"Meat Is Murder"
Interview by Tim Samuels and Juliet Gellatley
from "Greenscene" no. 6 (1989)

reprinted without permission
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8 years after this interview was published in Greenscene - "The only magazine for young vegetarians", Tim Samuels (the co-interviewer) wrote the following article about his abandonment of vegetarianism.

"Being A Veggie Was Murder" (The Independent, Dec. 18, 1997)

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greenscene-intro.jpg (33369 bytes)MORRISSEY is one of the most innovative and influential people in the music world. A star that abhors all social injustice and is not afraid to say so. In 1984 he stated that meat is murder in a song that touched the consciences of millions.

Thirteen year old Greenscener, Tim Samuels, met Morrissey in Altrincham and asked him if he'd be interviewed for Greenscene. A week later Morrissey contacted Tim and arranged for the interview to take place with Juliet
[editor of Greenscene] and Tim, at Tim's flat.

The introduction is written by Tim Samuels, and the interview by Juliet Gellatley.

(Questions asked by Tim are marked with a T, and by Juliet with a J -- surprisingly enough!)


Former Smiths vocalist, Steven Patrick Morrissey, born 22nd May 1959 is probably one of the most influential people around today. He has a massive cult following, due to his genius and individuality. He is not your quintessential rock star; abstaining from sex, drugs, alcohol and meat.

Soon after The Smiths began, in 1983, Morrissey became a model for many adolescents.

A large following was developing in his hometown, Manchester, but their first single 'Hand in Glove' did not reach the top 75. The Smiths were now reaching the music press, and Morrissey was coming out with controversial comments, such as I despise royalty, I always have done'. 'Money spent on royalty is burnt' and 'I have nothing to do with sex, nothing whatsoever'.

The Smiths were now nationally known. Their second single 'This Charming Man' was their first chart single reaching number 25. Then followed numerous tours along with the release of 15 singles, 8 albums, including 'Meat is Murder', bringing vegetarianism into an area where it never existed before.

In the autumn of 1987 tension was building between the band members. Soon after the release of the album 'Strangeways Here We Come' The Smiths split up. It was the end of one of the most innovative bands in the world.

Morrissey then pursued a solo career, which proved (and is proving) to be very successful. His first album 'Viva Hate' reached number one, and his first single 'Suedehead' reached number 4, higher than any Smiths single.

After bumping into Morrissey outside his Altrincham flat, he agreed to be interviewed by myself and Juliet for The Vegetarian Society. The interview took place in my flat.