Animal Aid

MR NASTY SHOWS HIS NICE SIDE!

Posted 11 April 2002
Simon Cowell and Lewis

Animal Aid interviews Pop Idol's Simon Cowell.

Pop Idol's 'Mr Nasty', Simon Cowell, has finally revealed that he does in fact have a soft side! He says that he loves animals!

Animal Aid, the UK's largest animal rights group, approached Simon after reading a magazine article in which he voiced strong opposition to animal cruelty. He agreed to take the 'Veggie Pledge', which involved giving up meat for a week during Animal Aid's 'Veggie Month'. This celebration of the moral and health benefits of vegetarianism, is staged annually throughout March.

The scourge of wannabe pop stars said that going veggie was easier than he'd imagined. In line with the large body of research demonstrating the health advantages of a veggie diet, Simon said of his meat-free week: 'I feel better than I have done in a long time'. He pledged to eat a lot more veggie meals in future.

The executive producer of Pop Idol winner, Will Young, further undermined his Mr Nasty image by posing cheek-to-cheek for photographs with Lewis, a big-eyed dog who was rescued recently from an animal pound.

Simon's concern for animals began as a child when he was surrounded by dogs, and he claims, 'You will never find anyone on earth more loyal than a dog'. However, he does not currently live with any animals, as his work commitments are too great. He would like a rat, though, because of the bad press they suffer - being treated as unredeemable 'underdogs'.

According to Simon, there is not much of a following for vegetarianism within the music industry. He puts this down to the hectic lifestyle and lack of easy availability of veggie food. But he believes this is already changing, with canteens increasingly offering more vegetarian options.

Animal Aid campaigner, Becky Lilly, who interviewed Simon at his BMG office, said of her experience with the notorious impresario:

"I hope Simon doesn't mind me saying this, but during our meeting he certainly didn't live up to the Mr Nasty image. His concern about animal cruelty is clearly genuine and he was obviously taken with Lewis the rescue dog, with whom he quickly bonded."

Notes to Editors

  • A transcript of the interview is available here.
  • For more information on the welfare, health and environmental benefits of vegetarianism, see our Veggie Month pages.
  • A selection of photos of Simon Cowell with Lewis the dog are available on request. Contact Andrew Tyler on 01732 364546.
  • We have an ISDN line for broadcast-quality radio interviews.

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