Paul McCartney Says He’s ‘Embarrassed’ When People See His Unusual Flock of Sheep

Paul McCartney is an animals rights activist and raises sheep at his farm. He gives the sheep a happy life, but their appearance surprises people.

Paul McCartney purchased a Scottish farm in the 1960s and, with his wife Linda McCartney, began raising sheep. He loves living there and, as an animal lover, enjoys tending to his animals. Despite this, he shared why it’s always a bit embarrassing to bring somebody new on a tour of the farm. They always comment on the state of his sheep because of a relatively unusual trait.

Paul McCartney shared why it’s a little embarrassing when people see his sheep

In the years since The Beatles broke up, McCartney has spent a great deal of time at his farm on the Kintyre peninsula. He enjoys putting work into the farm, as it’s different from anything else he does.

“These were the kind of things I’d never done in my life, so it was liberating,” he said on the iHeartPodcast McCartney: A Life in Lyrics.

McCartney is a longtime vegetarian and animal rights activist, so he keeps his sheep until they die of old age. He explained that it’s relatively rare to see elderly sheep, so visitors to the farm often comment on it.

“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.”

He likes that he can give the animals a long, happy life, but he feels slightly embarrassed when someone comments on how they look.

“We just give them a good life and I take the wool from them, but it can be embarrassing,” he said. “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 knackers.”

Paul McCartney became a vegetarian because of his sheep

When McCartney first moved to his farm, he ate meat. It didn’t take long for this to change, though. He and Linda sat down for a roast dinner and looked out the window at the lambs outside. It was enough to make them want to become vegetarians.

“It was like, the penny dropped,” he told The Guardian. “The light bulb lit up. We thought, we might just give this up.”

Since then, he’s thrown himself fully into vegetarianism, publishing cookbooks and encouraging others to embrace more meat-free meals.

He shared a skill he picked up because of raising sheep

McCartney is a musician, author, and photographer, but he shared another skill he’s picked up because of his farm: shearing sheep.

“I learned to shear the sheep with hand clippers,” he said. “No one does that these days, it’s quite hard. I did about 14 to 20 in one day.”

An image of this ended up on the cover of his 1971 album Ram.

“Just getting the sheep on its back is cool,” he said. “And that ended up on the cover of Ram.”

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