Sir Paul 'embarrassed by old sheep'

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Sir Paul McCartney keeps a flock of sheep on his land Sir Paul McCartney keeps a flock of sheep on his land

Sir Paul McCartney has confessed he is embarrassed when visitors see the state of his sheep - because they live to be so old on his farm.

The vegetarian musician keeps a flock at his property, but as he refuses to send them to an abattoir they are there until they die of old age,

In an interview for Radio 4's The Food Programme to be broadcast on Sunday, he points out that few people ever see elderly sheep and are surprised by their appearance.

"I live on a sheep farm so we shear the sheep, but they die of old age - and you know what, it's kind of embarrassing, because none of the other farms have got old sheep," he said.

"They're all gone before they're old - they just die like we do. It's life, it's death, it's what happens.

"We just give them a good life and I take the wool from them. but it can be embarrassing. you know, people say 'look at the state of your sheep' and I say yes they're very old and you know there is only one alternative - send them to the knacker's."

In an interview with presenter Sheila Dillon, Sir Paul talks about his vegetarian lifestyle and his desire to encourage more people to try eating less meat.

It comes as his late wife Linda's veggie food range is given a new push, with a TV ad campaign and new products. The ex-Beatle is also publicising the idea of taking a break from animal products with "meat-free Mondays".

In the programme, to be broadcast on Sunday at 12.30pm, he explains: "Basically what we're saying with the meat-free Monday campaign is that out of your seven days, you might think of one day being meat-free. we're not really pushing it too heavily. we're not saying you should go veggie, it's good for you.

"We're saying 'just try one day', and a lot of people say that's very do-able, a very accessible idea, and they enjoy it."

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