From the moment Morrissey took the stage at his shows in the UK, US and Europe this year, his fans were hit with the animal rights message in a big way.
At every show, his band wore blunt, pro-animal shirts speaking out against fur, fast food and other industries that abuse animals – and as he performed The Smiths' "Meat Is Murder", Moz screened footage of PETA US' hard-hitting "Meat Your Meat" exposé. PETA even had its own booth at Morrissey's shows – and now, to honour the rock legend's constant, bold promotion of kindness to animals, PETA UK has named Morrissey its Person of the Year 2011, a designation formerly held by Pamela Anderson (2010) and Sir Roger Moore (2009).
"If you love animals, obviously it doesn't make sense to hurt them", Morrissey explained in an interview with PETA US. "Please don't kill anything. These are pathetically basic words but get through your life without … killing animals and dragging animals down … it's not anything that anybody really needs. We were all raised with that concept that animals are there to be used, but they're not. It's just the dreadful industries that do it."
"Morrissey shows us the benefit of boldness – when he opens his mouth, people pay attention", says PETA's Yvonne Taylor. "Moz is a rebel with a very real cause – encouraging everyone to re-examine their attitudes towards animals and the industries that abuse them."
As far back as Meat Is Murder's 1985 debut, Morrissey has been promoting kindness to animals. He has teamed up with PETA and its overseas affiliates to speak out against forcing baby elephants to perform as tourist attractions in Thailand; against Iams' intensive laboratory tests on animals and against the Queen's Guards' bearskin caps. And two years ago, he made international headlines when he walked off stage at a US music festival, stating that he hoped the "burning flesh" he smelled was human.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.