McCartney urges Manmohan to celebrate vegetarianism

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

NEW DELHI - Beatles legend Paul McCartney, who is a PETA activist, has written to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to chose a date to annually celebrate vegetarianism.

The singer has suggested that the meat-free day could be Jan 12, the foundation day of People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, said a press statement from the organisation.

“Would you please think about declaring one day every year - perhaps January 12, the anniversary of PETA India’s founding, a day to celebrate vegetarianism and compassion towards animals?

“Such a declaration would save countless animals, reduce the environmental devastation caused by the meat industry and help participants clear their arteries and their consciences. It would be a celebration of life all life,” McCartney wrote in the letter, a copy of which is with IANS.

The Indian prime minister’s preferred meal is a seasonal vegetable, daal (lentils), roti and a cup of curd. He occasionally opts for baked fish or steamed fish.

PETA India has suggested the national meat-free day could be called Shakahar Jayanti, while McCartney, who has also narrated a video exposing the meat industry, has pointed out that non-vegetarianism goes against Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals of Ahimsa.

“This year, I narrated a shocking expose of the meat industry titled ‘Glass Walls’. The video takes the viewer behind the closed doors of slaughterhouses, where millions of cattle, chickens, pigs and other animals meet a frightening, bloody end. What you see on the screen goes against our cherished ideals of peace and non-violence and makes a mockery of ahimsa, India’s wonderful core doctrine.

“Now PETA India is releasing ‘Glass Walls’ in your country. I hope you will take a few minutes to watch it and recommend it to others. Were it to be shown in every school, I have no doubt that the next generation would fully embrace vegetarianism,” McCartney added in the letter.

McCartney, 68, also wants to re-visit India.

“India has held a very special place in my heart since my first visit to your country many years ago. I look forward to returning to India,” said McCartney who came to India in 1968 with his fellow Beatles to attend an advanced Transcendental Meditation (TM) training session at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Hrishikesh.

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