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Paul McCartney insists on keeping aging sheep on his Scottish farm because he can't bear to have them slaughtered.

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The Beatles legend, a staunch vegetarian, admits he is a little embarrassed to have the old creatures on his farm, but would never consider having them killed.

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In an interview with Britain's Radio 4, he says, "I live on a sheep farm and we shear the sheep, but they die of old age.

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"But it can be embarrassing. People say, 'Look at the state of your sheep!' And I say, 'Yes, they're very old. There's only one alternative - to send them off to the knacker's yard [slaughterhouse].'

"They just die like we do. It's life, it's death, it's what happens. We just give them a good life and I take the wool from them."