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Meet 12-year-old radio DJ and animal rights activist Sam Tucker
Sam Tucker’s radio show has one simple rule: he only plays music by bands with at least one vegetarian—not that you’d guess by the playlist. It’s mainly punk stuff, he says, Anti-Flag, Good Charlotte, Green Day.
“Punk bands just seem to have more vegetarians in them,” says Sam, who stopped eating meat aged 11, then discovered most of the bands he already liked were vegetarian.
Sam’s show, Food For Thought, runs every Wednesday afternoon on Community Radio Hamilton (106.7 FM, www.communityradio.co.nz). In between vegetarian punk, the half-hour show is packed with interviews, nutritional information and recipes.
At first being vegetarian was a personal thing, says Sam, who confesses to being “quite a big fan of meat” before he read the book Man vs Beast, by Robert Muchamore.
“It had a chapter about battery farming. I wondered if that was really where eggs came from, so I did some research and found out it was. So I stopped eating battery eggs, then chicken. Then I did more research and stopped eating pork.
“Then I thought, regardless of how it’s treated, it’s an animal you’re eating. I didn’t really like the idea so I stopped eating meat.”
He joined SAFE and the Vegetarian Society, started distributing flyers about animal rights, then decided to take it to the airwaves. There are environmental reasons for going vegetarian too, says the 12-year-old, but he reckons educating the public about animal rights is the most important thing.
“To me eating meat just doesn’t seem right, especially when you consider that most of the animals we eat are more intelligent than the companion animals we keep as pets. Pigs have been shown to be as smart as a three-year-old. There’s no way I would eat a three-year-old, so why would I eat a pig?”