The most famous rock star vegetarians - and why they gave up meat
1 October 2023, 08:00
It's World Vegetarian Day, so to celebrate, take a look at some of the most high profile veggies and vegans in rock - and why they made the decision to give up meat and animal products.
Paul and Linda McCartney
Probably the world’s most high-profile vegetarian celebrity, the former Beatle gave up meat in the mid-1970s. He explained in 2008: "Many years ago, I was fishing, and as I was reeling in the poor fish, I realised, ‘I am killing him — all for the passing pleasure it brings me'." Paul and wife Linda McCartney became passionate campaigners for the vegetarian lifestyle, with Linda launching a hugely-successful veggie food range and the musician and his daughters Stella and Mary introducing the "Meat-Free Monday" campaign in 2009.
Second only to Macca as the most famous rock star veggie - former Smiths frontman wrote the anthemic Meat Is Murder, which turned a lot of people into vegetarians. “The truth is, vegans are actually superior beings,” he claimed in 2018. “I refuse to eat anything that had a mother, that’s obvious.” He only went fully vegan in 2015.
Moby became vegan in 1987: he released an album called Animal Rights and the liner notes to Play included an essay on why being a vegan is important. He says: “If you don’t want to be beaten, imprisoned, mutilated, killed or tortured, then you shouldn’t condone such behaviour towards anyone, be they human or not.”
The Blur bassist became vegetarian when he was at university - he called it his “passive attempt at being benevolent”. Since then, the star now owns a farm that produces some hugely-popular cheeses.
The co-author of Meat Is Murder told author Neil Taylor that writing the song was one of the proudest moments of his life: "I think that is quite literally rock music changing someone's life,” he said in 2010. “It’s certainly changing the life of animals. It is one of the things I am most proud of."
The Travis frontman became vegetarian after being impressed by a very famous non-meat eater: “When Paul McCartney did a bassline for me on my album, I was trying to think of a way to say thank you. I wanted to do something that was more of a gesture, and I thought it would be ideal to convert [to vegetarianism]”.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman was voted “Sexiest Male Vegetarian” in 2008. He had been vegetarian for a number of years, but when he went fully vegan as he explained later: "Soon after I went vegan, I saw some documentary footage of what happens in the factory farming of cows… It sealed the deal.”
The Radiohead frontman is vegan but offered this advice to Esquire magazine in 2013: “If you're going to be a vegetarian, you really do have to like lentils. Otherwise you're f**ked.”
The Blink-182 drummer became vegan for health reasons - he told MusicRadar: “I went to the doctor and found that I had eight ulcers in my stomach, and then I found that I had a condition from it, from excessive smoking. I had pre-cancerous cells in my throat. Right there, that was a game changer ... I quit everything immediately. It’s made a difference."