Morrissey might have more animal friends than human at this point in his career. Making a case for animal rights in an interview with the Guardian last week, he classified all Chinese people as a “subspecies.”
A strict vegetarian since the age of 11 and a PETA supporter for years, it is no surprise to hear the artist-turned-activist speak up on the subject. However, whether it comes from a “good place” or not, this intentionally non-diplomatic, unabashedly outspoken artist continues to make sweeping statements that tend to offend. At Coachella last summer, he even stepped off stage mid-set, ailed by the smell of a bbq. He announced, “I can smell burning flesh … and I hope to God it’s human.”
Working in the spotlight with media is an art. Everyone understands a comment taken out of context, especially Morrissey’s publicist (who must have been the mastermind behind the £28,000 donation to Love Music Hate Racism in 2008 after a similar slip-up). However, in this case, the Guardian makes it clear that Morrissey’s statement was completely in earnest. In fact, he did follow up the statement with a confirmation of his beliefs. As reported in Pitchfork:
“If anyone has seen the horrific and unwatchable footage of the Chinese cat and dog trade– animals skinned alive– then they could not possibly argue in favour of China as a caring nation. There are no animal protection laws in China and this results in the worst animal abuse and cruelty on the planet. It is indefensible.”
The complete interview provides some insight into this man who continues his life thoroughly unenthusiastic about person-to-person relationships, (albeit more complicated than credit is given at the moment). He obviously does not subscribe to the belief that the measure of a man’s life is gauged by the strength of support found in his immediate community. When asked if he was lonely, he responded, “We’re all lonely, but I’d rather be lonely by myself than with a long list of duties and obligations.” (Those duties and obligations being a wife, children, extended family, etc, etc.) Ok. We get it. Who are we to reprimand a man for speaking up for his beliefs? And futhermore, who knows what to believe from the mouth of this 80’s icon, really? Morrissey, we’ll leave you alone with your cats.