Another amazing photo by @carlyhoskins on the Saves The Day tour.
Yesterday afternoon I made my typical stop at Whole Foods for some cold brew almond milk latte and a salad bar snack before I got behind my drum kit for the evening. Normally I execute all my errands in a blaze, but this time the 230 bpm steps from my feet were brought to a halt.
As I was simply teasing my eyes by glaring at the prepared vegan meals as I headed towards the fridge where they keep the cold brew coffee, I noticed a teacher with a swarm of her students roaming the same aisle I was in. A random customer asked the teacher what grade her students were in. I didn’t get the name of the school since I was a bit too occupied with singing along to “Tight Rope” by Janelle Monae to myself as it was playing over the Whole Foods stereo (you can never deny the Electric Lady). But I did overhear that the students were 3rd graders. The customer commented on how well behaved all the students were , and the teacher returned a smile to the customer along with words of appreciation. So after their exchange, the teacher must’ve looked up at the huge sign above the section of prepared foods that said ‘VEGAN’ because she then asked her students “ok everybody, can anyone here tell me what a vegan is?”
When I overheard the teacher’s question I smirked at first because I thought it was so cool that a teacher was taking their time to even discuss the topic of veganism to their students, especially kids at such a young age. I deliberately slowed down my steps because I was curious to overhear what these 3rd graders had to say about veganism. Right after the teacher dropped the question a few of the students seemed eager to answer the question, but at the sametime they also seemed kind of unsure and a bit too nervous to answer. Then suddenly one brave young girl in the group of students stepped up asked “is that like a vegetarian?”
I was very impressed that this young student delivered such a good answer and was confident enough to just shout it. The teacher was enthused with the young girl’s answer and said “you’re very close Jaime, but vegans are actually different from vegetarians.” Once the teacher said that to her students I couldn’t help but have an even bigger smirk on my face because I was so glad to hear what this teacher was discussing with her students. Then after a quick pause the teacher noticed that I was sort of observing the whole interaction with her students as I was contemplating on taking a sesame tofu wrap back to the practice space with me.
The teacher gave me a smile and she asked me “are you a vegan sir?” I simply replied with “I sure am, but I treat vegetarians kindly despite our differences!” Ok, that was indeed a lame joke that I spat out, but let’s be real here, I had to tame the weird nonsense I would normally respond with due to being be in the company of 3rd graders and their teacher. After I was surprised to see that the teacher enjoyed my very corny joke she asked me “by any chance do you have some time to be used as an example for my students so I can show them what a vegan is?”
Now I am the type of person that normally sticks to a schedule, minds their business, and likes to keep things moving, but as of late I’ve been focusing on making a return to this personality trait of mine that thrives on positivity. And with that personality trait comes the type of positivity that is given not only towards myself, but also dishing out positivity towards other individuals. So in that ocean floor deep brain of mine I thought to myself that tonight’s drum schedule could be pushed back a bit, and I happily accepted the request to be an example for these 3rd graders.
I greeted the students by simply saying “what’s up kids, my name is Keith, and I’m a vegan, and being vegan means that I do not eat animals, I do not consume anything made from an animal, I do not wear anything made out of animals, and I do my best to be very cool towards all living things.” After my introduction all of the students greeted me with a friendly hello, and even a few of them addressed me as “Keith the vegan.” I won’t front, that moment was actually cute as hell ( if you were there you would feel the same)! After I introduced myself to the students and told them what a vegan was a few of the kids responded with comments like “that’s very nice of you not to eat animals”, “animals must really like you”, and my favorite “that must be expensive!” Once again, it was cute as hell!
The teacher then chimed in and said “ok kids, now do we have any questions to ask Keith about being vegan?” To my surprise these kids were quick to ask questions! They asked some really good questions too, and they asked a lot of them. Some of the questions these students asked were: “what do you eat?”, “are you allowed to have pets?”, “are people that aren’t vegan nice to you?”, “are you nice to people that aren’t vegan?”, “do you let people that aren’t vegan eat your food?” , “can vegans only marry vegans?” and a few other legendary questions.
I was utterly impressed with how interested all these children were on the topic of veganism, and I answered each one of their questions in a context they could all understand, and each one of them gave me their utmost attention the entire time I spoke to them. On top of answering all of their questions I also emphasized to these kids that even if being vegan is not your personal preference you can still enjoy vegan food, eat very healthy, and be kind towards living things. I also follwed that up by a brief summary describing how you can carry an open mind towards all styles of being healthy. Then all of a sudden as I was wrapping up my little rant, this one girl in a North Face vest raises her hand for a question. I point at her and say “what’s up?”, and the student says “so I guess being a vegan means that you don’t eat or harm anything that has a face!” I formed a huge smile out of amusement from what the student said and I told her, “honestly, that summed up being vegan perfectly, you’re awesome!”
It was at that time the teacher told her students that they had to move on to the next section of Whole Foods featured on their field trip. The teacher told me that their trip to Whole Foods was part of a “health week” at their school and she took her students on a trip to Whole Foods to teach them about all different types of diets that people follow. Before the class moved on to their next segment the teacher offered me a sincere thank you for taking the time to talk to her class. I returned the thank you and added that she was doing a stellar job with teaching her students about all different types of lifestyles at such a young age. I didn’t get the teachers name as they seemed like they were on a tight schedule, but I assume it was Mrs. Sommers since one of the kids addressed the teacher as that name in order to use the rest room. Much respect to Mrs. Sommers for getting it right!
I feel like I had to share yesterday’s events with everyone because it seriously made my day to talk to these kids about being vegan and health conscious in general, plus i wanted to share this experience because it was something very different for me. I’m very used to going on stage and playing my ass off in front of tons of people all the time on a drum kit, but I’m not used to having a platform where I am actually speaking to people I’ve never met before, and I was glad I took that opportunity because I feel like I did something really good by taking a moment to talk to those students about something they didn’t seem to familiar with before. I mean who knows, maybe my answers and discussions might have left an impact on at least one of those students. And even if that’s not the case, every one of those kids learned something new for the day and hopefully they will be willing to share that new knowledge to others around them.
After I left Whole Foods I thought about what it was like for me to take in new ideas when I was in 3rd grade. When I was in 3rd grade I was presented knowledge about different things than what I discussed with these students at Whole Foods yesterday, but I remembered that when I was in 3rd grade I was beginning to be exposed to a lot interesting music by people and artists who left a huge impression on me, and still do to this very day. And then I continued to just think about all the great things and individuals that left a mark on me at such an early age over all, and as I was taking that all in I felt really glad that I took some time to at least share my lifestyle in such a positive light to students that are just getting started with learning about everything in this world. So you never know, maybe one of these kids years from now will reflect on how this dude that was dressed all in black with a Morrissey haircut and that smelt like coffee opened up their mind to veganism, a cruelty free lifestyle, or even just a healthy lifestyle in general during their 3rd grade field trip to Whole Foods. Good job K.Bot, you did it!
Slayer, Beastie Boys, Run DMC
This is from last september on the Saves The Day tour, but I only saw it last night, so it’s new to me. I dig
the red lighting which adds a nice evilness to me.
Justine Frischmann…wherever you are in the Bay Area right now, just know that I still like you…a lot! And that s/t Elastica record is still flawless!