Photograph courtesy Morrissey
[UPDATE 2/20: Apparently, Moz’s camp spoke too soon, as the STAPLES Center sent out a press release saying that they “will be adding a variety of vegetarian food items to those already offered at concession stands throughout the arena” and “reaching out to restaurants across the street at L.A. LIVE to suggest adding special vegetarian options to their menus for the evening”.]
English singer-songwriter Morrissey will make history at his Staples Center concert on March 1. The venue has agreed, for the first time ever, to restrict sales of “flesh as food” inside the venue during his show. The McDonald’s location within the arena will also be closed for the night at the singer’s request.
The solo artist, formerly the lead singer for The Smiths, has long used his celebrity to promote animal rights and a compassionate diet. (The Smiths 1985 album was titled “Meat Is Murder” after all.) While it was quite a request to make—since a similar meat-free proposition by Sir Paul McCartney was ultimately rejected—Morrissey says via press release: “I don’t look upon it as a victory for me, but a victory for the animals.”
Morrissey famously walked off stage at Coachella mid-set in 2009, upset that he could “smell burning flesh” being cooked. Coachella’s organizers offered a 100% vegetarian line-up the following year if Morrissey would reunite with former bandmate Johnny Marr and headline as The Smiths. He declined, explaining to the BBC that he wasn’t “stuck in the past.” He continued, “People always ask me about reunions and I can’t imagine why. It baffles me.”
However, he’s gotten his wish under his own marquis, and the Staples Center (recently named the most vegetarian-friendly NBA venue in the country by PETA) will be serving all veggie fare if only for one night. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will also be going to PETA.