Linda McCartney

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Linda McCartney : biography

24 September 1941 – 17 April 1998

Vegetarianism, activism and lifestyle

Vegetarianism

McCartney introduced her husband to vegetarianism in 1975, and promoted a vegetarian diet through her cookbooks: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking (with author Peter Cox, 1989), Linda’s Kitchen and Simple and Inspiring Recipes for Meatless Meals. She explained her change to vegetarianism by saying that she did not "eat anything with a face… If slaughterhouses had glass walls the whole world would be vegetarian".

Animal rights

The McCartneys became outspoken vegetarians and animal rights activists. In 1991, she introduced a line of frozen vegetarian meals under the Linda McCartney Foods name, which made her wealthy independently of her husband. The H. J. Heinz Company acquired the company in March 2000, and the Hain Celestial Group bought it in 2007.

As a strong advocate for animal rights, Linda lent her support to many organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as well as The Council for the Protection of Rural England, and Friends of the Earth. She was also a patron of the League Against Cruel Sports. Before her death, she narrated a TV advertisement for PETA, in which she said: "Have you ever seen a fish gasping for breath when you take it out of the water? They’re saying, ‘Thanks a lot for killing me. It feels great, you know.’ No! It hurts!" After her death, PETA created the Linda McCartney Memorial Award.

Lifestyle

In 1984, she was arrested in Barbados for possession of marijuana; her husband had been arrested in Los Angeles for possession of marijuana in 1975. After flying to Heathrow Airport, London, she was arrested on charges of possession. She later commented that hard drugs were disgusting, but marijuana "is pretty lightweight".

Notes

McCartney and children

On 15 May 1967, the then-Linda Eastman met McCartney at a Georgie Fame concert at the Bag O’Nails club in London. She was in the UK on an assignment to take photographs of "Swinging Sixties" musicians in London. The two later went to the Speakeasy Club on Margaret Street to see Procol Harum. They met again four days later at the launch party for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band at Brian Epstein’s house in Belgravia. When her assignment was completed she flew back to New York City. In May 1968, they met again in New York, as John Lennon and McCartney were there to announce the formation of Apple Corps. In September of the same year, he phoned her and asked her to fly over to London. They were married six months later in a small civil ceremony (when she was four months pregnant with their daughter, Mary), at Marylebone Registry Office on 12 March 1969.

After giving birth to Mary (born in London 28 August 1969), Stella McCartney (born 13 September 1971), and James McCartney (born 12 September 1977 in London), she said that four children was enough. She became Lady McCartney when her husband was knighted in 1997. Her brother, entertainment lawyer John Eastman, has represented McCartney since the break-up of The Beatles. McCartney has eight grandchildren, all of whom were born after her death: Mary’s four sons Arthur Alistair Donald (born 3 April 1999), Elliot Donald (born 1 August 2002), Sam Aboud (born 11 August 2008) and Sid Aboud (3 September 2011), and Stella’s children, Miller Alasdhair James Willis (born 25 February 2005), daughter Bailey Linda Olwyn Willis (born December 8, 2006), Beckett Robert Lee Willis (born 8 January 2008), and Reiley Dilys Stella Willis (born 23 November 2010).

Music

After the breakup of The Beatles in 1970, her husband taught her to play keyboards and recorded an album with her, Ram, as a duo. Afterwards, he included her in the lineup for his subsequent group, Wings. The group garnered several Grammy Awards, becoming one of the most successful bands of the 1970s, but had to endure jibes regarding Linda McCartney’s singing. She later admitted that the early accusations about her singing out of tune in the early days with Wings were true.