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Vegetarians Aren't 'Freaks' Anymore
My fingers tingled with anticipation when I scored this oh-so sweet interview with one of the hottest vegetarian chick rockers on the west coast, Kelly Ogden.
It’s raining in LA, and Ogden, vegetarian lead singer of the bubblegum punk band The Dollyrots, is on her way to rehearsal. She has the radio tuned to NPR (National Public Radio) as she talks to me about her experience as a spotlight vegetarian.
Ogden has been vegetarian more than half her life. She converted when she was only 12 years old, upon encountering a hardcore PETA warrior.
The Dollyrots - Barefoot and Pregnant
She explained, “I had a militant teacher who gave me a ton of PETA literature. It scarred me for life. There was no way I could eat another cow, or go to a circus ever again. I think it's important to understand what you put in your body.”
Ogden elaborated on the concept of knowing exactly what it is you are stuffing into your mouth, “If you're eating an animal you should know that it was once a living, breathing creature, and that it probably suffered and died so you could chew on its morsels. It sounds harsh, but it's only fair.”
It was refreshing to hear her perspective as she reflected the viewpoint of those speechless little creatures most people ignore. Ogden admits that she debated between becoming a veterinarian and The Dollyrots while attending college. “In the process, I did get a biology degree and learned to tag sea turtles,” she revealed. In lieu of the path change, I inquired how a VIP on the west coast spreads the word of the veggie gospel.
“As with anything I care about, I try to lead by example. It's great to educate people and create awareness, but ultimately it's their choice.”
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Most vegetarians are not strangers to the feeling of hopelessness when attempting to convince a long-time meat-eater to modify their diet. Ogden has resorted to setting the precedent of a healthy lifestyle through living her life positively as a vegetarian.
“At this point [vegetarianism] is just a normal way of life for me. I can't really even explain it... it's just the way I live.”
When I asked Ogden if she has experienced any negativity toward her, or the vegetarian lifestyle, she surprised me, “Not really. People are generally cool. Sometimes when we're in a small town, and I order a cheeseburger no meat, sub tomato, I get, 'Huh?' However, I think it's more common to be vegetarian and even vegan now. We're not freaks anymore.”
Ogden who nominated to became one of PETA’s “World's Sexiest Vegetarians for 2007.”
Odgen proclaims, “Being vegetarian is just a part of a way of living, and thinking that focuses on more than just yourself. I try to live my life compassionately and ethically. Eating meat just doesn't really fit in with that.”
This article was written in January 2009. At the time Ogden was living in LA with her kitty Bella, and her recently adopted a Chihuahua/Beagle mix (Mr. Quito Pickles) from the animal shelter in Lancaster, California. However, the first furry friend to go on tour with The Dollyrots was the legendary “Sniffy” the rat.
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