Mohawks, piercings, tattoos and disdain. These are a few things that come to many people’s mind when thinking about punks. But what one doesn’t usually expect is a community based on social justice and political activism. Many bands covering various genres of punk and hardcore music preach the vegan lifestyle and bring the horrors of animal torture to light.

The movement started as early as the 1970s when anarcho-punk bands like Crass and Conflict hit the British punk scene. Along with an aggressive and passionate sound came a dedication to social justice. They would bring flyers to shows portraying violence towards animals and how one could stop supporting it by adopting a vegan lifestyle.

Today, the vegan punk community is as prominent as ever. There is a very large number of vegan bands and their ethics are prevalent in almost all of their songs. On a community level, vegan punks often organize movements like Food Not Bombs, where they combine the punk rock “DIY” ethic, which exudes self-reliance, and compassionate activism to bring positive outreach to their communities.

Though lots of activism is done at the community level, many punk rockers have gone mainstream with their cause. Punk cupcake-ista Isa Moskowitz has become extremely well known for her blog, Post Punk Kitchen as well as for her recipe books. Just last year, John Joseph from the band Cro-mags published the popular book “Meat is for Pussies” that is based around a healthy vegan lifestyle and redefining masculinity.

Here is a list of  well known bands that promote the vegan lifestyle: