JOEY BARBA

Songwriter, Producer

April 2017
Having toured for over the past decade as a guitarist for multiple acts, Joey Barba now enjoys working out of his private recording studio in Burbank, CA, writing and making music. He aspires to create music that is fun and inspirational, while eating bananas and simply rocking. Nearly a decade ago, Joey became vegan after watching District 9 with a full rack of ribs in his belly.

“In the film, aliens were devouring cans of wet, disgusting cat food. The mixture of seeing that with the flesh that was in my belly at the time repulsed me. It made me question how different was I from that alien devouring ribs of some animal. After that, I quit meat for one week, which led to two and then four, and so on. Those meatless weeks led to a lot of research about where our food comes from, what it does to our body, and how much it has an impact on the environment. A 'Forks over Knives' and an 'Earthlings' later, I was 100% vegan. That, coupled with the physical benefits, mental enlightenment, and amazing tasty food is more than enough reasons to never go back!” - Joey



"We all have the choice to change what we do today for the good of tomorrow."

April holds its 22nd day to honor Earth (#EarthDay). Do you think it's the Valentine's Day of awareness? Shouldn't we have love and respect every day of the year? Doesn't Earth Day seem more eeire this year than ever before?

My son, Bash, has an Earth Day birthday, so of course I hold this day extremely close to my heart. He is a daily reminder that we need to protect the planet for future generations. Less eerie and more urgent. We all have the choice to change what we do today for the good of tomorrow.

Do you extend your animal-friendly diet into other parts of your life, and do you think it’s possible to live on this earth as a human, without harming living beings in some capacity?

I'm not naive to the fact that even though I'm vegan, my choices are still impactful on the environment. I have an Amazon Prime membership, a gas guzzling Chevy Malibu, and I take lots of flights every year. I'm not sure how it's possible to live a modern life in complete harmony with the environment. Slowly however, I'm weeding out the things I don't need, while becoming more thankful for the things I have and more mindful of every choice I make. I'm not sure I'd be on this same path had it not started with veganism. Although I have the fast paced LA lifestyle right now, living minimalist off the grid with a tiny home and a vegetable garden by the river sounds mighty enticing! Some day...
What do you say to people who tell you plants can feel too? Why is harming plants OK but harming animals is not?

I don't converse with people of this variety...haha, but seriously, anything is possible, I guess! We as humans have such a limited capacity of our five senses to understand how the universe works; however, if plants do feel in any way, it's probably not the way anything with a central nervous system feels. Plus, watch Fruit Hunters. Plants want to be eaten so we can spread their seeds through poop!

Which vegan nutritionists or atheletes inspire you?

There are too many to list! Dr. Michael Greger with NutritionFacts.org is an amazing resource. I'm currently interested in Dr. Alan Goldhamer and Dr. Micheal Klaper at TrueNorth Health Center and all the work they are doing with water fasting and an SOS-free WFPBD. As far as vegan athletes, a huge inspiration to me is Rich Roll. I think his podcasts contain so much knowledge about everything health and wellness related. I'm always inspired by the enlighented vegan prince Timothy Shieff. He's such a free spirit and just a badass in so many ways. I was also big fan of Eat and Run by Scott Jurek. This book inspired me to start ultra endurance trail running. So far, I've completed the Zion 55k and the Big Sur Trail marathon which was my first race ever finishing 11th overall and 3rd in my age group.



"I'm not naive to the fact that even though I'm vegan, my choices are still impactful on the environment."


"Health = Wealth.

I feel like I'm the richest guy alive!"

Does your family share your same diet, and how comfortable do you feel enforcing it on your child?

Yes, my fam is 100% veg. I don't think of it as enforcing my child to be vegan but empowering him. Bash is thriving! He's rarely sick compared to most kids we know, and in general, he's just so happy. The most important thing I can do as a father is foster health within our family unit. Out of health blossoms so much vibrancy and a lust for life that we get to share together. A great resource if anyone wants to learn more about childhood nutrition is Disease Proof Your Children by Dr. Joel Furhman. Health = Wealth. I feel like I'm the richest guy alive!

What do you do to ensure you get a proper vegan diet? Any tips for beginners out there?

I love cooking at home and making meals that are simple, nutritious, and take minimal work to prepare, especially now with a kid. People always think of a the vegan diet as a diet of deprivation, or they focus on all the things they can't eat; however, it's quite the opposite. I eat with so much more joy and abundance than I ever did when I was eating meat! Ironically now, I'm much more thankful for the sweet potato on my plate than I used to be for a dead pig that gave its life. Our friends love coming over to eat at our house, and they always say "if I could eat like this every day, I could go vegan!" Tips? Keep it simple with three words: WHOLE PLANT FOODS!
What do you feel about mock meats and products made in the image of real animal products? Do you feel they’re needed to help with the transition, or are they counterproductive in trying to get people to think differently? How healthy are these “alternative” products?

If these products help you in transition, go for it. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy splurging on vegan versions of the old classics (pizza, nachos, burgers, cakes), but the focus 90% of the time should be on whole fruits and veggies. Not only is it healthier, but it prompts a change in our eating habits. If we're always trying to replace what we're used to, it's never going to be the same, even if it's better! At that point, we're just setting ourselves up for failure. I do, however, get excited by all the vegan products coming out. Not for my sake, but it shows the growth of the movement and overall enlightenment of our culture.

Have you had many vegan musicians come through your studio who you can connect with, or do you always feel like the odd-man-out?

We're growing in numbers! I feel at least one member of every band now is vegan. Many artists are vegan because the creatives by nature tend to think outside of the box. They are more open and accepting to new ideas, so they are more inclined to accept veganism. In general, the growing popularity of veganism is exploding and awesome to watch. I truly believe it is the future and hope that when Bash is older it will be the norm. He will look at his vegan double bacon cheese burger and say to his friends, "can you believe they used to make these out of animals?!"




VEGAN COMPANY PLUG

Watch the movies Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, and Earthlings in that order. Then talk to me.

MUSIC PLUG

I just wrote a song with my friend Jimmy Stofer about outer space! It's out of this world...

Photography By: Amanda Farmer