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Thursday, September 24, 1998 Published at 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK


McCartney champions Linda's passion

Paul and Linda in happier times

Sir Paul McCartney has spoken of his determination to continue the animal rights work started by his late wife Linda.

In a frank interview with a magazine published by campaigning group People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals, he told how he was still coming to terms with her death from cancer in April. The interview was published to coincide with what would have her 57th birthday on Thursday.

[ image: Sir Paul McCartney:
Sir Paul McCartney: "no shortage of good memories"
"I'm grieving, but I tell the kids we've got to look at the blessings and replace all those bad memories with good ones. And there is no shortage of good ones," he said.

The veteran musician told how he had been moved by the response to her death.

"I always worried that since Linda was such a private person, people wouldn't get her. But from the crates of letters I've got, I know they did. They loved her," he said.

"Got to keep campaigns going"

"We've got to keep all of Linda's campaigns going. We'll keep up her good work. We'll do the cookbooks, the veggie food, we'll do the campaigns. We'll keep her torch burning," said Sir Paul.

The former Beatle told the magazine, Animal Times, how he and Linda met through their love of animals, and how he thought she one of the reasons she was attracted to him was because he owned an old English sheepdog called Martha.

[ image:
"Linda liberated me. We liberated each other."
"When I asked her what she was like as a kid, she told me: 'There was this patch of wasteland with a little stream. It was my sanctuary. I would lift up rocks and find salamanders.' And I said: 'That's just like me!'

"I used to wander off into the countryside and spot birds. I loved that. We reminded each other about very close these things, and it became a very close bond. I think Linda liberated me. We liberated each other," he recalled.

Going vegetarian

Sir Paul still thinks the best way his wife can be honoured is by people going vegetarian.

He said: "We've beaten into submission every animal on the face of the earth, so we are the clear winners of whatever battle has been going on. Couldn't we be generous? We've beaten them all; they're on the canvas! There's not one that is any threat to us. It's time to get nice."

Asked about his advice to campaigners upset by Linda's death, he replied: "I think what you have to do is take a deep breath and count your blessings. Find a blessing to lift your spirits. They're there, more than ever. There's a lot of hope now."

PETA spokesman Andrew Butler said Sir Paul spoke to the organisation's magazine because he wanted to avoid the "mainstream" media.

He said: "He wanted to give animal groups the first bite as he wants everything he does to benefit animals."

"Although Linda was our first patron, he's been involved in a lot of our campaigns himself.

"One time he left a message on the voice mail of every employee of Gillette to ask them to help us stop the company testing on animals," he said.

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