Paul McCartney: 'My sheep die of old age because I can't send them to slaughter'

Ex-Beatles says local farmers laugh at the livestock on his Scottish farm

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Paul McCartney says he keeps ageing sheep on his Scottish farm because he can’t bear to send them to slaughter.

In an interview with Radio 4’s Food Programme broadcast today (Sunday), the former Beatle and vegetarian activist said: "I live on a sheep farm and we shear the sheep, but they die of old age. But it can be embarrassing. People say, 'Look at the state of your sheep!' And I say, 'Yes, they’re very old. There's only one alternative – to send them off to the knacker’s yard'."

He added that the sheep merely die of old age. "They just die like we do. It's life, it's death, it's what happens. We just give them a good life and I take the wool from them."

Also in the interview, Sir Paul talks about his vegetarian lifestyle – he turned vegetarian with his wife Linda in 1975 – and his desire to encourage more people to take a break from meat with 'meat-free Mondays.

He explains: "Basically what we're saying with the meat-free Monday campaign is that out of your seven days, you might think of one day being meat-free. We're not really pushing it too heavily. We're not saying you should go veggie, it's good for you. We're saying 'just try one day', and a lot of people say that's very do-able, a very accessible idea, and they enjoy it.

"There are all sorts of economic arguments that in a recession, meat tends to be the expensive bit of what you buy, so generally speaking, I think it's a good idea."

His late wife Linda's veggie food range is currently being given a new push, with McCartney writing a blog for The Huffington Post on the subject of his vegetarianism, recalling how he would've once thought of those who didn't eat meat as wimps.

McCartney has provided the music for a new animated TV advertfor Linda's range of vegetarian foods. His song, recorded in studio sessions with Mark Ronson, will be revealed when the advert airs on January 28. The #LoveLinda campaign will mark the first time in 15 years that the Linda McCartney brand has done TV advertising with the ad featuring an animated version of the McCartney family.

In addition to McCartney, Elvis Costello has recorded the voiceover on the advert. Speaking about fellow vegetarian Linda, Costello said: "Linda always talked well and made it seem that you wouldn’t be joining a secret weird society by being vegetarian."

Meanwhile, McCartney has been in the studio with his son, James, as revealed in a new tweet from the former Beatles star. Posting the image below, McCartney wrote: "Having fun in the studio with James on his new album."



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