This is an interview with Matt - we talked after this interview online live, see the video below (~ 2.5 hours). Matt kindly agreed to answer my questions when I invited him after watching this video (Dear Vegans, Plants DO Feel Pain BUT...) on his channel:
1. Please, introduce yourself.
Greetings! My name is Matthew. On the internet, I go by either jAe Costly or jack's Afer effort.
2. How would you describe this stage of your life?
3. Tell us something about your background.
I grew up in the United States. I have been vegan for over a year. I used to work at a Zoo but I have been studying science education for the past few years.
4. What inspires you in your future?
5. What would be your best piece of advice to your 17-year-young Self?
Don't study Zoology. But I don't know if my seventeen year old self will listen.
6. Would you like to live one thousand years, and why?
Yes, but it depends on the quality of life at age 1000. Immortality isn't necessarily a gift or a curse, it is a unique opportunity to play a different role in things.
7. What are your greatest passions?
Right now? Youtube, cosplay, veganism, science and women.
8. What do you create?
Youtube videos that allow me to share my thoughts, costumes that allow me to share my imagination and lesson plans. Lots of lesson plans.
9. How do you construct your meaning of life?
I think people should try to live a life that does "good". Otherwise, ashes to ashes and dust to dust.
10. Who are you?
I am a less intelligent, less musically talented and ambitious; but more muscular incarnation of Rivers Cuomo.
11. How would you summarize your ethical position?
Animals are not innocent. They're just like me, some of them.
12. What do you value in people the most?
I like different people for different reasons.
13. To what extent your ethical principles motivate the changes in your life, considering your needs, wishes and resources?
I didn't go vegan for any ethics so much, that all came later.
14. Do you have enough freedom to live the life you want?
In some ways yes and in some ways no.
15. What energizes you in making such changes?
Carbohydrates and the hope that putting one foot in front of the other accomplishes something.
16. What was the simplest change in your lifestyle that might have benefited other living beings?
Not eating or buying steak.
17. How do you help yourself if you get discouraged?
I think about something else for a while or go to bed earlier.
18. What thought process do you use to make ethical decisions in complex cases?
I try to listen to my conscience. I also try to think in terms of what decisions I will and won't regret in the long-term.
19. What kind of life is not worth living?
20. Would you agree that humans are superior to other vertebrate animals because only people can solve differential equations?
In mathematics yes, but in general no.
21. If animals could experience no suffering of any kind, would it be alright to use them?
22. When is it appropriate to restrict procreation of animals?
23. Do you believe that mammal animals have the right to choose their sexual partners?
24. In what example situation you would not put a life of any animal over a life of a non-animal organism?
When it comes to safety, human lives must be taken care of first. I also don't really care about plants, fungi and bacteria.
25. Would you agree that a life of a vampire bat is more valuable than one of a fig tree because the bat has central nervous system?
26. How would you compare the value of life of a fly and a pine?
If the fly is buzzing around my head, I will probably swat it. Trees don't usually buzz around my head.
27. Do you think people should have reservations in using or destroying plants, and why?
Yes, because of food waste issues and deforestation.
28. Do you feel that an individual plant, which does not directly support other forms of life, deserves your protection?
29. If your neighbours decide to cut down an olive tree on their property because its falling fruits mess up their yard, what would you say?
Nothing but I would be a little disappointed, potentially.
30. How would you feel if an inexperienced gardener cuts all the branches from a blossoming bush?
I would feel good about not hiring him to work on my bushes.
31. Would you oppose to spreading disinformation if it serves a good cause?
No. I think truth is scary, but lies weight most people down.
32. If badly hurting one sentient being would prevent from dying hundreds of others, would you let it happen?
Potentially. I don't support any notion of purity; I support doing good. Some animals die when an army invades another country in wartime, but if that war is one that is worth fighting then I would support that.
33. If tormenting one child would seem to be the only way to protect humanity from a disaster, would you do it?
Again, I don't support purity. Yes.
34. Where is the balance between accumulating wealth and helping others?
It depends on the person. Somewhere between accumulating wealth by helping others and accumulating wealth by neglecting others.
35. Could you give an example of something legal but immoral in your opinion?
36. What types of laws human societies should implement in the near future?
Not Sharia law.
37. Should we try to restrict human population growth, why and how?
We should, but we can't.
38. Should we do anything against climate change caused by humanity?
Historically, climates always change by one means or another. For the most part, I think the dice has been cast on this iteration of climate change.
39. Do you think consumption of products with too much burden on the environment should be reduced - why and how?
I don't always assume that reduction is the best solution. I think we have the capacity to be more creative than that.
40. What are the most important areas of scientific research, from your perspective?
Agriculture and medicine.
41. How is your current lifestyle influenced by your environment and culture?
When snow falls, I have to shovel. I read the Bible because I want to be a good Catholic.
42. Is it easy for you to find people who share your views and your way of life?
When I go to Chipotle I am usually the only person ordering a vegan burrito.
43. Do your closest friends and family members support or respect your unusual choices?
They get it.
44. How do you feel about spending time on re-purposing things, recycling, searching for alternatives to new purchases like new wooden furniture?
I recycle on a regular basis. I am a utilitarian by nature.
45. Is it easy for you to adjust your habits?
Some of them, others not so much.
46. Please, describe your diet.
Medium carbs, fat, protein. Vegan bodybuilder diet. Currently cutting.
47. What are your general principles for choosing food?
I'm a picky eater. I try to increase the variety of things I can swallow on an ongoing basis.
48. How much do you rely on personal discipline to maintain the diet of your choice?
A great deal.
49. How your diet influences your mind?
I don't really think it does much. It occupies it, I suppose.
50. How much fresh fruit do you eat?
Two servings daily at least.
51. If you had a possibility to be heard by most influential people in the world, what would you talk about?
I probably wouldn't know until meeting them.
52. If you had substantial financial resources, in what kind of project would you invest first, on a global scale?
I would make sure my kin are taken care of.
53. What would you like to add, what important relevant topic was not mentioned?
My Zoo work?
54. What is the best way to communicate with you, and what type of messages are you welcoming, if any?
quietly and interesting messages.
55. What do you hope people will think, feel, or gain, learning about you?
I hope people are happy. I really hope they are.