Following up on our article about Ringo Star, today we are going to talk about Paul McCartney, another vegetarian celebrity, a star for the animals, who gave up meat decades ago and who has urged his followers many times to follow a meat-free diet.
Just like with Ringo, there is no need to introduce Sir Paul. Being a former member of the most successful rock band in history, having written so many unforgettable hits, and even being knighted in March 1997 by Queen Elizabeth for his “services to music”, there isn’t much else I could add, besides his work for animals.
When and why did Paul McCartney Become Vegetarian?
He became vegetarian in 1975 after he and his wife Linda looked through the window and saw lambs gamboling on the field (source: The Guardian). Those were their last days of eating lamb chops. Linda was the vegetarian pioneer of the family, the rest followed soon after.
“It was like, the penny dropped. The light bulb lit up. We thought, we might just give this up.”
When talking about Linda, he says: “She was the original inspiration and she had a way about her. There was just this… non-aggressive forcefulness, and many of our friends over the years became vegetarian because of that.”
Paul is known as one of the most active celebrities for animals. he has often spoken about the carbon footprint of animal factory farming and urged his followers to drop meat from their diets.
Linda McCartney’s Legacy
Known as Paul’s first wife and creator of a high quality vegetarian food range, Linda was probably the inspiration for the whole family to go vegetarian. She had great success with her cookbooks and her vegetarian meat substitutes such as sausages, sausage links, vegetarian pulled pork Bao Bun, “Chicken” buffet, “meat”balls, Hoisin “Duck” meal kit, “fish”cakes, burgers, roasts, and more.
Linda McCartney Foods also includes a vegan range, featuring some of the meals that were mentioned in the previous paragraph, like the chicken buffet, the Hoisin Duck, and the pulled pork Bao Bun. The vegan range also offers sausages, burgers, “fish”cakes and other meals.
Linda McCartney believed in the combination of great tasting and honest meat-free food. Her kindness – which was carried on by her family after her death – also extended to the environment. The packaging they use is 94% plastic free and the company’s aim is to be 100% plastic free by 2021.
The palm oil they use comes from sustainable plantations that offer a fair wage for all workers and do not add to deforestation and loss of habitat for wild animals.
According to the website, 78% of their products are vegan friendly 🙂 and all their vegetarian products are approved by the Vegetarian Society.
When Linda McCartney Foods was created in 1991, vegetarianism was still an unknown and not so popular concept. I think that Linda could be called the pioneer of vegetarian and vegan food ranges. Her products have received much praise and are known for their great flavor.
Paul gave up meat over 40 years ago and although he still consumes animal products like cheese, he has been a staunch advocate for animals and he has always spoken out for them, shedding light on the cruelty of the food industry. He is among the most famous and active celebrities on behalf of animals. He has also often spoken out about the carbon footprint of factory farming and urged his followers to drop meat from their diets.
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Although he says he doesn’t want to force anyone, he wants people to at least consider giving up meat and begin a more cruelty-free life which is better for the animals, for our health, and ultimately for the planet.
“You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.” Quote by Paul McCartney
He actively advocates meat-free Mondays. While he would like everyone to go full time vegetarian, he believes that meat free Mondays are a good start, a step in the right direction. (source: The Guardian).
“If all slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.”
Glass Walls is a 13-minute documentary, produced by PETA and narrated by Paul. The documentary shows that animals that are raised for food have to live with disease, filthy conditions, malnutrition, and unimaginable, barbaric (and legal) cruelty. Animals are not treated like sentient, conscious beings but like objects with no rights at all. The billions of animals that are slaughtered every year for our taste buds endure a living hell and terrible deaths.
This video includes graphic images
Even though Glass Walls focuses on animal suffering in the UK, the suffering is worldwide.
Additionally, Paul McCartney has also supported various animal rights campaigns, he promotes farm animal rights, and he has even written animal-themed songs to raise awareness.
- Martha, my Dear: a song written about his English sheepdog, Martha
- Wildlife: about animals that are trapped in zoos
- Looking for Changes: a powerful song against vivisection
- Meat Free Monday: in support of his meat free Monday campaign
He uses his stardom to promote Glass Walls and meat free Mondays to his millions of fans and has probably been a high influence on people giving up meat.
“When I see bacon, I see a pig, I see a little friend, and that’s why I can’t eat it. Simple as that.”
As you already know from the song Looking for Changes, he opposes vivisection, and in 2011 Paul joined the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection. In March 2013, the European Union banned the sale of cosmetics that were tested on animals. That breakthrough was also thanks to Paul’s help in this campaign.
He is an advocate for elephants and he played a prominent role in the release of Sunder, an elephant that was abused by his handlers in an Indian temple. He also helps the fight against ivory trafficking.
As you can see, Paul has played a huge part in some of the changes we have seen and are still seeing.
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Ever since the 70s he has never stopped speaking up on behalf of animals and he has worked tirelessly for their rights. He is an animal hero and a prominent voice for them.
Although Paul McCartney is mostly remembered for being a member of The Beatles, he is leaving a lasting legacy for animals and the environment. In 2012, he got his own star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, like all the other Beatles. Just like in music, he is also a star for the animals.