Moby on the Green Pill podcast - April 5, 2022

Aubrey McFate

Burn down the disco
What to do if You’re Assaulted on National TV

I have never cared for Moby's music, but peace be upon him for being a vegan of long standing, and for titling one of his albums Animal Rights, surely taking a cue from Morrissey. If memory serves, Moby's veganism dates to his involvement in the straight edge hardcore movement as a teenager in the 1980s. Anyway, this is a good interview, aside from the host (Wayne Hsiung) wanting to focus overmuch on Moby's erstwhile feud with Eminem. A portion regarding animal rights begins at about the half hour mark, wherein Moby minces toward a pessimism not too dissimilar from Arthur Schopenhauer's. He does not seem to think climate doom would necessarily be the worst thing, were it to reduce humanity to a few million or extinguish it altogether.

I'm almost hesitant to say this, because it's so incredibly negative. But I have a feeling some people might agree with this: that maybe a world without people wouldn't be the worst thing, you know? Look at the evidence. I mean, human beings, we do some nice things. We do some interesting things with science. We make some nice songs every now and then. But we also invented torture. We also invented mass incarceration, we've also killed—you know, I mean, on the balance of it, humanity is terrible like we are. And it's not something I talk about in public very often. It's not even something I talk about with my friends. But if you take a step back and look at humanity objectively, we are arguably the worst species that has ever existed. We're the only species that goes to war. Our claim to fame, we invented war and torture. Animals don't go to war, or if they do, it's quick, and functional, and it's for a rational reason. But when you think of the thousands of ways that humans have figured out how to torture each other, and kill each other, and destroy each other—like, why are we still here? Shouldn't the owner of the earth come and say, "Look, you guys are bad for business: you need to go." The earth was doing fine for three and a half billion years without humans.

He also recognizes that the sanctimony of the social-justice left is just pious posturing if they can't even figure out that animals are the most numerous victims of human cruelty.

My worldview is so reductionist and simple, I'm like a two-issue person: animals and the environment. That's it. So I'm all in favor of humans getting their shit together, if it helps animals in the environment. If it doesn't help animals and the environment, honestly? I don't really care that much. I've had to become a sociopath for animals. Because the plight of animals is so overwhelming. So what we're talking about, like humans evolving to a place of reason and compassion: great, if it helps animals. If it doesn't help animals, like, if it's just people listening to NPR while they're eating hamburgers and, quote-unquote, free range chickens—f*** them. If it doesn't help animals, I hate to say it, I don't care. If it doesn't save the environment, I don't care. If it's human culture benefiting humans? Meh. Not top of my priority list. You know, when I look at the trillions of animals being killed every year, and pristine natural environments being decimated by humans, I'm like, I'm on team animal and environment. And I'm kind of anti-human in that way. My overarching perspective on things is: what benefits animals.

And he has the insight that some people are just worthless, meat-gobbling wastes of space.

I'll walk around Los Angeles, and I'll see these miserable humans. When I say miserable, I'm not judging them. They're miserable. They're depressed and obese and angry, eating McDonald's. And I'm like, so you've killed an innocent being that is capable of profound joy, to sustain the life of someone who is miserable and vicious. That's an added level of spiritual perversion to the idea of using animals for food.

Personally, my biggest spiritual challenge is compassion for humans. Like, I have compassion for mosquitoes; I have compassion for beetles; I have compassion for paramecium. But humans, when I go hiking or when I walk around, I see humans and I'm like, "yeah, the world would kind of be better without these people." I would love to figure out a way to have more compassion for the people who are killing animals and destroying this planet.

There are some other decent bits, even if he unfortunately reverts to some gooey Gaia spiritualism towards the end. He seems like an insightful person. I may decide to read his autobiography, which he is releasing in multiple volumes, although the second one might end up being the last, as he received criticism for claiming to have dated Natalie Portman in it. Portman denied a romance happened and called him a "creeper-perv," or something of the sort, and Moby had to cancel his book tour because of it. A vegan Jewish actress against a vegan electronica musician who claims descent from Herman Melville.
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