Morrissey came under scrutiny after banning the serving of meat during his performance at last week’s Riot Fest. Naturally, this set the internet ablaze with hateful comments and Ron Swanson memes. The point of this article will not be to sway your opinion on meat or make you like Morrissey’s music, but to defend what I believe was an intelligent activist stance.
You may be wondering why an entertainment website that writes primarily about metal, horror movies and videogames would post such a political article, but if you’ve frequented our site you may have noticed that we have donated ad space (and always will) to local animal rescues. If you follow us on Twitter, you have probably seen pictures of our (the founders of Riot-Nerd) two rescued pit-bull mixes. I even have a paw print tattooed on my left arm for Christ’s sake.
We are huge animal lovers. I have spent time as a vegetarian and a meat eater. I have seen both sides. I have read a lot about slaughterhouses and the meat industry. I do believe meat IS murder but I also know that meat is delicious. After seeing the criticism that befell Morrissey for banning meat during his performance I felt the need to give an alternative opinion.
To give you a little background on the man we all love, hate, or love to hate, Morrissey has been vegetarian for over 45 years. His mother, who often went on anti-hunt rallies in the U.K., turned him onto the cause. His activism even found its way into his music. His band The Smiths released ‘Meat Is Murder’ back in 1985, while I was still in diapers and before many of you were even born. He has dedicated his life and his art to educating people about animal rights. In fact, you’ll find a Peta booth at all of his concerts, spreading the word on animal rights and for the record – I did not notice them pushing this on anyone.
When you put your beliefs so openly on display, you’re bound to get criticism and there are going to be assholes that go to extremes. In fact, during a Smiths performance of ‘Meat Is Murder’ an audience member threw sausages onto the stage hitting Morrissey directly in the face. Now, can you REALLY blame the man for not wanting meat served during his performances?
At the end of the day Morrissey got everyone’s attention by banning meat at the concert. He got us all talking. Isn’t that what’s really important as an activist? It’s not about being an asshole; it’s about spreading word of the cause. He succeeded at that.
Concert photography from Morrissey’s performance at The Tower Theater on 9/22/16 by Megan Hawkey