Jona Weinhofen - Musician, model & activist

Jona Weinhofen is an unapologetic Vegan. He is outspoken and never shies away from questions about his cruelty-free lifestyle. Jona even has the word ‘VEGAN’ tattooed across his stomach which he proudly tells us is one of his “most meaningful tattoos.”

 

Jona is best known for being in the bands Bring Me The Horizon, Bleeding Through and I Killed The Prom Queen. He was born and raised in Australia and became Vegan at the age of seventeen. “I noticed that a few friends from school were vegetarian and I found myself asking them why they had made that decision. When they told me their reasons, mostly due to animal cruelty and wanting to boycott animal harm and animal products, I found myself getting more and more curious and it sounded like something I wanted to try for myself.”

 

We asked Jona if it was a difficult choice for him to become Vegan as a teenager; “It seems like a big decision to make, especially if you don’t have the support from your friends and family but with a little research and the right motivation you’ll find it just as easy as I did. When you make the decision to go vegan for the right reasons and discover how good it is, you will soon see that there really wasn’t ever another option.”

 

We all know it can sometimes be tough in school to be considered ‘different’ or as we prefer ‘unique’. How did Jona cope? “I am of the firm belief that one should always assert one’s self and try to maintain some form of individuality. I had many problems growing up with bullies and despite the problems they gave me I never stopped trying to be my own person and stick by what I thought was the right thing to do.”

 

As Vegetarians and Vegans we have constant questions about our diets, usually something like ‘where do you get your protein from?’ As someone in the public eye, how does Jona deal with relentless scrutiny? “I get all manner of questions, and mostly the people asking them are just ill-informed. My response is usually well-informed and factual information about the benefits of a vegan diet vs. the down sides to being omnivorous, taking into consideration the most important aspects of the vegan lifestyle, being animal rights, health & environment.”

 

Great! But, all Vegans are unhealthy and skinny, right? “I can’t speak for every vegan ever, but I can speak for myself and say that in 13 years of being vegan, I’ve not had a health problem worse than a common cold or flu, have had my levels checked regularly and always had average or above average health.” He continues, “When focusing on the health aspect, it has been medically and scientifically proven that an animal free diet is just as healthy, if not healthier in many ways than an omnivorous one. Eating a diet free from animal products can reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, high cholesterol, osteoporosis and other serious illnesses.”

 

We swiftly moved on to one of our favourite topics, food! So, what does Jona enjoy eating and cooking? “I love all types of dishes. I love really healthy stuff like soups, stews, salads and I also love vegan fast food alternatives like pizza’s, hamburgers and hotdogs with dairy free cheese and ‘mock meat’. When I am home I love to cook! I’m not the worlds’ best chef but I have a few specialties in my repertoire and I love to cook for my family or groups of friends. My favourites to cook at home are roast vegetables with gravy, scrambled tofu with avocado on toast, and vegan cheesecake.” Yummy!

 

Jona is involved with a number of vitally important campaigns, he tells us briefly of his work with Animals Australia and the big changes they are currently trying to make “I really admire what they are trying to achieve, especially their campaign against factory farming and live export. I like their approach to change one thing at a time, beginning with a couple of more realistic changes and moving onto bigger issues once everybody begins to understand the detriment of the need for these changes. Not only for the betterment of life for animals, but for our own health and environment.”

 

He continues by touching on the horrific cruelty at the hands of the fashion industry “I obviously do not agree with exploiting and killing animals for fashion. Today’s advancements and technology have seen many viable synthetic alternatives to fur, leather, wool etc, some of which are even proven to be superior to their animal derived counterparts. Not only can they be superior in practicality and effectiveness, but cheaper to produce and of course, minus the suffering of animals.”

 

We asked Jona what he would say to people who claim that we’re ‘supposed’ to eat meat? “People often argue that animals were put here for us to consume and even if that were true, the hunter/gatherer lifestyle and mentality has been removed from today’s society and humans now just use animals as factory farmed ‘objects’. I don’t think anybody remotely intelligent can argue that animals do not endure heinous cruelty prior to being slaughtered in most cases of today’s slaughterhouse practices.”

 

We quickly asked him what he thought of the media frenzy surrounding the recent ‘horsemeat scandal’. “I think that it is ludicrous that the meat industry can get away without labelling animal and meat products for what they truly are. I think that every meat product should state exactly what it contains just as most other food ‘ingredients’ are obligated to show.”

 

Jona passionately declares “Get educated, open your eyes, do not follow the ‘ignorance is bliss’ mentality as you’re simply setting back the potential for positive progress.”

 

Jona has been in a number of world famous and extremely successful bands, he has also been voted one of the Top 50 Australian guitar players of all time. Right now he is putting all of his musical focus into his band ‘I killed the prom queen’. “The band sort of got put on hold whilst I pursued other musical ventures, but now I’m happy to be playing with my old friends again and I think the time is perfect for us to release a new album which we’re working on right now.” Jona also told us that IKTPQ consist of “four Vegans and one Vegetarian” and you will be able to catch the cruelty-free band on tour in the “near future.”

 

Finally, Jona had a message for our readers who may be struggling to gain respect and understanding from parents, siblings and friends. “When I first decided to become vegan I think my parents and family viewed it as a little of an inconvenience, or perhaps that it was a trend at the time. Now that they know it is my chosen lifestyle and is a part of who I am, they’re very supportive and I know my parents are proud of my convictions, integrity and what I seek to achieve in making positive changes to the world and people’s lives.” 

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