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Veg Porn meant to build this section, but this is the only interview we ended up conducting. Enjoy!

Veg Porn Loves Food Fight! Vegan Grocery
interview with co-owner Chad Miller via IM by Furry Girl

Chad, photo courtesy of Food Fight!

Furry Girl: First off, for anyone who doesn't hasn't heard of Food Fight! yet, give us your spiel about who you are and what you do.

Chad: We are a mom and pop vegan convenience store located in Portland, OR. The mom is Emiko Badillo, the father being me, Chad Miller. Mostly "fun" food, not a health food store.

Furry Girl: Yes, yay for Tings and soy snacks!

Chad: Fake meats, snacks, candy, and some staple stuff too to keep the hippies happy.

Furry Girl: Was it intentional to focus on so-called junk foods and imported snack items, or are those simply easier to stock without worrying about them going bad quickly?

Chad: It was absolutely the intention. A big part of the store is to try and put a different idea of what veganism is all about into peoples heads. We're not about low cholesterol and granola, we are about promoting animal rights and trying our best to be less shitty in general.

Furry Girl: Do you ever get flack from the health food crowd about pushing snack foods?

Chad: Yes, but fuck 'em. They're usually not very interested in animal rights stuff and don't like our politics anyway.

Furry Girl: Does any other group of people pick on Food Fight?

Chad: Not really, we just get ignored by the older "veg" crowd who are uncomfortable with our potty mouth and pro-direct action AR stance. And they want us to carry raw foods, and we ain't about that.

Furry Girl: True, they probably just want you to carry free-range beef and Cheetos's natural hippie version. I've had some damn find raw foods, but it's way too time-consuming to prepare them. I'm a highly imperfect vegan who never eats salads.

Chad: Yeah, or raw fudge or something. We just don't care about raw stuff, doesn't bug us or anything.

Furry Girl: See, that sounds like something you could carry. It sounds good.

Chad: It tastes like dates and molasses

Furry Girl: That's not chocolate. Those cheaters!

Chad: I know, I know.

Furry Girl: So, here's an idea: You should really carry vegan kosher cheese from the east coast. I have never seen the stuff for sale outside of eateries in NYC and DC, such as the delightful Foodswings. It probably has hydrogenated oils to scare the health foodies away, like Tofutti, but those kosher folk have really got the faux dairy thing down.

Chad: Hmm, never heard of it, and we lived out there. I know they have awesome kosher ice cream but... I just wrote Food Swings to find out.

Furry Girl: Awesome. They have the best quesadillas ever. I was listening to an interview you did for the Vegan Freak podcast, and you mentioned that vegans must consume waaaay more jerky than meat-eaters. Do you think vegans are perversely fixated on gobbling up meat and cheese "substitutes"?

Chad: I dunno, I think there is just this thing about finding something you're not "supposed" to be able to eat. Like vegan haggis, or caviar, or baby arm... whatever, vegans will eat it. Or I will at least.

Furry Girl: What's your vegan haggis made from? I'm part Scottish, I suppose I should buy a can.

Chad: Mostly root veggies and spices and hydrogenated oil, lots of that. Do I have to show my weiner on your website for this interview? Cuz that shit's tiny, like an emoticon.

Furry Girl: Naw, you don't need to get naked for me. Besides the massive vegan desire for more haggis, what would you say are your best selling items?

Chad: Jerky, frozen chicken nuggets and ham tube, chocolates, this local bread called Dave's Killer Bread.

Furry Girl: I've heard of the legendary Dave's Killer Bread. It's suppose to really kick Rudy's Organics ass.

Chad: Josh Harper loves it.

Furry Girl: He's the one who was raving about it to me. On that note, you and Food Fight have been amazing at churning out fundraiser after fundraiser for the legal defense of Josh Harper, once of the SHAC 7 defendants. With all that's been going on in the US regarding the "green scare", what made you decide to put your own time and energy into this particular case?

Chad: It just seemed like the thing to do. Seemed like other bigger groups were dropping the ball and scared of the whole "terrorist" label, so... we don't have a lot to lose from our "constituency", ya know? Plus, Josh rules as do the other SHAC defendants, and they don't deserve to go to jail.

Furry Girl: Are there any other causes or community happenings that Food Fight helps out with, and other issues that spark your personal interest?

Chad: We've done benefit stuff for a local farm sanctuary, a city skatepark fund, and Basic Rights Oregon (gay rights group).

Furry Girl: What drew you to veganism in the first place?

Chad: I was vegetarian for like 7 years or so, and then vegan for the last 8. It was just the logical step if you give a shit about animals. Which I do. Got into AR through punk rock if that's what you're asking. Straight edge and punk.

Furry Girl: Are you still rocking the edge?

Co-owner Emiko, photo courtesy of Food Fight!

Chad: Oh yeah, it's better when you get older.

Furry Girl: So you don't think you'll be adding vegan booze to the store any time soon?

Chad: Not on my swatch.

Furry Girl: When did you open Food Fight, and what made you decide to do it in Portland as opposed to an online store or retail space elsewhere?

Chad: We just moved here and were bored and felt like not staring at computers all day anymore. But now we have an online store and are slowly going blind again. Oh, when? About 3 years ago, end of august '03.

Furry Girl: Tell me a bit about the other part of your "we".

Chad: Her name is Emiko, she rules. We're all married and shit. She likes to sleep and look at cute fuzzy wuzzies, and get secretly mad at customers.

Furry Girl: Any kids, or are you the child-free type?

Chad: We have a dog, and he'll do just fine, thank you very much.

Furry Girl: I'm getting a tubal ligation in a few weeks myself. My cat is all the son I could ever want.

Chad: Good for you.

Furry Girl: I've never been in Food Fight, so talk me through what you offer and what a typical day as a vegan grocery clerk is like. Got any good stories about epic battles with hippies or republicans?

Chad: a walk through the day: roll in a little before 10. Start filling online orders because we never have customers in the morning. People start rolling in midday. Ring people up, chit chat with the locals, irritate unsuspecting walk-ins with our abrasive music and lack of "cigs". Close up at 8, go home and eat. We don't get many assholes, it's pretty great overall. Every once and a while, but not as bad as we'd thought. Mostly, we have a great community here.

Furry Girl: You're still in love with Portland?

Chad: Kinda sorta, yeah, it's funny. There are things that bother me, but there isn't any other place in the US I'd rather live.

Furry Girl: Since I'm interviewing you for a porn site, what's your best bit of juicy sex advice that the world just has to know about?

Chad: Oh... hmmmm... How about... Don't have it for a long time, then when you do, if you're a guy, finish really quickly, then feel like a loser. Apologize to your partner. Then make him or her some cinnamon toast.

Furry Girl: I bet that's going to be the best piece of sex advice I ever collect. Thank you. Any last words or things you want people to know about you and Food Fight?

Chad: Well, first, that piece of advice is in no way something that EVER happens to me, I'm totally a trooper. So, know that first and foremost. Other than that... We're no fucking trust-fund kids, and we're not out to make a fortune off the movement (although it'd kind be cool). And we'd love it if people realized the value of supporting small businesses, even if it means a few more dollars to spend at checkout time. And... we're trying, so give us a break.

Furry Girl: I hear you.

Chad: Whew.

Furry Girl: Well, thanks for taking some time to chat with me, and have a great day!

Chad: You too. xoxo

Go buy some vegan treats from Chad:

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