modern Lovers

Published by PETA.
austinchronicle/Creative Commons

I took a road trip this weekend with a buddy of mine to Athens, Georgia, which happens to be my very favorite town in America (hence the slow, inefficient posting of comments on the blog during the past couple of days), and we had the supreme pleasure of seeing Jonathan Richman—of Modern Lovers fame—perform at the world-famous 40 Watt Club with Vic Chesnutt. In addition to the fact that the man totally lives up to the legend, I learned a few pretty interesting things about Jonathan Richman during the course of the weekend, one of which is relevant to this here blog:

1. The dude speaks, like, five languages.
2. That actually was him and his drummer Tommy Larkins doing the musical interludes in There’s Something About Mary.
3. Jonathan Richman is a vegan. I confirmed this indirectly when I ran into him at the amazing vegetarian restaurant The Grit (yet another reason why Athens is the greatest town in the country) and mumbled incoherently at him. Here’s what he says in a 2004 interview:

Do you identify yourself as a vegetarian?
JR: It’s a great question. Right now I identify as vegan. I’m not strict, 100%. Every once in a while in some country, someone’s mother will make somethin’ and I’m not gonna ask grandma…you know like she’s there, she’s got her apron on and she spent four hours and I’m a guest at her house. I’m not gonna say, “Excuse me is there oleo Margarine and is there hydrogenated this-and-that. Nah, I eat somethin’. You know, I do the best I can. Left to my own devices I’m mostly a vegan.

Right on, Jonathan. No need to get vegan police-y with the grandmas. Anyway, here he is, doing his thing. Enjoy.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind