Russell Simmons, Waka Flocka and Mýa on What Vegan Means for Them

Watch hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, R&B songstress Mýa, and rapper Waka Flocka in an exclusive chat with PETA about their enthusiasm for a vegan lifestyle and hopes that other people might be inspired to try going vegan as well.

They shared a gourmet vegan meal to discuss what it means to each of them to keep animal “products” off of their plate and out of their bodies.

The three each spoke about their decisions to go vegan and how removing animals from their plate has changed each of them:

Mýa, raised on “everything” had a light bulb moment, “…once I opened my eyes and was seeking knowledge, that’s when I received all the information, which led me to stick to it. So now it’s a lifetime commitment, because now I can’t turn back.”

Russell chose to be vegan nearly 20 years ago for “…the hundred billion animals” he thinks about. And for Waka Flocka…”I was fat!”

From what may have begun as concern for their health, the environment, and for the treatment of animals, became all of the above for each with the added significance to what going vegan means for the African-American community. Mýa and Russell talk about health issue after generations growing up eating chitlins (pig intestines) and pig’s feet while Waka mentions being called bougie.

The group met at Los Angeles fine dining vegan restaurant Crossroads Kitchen and enjoyed a multi-course meal to be envious of.

Kale Caesar salad

This enormous mountain of kale is served with garlic focaccia croutons and a delicious dairy-free house-made Caesar dressing.

https://instagram.com/p/BU7jY-LByFE/

Cheese Plate

Any naysayers will be too busy devouring these savory options to try and make a point against “vegan cheese”.

Artichoke oysters

One of the restaurant’s most raved about dishes, an artichoke purée is topped with a crispy oyster mushroom, béarnaise sauce, and kelp caviar, all on an artichoke leaf.

Oven Roasted Truffle Potatoes

Chef Tal Ronnen makes simple potatoes extra delicious with fresh thyme and shaved dairy-free parmesean.

https://instagram.com/p/BElwLD9A7Xv/

Spicy Meatball pizza 

House-made meatless meatballs, calabrese peppers, almond ricotta and micro basil top this crowd-pleasing pizza.

Scaloppini Parmesan

A breaded vegan chicken patty is covered in marinara sauce and dairy-free mozzarella melted to perfection.

Who's tried our scaloppine parm?

Posted by Crossroads Kitchen on Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Do your part for your health and for animals. It’s never too early (or late) to make the kind, smart choice to eat plant-based, giving your health a boost and sparing animals’ suffering. It’s never been easier to stop eating meat, eggs, and dairy “products”—there are countless compassionate options in grocery stores and restaurants across the country. PETA also has hundreds of free delicious vegan recipes to try!

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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