Sir Paul McCartney celebrates decade of Meat Free Monday with viral campaign

By Alex Green, Press Association

Sir Paul McCartney has launched a viral campaign to mark 10 years of his Meat Free Monday movement.

Fellow Beatle Ringo Starr, actor Tom Hanks and actress Rita Wilson are among the list of stars to have pledged support for Count Me In.

Sir Paul, who is vegetarian, launched Meat Free Monday, which encourages people to go without meat once a week, with his daughters Mary and Stella in 2009.

Fashion designer Stella McCartney (Ian West/PA)

Since then the charity has worked in schools, universities, restaurants and businesses, made an appeal at the EU Parliament and published a cookbook.

The new campaign aims to celebrate the meat-free movement while encouraging more people to reduce their meat consumption.

Sir Paul, will turn 77 on Tuesday, said he was astounded the “simple idea” had impacted people’s lives for a decade.

He said: “10 years of Meat Free Monday – I can’t believe it! It’s beautiful and the support we’ve had from all these lovely people – you and all the other lovely people – it’s been great.

“It’s a simple idea that people have caught onto. They love it, we love it, the planet loves it, everybody loves it, the animals love it. It’s Meat Free Monday – happy 10 years!”

Cookery writer Mary McCartney (Ian West/PA)

Vegetarian cookery writer Mary, 49, said: “I am proud to be a member of the Meat Free Monday global community, where everyone can make a difference.

“It’s a word-of-mouth movement, so please spread the message – Happy 10th birthday Meat Free Monday!”

Fashion designer Stella, 47, added: “Join us in celebrating 10 years of Meat Free Monday.

“Our planet needs us more now than ever. So let’s save the animals, save the planet, together.”

Other stars to have backed the move include Joanna Lumley, Paul Rudd, Isla Fisher, Alec Baldwin, Ellie Goulding, Alicia Silverstone, David Walliams, Orlando Bloom, Beth Ditto and Livia Firth.