We’ve touched on just about every aspect of Paul McCartney’s life a bit; The Beatles, Wings, his solo songs, his personal life, etc. but there’s another huge aspect of his life we haven’t touched on just yet, his activism. Since we’re closing out McCartney May tomorrow, I did want to include more of this. While I do occasionally eat meat, Mr. Richard is a vegetarian and we both believe in rescuing abandoned animals, much like Dawson and Daria were and these values are in line with Paul’s.
Since 1975, McCartney has been a vegetarian; he and his wife Linda were vegetarians for most of their 30-year marriage. They decided to stop consuming meat after Paul saw lambs in a field as they were eating a meal of lamb. Soon after, the couple became outspoken animal rights activists. In his first interview after Linda’s death, he promised to continue working for animal rights, and in 1999 he spent £3,000,000 to ensure Linda McCartney Foods remained free of genetically engineered ingredients.
McCartney is a supporter of the animal-rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He has appeared in the group’s campaigns and, in 2009, he narrated a short factory farm exposé titled “Glass Walls” which was harshly critical of slaughterhouses, the meat industry, and their effect on animal welfare. McCartney has also supported campaigns headed by the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International, World Animal Protection, and the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation.
Following McCartney’s marriage to Heather Mills, he joined her in a campaign against land mines, becoming a patron of Adopt-A-Minefield. He wore an anti-landmines T-shirt during some of the Back in the World tour shows. In 2006, the McCartneys travelled to Prince Edward Island to raise international awareness of seal hunting. The couple debated with Danny Williams, Newfoundland’s then Premier, on Larry King Live, stating that fishermen should stop hunting seals and start seal-watching businesses instead.
McCartney has participated in several charity recordings and performances, including the Concerts for the People of Kampuchea, Ferry Aid, Band Aid, Live Aid, Live 8, and the recording of “Ferry Cross the Mersey”. In 2004, he donated a song to an album to aid the “US Campaign for Burma”, in support of Burmese Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. In 2008, he donated a song to Aid Still Required’s CD, organized as an effort to raise funds to assist with the recovery from the devastation caused in Southeast Asia by the 2004 tsunami.
In 2009, McCartney wrote to Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, asking him why he was not a vegetarian. As McCartney explained, “He wrote back very kindly, saying, ‘my doctors tell me that I must eat meat’. And I wrote back again, saying, you know, I don’t think that’s right … I think he’s now being told … that he can get his protein somewhere else … It just doesn’t seem right – the Dalai Lama, on the one hand, saying, ‘Hey guys, don’t harm sentient beings … Oh, and by the way, I’m having a steak‘”.
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No More Lonely Nights
No More Lonely Nights (Playout Version)