Prince, dead?! The world (myself included) is still in shock over the loss of this musical icon and fashion legend, but did you know Prince was also an animal rights activist?
Completely smashing the stereotype of #whatveganslooklike, Prince had been committed to a meat and dairy-free diet since the 1990s, after being introduced to the lifestyle by his then girlfriend, Mayte Garcia. Speaking to The Vegetarian Times in 1997, Prince spilled that he’d ‘always had a preference for all things vegetarian. But not until recently did I find out how good they were for you (in a physical sense). We don’t eat anything with parents’.
Not only did Prince refuse to eat any animal products, he didn’t wear them, either – quite a commitment for one of the world’s most influential fashion icons of the last century. When given a leather jacket by a fan, Prince responded by saying ‘Please do not kill a cow so I can wear a coat!’. And you might want to take a closer look at the Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic album cover too – that jacket is made out of a non-wool material, while the liner notes read
‘If this jacket were real wool, it would have taken 7 lambs whose lives would have begun like this … Within weeks of their birth, their ears would have been hole-punched, their tails chopped off and the males would have been castrated while fully conscious. Xtremely high rates of mortality r considered normal: 20 2 40% of lambs die b4 the age of 8 weeks: 8 million mature sheep die every year from disease, xposure or neglect. Many people believe shearing helps animals who would otherwise b 2 hot. But in order 2 avoid losing any wool, ranchers shear sheep b4 they would naturally shed their winter coats, resulting in millions of sheep deaths from xposure 2 the cold’
That was Prince laying out the dangers of the wool industry for you there, in case you were in any doubt…
Then there’s Animal Kingdom, the song Prince donated to PETA for their 20th anniversary – the lyrics go a little something like this:
No member of the animal kingdom nurses past maturity
No member of the animal kingdom ever did a thing to me
It’s why I don’t eat red meat or white fish
Don’t give me no blue cheese
We’re all members of the animal kingdom
Leave your brothers and sisters in the sea
We totally agree with Prince’s accolade of World’s Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity, too – if anyone needed any confirmation of how rock’n’roll veganism could be, Prince eclipsed the stereotypes.