I was born in 1969. I was 15 years old when my favourite band “The Smiths” came out with the album “Meat is Murder.” This album was literally the soundtrack of my teenage years. We were the cool kids and Morrissey was our God. I listened to this album over and over again completely oblivious to Morrissey’s message. How could we? We were the intimidating kids. We dressed in black from head to toe, stuck pins through our clothes and bodies, drank and smoked heavily, and wrote anarchy signs all over the subway stations, not realizing what any of it really meant. Now meat was murder?? What the F***!! Did Morrissey lose his mind? I thought. I must of sang the lyrics to this song a million times over and over in my egotistical “alternative” teenage head. I was totally unaware of the message. What was Morrissey talking about? Surely he didn’t want us to abandon our anti-establishment mission of anarchy to become vegans!? How dare he mess with us!
Vegetarians, we thought in those days, were hippies in California doing macrame and wearing flowery dresses. I just didn’t identify, even though the God of my World was a vegan. I could not nor would not at the time come close to understanding what was going on in Morrissey’s head.
But the seed had been planted. I pondered the issue and a few years later, without telling any of my friends of course, I read a book called a “Diet for a Small Planet” by Frances Moore Lappé, which was the first major book to note the environmental impact of meat production as a waste and the underlying cause of the global food scarcity. My heart sank and my thoughts changed, but I definitely lacked the courage to follow through with action.
I started buying books about vegetarian cooking and all that good stuff, but I hid it from my friends in the fear of not being so cool anymore. Fearing the unimaginable (not being one of the cool kids anymore), I turned my head the other way lacking the courage to face the reality that I was now aware of. Many years later vegetarian and vegan information was popping up in the social media and I became curious again. This time there were tons of resources where I decided to educate myself on this matter. There were books, documentaries, conferences, and the statistics were bewildering. I finally understood what Morrissey was talking about for all those years, and so began my journey into veganism.
I understood that vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry. But vegans, in addition to being vegetarian, did not use any animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, leather, fur, silk, wool, cosmetics, and soaps derived from animal products. This meant a complete transformation from being a “normal” carnivore into not only a vegetarian but it also meant I had to let go of everything I thought was “normal.” Understanding the impact of being a vegan has on climate change, as well as the health benefits such as the reduction of diabetes and heart problems, as well as giving animals back their right to life and freedoms were my new guidelines.
It took many years for my transformation to happen. First I cut down my consumption of meat and fish, followed by becoming vegetarian and later on letting go of all dairy products. About a year later I stopped using any animal product and I was vegan. It took a lot of courage. I faced many critics but armed with a new passion and tons of facts, my journey was well on its way. I couldn’t turn my head away anymore. I wanted to be genuine and although it was not an easy transition I now stand a proud vegan. I have no desire to revert whatsoever. I hope you can relate to my story because my deepest wish today is to carry this message of love and kindness to as many hearts as possible. It is time to face the facts and stop being hypocritical. The planet, animals, as well as the survival of the human species are in a critical state of emergency. We need to take action NOW. Thank you Morrissey, you were right: meat is murder.