Greg Cipes Meet Greg Cipes
Greg Cipes

Greg Cipes is an actor, musician, surfer—you name it, he does it. He’s all over the place these days, working on TV shows like Gilmore Girls, and he’s appeared in several recent flicks, including Inhabited, Broken Lizard’s Club Dread, Ring of Darkness, and HBO’s new Western series Deadwood. But you guys will probably know him best by the sound of his voice—yes, that’s right—his voice.

You see, Greg is the man who brings Teen Titans’ lovable master of animal disguises, Beast Boy, to life each week on Cartoon Network. You’ll also catch him on Rugrats—All Growed Up and Justice League from time to time.

As compassionate as he is talented, Greg loves animals and is vegan. He was kind enough to take time out of his jam-packed schedule to answer a few questions for us about why he’s vegan, his alter-ego, Beast Boy, and how he and his faithful vegan canine companion, Timber, love to spend their free time …. Wow! We can’t even believe he’s got free time!

You’ve done quite a few cartoon voices—Justice League, Rugrats, and Teen Titans. How did you get started doing voices?
GC: Started basically driving around the country in my dad’s camper as a kid. I’d get on the CB and I’d mess with truck drivers, you know, and my pop’s like, “One day you can do cartoons.” And I’m like, “I don’t know. We’ll see.” And then I get out here, and I get my first cartoon, which is Teen Titans.

Is Beast Boy vegan?

GC: Vegan, oh yeah!

Was that your doing?
GC: Yeah.

So you have some say as to what you can do with your character?
GC: It was so amazing! It happened when I first read for this part. They were like, “You are this kid.” And I basically was. My whole life experience … his whole back story is very similar to mine. And you know, animals are what I live for, and I haven’t eaten meat since I was around 8 years old, once I realized what I was putting in my body.

And around that same age for this character is when he morphed into this green shade of color … able to turn into every animal that’s walked the Earth, so it’s pretty trippy.

When did you actually go vegan?
GC: Completely vegan? Probably about 2 1/2 years ago.

Did you notice any positive changes physically or mentally after you went vegan?
GC: Oh, my gosh—completely! My whole energy … just became lighter. Now I basically float when I walk … from not having these poisons inside me that they feed these poor animals.

We read that your band, Jah Public, was working with Maverick. Can we expect a CD from you any time soon?
GC: Yeah, we’re hoping to finish the first 10 songs for the album … so maybe by summer there’ll be a release.

Now, you’re also a surfer, but you’re so busy with everything else. Does that leave you much time to surf?
GC: I’m blessed to be living on the beach right now, so I get to go surf right before I go to work. Basically I look out the window and I’m like, “You know what? I’m gonna go catch a barrel before I go to work.” And I seriously can go out in front of my house and catch a little barrel—you know, go out for five minutes and come right back and go to work or whatever I gotta do. And when I get home, I usually take my dog, Timber, after the lifeguards leave because there’s this ridiculous law in Santa Monica that these poor dogs are not allowed on the beach in the sand. And they’ve got hundreds of miles of beach and not one little dog beach for these dogs to swim and go in the sand. So I gotta sneak on there …

So you sneak out there with Timber?
GC: (laughing) … sneak out there with Timber ... he surfs, gets on the board … he was like a seal in his past life.

How and when did Timber come into your life?

GC: He’s my soldier, and looking back, like, he’s been with me … it feels like my whole life. I tell everybody he’s 5 years old—I don’t even know his real age, he’s been with me so long, but he’s still a puppy. My dog is vegan as well.

Oh, that’s so great! Has he been vegan since you got him?
GC: Since I became vegan.

Have you noticed any changes in him?
GC: Oh, the same. It’s amazing! It’s the same reaction. His whole energy is lighter. [H]is arthritis went away, and he’s a lot more mellow and conscious of what’s going on around him.

What’s your favorite part of being vegan?
GC: Just after you eat you always feel good. There’s never a time when you’re like, “Oh, why did I eat that?!”

What can kids today do to get active and improve the lives of animals?
GC: They can start just by telling their friends about the realities of what they’re putting in their body and how animals are treated … or even what a hamburger is … kids don’t even know. “Oh, it’s a hamburger … but it came from a cow, you know.” ... That’s the first thing they can do. And then just learn more about it; just be conscious of what’s happening to animals all around you.

Go to the humane society … you can go help out there and learn more about the animals. … [A]nimals are just like kids, you know? They’re just like kids, and we need to take care of them, not hurt or destroy them.

 
Beast Boy
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