Action Centre

Lee Newell From Viva Brother Sings the Praises of a Vegetarian Diet


Lee Newell for PETA

Between the release of their debut album, Famous First Words, and touring the world playing gigs – and with impending global mega-stardom beckoning – it's a busy time for Viva Brother. But frontman Lee Newell still found the time in his schedule to shoot a new pro-vegetarian ad for PETA, talk to us about why he went vegetarian and the animal issues that really get to him and even provide some on-tour cooking tips!

What made Lee decide to kick the meat habit? "So I've been vegetarian for about two and a half years now, and the first thing that really made me go veggie was actually when I got my dog, Oscar. And I just thought to myself, there's no need to eat animals where you can happily survive without it. You know, it hurts them. Why do it?"

As well as having Oscar to thank, there's also a fellow PETA supporter who had a big influence on Lee. "I'm a huge Morrissey fan, and we were actually lucky enough to go on tour with him recently – just came off tour with him – and he was, you know, along with Oscar my dog, was partly the reason why I turned veggie. If you're looking for good footage to sort of really put you off eating meat and becoming veggie, [check out] the footage that Morrissey plays before 'Meat Is Murder' in his live show."

Lee also hates that animals are being exploited for "sport". "Aside from killing animals for food, which is ridiculous, horse racing is a big one I don't like. When the horses are done with and they're not deemed fit to race anymore, they're more often than not killed, aren't they? The same with greyhound racing and obviously bullfighting as well. I saw a video, actually quite recently, of what goes [on] in there. I try not to watch too much of it, but they just torture them, don't they? […] So don't support these 'sports' whatever you do."

Check out Lee's interview to find out where he has a Morrissey tattoo and see a picture of "the trigger" – Oscar!

Lee Newell's PETA Interview

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