Paul McCartney hopes coronavirus pandemic could lead to ban on 'medieval' wet markets

Albertina Lloyd
·Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
·3-min read

Sir Paul McCartney has said he hopes the coronavirus pandemic could to lead to the end of “medieval” wet markets.

The Beatles star and animal rights activist, 77, called for the end of food markets selling live animals, while discussing reports that the COVID-19 outbreak may have originated from a food market in Wuhan, China.

Discussing the pandemic with US radio DJ Howard Stern on Sirius XM, McCartney said: "They might as well be letting off atomic bombs because it’s affecting the whole world.

Musician Sir Paul McCartney poses for photographers at the launch of his children's book 'Hey Grandude !' in central London on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. (Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP)
Sir Paul McCartney has called for an end to China's wet markets (AP)

"Whoever is responsible for this is at war with the world and itself.”

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He went on: "Let’s face it, it is a little bit medieval eating bats. They don’t need all the people dying. And what’s it for? All these medieval practices. They just need to clean up their act. This may lead to it. If this doesn’t, I don’t know what will."

When it was suggested that banning the markets would be difficult think to do, McCartney compared them to slavery.

PA NEWS PHOTO 29/9/91 PAUL AND LINDA MCCARTNEY LAUNCH THE UK'S FIRST NATIONAL VEGETARIAN DAY IN LONDON   (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
PA NEWS PHOTO 29/9/91 PAUL AND LINDA MCCARTNEY LAUNCH THE UK'S FIRST NATIONAL VEGETARIAN DAY IN LONDON (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)

He said: "They did slavery forever too, but you have to change things at some point."

“It seems like Sars, avian flu, all sorts of other stuff that has afflicted us… and what’s it for?

“For these quite medieval practices. They need to clean up their act. This may lead to [change]. If this doesn't, I don’t know what will.”

While some wet markets in China sell live animals including porcupines and deer, the term simply refers to markets selling fresh produce – including fruit, vegetables, meat and fish – as supposed to non-perishable goods. They are called wet as the floors are often hosed down to clean the produce.

McCartney revealed he is currently self isolating in his Sussex home, while wife Nancy Shevell is in New York - as she was there when lockdown came into force.

Read more: Paul McCartney shares story about masturbating with John Lennon

McCartney was previously married to Linda McCartney, who died after battling cancer in 1998. Together they campaigned for animal rights and to promote vegetarianism.

Nancy Shevell and Paul McCartney attend a screening of "This Beautiful Fantastic" at the SVA Theatre on Monday, Dec. 19. 2016, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Sir Paul McCartney and wife Nancy Shevell are in self isolation in different continents. (AP)

The couple decided to stop eating meat in 1975 after Paul saw lambs in a field as they were eating a meal of lamb.

He married New York businesswoman Shevell, 60, in 2011.