Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Q&A 2000ce — Vegetarian

What would you say to someone aiming to be a vegetarian but having problems achieving it? (Mrs Parker)

I'd ask why they were waiting and why they were asking me. You have to be pretty uninformed to eat meat in the 21st century, or live in some grand delusions that Father Corporation secretly cares. He's made himself shamefully clear enough to everyone often enough. I grew up loving all kinds of animal corpses in all states of decay. My father liked the cheapest cuts of offal and the brains and the hooves and the lot. I was addicted to it but knew I had to say "Fuck it". Once you make the decision to inform yourself and know the truth, there's really no other way. And you're not a vegetarian if you eat fish so I cut that out. You're not a vegetarian if you eat gelatine, so I cut that out. I know people who call themselves demi-veggies, which means that they eat chicken and delude themselves, but feel better in a New Age style. Fuck that! It's like saying "I'm not a racist because I only call out 'Nigger!' to 1 in every 400 black people I meet." It's the one time you do it which makes you what you are.

But I also believe that we do what we can. If it was me alone in the countryside I'd have no problem killing animals to eat them, but I just decided that I can't have some vicious sadist in an abattoir doing it for me. And anyone who says they aren't vicious sadists should meet abattoir workers. They certainly ain't just doing it for the money.

I don't judge non-vegetarians harshly. I'm a compassionate motherfucker. If someone's too blind or weak to do it, then let them do their bit in another way. We must all do what we can. I just hate the temporary ones doing it for a cheap New Age fix. Don't do it to be seen to be doing it - do it for yourself.

What is his favorite veggie hot dog or burger-- any recommendations? (Michael)

I still eat Mrs Macca's stuff a lot, but my current favourites are those Wicken Fen spinach, leek and cheese sausages. Safeway's veggieburgers are also pretty good for someone as naturally carnivorous as me. I was brought up eating all the cheapest cuts of meat, including offal and the hooves and tails, so anything from Mrs Macca's range does it for me in a big way. Now that Linda's gone, figureheads of vegetarianism are more important than ever and a good deal of rumpuss must be caused in order to stop people eating fish, too. My natural state is still limb-tearing shamanic carnivore, so if I can stop eating meat and fish, anyone can.

Mark Smith out of the Fall said you can smell a vegetarian a mile away. What's your comment? (Pulsar)

Mark's totally right about that. Though I'm surprised that such a ciggies'n'beer git as him can smell fucking anything. He fucking stinks.

Would you eat a chicken if it meant 50 chickens would be spared from slaughter? (Barry)

How did this question from my 4-year-old nephew get in here?