ROB LOWRY

Music Supervisor

February 2017
Originally from the Philly area and currently living in Los Angeles, music supervisor and founder of Sweater Weather Music, Rob Lowry, has found himself in a collaborative position by choosing music for films, television, commercials, and working with many wonderful directors, producers and showrunners. Rob has always felt terrible about eating meat and made the decision to go full-on vegan a couple years ago. As a proud vegan, Rob is happy to know he's doing his part to better the world and the environment.

“I don't have many vegan friends, but it's always nice when one comes to me and asks about being vegan - advice on trying it, perspective into day-to-day diet, etc. The best we can do is be open-minded and an open book when people are curious about how we go about our lives not intaking animal products." - Rob



"There needs to be stricter regulations and more oversight in how animals are treated on set."

Describe your transition from meat-eater to vegan, from Philly to LA.

I started my transition into vegetarianism when I was an athlete in college but didn't become fully vegetarian, and eventually vegan, until I moved to Los Angeles. My roommate was vegan, so I decided to give it a try. I recently read somewhere that Philadelphia is the "fastest growing vegan city" in the country, and while that seems like a nebulous fact, I can't believe it's not true. Traveling is sometimes hard for vegans, but Philadelphia is somewhere I'm always excited to go back to for a variety of reasons, one being the ever-growing amount of incredible vegan restaurants. LA and Philly are extremely vegan friendly, which makes them feel that much more welcoming.

You music supervised a film called Chicken People. Was any aspect of it hard to work on, morally? What did you learn about the industry of competitive show chickens?

When I first heard about the film, I was a little bit nervous about it - whether it would conflict with my own morals. In the film, people discuss the morals of eating their livestock, treatment, etc., but for the most part, these people raise the chickens and care for them as if they are their own children. They love them, talk to them, and treat them well. I can't really speak to the specifics of the "competitive show chicken" industry as a whole, but the characters we covered in the film were incredibly caring and connected to their chickens.
Speaking of films involving animals, what are your feelings about the controversy and animal abuse allegations surrounding the film, A Dog’s Purpose?

I'm obviously against that sort of thing. I'm not overly familiar with what the laws and protocol are surrounding having animals on set, but I do feel this happens too often to be ignored. There needs to be stricter regulations and more oversight in how animals are treated on set.

Regarding the central aspect of carnism, it’s totally “normal” to mistreat certain animals and insane to think of eating others, depending on your culture or religion. How do you think some people in America justify eating cows but worship their dogs, whereas in certain parts of the world cows are considered sacred?

It's a cultural thing, certainly. It's all contextual. It's something that people have grown up with for generations, and it just becomes "a way of life." It's certainly not a "right way," and it seems very backwards to me, but I feel and hope we are at a turning point, where animal rights will start to come to the forefront and people will begin to realize that eating meat is not only unhealthy, but also unethical.



"I feel and hope we are at a turning point, where animal rights will start to come to the forefront and people will begin to realize that eating meat is not only unhealthy, but also unethical."


"I think we put a lot of pressure on celebrities. We are upset when they speak up and we don't agree with them but then also get upset when they don't speak up."

We hear you like to surf. Certain studies say the oceans could be fishless by 2048. Have you noticed any changes in the atmosphere surrounding the beaches? Have you seen any sad sights? What do you think would happen to our world if the oceans actually became void of fish?

I don't think I've surfed long enough to register actual changes in what I am seeing around me, and luckily, I haven't seen anything heart-wrenching. One thing that does come up - especially recently, with the heavy rain we're experiencing in LA - is that we're not supposed to go in the water within 48-72 hours of a rainstorm, because of storm water pollution. That's alarming on several levels.

Working in music consists of long days and even longer nights. How do you make sure you are intaking a proper, complete vegan diet? Any tips you can give to the work-a-holics out there?

I am lucky in that I work from home, so I am able to cook for myself. I eat probably 4-6 meals a day, rather than three large ones, and snack a bit. I always have packs of almonds on hand, mini bell peppers to snack on, left over breakfasts/lunches/dinners in the fridge. I think the biggest thing I've learned is that, if you're not eating right, you're certainly not working right. I make it a priority to eat healthy and eat right - whether that's cooking meals the night before or waking up early to prepare food for the day.
Do any family members or friends judge you for your lifestyle, or are most people supportive? Is it important for you to find a vegan partner?

Everyone is supportive. I try to be as non-judgmental as I can, even if I disagree with someone. For the most part, I don't judge people for eating meat. I'm happy to have a healthy dialogue about why I disagree with it, and why I think they should give veganism a try, but I'm not aggressive about it. Sharing the same beliefs with a partner is challenging on many levels. In my experiences, I do feel like I have been judged more for being a vegan than I have judged a potential partner for being a non-vegan, if that makes sense. Going out and grabbing dinner is a big part of a relationship, especially early on as you're getting to know one another. I think we're lucky in LA in that there are a lot of health-conscious people who are open to trying new things, and equally, there are a lot of restaurants and vendors that serve vegan and non-vegan dishes. 

Do you feel musical artists have a lot of “pull” when it comes to influencing people to change, and if so, do you then think it’s their moral duty to spread the word?

Hmm. I think artists definitely have people's ears, but whether or not they are capable of impressing their beliefs onto people is a bit more dependent on the person. Obviously, someone like Pepsi is paying millions of dollars to have Beyoncé advertise their product, so statistics must say their influence is quantifiable. Moral duty is subjective, in terms of what they feel obligated to do. I think we put a lot of pressure on celebrities. We are upset when they speak up and we don't agree with them but then also get upset when they don't speak up. We claim it's not their place, but then we tell them it's their responsibility. You would like to think and hope that people who are in a position of power and influence would use it for good, but I guess it really comes down to whether they choose to use that platform.




VEGAN COMPANY PLUG

Little Pine is one of my favorite restaurants, for a multitude of reasons. They don't have many soy based products - lots of fresh veggies, great salads, and tapas so you can just order a bunch of stuff and dig in. They also donate all of their proceeds to various animal welfare organizations, so it's a win/win.

MUSIC PLUG

I'm beginning a show called The Bold Type, which is about three young women who work at a fashion magazine, and I'm incredibly excited about it. I believe it's a love letter to feminism, and it's a powerful show with strong female characters. I'm proud to be music supervising it, and the range of music we get to use is very exciting.

Special Thanks To: Muddy Paw Coffee Company
Photography By: Amanda Farmer