Exclusive Interview

Kevin Smith + Harley Quinn Smith

The multitalented Kevin Smith wears many hats: filmmaker, director, producer, actor, and writer. Now he’s gaining new fans as an advocate of plant-based eating. After suffering a massive heart attack last year, the man behind Clerks and Jay and Silent Bob took his daughter’s advice and went vegan.

Actress-musician Harley Quinn Smith still cheers her father on now that his vegan experiment has turned into a lifestyle. Harley, a talented performer in her own right, uses her voice and platform to spread compassion for animals. Kevin and Harley sat down with Mercy For Animals to share their story.

What inspired you to go vegan?

Harley Quinn Smith: My mom has been vegetarian most of my life, and that was definitely a huge part of the inspiration. What really pushed me was my rabbit, Cinnamon Bun. When I adopted her, she was in terrible condition. Now she’s the love of my life. To see what human compassion could do to a traumatized animal really changed everything for me. If I hadn’t gone vegan, I’d be ignoring the cold, hard truth that was right in front of me.

Kevin Smith: My heart attack was the weirdest, worst thing that ever happened to Harley. It was like a punch in the face. She stuck by my side in the hospital. She was there when the nutritionist brought up going vegan. The kid seized on it. So I said: “You know what, I’ve eaten the way I’ve wanted to for like 47 years, and it led me here. So I’ll try eating your way for six months.”

It’s been a year.

I’m never tempted. I feel like more has been given to me, including more time, more compassion. Once you step away from the meat industrial complex, suddenly you’re just like, “Geez, that’s a lot of misery.”

How has your life changed since going vegan and becoming an animal advocate?

Harley Quinn Smith: My life has changed for the better since going vegan. So many people assume going vegan just refers to what you eat, but it really affects every aspect of your life. Once you realize how many animal products are in your life, you take a step back and think: “I need to change. I need to live more compassionately.”

Watch our full interview!
What’s it like having your dad with you on your vegan journey?

Harley Quinn Smith: Out of everybody in my life, my dad was the last person I’d ever expect to go vegan. Once he had his heart attack, I was absolutely not going to let him continue living his life without veganism being a part of it.

What inspires you most about Mercy For Animals’ work?

Harley Quinn Smith: I truly admire everything Mercy For Animals does. The undercover work is really hard to watch but so important. I think at the end of the day that is really what gets people to go vegan—seeing what animals have to go through and how traumatized they are in the meat and dairy industry.

What advice would you give someone thinking about going vegan?

Harley Quinn Smith: Do not let veganism scare you. It seems daunting, but it’s really not. It’s a wonderful way to live.

Kevin Smith: It’s good for the animals. It’s good for the planet. It’s true. But it’s also good for you. Going vegan will save your life.

Have you felt welcomed by the vegan community?

Kevin Smith: My whole career I’ve embraced things I’m passionate about. I rave about the comic book community. Now I’m a legitimate part of that community and have been for 30 years. I fell in love with hockey, embedded myself in that community. These two communities were very welcoming. The vegan community has also been very warm and wonderful.