23 December 2011

Vegetarianism in skateboarding

updated August 2013
1978
Peggy Oki, original member of the Z-Boys (Dogtown), later became vegan (1), photo by Glen E. Friedman, who later also became vegan (12).

Check out this 2012 Q&A with Peggy Oki, where she says: "I like my Vans Rowley XLT’s and I’m disappointed to hear that he (Geoff Rowley) isn’t Vegan anymore." (and "I’m Vegan for Ethical reasons.")  



1985
Independent, Claus Grabke (probably not vegetarian yet)






1986
Adam Yauch used to skate. Mike D and Adam Yauch (MCA) are/were also vegetarians. But surely not back then. (Mike D was vegan for a few years in the late 90s.)




Dave Bergthold, founder of Blockhead, was/is vegetarian - but probably not back then. (22)
1987
Santa Cruz, Claus Grabke (probably not vegetarian yet)

Rob Roskopp, Gotcha ad - not sure what that was about
Thunder, Jim Thiebaud is the co-founder of Real (probably not vegetarian yet)
1988
Dave Bergthold, Blockhead (nothing else to report from '88)
1989
The infamous World Industries Mike Vallely barnyard graphic. Mike Vallely was vegetarian then, outspokenly, later vegan, then quit veganism, then vegetarianism (see 1994) (2) Interesting why people stop being vegetarian (4).





"Please, don't eat my friends" was the graphic on top of the board.





















"The Barnyard was my coming out as a vegetarian, in a sense, so the bottom graphic was going to be this funky folk-art piece of animals grazing and the top graphic was going to be a quote in simple bold black Helvetica, 'Please don't eat my friends', I left this idea with Rocco, but while I was on tour he got together with Marc McKee and tweaked things. When I returned they had the entire graphic completed. I hated it. To me it was stupid and childish. Rocco, however, felt strongly about it. He talked about George Orwell's book Animal Farm and how this graphic was a play on that with the animals rebelling and fighting back.
He made a good case, and I began to warm up to the design. It definitely looked different than anything I'd ever seen before, and I slowly came around, but I had two demands. One was that the top graphic be a continuation of the bottom scene with the quote worked into it, and the second was what I determined to be a vulgar and pointless image of a horse mounting another horse - the horse that was getting mounted is still on the board, you can see her smiling face peeking out from behind the barn. I wouldn't approve the graphic otherwise. This was easily the best-selling model I've had. Back then I was pulling consistent ten- to thirteen-thousand-dollar checks each month for almost a year, thanks to that board. To this day I have people come up to me and credit the Barnyard for introducing them to the ideologies behind vegetarianism."
Mike Vallely (25)


Mike Vallely Poweredge interview by Christian Kline (Even though they were both vegetarians - nothing about vegetarianism in this interview.)

1990
Schmitt Stix, Ed Templeton


New Deal, Ed Templeton, pre-vegan shoes

From an Italian skate mag. Ed Templeton won the Münster Monster Mastership in Germany in 1990.

Ed Templeton interview in Thrasher (nothing about vegetarianism in the interview)

Mike Vallely, Santa Cruz Speed Wheels

1991
World Industries, Jason Lee (the non-vegetarian Ed Templeton)


World Industries' Jason Lee burger board and the "cease and desist" letter by Burger King
Marc McKee (who did both the Jason Lee burger and the Vallely barnyard graphics): 
"I originally made the Jason Lee Burger King board for Mike V, and that did not go over well. I guess it goes without saying that Mike would not be down with having that kind of graphic, even though the intention was for it to be ironic since it was well known that he was a vegan. In hindsight I think he was right to turn down the graphic since it’s clearly a salute to cow-eating…. Then, when the ad came out with Jason eating a Whopper in front of Burger King—with a shaved head like Mike had at the time—that definitely came across as a vibe. Not cool." (8)

"The Burger graphic came out after I had quite World Industries. Rocco may have tried to persuade me to use this graphic before I quite - I do vaguely remember that being discussed - but I flat-out denied him. I really could have cared less about it except for the ad that Rocco ran advertising the board. It featured Jason Less with his head shaved, wearing a buttoned-up flannel - as I did at the time - holding a burger. Being the hardcore vegetarian I was, I definitely took this personal. So when I saw Jason next I confronted him about it. He played ignorant, and in some ways perhaps he was but I still gave him a tongue-lashing for being a pawn in Rocco's petty attacks. Jason apologized, and I let him off the hook. I didn't really have nor did I want to have a problem with Jason, but I was definitely hurt by the fact he participated in this obvious attack." Mike Vallely (25)    

(From a 2004 exhibition in Vancouver)

But there's more: 
World Industries - Mike Vallely & an unfinished drawing for a Jason Lee graphic

 
...and the answer by Blind with Laban Pheidias (maybe already vegan? not looking his best here though - this ad is from 1993)
A-1 Meats What did it all mean?

(I don't think Bo Ikeda was vegetarian. He was in Vision's Alphabet Soup video by the way...)


A-1 Meats Young Riders

Zero Two - The All Vegetarian Skate Shoe - Thank You For Not Killing Me.
I remember a Zero Two ad on the back of a Thrasher, that showed a skater walking away, wearing Airwalk NTS (Not The Same), leaving behind bloody footprints, with the slogan "Zero Two - There are no souls in our soles." I was not vegetarian then - and funny enough I had a pair of green NTS.

Was Sean Sheffey vegetarian during that time?
From the Sean Sheffey interview in Big Brother, issue 2:
"You’re a vegetarian right?
I don’t like meat. I think, it’s too heavy for me, it weighs me down I feel. I haven’t eaten a piece of red meat in two years now, so… I like pastas, salads but salads are kinda nasty sometimes especially at restaurants some of them aren’t too good. Soups, good black bean soup, good bread, I like rice.”
Ed Templeton
New Deal, Ed Templeton

1992
Plan B, Sean Sheffey


Powell & Peralta, Pat Brennen Meat Slick




Zero Two, Thrasher back cover, September 1992
Brian Lotti, Zero Two ad
I'm sure I once saw a Brian Lotti board with an anti-hunting graphic.




blindfolded rabbit, carrot & trap graphic (World Industries)


Ed Templeton and Mike Vallely had a company called TV (Templeton/Vallely), which was later briefly called Televison. I still regret not buying the Ed Templeton "man eats cow" board (right) (When I saw that board in a shop, maybe my subconscious mind already knew I would become vegan.) The top graphic says “Eat me I’m probably delicious.” (7)



from Big Brother, issue 3


Laban Pheidias, Blockhead  
(check out this short Q&A with Laban where he says he has been vegan since he was 16 or so)
   
TV, Templeton and Vallely
TV, Jerry Fowler, Ed Templeton, Mike Vallely
TV, Arm Chair Adventure Tour 1992


Ed Templeton with a t-shirt that says "Human Racist"Television


Television, Ryan Fabry (btw, Steve Berra rode for Television.)

Jim Thiebaud "Vegetarian, Writer, Coffee Achiever", interview, TWS, September 1992

Real, Jim Thiebaud


1993
A-1 Meats ad, note the 43mm wheels are called "meat is murder".



The first Thrasher video (The Truth Hurts) had a short interview with Salman Agah and they asked him "Are you vegetarian?", and he said "No. N-O. I think it's stupid. Well I guess it's not stupid but..." (That's what he said.)




Ed Templeton, Salvage (was a clothing company by Zero Two)

Moses Itkonen, Real ad, backcover of SLAP Sept. 1993

1994
Toy Machine, Ed Templeton (graphic by Thomas Campbell)



Powell, Mike Vallely (a re-release of the World Industries graphic on Powell - Who knew?)

   From the Mike Vallely interview in Big Brother, issue 14:


Are you still vegan? [first question]
No, and I probably never was by some people’s definition. But yes, I eat dairy products and wear leather shoes now. I had a pretty strict diet for about two years that I took very seriously, too seriously. It got to the point where my diet and the standards I set for myself were negatively affecting the way I looked at and interacted with others. After a while I didn’t feel like I was doing it for me anymore, that I was doing it for my friends or to maintain an image. It was very uncomfortable. After our daughter was born my wife started eating dairy products again and bringing them into the house and I was jealous. So I broke to some extent. But I don’t feel bad about it. I feel very secure about myself – more so now then when I was vegan. The hardest part now is dealing with the people who can’t deal with it. I’ve had people come up to me on tour and hassle me because I’m not vegan anymore, and they give me this guilt trip about how I turned them on to it and how it’s changed their lives. And now they see me wearing leather shoes and eating dairy products and they don’t know what to do. Should they continue to subscribe to my every move or get their own lives? The answer is obvious.
Are you still vegetarian then?
I really don’t use those words anymore. I’m not a slogan, I’m me. Mike Vallely doesn’t an [!] never could eat the flesh of another living creature, that’s just part of who I am. I don’t feel I need to make a stink about it. When I first came out and said I was vegetarian it was a radical statement; these days it’s not, and I don’t really care. It’s hard to break your own mold, you know? If you don’t, you don’t grow. My biggest problem in my life was that I’ve always mistaken my politics for my spirituality. Because I got into vegetarianism, I took that on as my religion. And that’s just worldly politics. I know I could never eat meat, at the same time, I pretty much consider dairy products meat, but I’m willing to eat them. So I’m probably one of the biggest walking contradictions there is. I’m a lover and a fighter."
[…]
“A long time ago, Julio de la Cruz was talking some shit to Ed Templeton about, ‘Oh Ed, let’s go eat a turkey dinner.’ Something stupid like that and Ed can not defend himself, so he just let Julio walk all over him. So when I was in the San Francisco contest last September Julio was [there] and I said, ‘Hey Julio, lets go get a turkey dinner, man.’ And he’s like. ‘What? Oh, I heard you were sick, are you all right?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m all right. Let’s go get a turkey dinner.’ And he was like. ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ So I just said, ‘Yeah, you’re a pussy, dude.’ And Paulo Diaz was sitting right next to him and he was laughing, and I go, ‘What the fuck you laughing at, scarecrow?’ That was it. Then one day, I’m skating in LA, and Paulo was with the whole LA crew hanging out, and he comes up to me and goes. ‘Hey, let’s go get a turkey dinner.’ So I was like, ‘Dude, you better just sit down.’ The he said, ‘Come one!’ So I kicked him in the chest.
Karate kick?
Yeah.” [...] [typos in the original]

 A-1 Meats - the logo in this ad says "environmentally alert".


Note the "environmentally alert - friends of animals" below.

A1 Meats, Bobby Kuhns "contains no animal bi-products [!]" in the stag logo circle
A1-Meats, John Reeves
Invisible, Jamie Thomas on a horse! (from horse rider to vegan to meat eater for Christ)

another Invisible ad - Laban Pheidias - the "healthy" alluding to his vegetarianism?

TWS, January 1994, Laban Pheidias interview







In Defense of Animals (IDA) ad, TWS, January 1994
The Beastie Boys/Spike Jonze/Girl connection, at around this time Mike D and MCA were already vegetarians (Ill Communication era). The Beastie Boys tour DVD "Awesome: I Fuckin' Shot That!" fom 2006 includes a BBQ contest of their tour manager vs. some other guys. Mike D was the vegetarian/vegan referee. The tour manager had also cooked some brown rice and beans for Mike D though haha. 
More recently (2009) Yauch was diagnosed with cancer (of the parotid gland - in the mouth) and wrote in the e-newsletter "i'm taking tibetan medicine and at the recommendation of the tibetan doctors i've been eating a vegan/organic diet ". (5) (6) There were some rumors in 2011 that Yauch had overcome the cancer, which Yauch quickly called "exaggerated".
UPDATE: Sadly Adam Yauch passed away on 4th May 2012.

Beastie Boys, Ill Communication, Girl, team deck

1995
Ed Templeton went through a "skating canvas Vans" phase... (Toy Machine ad)





















Matt Rodriguez has been vegetarian (according to mathematics) since 1995. (11) Deluxe ad.

Sergei Trudnowski - rumored to be vegan (Sub Zero ad)
Big Brother, number 20, with Jamie Thomas on the cover (I'm guessing this is from around 1995)

Mad Circle, Moses Itkonen
Moses Itkonen interview, Big Brother








1996
Is this a joke by Foundation? Or was Alyoop an actual company? Note Ed Templeton saying, "I respect them because they're vegans."

CSS, canvas Vans and Dickies

Sheep, the mystery
Sheep was a shoe company by Sole Tech (Etnies etc.), and I have read that Sheep only made vegetarian shoes, but I'm pretty sure this isn't true.
(Check out the Sheep Shoes video "Life of Leisure".)

vegan shoes? (Frank Hirata)

vegan or leather? (Mike Manzoori)

Laban Pheidias probably skating in leather free shoes (?)

It says "these shoes are either canvas or suede".


Birdhouse, Team
Big Brother, issue 23, Laban Pheidias on the cover (So this is apparently from 1996)

Late 80s Santa Cruz pro Claus Grabke and his band Thumb (all vegetarians I assume) pose for PETA (Germany). 
Ed Templeton, TWS, October 1996

WARP, June 1996, Ed Templeton interview




1997
Acme - cow and hamburger graphic.

This shoe ("Clocker 3") was interesting. It came with a "100% synthetic - no animal products" tag and it came in different kinds of vegan materials. (But Scott Johnston or anyone else on DC, except Moses Itkonen, wasn't vegetarian, I think.)

Tag from a pair of DC Clocker 3
Sheep. Brian Anderson, probably still meat-free at that time, but started eating meat again during an Anti-Hero Australia tour.

Already vegetarian back then? Rick McCrank  Vegan Shoes?

vegan shoes and blunt slides: Ed Templeton (You know it's true.)

Ed Templeton's vegan signature shoe on Sheep, that was just about to come out, when Sheep closed down (I'm not sure if it was ever produced.).
And Laban Pheidias had a vegan signature shoe on Reef. (Was the shoe only available in vegan? I don't know.) 

Note it says "vegan leather" (red section, first bullet point).

Tag from Laban Pheidias shoe
The Adil Dyani shoe (the black one below, the white one is the Laban Pheidias) by Reef was also vegan.
 

Jamie Thomas' heyday - before the fall  
Emerica ad "I'm gonna skate barefoot until you guys make a canvas shoe."
This shoe was available in real (animal) suede (black or white) or in vegan (navy canvas with rubber ollie pad). The rubber cap and sole looked slightly different than in the ad.
He was vegan then.



You have to check out this 2013 Ed Templeton interview with Vegan Skate Blog. Apparently Jamie Thomas experience blurry vision and wasn't feeling too well, a doctor then recommended that he eat meat. Ed Templeton: "I got this call from Jamie, and he said, “I just got this call from my doctor and he said I should eat meat. What should I do?”" So he went back to eating meat (unnecessarily so, I'm sure.) Also in this interview Ed mentions that Mike Vallely found (allegedly and according to Mike V himself) veganism to restricting. Ed Templeton: "So he [Mike V] was like, I’m sick of it. I feel like it’s running my life. I only live once and I don’t want to live by this set of rules. He found it constricting. He felt like there’s always a different level. Veganism and then raw and then airitarian.  [He said], “I don’t know where it ends when you’re trying to live by a strict code so fuck it.” " (30)

Invisible, Laban Pheidias

Moses Itkonen, Independent


Kastel, Steve Olson (vegan shoes)


Shorty's, Steve Olson (the younger Steve Olson with glasses) was/is a vegetarian.

unconfirmed rumors
Sergei Trudnowski, First Division 
Sergei Trudnowski, Illuminati
Toy Machine, Mike Frazier


Zero, Jamie Thomas


Zero, team decks


Pig Wheels



1998
Templeton's most popular shoe ever (probably). This shoe was everywhere you went. Emerica Templeton (all vegan)


One of the most popular vegan shoes at the time. DC "Syntax" (always vegan)
 I didn't know then, that Moses Itkonen was vegan.

Rowley's vegetarian, pre-vegan, pre-ex-vegan era, skating for Airwalk. I thought (then) Geoff Rowley was French.

Steve Olson's vegan signature shoe on Kastel






Even Duffs came out with a vegan shoe in 1998 (called "Veggie Sub"). They even made a T-shirt promoting the shoe (no photo atm).

Sheep ad









1999
Still Ed Templeton 1 (Emerica)


In a 2009 interview Mike Vallely says: "I've been eating meat since 1999. I would say I have a pretty well balanced diet at this point in my life and that although I eat animal products I'm still a very conscientious eater, maybe even more so then when I was a vegetarian. I was a vegetarian since 1988 and a vegan for several years but those dietary choices were more like religious subscriptions than dietary or health decisions. When the hold of the cult of vegetarianism got old for me my diet changed and I think and feel in many ways it's personally for the better. The vegetarian diet never actually agreed with me physically so it was a very hard thing to maintain for nearly 11 years." (2) (4)

If you feel the same way and think a vegan diet doesn't agree with you healthwise, please know that you do not have to give up veganism. There are several experienced longtime vegan dietitians who can tweak a vegan diet to suit you. VeganHealth.org (by Jack Norris, RD) is probably the most complete source of vegan nutrition info. Animal products do not contain "magical" nutrients - it seems all essential nutrients can be obtained from non-animal sources, luckily. 

And I thought (then) Mike Vallely was still vegan - his very popular shoe on Etnies was vegan.

Etnies Mike Vallely signature shoe


An ad promoting vegetarianism by PCRM (Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine) with Ed Templeton and Jamie Thomas - both vegan at the time.
Jamie Thomas then had a few all vegan models on Adio.

just like Jeremy Wray (but Jeremy Wray was never vegetarian as far as I know)










Transworld (on Geoff Rowley's first shoe on Vans): 
 “Geoff leads a vegan lifestyle and likes hiking in order to see wild animals in their own environment. As a result, Geoff’s signature shoe, which will be available in Spring 2000, will be comprised of all synthetic materials.“ (20)


Geoff Rowley in Transworld: 
 “My bail was set for 1,400 dollars, and I had real problems contacting anyone. All in all, I was held for about 36 hours with no food (I’m a vegan) or water (the sink had been pissed in). After 24 hours I was given a change of clothes. I had to walk up to the officer completely naked and hand him all my old clothes before I was given new ones. Meanwhile, everyone sat and watched.” (21)

Toy Machine, Ed Templeton


Anti Hero
Julien Stranger


2000
From Transworld "The Complete and Uncut Geoff Rowley Interview" by Ed Templeton:
Do you eat at McDonald’s?
No. I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s since I was twelve.
Tell me about your eating habits. I mean I know you’re a vegan …
Well, I’ve been a vegetarian since my thirteenth birthday, so ten years.
What started it?
My friend Martin gave me all these really exaggerated leaflets, probably about McDonald’s meat processing, and how they kill the chickens, and slaughterhouses. So I stopped eating meat, and since then it’s been a gradual road to being a vegan. Probably from hanging out with you, too, I suppose. It wasn’t particularly about animals, because I’d already been a vegetarian, but the rest of it -the dairy products - was just a progression for my health. I don’t like to buy animal products, but I’m not 100-percent strict. I don’t base my whole life around it. I’m not your vegan police who’s gonna throw it in your face.” (18)

I once read that all Savier shoes were synthetic. I don't think this is true.
Brian Anderson (then a vegetarian)

From a Moses Itkonen interview in Transworld: 
“If you ever get the chance to spend any amount of time talking with Vancouver, British Columbia’s Moses Itkonen about who he is, you’ll quickly discover his formula for identifying himself: He is what he eats.

Moses is a vegan, which means he’s decided not to consume any animals, or wear them out at night, or go into business with them. In a society where animals and their many tasty parts have been blended, sprinkled, chopped, tossed, and beaten into just about everything edible, being a vegan isn’t like being a liberal, or a Scorpio, or a notary public, it’s infinitely more difficult. It requires constant label reading, interrogating waitresses, and feeling like a jerk as you ask the host of a dinner party if they used any refined sugar in the apple pie.
Being a vegan at home is rough, being a vegan on the road is a whole other story. Once you’re 30 miles from either coast or a major metropolitan city, the statement, “I’m a vegan,” often draws the response, “Welcome to our country.” Finding animal-free products in the Midwest is like finding a particular needle in a 50-foot-tall stack of needles. So with all the traveling involved in being a top professional skateboarder, Moses’ complicated eating situation becomes exponentially more complicated. But he’s not complaining.
He makes the occasional slip in his vegandom, but only to save the time and patience of those he’s sharing the uncomfortable seat of some tour van with [What he's referring to here is I think that Moses said he eats things like bread on tour without asking for every little potential ingredient, in restaurants for example]. In his decade of skate-related travel, he’s learned that not only are we a product of our decisions, a sum total of our actions, what we pretend to be, and what we eat. We are also only human, and to err is the ultimate expression of humanity.”

“So, in the place of a formal religion, what has your belief system become?
I believe in action and reaction - that the things you do will come back to you one day. If you try to be positive, positive things will come to you; if you’re negative, negative things will come. If you live a really fast life, then your life will be over fast. If you consume a whole bunch of crap, you’ll start looking like crap. If you eat a lot of foods that take a long time to digest in your body, you’re gonna be slow. If you’re gonna go vandalize everything, your car’s gonna get smashed some day. You’re not going to be able to do anything about it.”

How does vegetarianism fit into the picture?
I started out being really into animal rights, not killing or mistreating animals, and I feel strongly about that now, but there’s way more that I’ve learned through personal experiences that keep me into it. I’ve been a vegetarian for ten years now, nine years a vegan. I’ve found that what I consume comes out in a whole bunch of different ways. If you eat a bunch of meat, it’s gonna take a long time to digest, and you’re going to end up with all these problems. I’ve noticed that when people eat a lot of meat and fat they sleep longer, they’re negative, they’re unmotivated, and they don’t have energy. When an animal’s killed it has a lot of adrenaline running through its body, and I honestly believe that comes back in people who consume a lot of meat - they get really aggressive. When you go to Japan you notice that people eat less big, fleshy animals; they eat seafood and rice, and they’re just not as aggressive, or big, or angry.
When you were eating meat did it ever make you do something crazy and aggressive?
Like what?
Like, did you ever eat a four-pound steak and go rob a bank?
Moses laughs  Um, I don’t think so …
Colin McKay: He got fired from Dairy Queen for stealing hamburgers. Colin laughs
Just before I became a vegetarian, I had a job at Dairy Queen for six months, and I got fired for stealing hamburgers. Colin laughs again. I guess the quest for the meat made me break the law. They were gonna throw the burgers out anyway, so I didn’t see any harm in throwing a couple extra patties in my bag. Colin laughs even harder.
You make a living on the road, going town to town, crappy restaurant to crappy restaurant; does that make it hard to be a vegan?
I have to make small exceptions, like I know the white bread they serve me in restaurants might have some kind of animal products¿a small amount of processed lard. I can’t go around asking every waiter to show me the ingredients in everything I eat, and I can’t inconvenience the team or whoever I’m traveling with to search the town for a proper place for me to eat¿it could really get in the way of my job and my life. I don’t want being a vegan to be my life, it’s just the way I eat. At home I can pull it off, but on the road I’m sure I consume a certain amount of animal products. I’m not really militant about it, because being a vegan it will eventually affect my life in a negative way.
At what point did you realize how seriously your eating affected who you are and how you act?
These are things I’ve been learning more recently. I’ve slowed down eating refined sugar, and it’s helped me feel a lot better after skating. I’m not sore, my joints don’t ache. Sugar has a lot to do with arthritis, it’s a pretty powerful drug. Try not eating it for a week - you’ll realize how much you crave it. And you’ll probably start feeling better after a week. I sure did. I was smoking pretty heavy, and that made me feel pretty negative. I’ve got a bit of a temper, and smoking made my fuse really short. I’ve blown up a few times, and it’s gotten me in trouble. I grew up finding myself in situations where I was getting punched by grown men. I was just a little kid, and security guards would give me cheap shots. When you’ve gotten pushed long enough, you want to push back. If someone treats me with disrespect or violence, I’m gonna react violently. I’ve realized that being healthier and quitting smoking makes that fuse a little longer, so hopefully I won’t blow up so easily and hurt myself, or cause myself legal problems. Shit happens, you just need to be able to look back on things and learn from the past, and try not to make the same mistakes again.” (19)

There must have been a lot more anti-animal graphics by Birdhouse.
Tony Hawk promoting the Got Milk pro-dairy campaign. Glen E. Friedman sent him a truly idealistic letter (that was much too long) urging him to withdraw his support for such a damaging industry. Tony Hawk, of course, didn't care. Tony Hawk is wearing Jamie Thomas' vegan signature shoe in the ad.
 

Bob Burnquist, a vegetarian (then? now?), also supported the campaign.

















Flip, Arto Saari (Arto Saari was eating a somehow semi-vegan diet at some point under the influence of Ed Templeton and maybe Rowley. Btw Isn't Rowley something like the co-owner of Flip? Oh well.)


2001
Brad Staba is/was a non-flesh-eater.

The beginning of the vegan Rowley shoes era (all vegan). Rowley was more or less vegan then.

Vans, Geoff Rowley, XLT (all vegan)
Emerica, Ed Templeton 2


Scott Pommier - vegan, photographer, Canadian - reports in Transworld: “We go to a trendy little noodle place, and after ordering, but before eating, I ask about the ingredients in the pasta. The chef tells me that there are eggs in the pasta. Being that I’m vegan, I don’t eat eggs. I pay for my meal, but I hurl a roll into the street.
After everyone has eaten, I seek out another restaurant and this time I’m presented with a cheese-covered dish. After I complain, another meal is prepared for me. By now I’m so hungry I’m tempted to gnaw my own leg off, but my leg is chock full of animal ingredients. The chef assures me that the replacement meal is 100-percent free of animal ingredients, but during the course of the meal I begin to have my doubts. An hour later I begin vomiting. Is the upset stomach dairy-induced or psychosomatic? I’ll never know. Either way, I feel much better after purging. Perhaps I’ll make it a lifestyle.” [This photo of Scott Pommier, stolen from Ed Templeton, is from 2007, though.] (16)

Transworld, March 2001, Jamie Thomas "Last Words":
"Last time you ate meat: A long time ago. My doctor is telling me I have to start or I'm in bad shape." [Next time you meet a vegan who thinks they need to start eating meat, tell them to take a B12 supplement and check out veganhealth.org - there are no magical nutrients in animal products that you cannot get from vegan sources.]  

Circa, Jamie Thomas (vegan pro model)

Duffs, Moses Itkonen (vegan pro model)
Epik, vegan shoes?

2002
Emerica, Ed Templeton 2
Emerica Ed Templeton 2
Duffs, Moses Itkonen (vegan pro model)
Vans, Geoff Rowley (vegan pro model)
Epik Footwear (vegan shoes?), Laban Pheidias
Circa, Jamie Thomas (vegan pro model)


2003
Laban Pheidias' peta2 ad:
Laban Pheidas and his friend "Dave Bergthold—TV producer, owner of Blockhead Skateboards and Smash Technologies, and also a vegetarian—is getting a big-time national debut, thanks to Fusion TV, a nonstop action show that runs on Fox Sports. Although PETA originally planned to pay to run the spot a limited number of times on Fusion TV, the show’s producers were so impressed with it that they are running it—for free—through the end of the year." from Transworld (22)

Emerica, Ed Templeton 2

Scott Pommier writes in Transworld:
“I can count the number of times an airline has gotten my special-meal request right on one hand. So I was delighted to have some kind of vegan breakfast after a long night of traveling-although tomatoes and canned mushrooms on toast was a little unorthodox.” (14)


In Transworld (or Transworld Business (?)) in 2003 there was an article titled "Soles Without Souls" shedding light on the economical aspect of leather vs. synthetic skate shoes. It's interesting to see how many people in this article actually consider the factor of killing animals at all. Some quotes from this article:
"“It’s a money issue, of course,” shares Dylan Raasch, a footwear designer at DC Shoe Co. Virtually all skate shoes are manufactured in Asia. Considering that, import taxes in the U.S. play a big role in the shoe’s material makeup. Raasch explains that the shoe has to be approximately 70-percent leather. “If it doesn’t meet that you have to pay a duty fee, that puts the shoe up another eight dollars at retail,” he says.

Justin Regan, the Emerica team manager, seems to agree with Raasch: “Synthetic shoes become more expensive down the line than their leather or suede counterparts due to international materials duties. From a manufacturer’s standpoint, it means we’re less likely to use synthetics than leathers in order to keep our shoes priced competitively. Sucks for the cows.”

To a pro demanding a synthetic shoe, there is a price to pay. “A pro rider would lose a lot of money,” Raasch says. So for some pros debating synthetic versus leather and suede for their pro shoe, the potential loss of income could be a major deciding factor.

However, some companies have managed to make it work. Mark McGarry handles public relations at Portland-based Savier shoes, which offers an entirely synthetic line of shoes that are priced competitively with other major shoe brands. “Synthetic material itself is cheaper, but the (international) tax on synthetic material is three times as expensive as on non-synthetic material,” he says. But McGarry notes that by paying less for synthetic materials, the end cost to them and to the end consumer isn’t really affected: “It comes out about the same regarding margins.”

For many companies it seems that synthetic materials just aren’t worth paying extra money in taxes, and moreover, that skaters in the U.S. who desire vegan footwear are in a sense victims of geography. DC’s Raasch explains that over 50 percent of the company’s shoes in Japan are synthetic bause there is no duty on synthetic shoes there: “So it’s cheaper to make them (synthetic shoes).” Kelly Bird is team manager at Lakai shoes, where only ten percent of its line is synthetic: “We pretty much make that ten percent specifically for Japan.”"

“[…] Savier seems to be pushing the envelope of synthetic-shoe development the farthest. “We focus heavily on creating the ultimate in synthetic skateboard shoes,” says McGarry. “Water-soluble glues and solvents are used in all of our synthetic shoes, and all the materials are PVC free. We’re currently working with a material vender with a new synthetic leather called Green-Pro. It’s even better than the PVC-free synthetic leather we’ve been using in the past.”"

“You’d think I Path or Savier would be the skate-shoe companies with the largest percentage of synthetic shoes in their lines, but surprisingly, it’s Osiris. Almost the entire team requests it, and Head Designer Brian Reid says, “I make these type of shoes because they’re more durable, look better, and because of the obvious reason-animal cruelty.”
On the appearance front, RP Bess, team manager at DuFFS, echoes this sentiment. “The way it (synthetic material) cuts and folds-it works better, it looks nicer,” he says. “That was basically why our designer uses it. We’re going to be moving into more synthetics in the future.”Durability is a critical factor to consider. “Synthetic shoes are more durable, the split suede that we use in our shoes is the only material that’s just as durable as synthetic material,” says McGarry. But then again there’s the aesthetic variable that can’t be quantified. “Suedes are cool, though,” comments Bess. “Everyone seems to be doing more and more suedes this year.”
The grip and flex factor of leathers and suedes have long been the standard in skateboarding footwear, and for many skaters and companies it’s still the main concern. “Most of our skaters request suede,” says Lakai’s Bird.Kelley Peery, who handles public relations at Globe, echoes Bird: “Suede and nubuck have been the most requested materials.” It boils down to the skater, what works best for them, what will help them skate the best. Some skaters see the sacrifice of animal products as a fair trade for a more functional pair of shoes.
Skaters can support vegan footwear, get a long-lasting pair of shoes, and not have to pay an exorbitant amount of money. True environment-friendly footwear will be void of animal products and PVC plastic: natural materials like hemp and denim seem to be leading this trend already.” (24)

Brian Sumner, Analog ad - As far as I know Brian Sumner is or was a vegetarian. The photos are like The Smiths' "Meat is Murder" cover but the helmet says "Analog is Murder".
Ed Templeton's sticker for PETA2

2004
Emerica, Ed Templeton 3

Ed Templeton interview (in which he talks about veganism, from around 2004) on the ¿Confusion? Magazine site. 

Beastie Boys To the Five Boroughs deck by 5Boro
Vans, Squares (all vegan), Geoff Rowley
Skull Skates, Moses Itkonen
T-shirt
From an exhibition in Vancouver (April 2004). The Moses Itkonen Mad Circle boards must be from the mid 90s.
   
This said "Moses meets security"

board graphic












Mad Circle, Moses Itkonen McDonald's farm graphic

Mad Circle, Moses Itkonen
Consolidated graphics as usual (from an interview with Todd Bratrud, the designer - In the interview he says his favorite food is tofu.)
 

2005
Girl. Rick McCrank said he's vegetarian, for health reasons, not vegan, but some of his shoes are available in vegan. (10
2006
Emerica limited edition Templeton pack (vegan)
From Transworld - TOP FIVE: ED TEMPLETON
Best Things About Being A Vegan:
1. I am not killing things, but I’m pro-choice.
2. Hopefully I will live a longer and healthier life. Mix that with skateboarding and I will live the same amount of time as everyone else.
3. I am contributing to helping the environment. Man, that sounds like hippie-sh-t and I hate hippies.
4. It makes me think about food in more ways than normal. I read ingredients and make purchasing choices based on that reading.
5. All the vegan treats they make now—soy ice cream and beyond.
Most Difficult Things About Being A Vegan:
1. Certain places in the world can’t even begin to get the idea of not eating meat in their heads. So if I have to visit those areas, eating becomes a real bitch—unsalted peanuts, applesauce, iceberg lettuce with vinegar.
2. Bumming out your non-vegan friends by only being able to go to two restaurants in town. “Oh, Ed’s with us, so it looks like we’re eating at Veggie-Heaven tonight…
3. Seeing an epic dessert case at a restaurant filled with decadent desserts you can’t eat.
4. Smelling hot dogs. Yeah, I said it. I used to love hot dogs as a kid, and although I am opposed to them on every level now, that smell brings back a certain nostalgia.
5. People thinking you’re some kind of freak or that you’re gonna preach to them. Yes, I’m a freak. No, I’m not gonna preach to you.” (17)

Charlie Thomas, a longtime, but not so well known pro had this graphic (sorry no better picture) on Hollywood. PeTA says he is vegan.

RE: Sheep
“Sole Technology used to have a brand called Sheep. The brand was created to offer a cheaper skate shoe to compete the influx of mall store brands. Unfortunately, the import duty for the canvas and rubber shoes was actually more costly than suede models. Sole Tech hyped the brand by appealing to a niche market: the vegan skater. Rider Ed Templeton signed on other vegan and eco-friendly riders. The company didn’t last, but Sheep paved the way for a multitude of synthetic kicks available today.” (Skateboarder Magazine) (26)

RE: Mike Vallely
"Vallely was known as a longtime vegetarian and vegan through the ’90s. According to Jason Rothmeyer Vallely broke from his strict diet while on the last day of a Black Label tour in 1999. He didn’t want everyone to make a big deal about him chowing down on some meat, so he had Kristian Svitak go inside a Wendy’s and buy him two chicken sandwiches which he devoured in the van." (Skateboarder Magazine) (27)


2007
Emerica, Ed Templeton Transist (all vegan)

Truly Fallen (say the kids)
Jamie Thomas, flagged and Chick-fil-A eating
Some of his signature shoes, somewhere, are sometimes available in synthetic at least (this one, too - but the shoe pictured is leather probably).

An Argentinian vegetarian would have been cool. Now ex-vegetarian (Diego Bucchieri, Toy Machine).
From a Thrasher interview (2009) "So are you still the vegetarian butcher, or are you eating meat now?
Fuck no, it's been so long since I started eating meat again. I'm actually into trying all kind of different meats. Argentinean asado; that's still my favorite one. I even slaughtered three lambs and a pig. They taste so much better if you do it yourself. I'm not into killing them, but I love butchering them." (13) [If you are an Argentinian vegetarian, or wanna-be Argentinian/vegetarian or whatever check especismocero.org)

Michael Sieben's anti-vivisection T-Shirt (Michael Sieben has something to do with skateboarding.)
Scott Bourne's PETA2 poster. He said in an interview with PETA2 that he's vegan.

Were his signature Puma shoes vegan?
maybe not







Nyjah Huston (2006): 
"I've been a vegan my whole life, and eating right in these times is important." Not sure if he wore/wears leather, these (below) look like they could be vegan (2007 ad). (9)

2008
The end of Rowley's vegan Vans era. These shoes are leather (but there sometimes might be some colors that might be vegan.)


Glen E Friedman, vegan since '88 (13), with his son and wife.


2009
Karl Watson stops being vegan (He was?!) 

From a Transworld Karl Watson interview:
"How did a guy who loved cheeseburgers so much as a kid become a vegan?
Man, I used to live on Carl’s Jr. and McDonalds, but in that first year when I moved out of the house I also thought about a lot of other things like how animals are basically enslaved. I started feeling compassion for them and just had to cut it all out. At nineteen, I became a vegan and was vegan for nine years until I went on a trip to Japan. We were out in the middle of nowhere and there was nothing for me to eat, so I gave in and ate some eggs. Then on the same trip I ate salmon and since then I’ve been a pescetarian, so I eat fish and eggs, but not red meat." (23)

Emerica vegan logo of Ed Templeton's signature shoe "The Archer". This was on the inside of the tongue of the shoe.

Transworld: this picture with the line: “Stone and Charlie Thomas. Guess which one is vegan.” (15

From LAST WORDS with Geoff Rowley (Transworld):
LAST animal you stalked?
"Mountain lion... we killed it." (see this photo from 2008) (Oh well you know, we all wanna save the world...)

2010
An eco-friendly skateboard company? Shred for Life, Laban Pheidias. (3)

Matt Rodriguez (2010): "I have been vegetarian for 15 years. I prefer not to wear leather shoes. However, until people stop eating meat, there is no use in letting the rest of the animals resources go to waste that could be used to its fullness, such as shoes. Unfortunately, most of the time when manufacturing synthetic leather and suede, it creates more harm to the environment than just using the natural hide that would otherwise go to waste if not used." (11)

I can see why maybe Matt Rodriguez would want to believe this, not using leather would make his job much harder. The main reason for farmed animals being killed is the production of eggs, meat and dairy. Fish and other sea dwelling animals are often caught in the wild (still) and killed in unimaginable numbers - with a huge percentage of "by-catch". The most animals are probably killed for fish, eggs, and chicken. 
I agree with him that the more something is a by-product, the less important it is to consider (e.g. casein in glue/car tyres/bike tyres/condoms/rubber gloves). Leather, however, is either one of the most profitable by-products - you could also call liver, brain, heart, or stomach by-products. They are all products making raising and killing animals profitable. Leather often comes from India, where cattle are killed specifically for leather, not for meat.
Third, the idea of leather as "natural hide" is romanticized. The tanning of leather is extremely toxic - a health disaster for the workers and for the environment - and all life in it.
There are synthetic materials and plant fibers, that are more environmentally friendly than others, like rubber, plant leather (made from rubber), PVC-free microfibers, etc. 

Consolidated, unsurprising 
(nothing to do with the band Consolidated - just to make sure you know)

Peggy Oki around 2010, vegan environmentalist 


2011
Black Label, Salman Agah, how high can you ollie? Switchstance?


RE Steve Berra:

“ “A lot of vegan restaurants don’t feel as bright as Café Gratitude [in Los Angeles],” said Steve Berra, a pro skateboarder, who swears that he lunched on I Am Fortified (sautéed vegetables and kale with quinoa or brown rice) every day for a month.” (New York Times) (29)



2012
RE: Charlie Thomas:
"Things about World Industries TM Charlie Thomas:
Vegan, awesome and kills it on a skateboard." (28)




2013
Emerica "Tempster" all vegan (two colorways)
Check out the amazing box art work on Veganskateblog.

Two more colours now, and these are coated shiny looking canvas.





 Via Veganskateblog I found these four:

Real, Happy Hunting UV graphic (exposure to UV light makes the background graphic appear)
     

Real, Clubbin' Time UV graphic (exposure to UV light makes the background graphic appear)



Assault Skateboards, Greg Harbour, "Butcher" (8.5)
  

Bacon Skateboards, Vegan 9.0 (Limited Edition). 
Chris Klich on the Bacon team is apparently vegan.



These four don't directly have anything to do with vegetarianism.
Toy Machine, Ed Templeton, Elepahnt Party 8.25 ("bringing shame onto my species" says the elephant)
 

Interesting how repeatedly some young men feel like they have to make the statement that animals are nothing but meat. Enjoi, Meat Market R7


Polar, Pontus Alv, Seagull Nuggets
 

Skate-Mental, Brad Staba, Seagulls



2014
Ed Templeton drawing that's also on the shoe box of Emerica's "The Heritic Ed Templeton" 




Emerica, The Heritic Ed Templeton, Black Brown (more pictures)


References
4. Why Do Most Vegetarians Go Back To Eating Meat?, Hai Herzog (20 June 2011)
5. "Post India Update", Beastie Boys e-newsletter (7 Oct 2009)
7. Ed Templeton interview, Memory Screened blog, Seb Carayol, Ed Templeton : “We were into Fugazi and everything political” (6 Dec 2008)
8. Marc McKee and Sean Cliver interview, Memory Screened blog, Seb Carayol, 
9. és Web site, Nyjah Huston Answers Your Questions! (14 Sept 2006)
10. és Web site, McCrank Answers More of Your Questions! (11 Oct 2005)
11. Huck Magazine, Matt Rodriguez interview (13 April 2010)
12. Glen E Friedman's Web site burningflags.com
12. Glen E Friedman interview with Herbivore Magazine, issue 2, Fall 2003
13. Thrasher Website, Diego Bucchieri interview (22 Oct 2009)
14. Transworld, Apr 17 2003, C’est PasVrais, Story and photos by Scott Pommier
15. Transworld, JOHNNY ROMANO SKATE JAM2009, by Blair Alley, Nov 9 2009
16. Transworld, NORTHERN EXPOSURE:CANADIANS TOUR CANADA … CHEAPLY, Aug 20 2001, by Scott Pommier
17. Transworld, TOP FIVE: ED TEMPLETON, Sep 15 2006
18. Transworld, THE COMPLETE AND UNCUTGEOFF ROWLEY INTERVIEW, by Ed Templeton, Jan 11 2000
19. Transworld, PROSPOTLIGHT: MOSES ITKONEN,  Jan 21 2000
20. Transworld, VANS TO RELEASE GEOFFROWLEY AND ALAN PETERSEN SIGNATURE MODELS, Jul 19 1999
21. Transworld, SIN CITY DESERTS, Sep 8 1999, Breaking The Law by Geoff Rowley
22. Transworld, PHEIDIAS IN PETA TV AD, Oct 9 2003
23. Transworld, VICE VERSA: KARL WATSON, by Dave Chami, Dec 15 2009
24. Transworld, SOLES WITHOUT SOULS, Feb 18 2003
25. Disposable, A History of Skateboard Art, Sean Cliver, Concrete Wave Editions, 2004
26. Skateboarder Magazine, Adam Salo, 15 Things: Shoes, Jan 5, 2006
27. Skateboarder Magazine, Adam Salo, 15 Things Mike Vallely, June 16, 2006
28. Skateboarder Magazine, Aaron Smith, The Tuesday 25 with Timmy Knuth, July 30, 2012 
29. New York Times, Deborah Schoeneman, Power Lunch with a Side of Homilies, July 20, 2011 
30. Vegan Skate Blog, Ed Templeton interview pt. 2, February 1, 2013