Meat isn’t murder

Like David Cameron (and it’s a horrifying concept, when you realise you like some of the same music as the leader of the Conservative Party), I love The Smiths. In a short but prolific period, Steven Patrick Morrissey and Johnny Marr produced some of the most effortlessly poignant and wonderful songs ever written, scattered across a handful of superb albums. Even in his solo years, Morrissey has continued to be one of the most enigmatic people in his profession, not to mention one of the wittiest and most articulate.

So it was disheartening (but, if I’m honest, not that surprising) to read in The Times today that this most committed vegetarian supports animal rights extremists who target scientists and companies involved in animal testing.

I support the efforts of the Animal Rights Militia in England and I understand why fur farmers and so-called laboratory scientists are repaid with violence — it is because they deal in violence themselves and it’s the only language they understand — the same principles that apply to war. 

A contemptible argument. I’m not going to defend fur farmers or hunters – they clearly perform no useful function, satisfying only the needs of the vain and the bloodthirsty – but nor would I advocate harm against them. The use of animals in medical and scientific experimentation, however, is a different matter entirely. Citizeness Sane, for an example close to home, is kept alive on a daily basis by a cocktail of drugs to treat a medical condition, almost certainly all tested on animals at some point. A horrible fact, but it’s true. So, my girlfriend is alive as a direct consequence of scientists testing on animals. I’m also willing to bet large amounts of money that every single reader of this post is either alive, or knows somebody who is alive, due to a medical breakthrough reached by testing on animals. Nobody wants to do it, nobody is happy about it, it’s just necessary. Animal ‘rights’ activists bombing individuals and companies associated with the industry operate within the same moral universe as all other terrorists and their behaviour can never be condoned.

So I wonder if, were he to be struck down with a potentially lethal condition, Morrissey would refuse to take life-saving drugs if he knew that animals had suffered along the way in their development and preparation? There’s nothing to wonder. Of course he would. In a flash.

They do say you should never meet your idols. You should certainly never read about their political beliefs.


Centrist. Atlanticist. Dry liberal. Anti-totalitarian. Post-ideological pragmatist. Child of The Enlightenment. Toucan.

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10 comments on “Meat isn’t murder
  1. ph says:

    A spot on post.
    There was a program not too long ago about activists targeting virtualy the whole village close to a guinea pig farm. The crimes they committed were vile and plentiful (including digging up a body from the local grave yard) Yet there was little evidence that the police were able to do anything about it. One was left with the impression that the authorities did not care as it was only ‘country bumpkins’ that were being effected.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have to agree with you Sane on most points.

    I cant stand Animal rights activists, there was one on Sky News a last night arguing that it is alright to commit violence, even kill to get whet they wanted. He didn’t have much of an answer when the interviewer ask what society would be like if all interest groups/minorities acted in that way. It would be quite interesting if they did, imagine the pro-hunt lobby vs the animal right groups, I know who my money would be on.

    I have to say though that I dont agree that hunting is all bad, but I think it can only be justified if you use the meat or is necessary for environmental reasons ie culls. I hate the idea of some twat shooting elephants or endangered species for kicks.


  3. mAc Chaos says:

    Those who promote animal rights deny the uniqueness of human beings, and thereby nullify the concept of rights altogether. Our entire freedom originates from the fact that we’re different from other beasts, special, ie., rational and capable of thought. By removing this support we all become nothing but expendable bags of meat, which is why the typical animal rights activist has no problem putting thousands of people out of business by lobbying against some company for tiny transgressions or harming people through vandalism.

  4. Jereme says:

    Do your research on animal testing. They are a cruel and ineffective way of getting results. It is like you taking animal drugs for your medical problems. Do you go to a vet to get your medicine? Why would you test animals for your medicine? Does that really make sense to test animals like that? I mean we both could take the same human drug and have vastly different results from that drug. How do you justify that all humans don’t react the same? So blind, so ignorant. No, animal right activist don’t have the right to use violence. I don’t condone those actions.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I dont have a problem with animal testing for medical purposes so we will have to disagree on that, but if you think its pointless to test human drugs on animals can vetinary medicines be tested on animals? I’m pretty sure that pets today are benifiting from animal disections and experiments conducted in the past.

    Dont get me wrong, I love animals, I once saw some brilliant monkeys dressed as humans down the circus having a tea party. They were loving it and so were the crowd. Whats wrong with that?


  6. Citizen Sane says:

    And I once saw a bear who was so happy he was dancing. They called him Lionel, the happy dancing bear.

    But seriously, I wouldn’t claim to be an expert on the subject at all, but saying that it is “cruel and ineffective”. . . Well, cruel is probably fair enough. But if it wasn’t effective, nobody would do it. Would they? Surely?

  7. H says:

    If it wasn’t effective nobody would do it? Surely?

    Do I need to say any more than 17 years of Tory Rule?

    People do things for plenty of reasons other than efficacy. Actually most animal experiments are done because it is cheaper than dermatologically testing on fake human organs or organs of dead humans which are unsuitable for transplant. Basically animal life is cheap. And most animal experimentation is still done for cosmetics and not therapeutical drugs, and half the ones which supposedly are for therapeutical drugs, aren’t really and then they sell their results later to cosmetic companies.

    I also thoroughly disagree with Morissey with regard to the right to commit violence against these people. But you have deliberately confused the subject. Unneccessary Animal testing is immoral – and the majority of animal testing is exactly that – unnecessary.

  8. Citizen Sane says:

    Couldn’t agree more about testing for cosmetics. I think it’s repugnant to test animals for the sake of human vanity. And you’re probably right that the majority of testing is unnecessary.

    But it’s that crucial minority of testing that is justified: that’s what I’m talking about.

  9. pedro says:

    couldn’t agree more old bean. Let the Beagles smoke!

  10. PeteBurns says:

    “Basically animal life is cheap”

    Not on your life, I paid a fortune for my gorilla coat. The Police are cheap, coming into my house and stealing it. Dirty sons of female dogs.

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