Updated April 24, 2019. Queen lead guitarist and songwriter Brian May wants fans to support vegan businesses.
The 71-year-old musician took to Instagram last week to thank Yatay, an Italian luxury vegan shoe brand that uses sustainable materials, for his new footwear.
“I was getting fed up with trying to explain why an animal campaigner would be wearing skins of animals on his feet,” May wrote. “I reasoned with myself that I needed to go with tradition – stick with what had been my habit ever since Live Aid. Nike and Adidas were part of my make-up. Right ? But … really there was no explanation.”
May revealed that he had his own bias — that vegan shoes were uncomfortable. The songwriter added that he wore the Yatay shoes during the opening act at this year’s Oscars and will wear them for this summer’s tour with Adam Lambert.
The shoes appear to be Yatay’s new Neven style in black, a unisex sneaker made from recycled raw materials, recycled polyester, and bio-based polyurethane. The laces are made from Italian hemp.
Brian May the Activist
May hasn’t spoken to his diet, but urged fans to take steps to make a positive impact on the planet.
“Remember,” May added, “You don’t have to be a Vegan to eat vegan food. Or buy vegan stuff. But every time you invest in vegan merchandise you invest in the health of the planet and the animals that live on it, including ourselves. And you don’t have to make any more excuses !!”
This month, May also introduced followers to seven young fox cubs and Lulu, a badger undergoing rehabilitation. According to an Instagram post, Channel 5 will broadcast footage later this year.
The musician and astrophysicist has campaigned for multiple animal rights causes. In 2010, he co-founded Save Me, a nonprofit organization that calls for an end to badger culls and fox hunting, with award-winning activist and Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue founder Anne Brummer.
“I’ve always felt that we as a race, as a species, treat other animals appallingly badly,” May told Stephen Sackur on the BBC TV program “HARDtalk” in 2010.
“And unfortunately, the more your eyes are opened, the worse it gets,” he continued, adding that former Prime Minister David Cameron’s intention to bring back fox hunting compelled him to become an activist.
May even urged fans not to vote Conservative over the issue. He explained that he believes as a celebrity, it’s important for him to raise his voice regarding issues he cares about.
“I think the way our species interacts with the other creatures on this planet is vitally important not only to our future, but the future of the planet,” May said.
When pushed on the issue of talking about hunting and badger culls, he elaborated: “I don’t see why we can’t direct ourselves toward being good to people and to animals. Why is that too much to ask? Why should we think that we are the only creatures that matter in this world?”
The musician added that he hopes people will remember for his animal welfare activism.
May became a supporter of Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn in June 2017 because of his animal-friendly policies.
Yatay’s vegan shoes are available online.