Animal Aid

HELLO! It's that nice Mr Nasty

Posted 1 May 2002
Coverage in Hello, plus our photos of Simon with Lewis the dog

We were over the moon when Pop Idol's Mr Nasty, Simon Cowell, agreed to take the veggie pledge for a week - and even more pleased when his experience of going veggie was featured in Hello magazine...

Taming Simon Cowell

If there was a programme called Pet Idol, would Simon Cowell be as tough on the animals as he was on the aspiring stars? The programme's Mr Nasty was approached by the Animal Aid group, who asked him to take the Veggie Pledge and give up meat for a week. How did the animal-lover cope with the challenge? Read on...

What was it like eating a vegetarian diet for a week?

Easy. My advice would be to find food you like, like Chinese or Indian, because they prepare vegetables in a very interesting way. My notion of vegetarianism was always boiled cabbage or sprouts, which I hate - it's actually not as difficult as you think.

What was your favourite veggie food?

Linda McCartney sausages were my favourite. They're much better than eating real sausages and you don't have to contemplate half way through exactly what's inside them... You can have them, a bit of fried bread, tinned tomatoes. Delicious.

Do you think after this week you will think about becoming a vegetarian?

I will attempt to eat a lot more vegetarian meals.

How did your love of animals begin?

I was brought up with animals, mainly dogs, and my parents encouraged us at an early age to respect and love animals. We had Great Danes, Razorbacks, Alsatians: they will give up their life for you. You'll never find anyone/thing on earth more loyal than a dog.

Do you have any animals at home?

No, I can't with my life-style. It's just impossible to keep a dog because a dog doesn't understand that you are going away on business and you can't break its heart. You have to have stability and I can't offer that at the moment. Although I'd like a rat. They've had bad press: a domestic rat is as cute as a hamster.

You once said you were concerned about your health. Do you feel the vegetarian diet was any healthier?

I think if you believe something is doing you good, then you feel better. The more vegetables you put inside you, you're confident you're doing yourself good. I feel better this week than I have done in a long time.

Do you think taking the veggie pledge will ruin your image as Mr Nasty?

(Laughs) To be honest, I've never done anything to build an image. I don't believe in my job you need an image nor do I care about one.


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