Sunday, January 5, 2014

Meat is ….huh? A Reality Check For Morrissey

Welcome back, Apprentices! Today, we're going to take a little time out of the kitchen to discuss the importance of tolerance and education in today's world. I know, I totally just sounded like an elementary school teacher there, didn't I? Well, that's because SOMEONE has not been a very kind or tolerant fellow lately. So please forgive the editorial, Dear Readers, but for the sake of culinary peace and harmony, it needs to be said.

In a recent online Q&A, singer/songwriter Morrissey went on a crazy-town rant comparing eating meat to rape and pedophilia. Now, clearly the celebrity bubble surrounding Morrissey isn't frequently popped with reality or he wouldn't be so cavalier with his opinions. Comparing the intent behind committing rape or molesting a child to eating a piece of fried chicken shows a detachment from basic human compassion that is just frightening. I'm sure the many victims of these crimes truly appreciate having their life-altering trauma reduced to eating a plate of bacon and eggs for breakfast.

I get it, he's a vegetarian. And that's nice. I respect his life decisions. The problem is that Morrissey doesn't give others the same courtesy. Rather than working to raise awareness about vegetarianism in a peaceful, educational way, Morrissey chooses to fling about judgement and over-the-top condemnations. Sure, he's done the occasional ad for PETA and he even cancelled a tour to Canada to protest their policies on seal hunting, but what has he really done to raise awareness about vegetarianism for the average family?  Oh, wait…that's right…he can't be bothered. Morrissey just walks away if he's ever introduced to someone who "eats beings." One has to wonder if the air has gotten too thin from where he's perched on his high horse. I eat meat. I like it. Does that make me a horrible person? Obviously, I could never deign to be in the same room as someone so clearly superior to my pitiful self as the Great Morrissey but am I really in the same category as rapists, murderers and pedophiles? My vegan and vegetarian friends still, somehow, tolerate my presence. But they also  happen to be logical, normal, sweet human beings.

Celebrities have a unique opportunity to reach out and help humanity. They have the spotlight, the money and the audience who will listen to their causes and occasionally answer the call to action. But I can't help but feel that Morrissey is squandering an opportunity to really make a difference for vegetarianism. If he feels so passionate about the subject, he needs to speak about it in a way that will affect change, not perpetuate anger and ignorance. But perhaps I ask too much from a man who titled his albums "Meat is Murder" and "Viva Hate."

To Morrissey, I would suggest he visit for more information on rape and abuse. And if you or someone you love has been assaulted, please seek help.

If you're curious about some delicious vegan food, check out Mad Beet and Vegan Shibby by my friends Gia and Gem…both promoting veganism in a positive way! Well done ladies! I love you both!

Stay tuned for a new quest and be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all the latest 8-Bit Cook news!


  1. Are you serious? Meat eating is rape? I guess eating vegetables doesn't kill them. They just keep growing in your stomach.

  2. What it boils down to is education about where food comes from. There are people who don't want to know how the meat gets on their plate because they know it would be upsetting, so they choose not to learn and look the other way. There are those that learn where their food comes from, how the animals are treated and decide that they cannot look the other way and decide to not support the industry. There are those that learn where their food comes from, how the animals are treated and decide to seek out humanely treated, free range, organic meats from local ranchers and farmers or raise their own. And finally there are those that don't give a damn about how the animals are treated because of any number of reasons, among which I've heard "they don't have feelings/souls/etc," "they taste good" and "I just don't give a f**k."

    Speaking as a vegetarian I can't begin to tell you the number of times I have been publicly disrespected and verbally assaulted for not eating meat. I am not a militant vegetarian, as you well know, and never even bring it up unless asked why I'm not eating a burger, steak, etc. Yet I have been asked "what's wrong with you," laughed at and bullied by grown adults for a personal decision that has no impact or relevance to them or their lifestyle choices.

    So the respect works both ways. I'm not saying I agree with tactics like those used by PETA and their ilk. I find it counterproductive. But it goes both ways. I can certainly understand Morrissey not wanting to deal with the barrage of questions that goes along with being an herbivore in a room of omnivores. It's old and tiresome. No one asks what's wrong with you if you don't eat carrots, let alone picks a fight about it.

    Mutual respect is needed and I think that begins with real and honest education on the subject. Plain and simple.
    *end diatribe*

  3. And I agree. It IS about mutual respect. I take issue with the way Morrissey chooses to deliver his message. He has a REAL opportunity to spread awareness and use his power of celebrity to make a difference for something he feels passionately about and he's squandering it with his ego and superior attitude. I feel like if he isn't going to make an effort to educate people, he can't condemn them for being ignorant. It's hypocritical.

  4. response was deleted when I hit publish...I'll see if I can remember what I wrote:

    I've been a Morrissey fan since the age of 13 and I would never ask him to be a spokesperson for anything other than himself. He doesn't need to be the face of any movement or cause. He is not a teacher...not by any stretch of the imagination. His arrogance and ego are his trademark. That's Morrissey and that's part of his Oscar Wilde-esque charm - his outrageous statements and can't help but listen and either roll your eyes or chuckle. Yes, his fame gives him a platform that many don't have and yes he has the opportunity to educate but he certainly has no obligation.

    I'm a vegetarian and a blogger and I have no desire whatsoever to educate people on how their meat gets to their plate. None. And many people don't want to be "educated" on many things, vegetarianism among them, because they feel preached at regardless of the intention or approach of the "educator." Remember how you felt the last time a Jehovah's Witness knocked on your door? They're always perfectly polite...and odds are you found them perfectly annoying.

    Just because you hold a belief or have an opinion doesn't mean you have to be an activist even if you express it publicly. Stating how you feel doesn't mean you have an obligation to educate or convince or debate. Everyone is free to express their opinion no matter how ignorant it is (*ahem* Mel Gibson's rant is a perfect example) or how rudely or loudly they go about it. Freedom of speech is one of our greatest blessings...and one of our greatest curses. We've become a culture that gets a bug up their butt every time someone says something we find offensive...but that's freedom of speech for you. If he feels that eating meat is equivalent to the cruelty and violence of rape then that's how he feels. We are free to either agree or disagree.

    We're becoming a culture that supports freedom of speech...but only as long as we agree with the speech being where we expect everyone to have to defend their positions and statements and beliefs and the simple fact of the matter is no one has to defend anything they believe. If he chooses not to interact with people who eat meat who cares? If he wants to be obnoxious about his opinions, who cares? Does that really affect anyone other than him? If that's how he chooses to live his life, so what. It's his, not mine, not the presses, not the peanut gallery''s his. He's not killing people, he's being a snob...and getting press in the process.

    My point: having an opinion doesn't mean you have any obligation to do anything with it besides express it if you so choose, celebrity or not.

  5. And sorry if there are parts that are redundant...I'm kinda out of it today...wish the first one hadn't been deleted. It was much more concise and eloquent. Damn you technology and your glitches!