Being Vegan, Vegan Being- Constantin Philippou, Le Fou – Los Angeles Artist – A look at the World’s Vegans

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My name is Constantin Philippou, I am a Greek, self-taught vegan, street artist who goes by the name L 3 F 0/ u {le fou}, which means “the crazy” in French. I was born in Greece, raised in Paris and am currently living in Los Angeles; I compose music and rescue dogs as well. I am currently known for my “Vegan Club” street art movement in Los Angeles and New York City. This street art movement is my own combination of the Vegan Club logo with a vegan celebrity: Moby, Kat Von D, Tony Kanal of No Doubt, Toby Morse of H20, Travis Barker of Blink 182, Doyle Frankenstein of the Misfits and Brad Pitt just to name a few. The idea is to spread veganism with a positive message and to get the attention of fans and inspire them to change. You can check out all of my work at veganclub.co & L3F0u.com
Instagram: l3f0u

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What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?

One day I got stranded in traffic next to a pig truck for a few hours. It was a hot day in Las Vegas, so I had the A/C blasting for my dogs. When I looked over at the truck full of pigs, I noticed they were all cramped together. I thought, how come my dogs, which are less bright than a pig, receive all the love, water, and A/C?

So first, I made my dogs vegetarian and then a week later, I followed suit so they wouldn’t have to crave the meat I was eating. It took me 10 years to quit the cheese and milk. And this is because, I recalled a story my mother used to tell me about how I drank so much of her breast milk that she felt immense pain and had to put me aside to relieve herself. That’s when I realized women’s breasts are very sensitive areas. The fact that cows have machines tied on their breasts, pulling their milk for hours, wanting it or not, in pain or not, made me realize it’s just plain, evil torture. It’s worse than simply killing the animal and eating it. And that’s how I became a vegan!

How long have you been Vegan?

I have been a vegan for over 4 years, and before that, since 2002, a vegetarian for 10 years.

Why is being Vegan important to you?

I think everyone is a vegan at heart. It’s simple; we’ve been programmed to believe that animals have no feelings and that they live happily on open prairies. 99.9% of people don’t want to hurt an animal, a cat or a dog, and even a bird; yet when they for instance, eat chicken, they cannot relate that that bird they are eating lived a life deprived of freedom. They can’t compute that it was cramped in a tiny paper sized cage and unable to fly in a dark warehouse, unloved and separated from its family. It’s the same situation with pigs locked in closet size cages for their entire life. Pigs, who like we all know, are much smarter than our best friends, dogs. Animals are treated inhumanely, with zero respect and no rights. It’s appalling to think that they must look at us and see us at the devil! That is why it’s important to end this insanity.

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Do you have a blog or favorite vegan blog you read?

I usually read about Veganism, etc. from my Facebook feed. It usually consists of all sorts of articles on animals; like bullfighting, dog breeding, undercover investigations and more.

Any recommended Vegan books?

My favorite book is “Eating Animals”, this book has so much information. It’s like the movie “Cowspiracy” but on crack 😉

Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?

I follow PETA and Mercy for Animals very closely.

Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?

If you want to know the facts and see ZERO violence watch “Cowspiracy”, available on Netflix or you can watch it directly at Cowspiracy.com.
If you are a “manly” meat-eater, let’s see how manly you are watching “Earthlings”, free on Youtube, directed by my great friend, Shaun Monson. I bet it made millions of people vegan overnight!

Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like.

I promote veganism through my artwork, which is 99% focused on vegan messages, like “Vegan Club”, “Vegan Soup” & “Je Suis Vegan” which you can see at veganclub.co. All of my dogs have been vegan since 2002; that’s another thing I tell people I meet, if my dogs can do it and live a longer and healthier life, then guess what? We can too!

I think many people want to contribute to a bigger cause but don’t know how they can do it. I had the same problem for years, so I tried getting involved by volunteering at dog shelters, and then transitioned to fostering dogs. I did all that to contribute. Up until I discovered that my art was a very effective way to communicate messages; so I incorporated the vegan message into it. The best way to inspire others is showing them you are doing what you preach. I tell people I meet on the street about how I go to the pound and foster one pit-bull indefinitely until it finds a home and it has inspired many.

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Do you miss any non-Vegan foods?

Absolutely not, as a matter of fact, you start seeing meat as disgusting body parts, which they basically are. There’s even this photo of a nipple on a piece of bacon that’s circulating the Internet that is reminding people what they are eating, quite grotesque. There isn’t a reason not to categorize meat eaters as primitive savages. 😉 I mean, come on it’s 2016 and we have super markets with thousands of other products and healthier options. Do you really have to murder an innocent being that lived a horrific life thanks to you? Isn’t that a bit selfish and barbaric, just so you can enjoy the taste of some cheese and blood. To answer your question, going vegan is like quitting smoking; the longer you go without it, the less you crave it and eventually you just wish you never even began smoking in the first place.

What is your favorite Vegan meme?

I have so many. As a matter of fact, I have a link at L3F0u.com that leads to my favorite memes – click on Veg Humour. 😉 My favorite is “Being Vegan isn’t manly?… Tell me again how you still drink breast milk!” with Gene Wilder smiling.

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What is your favorite Vegan stereotype? If someone asks you a question about it, how do you respond?

People have the impression that you are a lesser ‘man’ when you only eat veggies and fruits and that you are basically just a fruit, the ‘you are what you eat’ analogy. 😉 They picture this hippie, skinny guy who is weak and not masculine enough to have BBQ like the rest of the men; watching the football game, drinking beer and all that. They question ones’ manhood and believe something is wrong with you or they think you are trying to be above them or self-righteous!

My answer is that I use common sense. We don’t live in the 1800s, the period when people hand milked cows; animals are treated inhumanely, it’s as simple as that. They’re living in unnatural and horrible conditions. These horrible conditions are polluting our rivers, land and creating an environment of diseases to fester and spread. All this just to satisfy taste buds. If they’re a “real” man, they’d sit down and watch “Earthlings”, but rarely would they do so!

What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?

I really enjoy Moby’s restaurant “The Little Pine” in Silverlake and “Crossroads” in West Hollywood. Another favorite is “The Springs” in the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles. And the chains of “Real Food Daily” restaurants are fantastic as well.

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What’s your favorite recipe? Please share it.

Very simple: Quinoa with kale, potatoes and garlic mixed with Mayo & Vegg. it takes 2 minutes to prepare it and wait 15 minutes for the rice cooker to cook it, and voila!

What is the one big stereotype you hear about Vegans that you want to dispel?

Vegans are weak, without enough energy, since they’re not getting enough protein and calcium. Gorillas are vegan! So I dare any meat-eater to go out and fight one. Let’s see who the weak one is! Milk is meant for babies; no adult man needs it for sustenance. That’s why women ONLY have milk in their breasts when they’re pregnant; it’s for their newborn, not me, or you, or the father!

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Some encouraging words for new Vegans?

You will lose weight and feel younger. You will enjoy new types of food, mainly the vegetables and fruits you never even bothered trying. You’ll wish you did it years ago. You might even get pissed at your family and the world for having misled you for so many years. Maybe you’ll feel weird being on the other side, explaining to your reluctant friends about Veganism but being a part of the movement for veganism could even inspire you to want to be involved in all types of injustices.

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Are you a cruelty-free vegan?

Yes!

What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?

Aveda, Tom’s toothpaste, and American Apparel for starting their 100% Organic Tees.

What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?

A men’s suit.

What is one question you would ask other Vegans? Please answer it.

“What made you go vegan?”. I always enjoy hearing the why and what that makes people convert. It’s so I can get an idea of what I should recommend to my non-vegan friends.

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