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Paul McCartney urges India to declare vegetarian day

Paul McCartney is urging India to declare a national Vegetarian Day to celebrate meat-free living and compassion toward animals.

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Paul McCartney performs in concert for Sirius XM radio at Harlem's famed Apollo Theater, Monday, Dec. 13, 2010 in New York.

Henny Ray Abrams/AP

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Outspoken vegetarian Paul McCartney is urging India to declare a national Vegetarian Day to celebrate meat-free living and compassion toward animals.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says McCartney sent a letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying such a day could save animals while helping to protect both the environment and people's health.

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McCartney's letter says "it would be a celebration of life."

The U.N. food agency in 2003 estimated 42 percent of India's 1.2 billion people are vegetarian, due mostly to financial and religious concerns. Strict Hindus and Jains do not eat meat.

Singh's office could not immediately confirm receipt of McCartney's letter Tuesday.