Former Smith and Meat Is Murder singer, Morrissey has once again made his blinkered views known on meat eaters. Branding belief in the abattoir equal to support of Auschwitz, he has definitely taken a step in making vegetarianism appear like an extremist religion.
Bizarrely his rant also drew comparisons between eating animals and paedophilia because they both involve 'rape, violence and murder'. It is not clear where Morrissey is getting his information from on carnivores, but as the fact that he likened slaughter houses to one of the most horrific events in history, incidentally orchestrated by a genocide focused vegetarian shows, this was not the most well thought out argument.
Vegetarianism as an adult is a lifestyle usually adopted for one of three reasons; a) to lead a healthier life, b) to help the environment, c) for moral or religious reasons/general disagreement with killing other living beings. I myself fit into the last category, as despite having been vegetarian since birth, I made my own decision as a teenager that I did not agree with eating meat. However, unlike Morrissey I am not so shallow minded to expect that everyone else has to agree with this view or risk being compared to a child killer.
Vegetarians appear often to be viewed as smug, accused of trying to take the moral high ground, nibbling on celery and smirking while the majority of the population panics about what's actually in their lasagne. In childhood I was frequently scolded by the parents of my friends for simply being a fussy eater, with one actively trying to force me to consume multiple slabs of flesh in various forms. From this point of view I do understand why Morrissey has such strong opinions as sometimes it is difficult to be taken seriously if you confess to not eating meat because you don't want the animals to suffer. However, these days it has become a lot more acceptable in society when eating with others to be vegetarian and just be left alone to get on with it. But with people like Morrissey crazily ranting and whining, those of us who decide not to eat meat for moral reasons will be placed in the category of radicals that seek to convert the world.High profile vegetarians always seem to be on the more extreme end of the scale and once again it is a case of whoever can shout the loudest gives the rest of us a bad name.
Modern veggies should be celebrating the multitude of foods that we now can enjoy, not using it as an excuse to act like we are involved in some sort of higher cult. As much as I don't believe in the age of soya that any living thing should die to feed me, the production of meat is not entirely cut and dried into right and wrong. I am not so ignorant of an entire industry, that I can just dismiss killing animals for food, regardless of the consequences to the farmers who survive on feeding meat eaters. This whole section of society cannot just be considered as collateral damage in this scary veggie view of a Utopian meat free world.
Another argument raised as a result of Morrissey's ramblings is that of how far freedom of speech should be allowed in the public domain. This goes further than a choice between chickpeas or chicken and while freedom of speech is an incredibly important part of society, it is often taken too far by people, especially those in the media that know by blabbing such strong opinions and unnecessary comparisons they will get people to listen. Of course everyone should have the freedom to express their own opinions, but when such ill thought out cruel remarks make it into the media; surely this should not be so readily accepted. If there was a way to stick a metaphorical fork in Morrissey it should happen because he is definitely done. In my opinion he should not be allowed to talk about veggies versus carnivores until he can prove he will do no more harm to the reputation of veggies or not insult people that are just quietly getting on with their lives and not in any way advocating the Holocaust or paedophilia.