RZA (also known as Bobby Digital, Ruler Zig-Zag-Zig Allah, Bobby Steels, Rzarector, Abbott, and Prince Rakeem) is an African American hip hop producer, rapper, composer and actor. As a member of the hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, he has produced their albums, including the album A Better Tomorrow.
As a longtime animal advocate, RZA explained how for him, a better tomorrow is a vegan tomorrow. RZA subscribes to the mantra that you are what you eat. Before being sent to slaughter, cows are, as RZA says, “stressed, dumbfounded, sick,” and all that stress will eventually be consumed right along in your hamburger.
When it comes to eating animals. RZA said “I don’t need a dead animal or dead piece of flesh to go into my live body.” He goes on to point out that there’s “nothing on this planet that doesn’t want to live.” “I had animals as friends …. They was happy to see me in their own animal way. I’m quite sure they did not want to be on my plate.”
An exciting, wholesome and new vegan movement, among youth attracted to the hip hop movement, is spreading across the country.
This program, called “In Pursuit of a Green Planet,” has attracted a wide variety of inner-city youth, as it travels around the country hosting its Green Dinners. But Seattle has bragging rights, as this is where the program began, and Vegetarians of Washington was honored to team up with them for their very first Hip Hop Green Dinner. Since then they have attracted cutting-edge musicians, along with leading doctors and talented chefs, who are giving talks and cooking demonstrations along with the dinners.
We caught up with Keith Tucker, the leader of this great program, as he gets ready for the next Green Dinner right here in town.
Veg of WA: What are the Hip Hop Green Dinners?
Keith Tucker: Hip Hop Green Dinners are a National Health Initiative set in urban communities and designed to introduce new people, especially youth, to delicious, healthy vegan food. The Green Dinners are most attendees’ first introduction to a vegan meal and are a perfect combination of information and entertainment. It’s the first and only event in the world combining Hip Hop and serving full vegan meals to youth and families. Over the last seven years we have served over 4000 healthy plant-based meals to youth and families around the country.
Veg of WA: Why are the Hip Hop Green Dinners important?
Keith Tucker: Our events are so important because obesity is one of the most challenging health crises the America has ever faced. Two-thirds of adults, and nearly one-third of children and teens, are currently obese or overweight, putting them at increased risk for many diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It’s not just our health that is suffering: obesity-related medical costs and a less productive workforce are hampering America’s ability to compete in the global economy, as well as the direct connection to deforestation and the overall environment.
Veg of WA: Thanks for explaining, and good luck with your next dinner.