The guitarist said he believes that the pandemic will force people to re-evaluate their relationship with meat, amid unproven claims that the outbreak was traced to a wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which specialises in the sale of live animals.
May, who has followed a plant-based diet since the start of 2020, told NME: “If you want to get deep into it, I think we should be looking again at whether we should be eating animals.
“That’s a central issue here, this pandemic seemed to come from people eating animals and it’s becoming more well known that eating animals is not the greatest thing for our health.”
His comments come as the coronavirus death toll continues to rise across the globe, claiming the lives of over 121,000 people at the time of writing.
Describing his own relationship with veganism, May said: “I took up the Vegan Challenge in January and I’ve been three months a vegan now. To me it was an experiment, because for a long time I’d been an animal campaigner but grappled with the fact that I was still eating them occasionally.
“But to go vegan was just a decision, and I haven’t been preachy about it, but now we’ve seen more of the effects of how eating animals has brought us to our knees as a species, I think it’s time to re-examine our world in a way that doesn’t abuse other species.”
He added: “Whether we will see that happen, I don’t know, but I think I will start to be a bit more preachy about veganism because to me it is the way forward, in so many ways.”
This comes after Paul McCartney also called for an end to “medieval” wet markets in China.
“I really hope that this will mean the Chinese government says, ‘OK guys, we have really got to get super hygienic around here.’ Let’s face it, it is a little bit medieval eating bats,” said Sir Paul. “It seems like Sars, avian flu, all sorts of other stuff that has afflicted us… and what’s it for? For these quite medieval practices. They need to clean up their act. This may lead to [change]. If this doesn’t, I don’t know what will.”
Last week, May also said that humanity would learn “great lessons” from the pandemic.
May was speaking to NME to promote the release of ‘Get Up’ – a new track which sees him lending his talents to upcoming London band King’s Daughters.
“It feels like an amazingly healing song,” said May.
“It’s an emotionally lifting track and we thought if ever there was a time to release the track, then this is it. This might be the worst time to launch a career, but we feel good about it and we’ve teamed up with mental health charity MIND to benefit them. They’ll be invaluable in helping people through this.”