The former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney has asked the nation of India to start a national vegetarian day to celebrate meat-free living and compassion to animals.

McCartney wrote to the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh explaining that such a move would save animals and help to protect the environment and people's health. In his letter he said that the day "would be a celebration of life".

The United Nations food agency estimated in 2003 that 42 percent of Indians were vegetarian due to financial and religious reasons. Hindus and Jains to not eat meat.