‘I want justice for all those who have died and suffered’
Sir Paul McCartney turns 78 on June 18 and before he blows the candles, he wants a birthday present.
He wants his fans to ditch meat.
In a guest blog post for animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), the Beatles legend wrote: “All I’ve ever wanted for my birthday is peace on Earth – including for animals.
“That’s why this year, I’m urging fans to watch a video I hosted for PETA, titled ‘Glass Walls’. We called it that because if slaughterhouses had glass walls, who would want to eat meat?”
The 12-minute clip starring McCartney was shot 10 years ago to expose the extent of animal suffering within slaughterhouses. It contains real-life footage of cows, chickens, sheep and other animals who are abused on factory farms across Europe and around the world.
“The video debuted exactly 10 years ago. Since then, the public has finally got a peek at what happens inside the meat trade, and the demand for vegan food is sky high,” he continued in his blog.
The ongoing pandemic has brought the spotlight back on the perilous nature of the meat industry and the dangers associated with it. Crowded and filthy factory farms, abattoirs, and meat markets put each human being on the planet at risk by providing a breeding ground for deadly pathogens like the ones behind COVID-19, SARS, bird flu, and more.
Public Health England states: “Many (60 to 80% [of]) emerging infections are derived from an animal source.”
According to experts, the COVID-19 outbreak originated in a wet market in Wuhan, China, where humans had direct contact with live animals and dead animal flesh.
“Whether you’re worried about diseases that spring from slaughterhouses, the animals who suffer terribly and needlessly, or the catastrophic impact of the meat industry on our environment, please watch this short video and share it with your friends. Thank you,” McCartney added in his post.
‘You’ve got to change things at some point’
McCartney is a passionate animal activist and has advocated vegetarianism for 45 years after ditching meat along with his partner the late Linda McCartney more than 40 years ago.
In April, on a call with US radio host Howard Stern on Sirius XM, McCartney said it was high time wet markets were banned: “I think it makes a lot of sense…when you’ve got the obscenity of some of the stuff that’s going on there and what comes out of it, they might as well be letting off atomic bombs. It’s affecting the whole world.”
Comparing the markets to slavery he said: “I understand that part of it is going to be, ‘People have done it forever. This is the way we do things.’ But they did slavery forever, too. You’ve got to change things at some point.”
‘Saying nothing is not an option’
Standing for equal rights & justice, the former Beatles star has also spoken out against racism following the death of George Floyd.
Sharing a post on Instagram, he said: “I know many of us want to know just what we can be doing to help. None of us have all the answers and there is no quick fix but we need change.
“We all need to work together to overcome racism in any form. We need to learn more, listen more, talk more, educate ourselves and, above all, take action.”
Recalling how The Beatles stood up against racism during the band’s 1964 U.S. tour, he said: “I feel sick and angry that here we are almost 60 years later and the world is in shock at the horrific scenes of the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of police racism, along with the countless others that came before.“All of us here support and stand alongside all those who are protesting and raising their voices at this time. I want justice for George Floyd’s family, I want justice for all those who have died and suffered. Saying nothing is not an option.”