Coronavirus: Brian May believes veganism is the future after world is 'brought to its knees'

Caroline Allen
Brian May believes people will evaluate their meat intake after the pandemic. (Getty Images)

Queen guitarist Brian May has shared his support for widespread veganism, which he believes is the future after the world was “brought to its knees” by the coronavirus outbreak.

It’s claimed that the spread of COVID-19 can be traced back to a “wet market” in Wuhan, China, which specialises in the sale of live animals.

The 72-year-old believes the pandemic will force people to evaluate their current relationship with meat.

“I think we should be looking again at whether we should be eating animals,” May, who has been vegan since the beginning of 2020, told NME.

Read more: On and off social distancing may last until 2022, experts suggest

“That’s a central issue here, this pandemic seemed to come from people eating animals and it’s becoming more well known that eating animals is not the greatest thing for our health.”

Although he has only recently converted to a fully vegan diet, May has been campaigning for animal rights for some time.

Brian May stands beside Grace the Hedgehog, mascot of the animal welfare charity the Save Me Trust, in College Green, opposite the Palace of Westminster in London. (Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images)

“I took up the Vegan Challenge in January and I’ve been three months a vegan now,” he said.

““To me it was an experiment, because for a long time I’d been an animal campaigner but grappled with the fact that I was still eating them occasionally.

Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice

Live: Follow all the latest updates from the UK and around the world

Fact-checker: The number of COVID-19 cases in your local area

6 charts and maps that explain how coronavirus is spreading

“But to go vegan was just a decision, and I haven’t been preachy about it, but now we’ve seen more of the effects of how eating animals has brought us to our knees as a species, I think it’s time to re-examine our world in a way that doesn’t abuse other species.

“Whether we will see that happen, I don’t know, but I think I will start to be a bit more preachy about veganism because to me it is the way forward, in so many ways.”

He’s not the first British music legend to speak out in protest of the sale of live animals in markets such as the one in Wuhan.

Paul McCartney called for “medieval Chinese markets” to close in an interview with US radio host Howard Stern.

May also spoke to ITV News about the pandemic, saying he hopes the lessons we’ve learned during the lockdown are taken into life post-COVID-19.

“This is a tragedy,” he said. “But there are things to be grateful for.

Read more: Coronavirus may trigger measles resurgence

“There’s a lot of people who are in terrible times, and we’re gonna lose a lot of people. It might be me, since I’m an elderly and vulnerable person. But, you know, it’s not all bad.

“There are good things to look forward to, and this is only for now.”

He added: “I hope we remember the lessons that we’ve learned — that we can work from home, the cars can stop, the planes can stop, the air can get clear.

“I mean, suddenly we can all breathe again. That’s gonna save countless lives.

“There’s no animals being knocked down on the roads any more, and our wildlife rescue is experiencing a tremendous difference.”