Latest posts by Tim Doble (see all)
- Morrissey: “Eating Animals is the Same as Paedophilia” - 6 January, 2014
- DobleVision: The X Factor Final - 20 December, 2013
- DobleVision: The X Factor SEMI-FINAL - 13 December, 2013
Yes, I’m going to talk about vegetarianism again. But don’t worry – this time, Morrissey’s involved, so vegetarianism is a lot more rock ‘n’ roll. The former lead singer of The Smiths, phenomenal solo artist and all-round kick-arse human being caused ‘a bit of controversy’ once again when responding to questions from followers on his fan website called ‘True To You’. A fan asked ‘Knowing that you are a loyal and proud vegetarian, I would like to ask you what is it that motivated you to stop eating meat for good?’ Morrissey, true to form, replied:
“If you have access to YouTube, you should click on to what is called ‘The video the meat industry doesn’t want you to see’. If this doesn’t affect you in a moral sense then you’re probably granite. I see no difference between eating animals and paedophilia. They are both rape, violence, murder. If I’m introduced to anyone who eats beings, I walk away. Imagine, for example, if you were in a nightclub and someone said to you “Hello, I enjoy bloodshed, throat-slitting and the destruction of life,” well, I doubt if you’d want to exchange phone numbers.”
Alright, so Morrissey wasn’t exactly clear. Paedophilia itself is obviously not ‘rape, violence, murder.’ But cases of paedophilia do often include those things – as do cases of animal slaughter, which happens every day, all over this country and countless others. After discussing (arguing) this on Twitter, I found the main disagreements were found with the comparisons to rape and paedophilia, specifically. It seems as though people are quite aware that animal slaughter is violent and murderous (not that any damns are given, as long as they get their bacon sandwich in the morning, right?), but the word ‘rape’ has gained such a connotation that people now only associate it with physical, sexual rape. In the traditional sense of the word, animal slaughter is indeed rape – the rape of life. The rape of the chance to live at all. The rape of skin, flesh, and various other internal pieces and parts that I reckon animals deserve to have just as we do.
Now, the comparison of animal slaughter to specifically sexual rape of a child (which is what I think Morrissey really meant, as opposed to paedophilia as a psychiatric disorder. Let’s give the man a break – he’s had a hard thirty years) is entirely justifiable too. You have an unaware, innocent creature – a baby, and an animal. Neither of these beings are capable, yet, of doing any intentional wrong because their brains just aren’t developed enough. You then have what I’ll call the ‘antagonist’ (the paedophile and the slaughterer/consumer.) The antagonist then takes sick advantage of this obliviousness of the victim – they rape the child for pleasure, or they support the throat-slitting of the animal so they can have a nice lunch. It was argued to me on Twitter that ‘rape is worse than murder because of the psychological repercussions’. Say we’re talking about rape of a baby – yes, the baby lives on, but it’s pretty fair to say they won’t remember it. Does anyone circumcised as a baby remember their circumcision? (No. Or at least I hope not.) Either way, a lot of people would argue that it’s still better to have the chance to live on.
To argue that the rape or death of an animal is less important than the rape or death of a human is to argue against equality. I believe that since we are all creatures, we all deserve an equal right to live – that’s the bottom line. So, animals are technically less intelligent. They don’t have the physical capacity to think as humans do. Does lower intelligence justify their murder? Because if so, we should all go and eat Joey Essex right now. To be pro-equality, and to even come close to justifying slaughter and consumption of an animal, one would have to agree that they are all for the legalisation of cannibalism. Humans just fellate themselves when it comes to knowing they’re the most intelligent species. They take advantage of the environment, of other species and it’s just a bit sick.
When I walk into Tesco, and I venture through the meat aisle to find the Quorn section, I look at the cold, soft pink flesh pressed up against the clear plastic. Sometimes it’s lamb. That’s a baby creature. That cold flesh was the child of a mother. No, maybe animals aren’t capable of being intelligent enough to have relationships with their parents like we do. But they’re still part of them. They still would have lived together. When I see these parts of bodies, I’m sad. It’s akin to seeing a child’s corpse pressed up, face squashed against the plastic, misshapen and lifeless. I can’t stand that we take advantage of the lesser capabilities of animals. If someone took my child against my will, slaughtered it, and ate it needlessly, I wouldn’t want to live. I couldn’t cope. It’s just not fair.
(For more on why eating animals is needless, see my previous post on vegetarianism wherein I outline that really, you can have a healthy, balanced vegetarian diet without supplements. It’s quite nice, too. Less salmonella.)