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Music

Kate Bush describes the moment she decided to become a vegetarian

Kate Bush, one of Britain’s most beloved singer-songwriters, has once again fallen under the spotlight in recent weeks after the fourth season of Stranger Things hit the screens. Bush’s 1985 hit, ‘Running Up That Hill’, has received renewed attention after it was featured in the soundtrack for the much-loved Netflix drama last month.

The iconic hit has experienced an 8,700% increase in streams over the past two weeks, and it has now reached the number one spot on the Billboard chart in the US. 

Responding to the recent flurry of media attention, Bush shared a rare message to fans, explaining that she’s been a fan of the Stranger Things for a long time. “When the first series came out, friends kept asking us if we’d seen Stranger Things, so we checked it out and really loved it,” Bush said. “We’ve watched every series since then, as a family.”

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“When they approached us to use ‘Running Up That Hill’, you could tell that a lot of care had gone into how it was used in the context of the story, and I really liked the fact that the song was a positive totem for the character, Max. I’m really impressed by this latest series.”

As well as her passion for music and Stranger Things, Bush also has a keen interest in cooking and eating healthily. Such is the extent of Bush’s passion for gastronomy that she joined celebrity chef Delia Smith on her classic TV show, Delia Smith’s Cookery Course, in 1980 to discuss her transition to vegetarianism and some of her favourite culinary combinations. 

During the show (clip can be streamed below), Bush talks to Smith about healthy eating and even gives the master chef a few of her top tips for making the perfect salad. “I notice you’ve left the skins on the apples, and I like that,” says Delia. “Yes, there’s so much natural goodness in the skins,” the wise Bush responds, offering up her wisdom.

The useful tips don’t end there. Bush later offers up her method of adding nuts to salads for that all-important hit of protein for a vegetarian diet. “There are things that I think people miss out on because they think there’s a very select area where you use nuts, but I think you can use them in anything,” she opines. “You can just sprinkle them over salads, which is fantastic,” Delia agrees. “In fact, it’s quite nice by itself. It makes you feel a bit like a parrot,” Bush adds.

In 1980, vegetarianism was still very much in its infancy as a moral concept outside the McCartney family farm and with the exception of a few hippies dotted around here and there. In her appearance on Delia Smith’s Cookery Course, Bush described the moment she decided to become a vegetarian: “One day I had a stew and there was a bit of meat in the stew and it was so raw that I just identified immediately that this was an animal and I just thought, ‘No, I’m not into this.’” 

She explained that it was a difficult transition at first and confessed that “I didn’t have a clue you know, I had no idea what I could eat”. For a while, she lived off “chocolate and tea,” until she met some other vegetarians and she managed to get a stable diet together. In the early 1980s, vegetarian education wasn’t where it is today, not to mention the modern luxury of having widespread access to meat-free protein alternatives.  

In a more recent interview, Bush identified the increased awareness of moral vegetarianism in the modern-day. “I just could not stand the idea of eating meat – I really do think that it has made me calmer… People’s general awareness is getting much better, even down to buying a pint of milk: the fact that the calves are actually killed so that the milk doesn’t go to them but to us cannot really be right, and if you have seen a cow in a state of extreme distress because it cannot understand why its calf isn’t by, it can make you think a lot.”

Watch a clip from Kate Bush’s appearance on Delia Smith’s Cookery Course below.