All-vegan punk band need you to listen
Rock for all-species’ liberation with Scarlet Rescue
Scarlet Rescue is an all-vegan punk/alternative band fronted by activist, writer, and Professor Lisa Barca.
The group has been featured on the Jane Unchained Network, Vegan Nation Radio, VegansVote Radio, among other stations and platforms.
Lead singer, Barca has been described as a “neo-riot grrrl rocker” and “force in the feminist underground” who “transcends status-quo group-think” with her “raucous cry for liberation,” (Revolution Relaunch magazine).
Scarlet Rescue’s newest single, ‘Barbecue Protest’ is a song about being vegan in a world in which social events so often revolve around eating our animal friends. We caught up with Barca, ahead of the band’s big video release on 4th July.
Hey Lisa! How did the band first come to form?
It is exciting to have an all-vegan punk band! At first it was just me, sometimes joined by my husband, Steve, on keyboard and backup vocals, playing at open mics and vegan events.
Nathaniel, our drummer, started playing with us in February of 2020. We’d been chatting with him at the vegan restaurant he runs in our neighbourhood, realised we were all musicians, played together to try things out, and immediately realized we were collaborators.
I had met our bass player, Dillon, when I played at the Vegan World 2026 conference in Mesa, AZ in 2019. We ran into each other again a few months later, and I told him about how we needed a bass player for the band. He joined us, and the rest is history!
Collectively, what do you hope to achieve as an all-vegan punk band?
Scarlet Rescue’s tagline is “Rock for All-Species Liberation”. Our mission is to use music to make people think, make them laugh, to inspire them and to perhaps make them angry – and, in any case, to break through apathy.
With this musical experience, we envision spreading a vegan message that intersects with feminist, anti-racist, and other liberatory goals.
Our aim is the liberation of ALL beings of ALL species, and nothing less.
Tell us about Scarlet Rescue’s new EP.
Our EP, Animals and Other People, has four songs on it. ‘Barbecue Protest’ has become the hit single of the album for sure.
Another upbeat anthem is ‘Clean and Clear’, while the song ‘The End of Tyranny’ is a vegan social-justice musical manifesto that uses rapped verses and a melodic chorus in an upbeat funk format. It calls for humans to stop our tyranny over the other animals with whom we share the Earth.
‘Seeing Her Being Her’ – the heaviest of the four songs, is a call to connect injustices. It paints a lyrical vignette in each of its three verse –of a woman with no home, of a date-rape victim, and of a mother cow used for dairy and her kidnapped and murdered calf, respectively.
The chorus, “Maybe you don’t like seeing her, because you wouldn’t like being her,” asks people to question the impulse to look away from injustice because of the personal discomfort it makes us feel.
The song encourages us to wonder how things would be different if, instead of reflexively looking away, we allowed ourselves to truly see the subjectivity and suffering of marginalised others. Would we become motivated to care or act on their behalf?
Tell us about ‘Barbecue Protest’. What message does the song seek to convey?
‘Barbecue Protest’ is a fun and upbeat song that refuses to play nice with those who deny that our culture revolves around the exploitation of nonhuman animals, and who participate in that exploitation by eating the bodies of these murdered beings.
It reflects on the social stigma of being vegan and of standing by one’s principles, especially when they are unpopular – because standing up for one’s values is always worth risking marginalisation.
We want to encourage and empower vegans to speak up, and never to be intimidated or silenced by a dominant culture that tells us we are ‘pushing our views’ and should keep to ourselves.
Non-vegans are pushing their views onto innocent animals every day, and we have not only a right, but a duty to speak up without worrying about who likes it or not.
I feel that sometimes there is too much emphasis in the movement on always being ‘nice’ and not offending people or communicating too strongly.
While we should always come from a place of compassion, I disagree with the view that we have to go out of our way not to be offensive. I hope the song encourages vegans – with a bit of humor and a positive and inspiring beat – to speak out often, from their hearts!
How did the video and song release go ahead of 4th July?
We have gotten such an incredible outpouring of response to the video. Vegans everywhere have written to us on social media and in private messages about how much they love the song, that it expresses exactly what they feel but didn’t have the words to say, and that the video makes them feel happy and strong. Some have even reported their non-vegan family members humming the tune because it is so catchy!
We are incredibly honored to be able to connect with so many people and deliver a message that lifts vegans up and gives them something to celebrate while also showing the beauty of the animals to anyone watching.
The fourth of July is a rather silly US holiday, featuring not only carnist consumption but also a lot of American patriotic posturing accompanied by extremely loud fireworks that frighten and panic animals all around the nation.
Now, we’ve given people something fun, rebellious, and vegan to associate with the day. The truth is, though, that ‘Barbecue Protest’ is a song for all seasons.
I think of the ‘barbecue’ as standing in for all oppressive events where animals’ bodies are served, including, for instance, the Thanksgiving turkey dinner, Christmas ham, and more everyday events where animal consumption goes on.
Why is music such a powerful tool for spreading the vegan message?
Music has the power to make people feel something in a different way than is possible through speech. Speech can be extremely powerful, of course, as can facts and data about the million reasons why we should all be vegan.
With music, we hope to be able to reach people on a different level, perhaps inspiring some non-vegans who might not be reachable by other means.
What’s in store for the future of the band?
On the heels of the amazing reception we’ve gotten for our ‘Barbecue Protest’ video, we are excited to get back into our studio to create new songs.
We’ve got one in the works called ‘Soy Boys Unite!’ and another with the chorus ‘Eat your Wheaties, not your meaties’.
Both are fun, yet also very serious from an animal-rights activist perspective. We also will be playing livestream concerts on our YouTube channel and on Facebook Live.
People can subscribe and follow us on those platforms to keep up with what we’re doing! Once things open after quarantine, we’ll be playing local shows to benefit sanctuaries and at vegan events.
For more from Scarlet Rescue visit their website or follow them on Instagram @scarletrescue