Morrissey Throws Vegan Tantrum at Riot Fest, Vendor Retaliates with Meat Dish
A cream puff vendor at Chicago's Riot Fest was not amused with Morrissey's mandate that no meat be sold or stored on festival grounds during his set.
Morrissey, music's most anti-meat man, goes to great lengths to promote the vegan message. He famously released the 1985 album Meat is Murder with The Smiths, and more recently, he worked with PETA to publish a video game of the same name in which players attempt to save animals from a gristly end in the slaughterhouse.
But Morrissey doesn't stop at publishing anti-meat media. He's also resorted to extortion-like tactics to promote veganism, threatening to cancel concerts unless the hosting venues serve only vegan-friendly food during the event.
And seemingly, his power has grown—at Chicago's Riot Fest last month, Morrissey forced vendors at the festival to stop cooking and selling meat during his set at the seven-stage, 100-plus band event.
In the aftermath, one food vendor that was subjected to Morrissey's reign of veganism has sought revenge.
Chicago's Puffs of Doom, a bakery that typically sells a variety of sweet and savory cream puffs, responded to the ordeal with a meat- and cheese-loaded sandwich called the "Pork Morrissey Grilled Cheese," piled with four kinds of cheese, barbecue pulled pork, and bacon ranch mac and cheese, all in one unholy grilled cheese sandwich. Puffs of Doom told MUNCHIES that the Pork Morrissey is meant to add an element of satire to Riot Fest's no-meat mandate, which, the vendor says, initially called for no meat to be prepared during Morrissey's 8 PM to 10 PM set. (Morrissey's team did, so generously, allow for meat to be stored and sold, so long as it didn't emit an odor.)
However, Puffs of Doom says, the day Morrissey was supposed to perform, the mandate changed to stipulate that meat couldn't be sold or stored hot onsite during Morrissey's set at all.
In a Facebook post linking to an article in DNAInfo about the ordeal and the creation of the Pork Morrissey, Puffs of Doom wrote, "Puffs of Doom and Doom Street Eats believes that everyone should be able to make their own choices about the food they eat. That is why we have gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and even no sugar added options… Morrissey's mandate didn't do anything to change "Big Meat," instead it caused local small businesses to lose money and create more waste into the system. We also believe in not taking life too seriously and making fun of ourselves—besides the sandwich is delicious if we do say so ourselves!" The post added that Puffs of Doom's head chef is a vegetarian of 26 years who agrees strongly with the environmental and ethical aspects of Morrissey's argument.
A statement released by Puffs of Doom to MUNCHIES says the media stories in the aftermath of launching the sandwich inaccurately portray Puffs of Doom as mocking Morrissey and feeling bullied by Morrissey's management.
The DNAinfo article misquoted Luke and missed the mark on why we named the sandwich the Pork Morrissey. We are not mocking anyone. We did not feel bullied. Specifically, we are not mocking Morrissey's personal beliefs, his veganism, or history of raising awareness of how the meat industry actually works. We renamed an existing menu item, as satire, based on our experience. The terms of the "meat mandate" changed mid-way thru the day of performance. Morrissey's wishes were honored, however, in doing so, small local food businesses were left with no time to make adjustments, leading to food waste, which could have been avoided. The actual idea for the creation of the Pork Morrissey originated from Riot Fest customers who were frustrated at what was going on. Riot Fest attendees were very vocal with the food vendors—they did not appreciate being told what they could and could not eat. What was interesting to us was that these were both Morrissey fans and Riot Fest attendees who were there for other shows. This was satire, a tongue in cheek response to a polarized set of fan bases.
Indeed, it's unclear if the ban was a total success. Chicago is a meat-mad city, and at least one Twitter user said he witnessed people buying hot dogs in bulk before the ban went into effect, and another joked that he loaded up on pulled pork.