You might know Brian May as the guitarist and songwriter of the iconic rock band Queen. You might even know Brian May as a published astrophysicist. Maybe you’ve heard about his work to control the spread of HIV and AIDS. Did you also know that the composer of “We Will Rock You” and the co-author of Bang! The Complete History of the Universe started an animal protection group? The group, called “Save Me,” is focused primarily on combating fox hunting and conserving British wildlife.
“[W]e as a race, or as a species, treat other animals appallingly badly,” said May in a recent interview on BBC’s Hardtalk.
May brings an inquiring mind to animal protection. He pursues the truth rather than blindly accepting the status quo. One of the issues that May follows closely is the plan by the Welsh government to kill badgers in order to keep them from spreading tuberculosis to cows. May points out that a vaccine bait exists that would cost less to administer to badgers than capturing and killing them.
May’s conviction to treat animals decently seems to come from a creative and accepting place at the intersection of his head and heart, where May’s compassion meets his ability to see with scientific clarity.
“I don’t see why we can’t direct ourselves towards being good to people and to animals. Why is that too much to ask?” he told Hardtalk. “Why should we think that we’re the only creatures that matter in this world?”
Toward the end of this compelling interview, May is asked what he would like to be remembered for when-not for a long time, we hope!-he is no longer with us. The wish of Brian May-a leader in the world of rock ‘n’ roll, a respected researcher in the field of astrophysics, a husband, a father, and more-is to be known to posterity for “giving animals a better life.” In other words, not to be the best or the brightest, but simply to have eased the suffering of some animals.
This guest blog was written by Christine Jackson. Christine is fortunate to have lived with animals all her life. She shares her Washington, D.C., home with the two best cats in the world.