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Morrissey bans meat from his Belfast show at the Odyssey Arena: Heaven knows we're miserable now...

By Chris Kilpatrick

Published 31/01/2015

Morrissey bans meat from his Belfast show at the Odyssey Arena
Morrissey bans meat from his Belfast show at the Odyssey Arena

Burgers and hot dogs will be banned from the Odyssey Arena after singer Morrissey demanded no meat be sold during his forthcoming gig.

In an unprecedented move, the Belfast venue has warned staff that vegetarian food only will be allowed during the ex-Smiths star's show.

Up to 10,000 fans are expected to attend the performance with tickets currently available for around £50.

The move by Morrissey to stop revellers eating any meat while at the show has been branded as "bizarre" and "silly tokenism".

Animal rights activists defended his strong pro-vegan stance. Earlier this week an email was sent to all staff at the Odyssey Arena entitled 'Morrissey catering stipulation'.

It read: "Hi all. The Morrissey tour have requested that only vegetarian food is permitted within the building during the visit to the Odyssey Arena on Tuesday 24 March 2015.

"All staff and contractors are expected to comply with this."

The ban doesn't extend to restaurants and eateries elsewhere in the complex.

A spokeswoman for the Odyssey declined to comment.

The email was leaked to the BBC Nolan Show. Businessman and commentator Jeffrey Peel criticised Morrissey's request, describing it as "celebrity nonsense".

"We're the backbone, no pun intended, of the meat industry in the UK," he said.

"Northern Ireland meat producers produce the beef which goes into McDonald's burgers, we slaughter more chickens than just about any other part of the United Kingdom.

"It seems absolutely bizarre that his fans, probably 99% of which eat meat, should be denied the opportunity to eat it the night of the concert.

"He can insist his fans don't eat meat on the evening, it probably won't do them much harm, but the fact is they'll probably leave the concert and merrily chomp through beef and chicken and the rest after the concert."

Animal rights activist John Carmody defended the star: "What I would say is Morrissey feels incredibly strongly about cruelty to animals and he feels incredibly strongly about animals in factory farms," he said. "I think he's standing by his morals on this particular one."

He added: "I wouldn't say he's imposing his morals. He's ensuring his hands are clean of any animal suffering which is caused."

It isn't the first time a venue has implemented such restrictions, with the star understood to request the concession for all his shows.

In 2013 the Staples Centre in Los Angeles was reported to have made every vendor at the centre sell only vegetarian food during Morrissey's performance.

At the time Morrissey said: "I don't look upon it as a victory for me, but a victory for the animals."

He sparked outrage last year when he was quoted as having said there is "no difference between eating animals and paedophilia. They are both rape, violence, murder".

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