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Wednesday, 5 August, 1998, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
McCartney vows to 'keep animal rights torch alight'
Paul and Linda McCartney
Paul and Linda: Sir Paul gave his interviews to magazines that supported animal rights and vegetarianism
Sir Paul McCartney has vowed to "keep the torch burning" on animal rights and vegetarianism following the death of his wife, Linda.

Speaking in his first interviews since Linda died of breast cancer in April, Sir Paul said: "I'm grieving, but I say to the kids, we have to look at the blessings and replace all the bad memories with good ones."

As a sign of his commitment to the cause his wife had promoted for many years, the ex-Beatle and millionaire chose to break his silence to Animal Times magazine - run by the US-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) - and the UK-based Viva Life magazine.

'Time to get nice'

Linad and Paul McCartney
Linda and Paul: For years he has been as committed to the cause as she was
"Animal rights is too good an idea for the next century to be suppressed," he told Animal Times. "I think it's time we get nice. I want people to be reassured that we're going to keep this torch burning."

Sir Paul, who has been a member of PETA for 10 years, said both he and his wife backed the organisation's aims.

"Over the years, because I had the luxury of Linda taking the front role on animal issues, some people would occasionally make out that I wasn't really committed and that I was a secret meat-eater in the background.

"Just to prove that's not the case, I thought, rather than do some general interviews about how much I miss her, which the newspapers would like, I should do it with the PETA magazine because that's where it's at."

No soul-baring

The magazine has a worldwide circulation of 600,000, while 10,000 people subscribe to Viva Life - run by Vegetarians International Voice for Animals. Linda McCartney helped to set up Viva in 1994, and representatives of the organisation attended a vigil outside her memorial service in London's St Martin-in-the-Field Church.

Both the interviews are published next month. Juliet Gellatley, who interviewed Sir Paul for Viva, declined to give any details of her meeting with him in his London offices.

But she did say: "Obviously we were delighted and honoured that he decided to give his first interview to us."

Sir Paul's spokesman, Geoff Baker, said of his boss: "He's not baring his soul about Linda - he's talking about vegetarian issues and why he's continuing to take on Linda's workload."

See also:

21 Apr 98 | UK
Tributes to Linda McCartney
08 Jun 98 | Entertainment
Beatles to pay tribute to Linda McCartney
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