Neil Young will no longer perform in venues that serve factory farmed animal products

Neil Young attends a press conference for Farm Aid 34 at Alpine Valley Music Theatre on September 21, 2019 in East Troy, Wisconsin
(Image credit: Gary Miller/Getty Images)

Neil Young is blackballing all music venues that serve factory-farmed meat and diary to attendees due to its environmental impact.

Although the Canadian folk legend hasn't hit the road for a full tour since 2019, Young is proposing to stay on hiatus unless there are available venues that meet his standards of sustainability.

Specifically, the singer will be avoiding venues that provide food to their customers sourced from factory farms; a process which harvests animal products via concentrated animal feeding operations.

Not only is the method deemed cruel - livestock are kept in poor living conditions and receive inhumane treatment - but it has a serious impact on the environment, which itself intensifies climate change by releasing great volumes of greenhouse gases.

While speaking to Canada’s CBC Radio, the musician shares his reasoning behind his decision to boycott venues that are "fed by factory farms".

"When I look at the compromise that I would have to make to do that, the things that I don't believe in, that I'd have to endorse, it doesn't turn me on.

"I can deal with the power for the venue, I can make it clean. I can make the P.A. clean, the lights clean, the electricity in the building clean. I can clean up all my vehicles. I've got the right fuel. I can do all of that. But the food — all those places are fed by factory farms. I can't support it."

As for what he'd like the venues to serve instead, he says he'd like there to be "good food that has to be clean food, sustainably grown, and presented in a sustainable way."

Reaffirming his notion, he adds: "Unless the venues are clean, and that they work that way, I won't be there. "I've seen too much. I can't do it. I believe in what I believe, and it's grounded in science. 

"I know what's going on in the planet, what caused it, what we're continuing to do, and I cannot support buildings, organizations and companies that will not change that. If they change it, then I can consider going."

Unfortunately, most catering services across the globe source their food through factory farming, so it may very well be slim-pickings for the singer, who has been a devoted environmentalist for many years. In 1985 he even helped establish the annual Farm Aid concerts, which raise funds for family farmers in the U.S. In fact, one of Young's last live public performances took place at 2019's Farm Aid.

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.