Woody Harrelson on the seeds of spirituality and a change in his diet
Excerpts from “PREMIERE” magazine.
Harrelson has reached a crucial point in his spiritual evolution: He’s about to go beyond vegan to an “80 percent-living-diet”- no enzyme inhibitors, nothing dead. And every six weeks he’s committed to taking a week off from food altogether. Last time he fasted, three weeks ago, he lost fifteen pounds, a situation that seriously alarmed the wardrope and continuity people. At five foot eleven and 153 pounds, he looked skeletal. Nevertheless, Harrelson says, he plans to follow the regimen for three years. That way he can clean everything out. Everything? “The toxins,” he says. “What’s in there that’s so bad.”
Harrelson is ambushed by a video team from the radical People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. They hustle him upstairs and perch him on a table in front of a blackboard, with two gruesome posters of mutilated rabbits as the backdrop. Meanwhile, a crew from the BBC is setting up to shoot the PETA people shooting Harrelson. I stand behind them, taking notes. Layers of ticks. “How do you feel about animals having a soul and feeling pain and suffering?” the PETA interviewer asks. “I think there are degrees of consciousness,” Harrelson replies. “If you eat chicken, maybe you’re on one level. If you wear a mink coat, maybe you’re on another level. But if you wear cosmetics, cosmetics that are tested on animals, then your just unconscious. Really, my message is simple. It’s a message of compassion. In this world that is spinning madly out of control, we have to realize that we’re all related. We have to try to live harmoniously.”
This is not doing it for the PETA guy. “What about that haunted feeling you get when you look into the eyes of a tortured animal?”
“What about it?”
“What do you feel?”
“It makes me really sad for the animals, and for the people who perpetrate that on animals.”
“That about covers it.”
Then It’s the BBC’s turn. The reporter, model Veronica Webb, wears a metallic leather jacket, a leather skirt, and snakeskin boots. Very un-PC. She looks ridiculous, but she’s a sharp inquisitor.
“How far are you willing to go for these people?” she asks. “Would you march naked?”
“I don’t know about naked,” he says. “I’d sort of like to spare people of that.”
“Do you think your fully aware of PETA’s agenda?”
“Do you ever worry about this backfiring?”
“No,” replies Harrelson, “because I’m speaking from my heart.”