Vegan Life Talks to Bryan Adams about going vegan, his environmental work and his passion for photography
Bryan Adams is a global superstar and you don’t need us to tell you that he is one of the most successful singer/songwriters in history. It is, however, less well-known that Bryan Adams is a record producer, photographer, philanthropist, animal welfare and environmental activist and vegan.
Bryan has been vegan for 35 years and he admits that he wished that he had been born a vegan. This is a sentiment that a lot of us share — the regret that we didn’t have our moment of clarity earlier on in our lives. Bryan is very matter of fact about his veganism and having cut animal products from his life over three decades ago, that is probably not surprising.
“I don’t know what all the fuss is about. I’ve been a vegan for 35 years; I wish I’d been one my whole life,” he says.
The softly spoken Canadian singer has long been a supporter of PETA, and says that he enjoys the way in which PETA addresses important issues with humour to engage a wide audience. Bryan says that after his moment of understanding, when he began to understand the truth about the conditions of factory farmed animals, he knew that he could never turn back from his decision to lead a vegan life. In fact, he has become famous for saying: “If you love animals, don’t eat them.” He also supports the vegan lifestyle as a whole, saying that he does not support the killing of any animals and will not, therefore, eat them or wear them.
His vegan values do not stop him from also acknowledging the health benefits of cutting animal products from his life. Adams wrote a piece for the Guardian in 2016 called ‘What’s in your basket?’ where he wrote: “I abide by the rule that if it looks like it’s going to clog your system, it probably will.
“People don’t understand about me being vegan, but I’m not a preacher, I simply have my view on what works for me. It would be wonderful to convince people without having to say much. For example, I’m very slim due to my diet.
“When I see men and women my age with their guts hanging over their trousers I wish someone was able to explain the benefits of diet, and that they are likely to be toxic and blocked from the things they’ve eaten.”
Adams hasn’t always been vegan though. He was born in Canada in November 1959 and his father was a diplomat for the Canadian Foreign Service which took the family to Portugal, Israel and many other countries in his childhood. He doesn’t talk easily about his childhood, or any personal matters, but with his parents’ split when he was just 12 years old, we surmise that it couldn’t have been easy for Adams.
He has said in the past that times became particularly tough in his mid-teens and as a result he got a job cleaning dishes. He used the money from this job to buy his first guitar and it was at this point where his passion for music really became a reality.
Adams quit school and spent his time focusing on music, primarily as a guitarist but he eventually transitioned towards the centre of the stage and became a singer too.
When he was just 17, he met a fellow songwriter Jim Vallance, who had, and continues to have, a profound impact on his career. Together, Adams and Vallance wrote Run to You, Summer of ’69 and (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, which became a worldwide hit.
Adams went on to become a household name and one of the most successful artists of all time, selling over 100 million records worldwide putting him alongside greats such as Adele, Metallica and Bob Dylan. He has also won numerous awards including the Ivor Novello and MTV awards. In 1985 he won the Juno Award for Album of the Year for his album Reckless and it was just two years later that Adams made the decision to go completely vegan.
Read this article in full when you pick up the November 2017 issue of Vegan Life Magazine.