David Morse

David Morse

More often behind a camera than in front of it, there’s nothing coded or cryptic about David Morse and his commitment to independent media for animal liberation.

Profession: day job: website builder for online ad agency
City: Oakland
Age: 37

Website: http://www.indybay.org

Are you vegetarian or vegan, and for how long?
I stopped eating meat just before my 21st birthday, so that makes it like, what, over 16 years now. Dang. I never ate huge amounts of dairy, even that dwindled over time, and I cut it out completely about 9 or 10 years ago.

What motivated you to make this change?
After being involved with activist causes since I was a very young teenager, from the Nuclear Freeze movement of the early to mid-80s to environmentalism and social justice in the later 80s, I was ripe for exposure to the Animal Rights movement in January 1989. I had one vegetarian friend a few years prior and knew of several punk bands that were vegetarian but I never really got it until the one two-week J-term class that winter at my college on the Animal Rights movement. Our assignment for the first evening was to read a few specific chapters from the book Animal Liberation. I couldn’t stop reading the book that night, read beyond the assignment, and decided I wanted no part of eating meat again from that day forward. I finally got it — my food didn’t live on little Fisher-Price farms. I had no idea what to eat as I was a lazy Burger-King-two-times-a-day kind of guy, and I lived off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, steamed broccoli and meatless lasagna for months. But, over time, I figured it out with cookbooks and never looked back. It remains one of the best decisions I ever made.

What are you working on?

Volunteering as much time as I reasonably can with the SF Bay Area Independent Media Center (SF Bay Area IMC): I am one of the editors of the open-publishing website Indybay.org, focusing largely on the Animal Liberation category, and I help out behind the scenes to produce Fault Lines, the IMCs monthly newspaper. I greatly enjoy the diversity of activism these projects bring me in touch with.

How can others get involved?
Everyone can make media and be a reporter at Indybay. Attend local demos and events and write about your experiences, take photos, video, or audio, and post it all on Indybay to document your actions and share them with others in the Bay Area. Once you have your report written and/or your photos cropped, it’s as easy copying and pasting your news into a simple online form and uploading your media files. You can repost any relevent animal and vegetarian news you run across if you just link back to the source. Email me if you ever need any assistance.

Who/what inspires you to keep going?
Honestly, I can’t imagine doing anything else. To be apathetic and complacent is just not in my nature. Not that I never have lazy spells, I do (although it’s harder to with all of the committments I have made). I am just not happy sitting back and not taking stands on issues I feel passionately about. There’s is so much still to be done to make this a better world for people, animals, and our environment.

What advice would you give to an aspiring vegetarian or vegan?

Ever little bit of animal products you cut out of your life is a good thing. Every step lower you take on the food chain is a step in the right direction. Meateaters that cut out beef make a difference. Becoming vegetarian and not replacing meat with increased cheese consumption makes a huge difference. And those who go vegetarian today, especially in the Bay Area, have it much easier than I did. Cutting out leather and wool are two more steps in the right direction. When the time is right and you are comfortable with where you are, make the leap to veganism.

What advice would you give to an aspiring activist?
Pace yourself for the long haul. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Sample around and see what you enjoy doing best over time. Make the time to take care of yourself. Have fun.

Trivia –

Favorite Movie: I only make it to a theater about once a year or less, but the best two films on video I’ve seen in the last six months are Garden State and The Whale Rider. (Half-jokingly, my wife just said to me that if you don’t like The Whale Rider, you have no soul.)

Favorite saying: Gettin’ there.

Favorite foods: Indian food, especially Chana Masala — and Soy Delicious ice cream for special treats.

Favorite restaurant: Lately, it’s been the Asian goodness at the Golden Lotus in Oakland as I live about 10 blocks away. Sometimes Lanesplitters #2’s vegan calzones (very happy they have a location closer to downtown now).

Favorite website: Indybay stories

Companion Animals: Two felines: Droogie, an 11-year old male (named by my brother from the Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange), and Marla, a 5-year old female (named from the film Fight Club because we had two males at the time of her arrival and, for the boys, “she ruined everything”).

Anything else you want our readers to know 🙂
My only brother, Stephen, passed away last September and he is constantly on my mind. He was an incredible person: an awesome surfer, a ripping snowboarder, an energetic drummer, a hardworker, exceptionally compassionate toward people and animals, and, yes, he was a vegetarian. He was my best friend and I will always love him. Be good to those around you and count every day you are alive and healthy as a blessing.