Rock's vegan fundamentalist: why Morrissey was ahead of his time - The Telegraph

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By Famous when dead on Jan 11, 2019 at 5:57 AM
  1. Famous when dead

    Famous when dead Vulgarian

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    Rock's vegan fundamentalist: why Morrissey was ahead of his time.
    The Telegraph - by Adam White, 10th Jan., 2019.

    The following article is behind a registration wall.
    So, as opposed to an excerpt, the whole thing is reproduced for your convenience:

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    "In 1985, a year after releasing the album Meat Is Murder as part of The Smiths, Morrissey was performing at a gig in Stoke on Trent when he was pelted with objects from the audience: it was a string of sausages, each one carefully inscribed with the title of his album.

    “They hit me in the face and part of them got in my mouth,” he later recalled. “I had to just run off the stage and heave! I really vomited. Eating meat is the most disgusting thing I can think of. It’s like biting into your grandmother.” This was the last time animal flesh has even come close to Morrissey's mouth.

    Back then, Morrissey was fighting on behalf of a mainstream vegetarian ideology very much in its infancy, and inciting much controversy in the process. With veggie food almost exclusively found in hippie cafes and the idea of vegetarian sausages in your local Tesco barely a glimmer of an idea on Linda McCartney’s vision board, Morrissey and The Smiths were notable for being very public early proponents of a meat-free diet.

    Fast forward 30 years, and Morrissey has become a maddening pop culture troll, lecturing the world on the evils of eating meat while expressing a number of inflammatory socio-political stances that have inadvertently encouraged most of us, whatever our political beliefs, to swear we'll never listen to his music again. But even as his politics have changed, his commit to the vegetarian - now vegan - cause has never wavered.

    With veganism already declared to be the hottest cultural trend of 2019, assisted by the social media fervor surrounding the Gregg’s Vegan Sausage Roll and news that Beyoncé and Jay-Z have authored the forward to a vegan guide that essentially reads like a cult manifesto, perhaps it's time to give Morrisey some credit: he was ahead of the curve all along.

    And that’s despite there having always been a thread of unhelpful lunacy to Morrissey’s animals-first mantra, with nary a Morrissey profile going by without a brief dip into all kinds of manic hysteria. From admonishing anyone who doesn’t feel the same level of horror over the terrorism of Anders Breivik as they do at the burger dispensaries at your average branch of KFC, to his declaration that there is “no difference” between the eating of animals and literal paedophilia (“They are both rape, violence, murder,” he said in 2014), Morrissey has often come to resemble a cartoon pastiche of a militant vegan.

    Such hyperbolic, giggle-inducing metaphors for meat-eating have been a permanent fixture in Morrissey's press since the beginning of his career, while his public support for the kind of vegan activist most often seen dunking cans of paint over supermodels has spawned a legion of unflattering stereotypes. But buried beneath the histrionics have often been slivers of truth, now served up in more palatable and less casually racist forms by today’s A-list.

    Morrissey’s sheer conviction in his beliefs, coupled with his unmistakable power within industry circles, has had an enormous effect. Although he failed in his campaign to get General Motors to switch all their car seats to vegan leather, he has repeatedly threatened to pull out of festivals and concerts if meat is sold on the premises (shows in Iceland were cancelled when the venues wouldn't bend to his will). He successfully convinced LA’s Staples Center to shut down its McDonalds ahead of one of his concerts in 2013, along with any food outlet selling meat on the floor level of the venue - Paul McCartney was flatly refused when he made the same request.

    He has even claimed that the organisers of Coachella offered to become an entirely meat-free event for a year if he was able to get The Smiths back together.

    His riders are known to state that his hotel rooms on tour cannot be situated downwind of any nearby barbecues, while he insists all of his bandmates and roadies must follow a vegan or vegetarian diet while touring. (Though fans have debated how successful he has been in that regard, gossiping about band members pining for roast dinners and devouring Haribos backstage.)

    Attendees aren’t so lucky either. In 2011 it was reported that Morrissey fans were being frisked for meat products at his gigs, their bags searched for anything resembling parts of an animal, potentially to curb any incidents like the infamous 1985 sausage attack. And although the rumour th
    (This incomplete sentence is actually in the article - FWD).

    A vegetarian since the age of 11 and a vegan since the turn of the decade, Morrissey first began speaking openly about his beliefs via Meat Is Murder, a track he and The Smiths would play against a projected slideshow of slaughterhouses, animal testing labs and factory farming. In the process, he exposed a generation of music fans to the ghoulish realities of animal products. Such provocative staging remains intact during Morrissey gigs today, a reminder that while much of his overall worldview has changed in the years since, his deliberately antagonistic approach to animal rights hasn’t.

    The album said track stems from, also titled Meat Is Murder, is still the toughest of the four Smiths records to revisit, full of evocative anger and political imagery, but lacking in hooks or many true, four-carat Smiths classics (How Soon Is Now? was only added to the US release of the album). And its failings are neatly encapsulated in the title track itself – a droning bit of melodrama that sounds particularly off-key in the wake of songs revolving around child abuse, poverty and class warfare. When Morrissey sings that eating meat is “death for no reason, and death for no reason is murder,” it’s difficult not to pick holes in his logic.

    But while the track is no typical fan favourite, it did have an effect on a significant proportion of Smiths fans at the time. Speaking to journalist Neil Taylor in 2010 (via NME), guitarist Johnny Marr, today a vegan himself, called the song one of the things he is most proud of. “20 years on people tell me they became a vegetarian as a result of Meat Is Murder, and I think that is quite literally rock music changing someone’s life,” he said. “It’s certainly changing the life of animals.”

    Like much of the rest of Morrissey’s public image throughout the Eighties and Nineties, his vegetarianism would become material for jokes made at his expense, presented as just another mockable characteristic of a man who was proudly soft, emotionally vulnerable and ambiguous in his sexuality – all qualities that made him a beloved figure for a generation of sad Eighties teens, as well as an easy target for the baffled old guard. It's easy to roll your eyes at his endless pontificating, but this was a man waving the flag for animal rights at a time when it decidedly wasn’t cool to do so.,

    “Morrissey helped put PETA on the map,” PETA’s vice president of campaigns Dan Mathews told Spin Magazine in 2004. “Meat Is Murder was a benchmark in defining animal rights as an edgy youth movement and has created legions of vegetarians.”

    An interesting aspect to Morrissey’s vegetarianism, however, has been how often it has shifted in its specifics. His unusual equating of various forms of human tragedy with the slaughter of animals has resulted in an alienating coldness at times, be it his shrug of a response to Band Aid, or his empathy with the violent tactics of the Animal Rights Militia.

    And considering his devotion to the vegan cause, Morrissey’s revelatory interview earlier this year with author Fiona Dodwell came as a surprise. “I’ve always found food to be very difficult because I only eat bread, potatoes, pasta and nuts… all stodge,” he said. “I can’t eat anything that has any flavour. I’ve never had a curry, or coffee, or garlic.” In contrast with Marr, who discussed with Vegan Magazine in 2011 a diet rich in tofu, pastas, stuffed vine leaves and vegan cookies, it was curiously uninformed for such a public proponent of non-meat diets.

    But Morrissey's awareness of the way wealth and class intersect with the availability and affordability of good quality vegan produce, as indicated during a rare TV sit-down with Larry King in 2015, showcased a more knowledgeable appreciation of veganism’s failings – even if it did make him an enemy in the eyes of some of the more hardcore figures of the vegan blogosphere.

    In 2015, abolitionist vegan Gary L Francione slammed Morrissey’s comments on the difficulties of transitioning from vegetarianism to veganism. “There is no morally coherent distinction between meat and any other animal product,” Francione wrote. “It’s bad enough that high-visibility people like Morrissey and Paul McCartney pose as ‘animal people’ when they are not vegan.”

    It has become as tricky to get a handle on Morrissey’s veganism as it is his politics, both dominated as they are with extremist, almost deliberately outrage-producing stances – something he has done in the press, to varying levels of legacy-ruining, since the peak of his Eighties fame. But despite how easy it has been to roll our collective eyes at his endless pontificating, this was a man waving the flag for animal rights at a time when it decidedly wasn’t cool to do so.

    Animal rights awareness in the 1990s largely consisted of supermodels stripping down in adverts for PETA; more often than not, they were wearing fur on the runway a second later). At least Morrissey's hardcore veggie activism was genuinely productive.

    It is a shame, then, that he has become such a droning oddball of late. On the list of outrageous comments Morrissey has made in the past decade, from slamming many of the men and women who have come forward with #MeToo stories to publicly supporting a political figure deemed part of a contingent of “Nazis and racists” within UKIP by none other than Nigel Farage, his hyperbolic statements on meat and paedophilia hardly register in the truly dangerous stakes. But it does do an unfortunate disservice to the good he has done in the past."


    (Some of the hyperlinks above take you to more gated articles).

    A Solo link is cited too: 'Fans have debated...'
    Regards,
    FWD.
     
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Comments

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Famous when dead, Jan 11, 2019.

    1. AztecCamera
      AztecCamera
      I reckon again no wonder The California Son hates Brittin. Blikey, reckon how was he allowed to enter Brittin last year by the Brittish Secret Service? Doesn't drink coffee. What a load of bull ox. Reckon the foreigner who wrote this article has never been to Caffe Luxxe at 10am.
    2. Uncleskinny
      Uncleskinny
      Actually Morrissey only became vegan when people started to notice he still ate cheese and wore leather shoes. He's still got further to go since he shared a PETA posts about the cruelty of wool but still wears it.
      Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
      • Like Like x 1
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    3. Halloway
      Halloway
      It was nice to read again that interview with Johnny Marr linked in the article. I find Marr's intelligent, reasonable espousal of veganism to be much more appealing than Morrissey's, which mainly seems to consist of snarling at various groups of people of which he doesn't approve (e.g. the Chinese and Muslims.)
      • Like Like x 2
    4. Anonymous
      Anonymous
      Morrissey isn't Vegan. Stop with this nonsense.

      Veganism is for anorexics, or experimental cuckoo birds who eventually abandon its strict requirements.

      In general, vegetarianism never manages to rise above a %2 level, regardless of the trends.

      Also, not all vegans are ethical vegans. Their dietary program is not truly strict in its veganism, or in the use of animal products.

      Most people who become vegetarian, or vegan ultimately abandon the diet after a certain period of time.

      Moral shaming is the least effective way of converting people to the lifestyle, or any lifestyle for that matter.
      Anonymous
      This message by Anonymous has been hidden due to negative ratings. (Show message)
      • Troll Troll x 4
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    5. vegan cro spirit 222
      vegan cro spirit 222
      being a skinny echo is no way to go thru life.o_O

      Mr Cometry imitated Moz on 'veganism'. everything moz did Mr Cometry had to monkey up.:lbf:
    6. Halloway
      Halloway
      Well thanks for that, Anonymous Coward. Are there any other subjects about which you know fuck all that you'd like to share with us?
      • Like Like x 4
    7. Anonymous
      Anonymous
      This must be the easiest article to write. It's already been written so many times. All you have to do is aim it at your particular audience and pump up the hysteria a little more than the last person that wrote the same thing so that you can claim it's original.
      It's all so boring.
      I find that I'm just as bored by fans who torture logic to make the argument that everything Morrissey says makes perfect sense and is always consistent. It doesn't and it isn't.
      But really I don't care. Trolls gotta troll and Morrissey is a troll. He loves to make the readers of his interviews gasp for air as they read his latest shocking and outrageous statement. He might even believe some of it himself!
      In the end he is a singer and songwriter. He doesn't owe any of his listeners anything. If he'd only ever released the first Smiths album he would be a legend. Yes, I have criticized him and I do find some of his comments unhelpful to himself, his audience, and any cause he may support. But he's just a person. A shocking concept, I know.
      I think that if Morrissey's shocking comments have become less disturbing or effective that's nothing compared to articles like this one and the constant droning of those who have made it their life mission to separate him from his fanbase.
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    8. pandaproducts
      pandaproducts

      Veganism is not for anorexic or experimental cuckoo birds who eventually abandon its strict requirements.

      According to the American Dietetics Association, the largest nutritional organisation of certified nutritionists in the world, veganism is not only healthy; it is healthier in terms of preventing chronic diseases like diabetes, CVD, and cancer.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19562864

      Vegan diets reduce risk from total cancer by as much as 15%, and reduce risk of diabetes by a whopping 78%:

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26853923

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4191896/

      Veganism is not only healthy, it is healthier than a conventional or vegetarian diet. To state that it is for anorexics is a misinformed or dishonest statement.

      Secondly, 5 percent of people in the U.S. are vegetarian. That's a bit above the 2% you claimed, and 3% are vegan.

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallm...-americas-vegans-and-vegetarians-infographic/


      Thirdly, while it had been true in the past that vegan and vegetarian diets were so readily abandoned; it has changed now.

      According to veganuary statistics, those who joined veganuary remained vegan 61% of the time.

      https://veganuary.com/blog/veganuary-2018-the-results-are-in/

      Finally, to state that morality is ineffective for advocating for anything seems a baseless statement. Morality was the main driver behind the civil rights movement, the anti-abolitionist movement, the pro-LGBTQ movement, which have all achieved marvelous results in their favor.
      • Like Like x 5
    9. countthree
      countthree
      Morrissey is ahead of his time in many subjects.
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    10. Ketamine Sun
      Ketamine Sun
      fail.


      It’s funny how the writer of this article quoted from an interview, though obviously went out of his way to not add the below quote, just goes to show how the media
      tries to shape others opinions of Morrissey.


      ‘I don't eat animals, birds or fish. I don't consider myself to be vegan, vegetarian or carnivorous. I'm just me. I refuse to eat anything that had a mother, that's obvious.‘

      It wouldn’t help his article (agenda) to show that Morrissey in his views, especially politically are contrary (his support for Sanders, Perot and his anti-Trump stance for instance), and it seems that as he gets older he refuses more and more to be labeled and put into a box by a public

      that will never truly know him.


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    11. Anonymous
      Anonymous
      Yeah, he's a total hypocrite and a generally nasty piece of work, that Morrissey.
      Please point this out as frequently as you possibly can.
      Many thanks (on behalf of everyone who visits this site).
      • Funny Funny x 3
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    12. The Wild Turkey
      The Wild Turkey
      This article was a trick to just demean Moz.
      This is the kind of guy who says:
      "Come on over, we're havin' a party for ya.
      Everyone is gonna throw rocks at ya."
      • Informative Informative x 1
    13. The Wild Turkey
      The Wild Turkey
      Did ya notice how this guy didn't mention how Moz took a stand against Turkey Murder?
      Once ya mention that, then ya gotta mention how Moz has the love and support of The Wild Turkey Community.
      That would be to much positivity for Moz and they can't have that.
      • Insightful Insightful x 1
    14. Ketamine Sun
      Ketamine Sun
      Yep, it reminds me of some of those that post here (you know who you are!) that will write something slightly constructive, but then stick it to Moz at the end, as if their opinions actually benefited anyone. That’s what trolls do.

      :cool:
      • Like Like x 3
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    15. Ketamine Sun
      Ketamine Sun
      :rolleyes:


      He doesn’t approve of ANY ‘groups of people’ (regardless if they’re Chinese, Muslim, whatever) that practice such barbaric acts to animals,. You forgot to mention Canadians or any of the countries that hold festivals that he won’t be a part of (most of the time) if they’re serving animal flesh.

      It’s not the people who don’t, it’s the people that do, that he doesn’t approve of, it doesn’t matter who they are.
      • Like Like x 3
    16. Surface
      Surface
      Unless there's money to be made.

      https://www.morrisseycentral.com/messagesfrommorrissey/207973-canada
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    17. Anonymous
      Anonymous
      Isn't that awful? A singer who wants to be paid to sing. Do you work for free? I'm sure you've spent the last thirty years or so writing and recording songs that you give away, and when you tour the world nobody has to pay for a ticket. Otherwise this would make you a hypocrite and I'm sure that can't be the case.
      • Like Like x 1
    18. Ragdale Road
      Ragdale Road
      I'm vegan most of the time, although it's more for selfish reasons than anything else. I've become accustomed to the taste and texture of meat alternatives and when I do eat meat it feels strange. The main thing I notice is how little flavour you get with meat. My favourite meat alternatives are Quorn Peppered Beef Slices and Quorn Chicken Pieces. I couldn't do without my meat substitutes though. I like to pretend I'm still biting into a piece of flesh! I think a lot of the liking for meat is to do with its unique texture than anything else. But you can do all the things with Quorn that you can do with meat. You can put it on a sandwich or wrap, make a stew, mix it with rice, anything really.
      Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    19. gordyboy9
      gordyboy9
      ket everything is edited these days to suit the narrative,as with this interview they will applaud him for his stance but also have a slight dig now and again.

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