Paul McCartney on Eating? Let It Be Meatless

Sir Paul says it’s easier than ever to go vegetarian.



Photo by: Angelo Merendino

Angelo Merendino

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Nowadays, it seems like every other celebrity is touting his or her embrace of vegetarianism or veganism. But Paul McCartney — who, with his daughters Mary and Stella, back in 2009, launched the Meat-Free Monday campaign to reduce meat consumption — would like to remind us that it wasn't always like that.

In a recent interview with the U.K. Telegraph, headlined (apparently controversially) "Meat-Free Is the New Rock 'n' Roll," the music icon recalls that, when he began eschewing meat and fish back in the mid-'70s, it was rather unusual – and not very easy either. Road food while touring was "ham sandwiches all round," he told the paper. And when he went into fancy restaurants, they were flummoxed when he told them he was a vegetarian.

"They brought me a plate of vegetables — just steamed veg. They couldn't think beyond that," he said, noting that this lack of meat-free options is what prompted his late wife Linda to publish a veggie cookbook in 1989 and then not long later the line of frozen vegetarian food that carries her name.

McCartney admits that he himself rarely cooks. (Maybe you're amazed? Nah, probably not.)

"I cook when I have to. I don't mind it but I keep it very simple" (like salads, veggies and a mozzarella burger, he told the Telegraph), adding that his kitchen repertoire is "kind of limited" and "not ambitious."

He does enjoy making bread, he says, but don't expect to see the results of his efforts on social media.

"I'm not a big Instagrammer, though I look at other people's," McCartney said. And while he suspects Linda, a photographer, would probably have taken to it. He himself is put off by the "bloody unholy pressure" of crafting the perfect post.

"My captions would have to be genius every time," he said.

In general, Sir Paul said, he believes "it's always good to question norms."

"I remember saying, just a minute, just because I've always eaten meat and two veg, all my life, do I have to stay like that?" he mused. "I found it was really great to open myself up and say, I can change, there is no harm in that, or as Linda used to say, 'It's allowed.' I loved that. That was one of her great sayings."

And as the man who co-wrote the lines "All you need is love," "I get by with a little help from my friends" and "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make," among other lyrics to live by, he's undeniably an expert on great sayings.

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