title2.jpg (15400 bytes)

page 4 of 4

J Would you ever buy a vegetarian burger at somewhere like Wimpeys, or McDonalds - if they did one?
No, never. When you think about it McDonalds is such a violently destructive industry - how can it thrive? If you opened a chain of shops which murdered children and fried them in deep fat, would you prosper?

J I hope not.

Well the signs are that you would, McDonalds have.

They always seem to aim their advertising at children.
Oh yeah, birthday parties, the silly hats and clown - they, unfortunately, really appeal to children. And the very happy, healthy assistants who are dramatically underpaid. I mean nobody works in McDonalds for over a week, the conditions are so bad... but miraculously all the people they pick for television are outstandingly fulfilled. I think their whole advertising campaign is almost pure genius. It's because they know that they've got so much to hide that they need to camouflage the situation as much as possible.

T How do you think we can combat such a massive organisation?

It's difficult because of the new laws that you can't even stand outside McDonalds with a leaflet, or peacefully demonstrate without the police jumping on you. If you are an informed individual that goes a long way, and just don't let people get away with anything – tell them the truth behind the facade of Ronald McDonald. Tell them about the animals thrashing as their throats are cut, tell them about the destruction of the rainforests for burgers. Don't joke about it, don't allow jokes to exist.

As you said ‘Meat is Murder’ turned thousands of people vegetarian - so getting across the plain truth to people works.
Yes, if people will listen. The meat industry relies on people’s complacency and ignorance. The truth is deliberately veiled to prevent people from grasping the reality of the situation, and to stop them from forming their own opinion.

T What influence did 'Meat is Murder' have on the rest of The Smiths?

They all became vegetarian.

T Why did the Smiths split up?

The Smiths never had a managerial figure and there were so many horrible business problems that ultimately nobody could stand it. Everybody just ran away really.

I think Johnny (Marr) felt the strain the hardest.

T So there's no chance of getting back together?

At the moment I can't see one, but I'll send you a postcard if I hear any!

T Do you envisage staying in the pop world for a while?

Not massively long term no.

T Couple of years perhaps?

Oh alright then, I'll make it one year if you like!!

Talking of the future - do you feel optimistic for the animals and the environment?
I don’t feel optimistic for animals, sometimes I feel it would be better for the elephants to become extinct then nobody could hurt them.

I think it's still very revolutionary to not eat meat or fish. It's quite staunchly political and rebellious in the eyes of many people. Being vegetarian is a very powerful statement.

We are considered extreme when we oppose mass exploitation and cruelty, and yet if you buy cosmetics that have been poured into rabbits eyes or if you eat animal corpses, you're considered normal!!

I do though feel optimistic by the number of vegetarians I've come across just moving about in daily life, I think the number is much higher than we're lead to believe.

interviewers.jpg (34212 bytes)
Juliet and Tim practising their 'serious interviewers' posture!
(Sefton Photo Library)

J Do you think it's become trendy to become vegetarian?
I would never use the word trendy, because it implies that it will pass soon. People are becoming more enlightened, that's the crux of it.

Look at what you're doing - Greenscene and SCREAM!! are really good, I think you are right to aim your campaign at young people as they are not so ingrained.I mean I know people who I've protested to for years, and nothing, absolutely nothing, will induce them to give up bacon butties!

T Did you have any trouble at school or from parents about turning vegetarian?

No, I didn't. My mother has been vegetarian all her life so I wasn't raised in an environment where it was thought crucial to eat meat.

T Do you have any advice for people who...

Who want to give interviews, I'd say don't do it, ha ha!!

J & T Thanks very much!!!

T For people who are having difficulties with their parents?

I find these parents can never give constructive reasoning for wanting their children to eat meat. It is so unhealthy. How can any parent want to fill their child’s body with antibiotics, growth hormones, saturated fat, chemicals and cancerous growths?

Unfortunately, the situation is still such that killing and eating an animal - although obviously a very extreme form of behaviour - never requires any explanation, and yet if you are a vegetarian you have to say why.

J If someone asks for an explanation from you, what do you say?

Well I never say I'm a vegetarian, I just say that I don't eat animals. Because saying that you're vegetarian is like saying 'look I have this wooden leg and I can't take part'. It's like saying 'please excuse me from...' You should never apologise for doing what you know to be right. Murder is said to be the most serious of all crimes -- and meat IS murder.

greenscene-bkcover-sm.jpg (7930 bytes)
back cover - click to enlarge
(Sefton Photo Library)


return to Morrissey-solo