Paul McCartney shared the 1 exception to his dedication to animal welfare: “I have my parameters”


  • Paul McCartney became a vegetarian in the 1970s.
  • He doesn’t even like hurting flies, although he has an exception.
  • Paul McCartney helped publish a vegetarian cookbook of his late wife’s recipes.
Paul McCartney | Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Since the 1970s, Paul McCartney has been a vegetarian and dedicated to protecting animal welfare. Although he is not trying to convert anyone to vegetarianism, he said he was ashamed of some of his past behavior involving animals. These days, he said, he wouldn’t even hurt a fly. There is, however, an exception to his animal protection rule.

Paul McCartney has been a vegetarian since the 1970s

McCartney grew up eating meat, but stopped in the mid-1970s when he sat down to dinner with his wife, Linda. In the middle of a roast dinner, the couple looked out the window and saw lambs roaming their property.

“It was like the penny had dropped,” he told the Guardian. “The bulb went on. We thought we could just drop that.

Since then he has worked with the UN to promote vegetarianism to help the planet. He explained that he wouldn’t want to tell people to give up meat altogether.

“I don’t want someone directing me and saying, ‘You should be a Buddhist.’ I would say: ‘Get off, I’ll make up my mind, thank you!’ “, did he declare. “Likewise, I don’t want to tell people – ‘You really should be a vegetarian.’ I like that they come there themselves.

He shared the one animal he’s not afraid to hurt

McCartney shared that long before his switch to vegetarianism, he was killing frogs to prepare for military service. It’s something he’s still ashamed of.

“I was very aware that I was going to join the army soon, because we were all called up for national service,” he told GQ in 2018. “I was probably around 12, I was looking to turning 17, which is kind of looming – it’s gonna happen fast – and the only thing I was thinking is, “I can’t kill anything – what am I going to do?” Get a bayonet and hurt someone? I have to kill someone? Shit, I have to think about it. How do I do that?’ So I ended up killing frogs.

He tries not to think about this part of his life and now avoids harming animals, even flies.

“I always try to block that out,” he said. “Because I’m now a strong animal welfare advocate, I wouldn’t kill a fly.”

Yet, he has an exception to his animal welfare rule.

“[I] rescue flies,” he said. “But the mosquitoes [I] going to kill, because they are attacking me. So, you know, I have my settings.

Paul McCartney and his children have published a vegetarian cookbook

In 2021, McCartney and her children, Stella and Mary, released the cookbook Linda McCartney’s Home Kitchen: 90+ Plant-Based Recipes to Save the Planet and Feed the Soul. According to Amazon’s blurb, there are “nearly 100 sustainable plant-based recipes to save the planet and nourish the soul, in this deeply personal cookbook by Paul, Mary and Stella in honor of their late wife and mother, Linda McCartney”.

The book features a number of classic recipes and aims to make vegan cooking simple and straightforward.

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