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Making noise: vegan musician and activist Dave Noisy.

During the height of the Napster controversy, a socially and ethically responsible alternative to the file-sharing service was created in the form of Fairtunes. Allowing users to make voluntary financial contributions to their favorite artists, Fairtunes acts as a virtual tip jar. Articles about Fairtunes appearing in The New York Times and The National Post mentioned several artists that received contributions, including U2, Sarah McLachlan, and the Noisies. Who, you may be asking yourself, are the Noisies?

Dave Noisy is the guitar player, singer, and, in fact, the one and only member of the Canadian band The Noisies. He started playing guitar 14 years ago and shortly after began recording songs in his primitive home studio. The songs were then put on tape and sold to his friends at high school. With new and better technology, he started to record music once again in 1999. The Noisies' website describes the music as "original and eclectic, cross-genre, counter-pop to punk to power folk and beyond!" For Dave, music is a "creative outlet ... it allows me to express myself, to tell stories. Those are my main goals."

The Noisies' songs cover a range of subjects from political to personal issues, and while a large number of Dave's songs are about more general topics, many show his dedication to a cruelty-free, Earth-friendly lifestyle. He wrote the song "Dairy Trucks Keep Circling My House" after noticing several dairy trucks that kept, well, circling his house. "Greed and a Piece of Wood" was written for the Stoltmann wilderness area, a proposed national park in the Upper Elaho Valley of British Columbia that has been facing deforestation at the hands of logging companies. And "Life on the Pharm" is "a commentary on all the drugs used ... for human and non-human animals."

Dave became an ethical vegan more than 13 years ago. "As a creature who appreciates freedom and respect, I can't take that away from the others we share this planet with. I think it's also important to understand that there is no need for humans to kill or use other animals, for food or (for) any reason ... (Veganism) is the thread of my moral fabric. I don't eat any animal products, I don't own or use anything with leather or wool, and I'm very careful to make sure everything I buy is vegan, including less obvious items, like candles."

While not as well known as other vegan artists like Moby or Def Leppard's Phil Collen, Dave is able to make significant contributions to the causes that are important to him. Along with being the chief organizer for local animal rights and vegetarian groups, Dave also sponsors a monthly public vegan potluck dinner, staffs information tables at events, maintains a number of activism websites, and moderates several email lists. He recently orchestrated a demonstration outside a McDonald's for World Farm Animals Day and participated in a protest of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

When asked how he felt about the current state of the vegetarian/vegan movement, Dave replied, "I feel it is growing substantially. Fewer and fewer people I encounter are unfamiliar with what veganism is ... Vegetarianism is much more expansive. This trend will only continue. I am hopeful for the future of nonhuman animals here on Earth ... Music is universal, and hopefully one day veganism will be as well."

You can download songs by the Noisies from <www.mp3.com/noisy> or learn more at <www. thenoisies.com>.

Eben Packwood is an undergraduate studying English at Bennington College in Bennington, VT. He wrote this article while doing on internship with the Vegetarian Resource Group during his school's Field Work Term.
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Title Annotation:Vegetarian Action
Author:Packwood, Eben
Publication:Vegetarian Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2003
Words:604
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