Rob Zombie may be best known for theatrical rock & roll and terrifying horror movies, but the musician-director and his wife, actress Sheri Moon Zombie, are also outspoken advocates for the protection of animals. The couple were guests of honor at the 14th annual ThanksLiving Gala in High Falls, New York, last weekend. Woodstock Sanctuary, a nonprofit dedicated to rescuing farmed animals and providing them with lifelong care, recognized the Zombies with the Woodstock Warrior Award for their work in the fight against animal abuse.
Rob dedicated his award to Rob Zombie — the duck, his namesake at the Sanctuary, a Muscovy who has a fitting reputation for not taking any shit and scaring Sanctuary visitors and volunteers. Rob told the audience that while posing for photos earlier, Rob the duck had been biting his fingers. And while he tried to look happy in the moment, he wanted it to be known that the duck "is a little shit."
The Zombies, who have their own rescued goats and sheep, made the trip from Connecticut to accept the award. They posed for photos with attendees, including some fans who had traveled from out of state for the special occasion, and made a brief acceptance speech
"As everyone in this room knows, fighting for animals and being vegan, you're going to take shit from everybody because they think it's not cool. Actually it is cool — they're not cool," Rob said. "But that's just the way it goes. Everybody's coming around. You know, we turn on the TV and see all these horrible, multi-death corporations like Burger King selling their plant-based burgers and last night I saw Dunkin' Donuts had one, so you know, change is happening. Fight the power."
The day's festivities kicked off with a ceremony for the event's other special guests — the Sanctuary's rescued turkeys — during which Rob and Sheri served pumpkin and fruit pies to the birds to obliterate, creating a near riot as people rushed to get photos.
Revolver was also on hand at the event, and we spoke to Rob about his connection to the Woodstock Sanctuary's cause.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO YOUR FANS AND THE REVOLVER AUDIENCE ABOUT EXPLORING VEGANISM AND ANIMAL RIGHTS FOR THEMSELVES?
ROB ZOMBIE I don't like to be preachy about things because I know myself when someone preaches something to me, I want to literally do the exact opposite. I've always been like that. I'd say look into it because it's not what people think. People go, "Oh, what do you do, do you eat grass all day?" But you could literally serve people vegan food all day and they would not know the difference. It's not what they think it is so check it out.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU'D RECOMMEND TO EXPLORE VEGANISM OR TO LEARN BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT ANIMAL RIGHTS?
It's easy these days. There's a new documentary called The Game Changers that shows you can be a big, fucking gnarly athlete and not eat all that shit. I saw a movie when I was young that made me stop eating meat, The Animals Film, a documentary made in the 1980s narrated by Julie Christie. It was the first time I saw what went on in factory farming and I was horrified. I rented it at a video store and I just didn't know. How did I think these animals were dying — of old age? It's horrific. Once you see something like that, you can't unsee it. I can't pretend like it's not happening. And I think people like to make fun of it and stuff, because that's their defense mechanism against change. But change is good. I don't believe in traditions — because it was done this way, I have to do it this way. That is the biggest bunch of fucking bullshit I've ever heard in my life. If something's wrong, it's wrong. It doesn't matter that your great-great-great grandfather did it. Who gives a fuck.
Veganism was also a big thing in the punk-rock scene because punk rock and hardcore back in the day was about thinking for yourself. Being vegan wasn't weird, and these are some of the most hardcore motherfucking bands. Everyone thinks, "Oh, you're vegan, you weigh 70 lbs and you're weak," and you point them towards people like Geezer in Black Sabbath who's been vegan since he was young. I was at a vegan restaurant and ran into Bill Ward and he was telling me about back in the day when they toured and Geezer couldn't find anything to eat, since he was vegan: "Some days he'd just eat a potato. I'd bunk with him and he was so skinny." But he believed what he believed and that's really inspiring. It's not so hard anymore.
Going back to the punk rock thing, I will not in my life be controlled by fucking corporations. And it's all a big fucking lie that they sell you, with their "Real Men Eat Meat" and their Hungry-Man dinners. You're going to be [filled with] all these drugs once you hit 40. And I hit 40. And I hit 50. And in five years I'll hit 60 and I don't need any of this shit. Because it's all a lie. And I don't want to be controlled by a lie. Here's a good example: My mom survived breast cancer and there's a link between breast cancer and dairy consumption. And you know who's a big supporter of the pink ribbon campaign? Dannon Yogurt. Once you realize the world is a lie, you can start seeing the truth and wake up. I got both my parents to become vegan after they survived cancer. They got diagnosed in their Sixties and now they're both in their Eighties and I guarantee you neither of them would be here if they hadn't done it. My mom had severe intestinal surgery and they brought her a Sloppy Joe afterwards. If you want to live your life with these giant corporations that make billions of dollars killing you, hey, have fun with that, but I'm not on board with it.
The one point I want to make: There was a lie started when they created the term "health food nut" in the 1960s or so. So if you want to care about your health, you're a nut. How's that for fucking bullshit? I would eat fucking dirt if I thought it wouldn't give me cancer. I don't like the taste of anything that much that I want to get cancer from it.