Show of hands: who here was inspired to go vegetarian after hearing [lastfm]The Smiths[/lastfm]’ album Meat is Murder for the first time (author raises hand)? Whether you were a melancholy misanthrope 12-year-old or an eco-conscientious college co-ed, [lastfm]Johnny Marr[/lastfm] says that one of his greatest achievements as a member of [lastfm]The Smiths[/lastfm] was teaching his fans about vegetarianism.
How does Marr feel about his notoriously rabid fans (diss [lastfm]The Smiths[/lastfm] to a die-hard fan and, well, you die) and their ironic lack of animal cruelty stance? Find out more after the (animal-friendly) cut!
When Meat is Murder came out in 1985 on Rough Trade Records, the title was incredibly controversial; despite the provocative nature of the Meat is Murder, some genius label person at Rough Trade went with it and it (the fame, the message, The infamy of The Smiths) turned out to be totally progressive.
Marr elaborates on this in Nell Taylor’s book Document and Eyewitness: An Intimate History of Rough Trade:
“‘ I think it was quirky to call the album Meat is Murder and it was way ahead of its time, but we were on a label that let us do that kind of thing.”
The influence of [lastfm]The Smiths[/lastfm] took vegetarianism out of the realm of hippie-yoga-hoodoo and made it more rock ‘n roll to be a kind cook. In fact, Meat is Murder is still a “musical” bible to current generations of vegetarians; this has made it one of Johnny Marr’s crowning achievements:
“I am very proud of the fact that 20 years on people tell me they became a vegetarian as a result of Meat is Murder. I think that is quite literally rock music changing someone’s life. It’s certainly changing the life of animals. It is one of the things I am most proud of.”
It is humanly impossible to ignore lyrics such as “This beautiful creature must die/A death for no reason/And death for no reason is murder” in the heartbreaking song, “Meat is Murder”.
Wooo, just to, umm, liven it up a bit, here is one of our favorite Smiths song. It’s very romantic, no?