Dan Piraro with Akachan and Jenny at
Farm Sanctuary, 2009.
Born Daniel Charles Piraro in
1958. He is a cartoonist, painter and illustrator. He is best known for
his syndicated cartoon panel
which now appears in 250 daily and Sunday newspapers. He has been
honored three times as Best Panel by the National Cartoonist Society and
has won the Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year (the Reuben) in 2010. He has also written and performed a
one-man stand-up comedy show, The Bizarro Bologna Show.
You can check out his
his blog and
He became vegan in 2002
and sometimes incorporates animal rights issues into his
cartoons. He has a section of his
website dedicated to
Stuff, which includes an explanation about why he is vegan and
Reprinted with permission from Dan Piraro.
Quotes by Dan Piraro:
|"I'd always been very compassionate toward
animals but tended to turn a blind eye to my diet believing that
eating animals was just what humans did to stay alive. When I
met and began dating my current wife, Ashley Lou Smith, in 2001,
I began learning about what goes on in factory farms, circuses,
fur farms, etc. I began seeing things differently almost
immediately and a weekend trip to
Sanctuary in upstate NY changed me in a single stroke. I
went there as an occasional meat eater, but left as a vegan and
have never looked back."
|"I saw the clipped
beaks, the scars, and it affected me. I knew it was cruel, and I
couldn't support it anymore. I had to stop instantly."
|"I have always instinctively been opposed
to cruelty to animals, as all decent and sensible people are,
but didn't know much about how food animals were raised or
|"Many years ago, when I still ate meat, a
neighbor was mistreating his dog, and I called a rescue group. I
couldn't stand the idea of animals being mistreated. I
understand people who have that dual mentality—companion animals
and food animals—because I was that guy. I went out of my way
not to find out where those [food] animals came from."
|"Since becoming vegan, I've met rescued
"food" animals now living natural lives outdoors. ... Cows, pigs
and chickens are as smart, friendly and loving, as dogs and
|"Food animals just as bright and
personable and feeling as your pet are being mercilessly
tortured and brutally murdered every second of every day, purely
for the sake of a mega corporation's profits and your tongue's
|"One thing I've learned since becoming
vegan is that there is almost no food I used to enjoy that I
haven't found a delicious and much more nutritious vegan version
|"The thing I miss the most is barbecue.
When I smell barbecued meat, it makes my mouth water. So, I have
barbecued seitan. I don't eat meat substitutes all that often,
maybe once a week or so. At first I depended heavily on them,
but as the years go by I find I need them less."
|"People think of veganism as a diet of
sacrifice, but it's really not. I eat a wider variety of foods
now than before."
|"The basic issue is that people see
animals as being here for them, not with them. I try to change
that basic impression and hope that the rest falls into place
naturally. Once you see an animal of another species as someone
instead of something, it is easier to change your choices."
|"When I became vegan, some of what I had
learned began to seep into my work. Those cartoons became
instantly popular with people who are interested in animal
compassion and over the years I've heard from lots of readers
who began to think differently about their diet and lifestyle
based on things I brought up in cartoons. I didn't expect that,
but it's a terrific fringe benefit."
|"As with any art project, it is important
to speak from the heart. Preaching never works – and I mean
never – but sharing your perspective and views can touch
Quotes are from
website's why vegan page, his
interview with The Vegan Culinary Experience and his
2009 interview with Vegetarian Times.