When it comes to legacy, Brian May would like his to be the work he's done on behalf of animals — and not the rock history he helped make as part of the legendary group Queen.


“When I’m gone, people will no doubt remember me for Queen, but I would much rather be remembered for attempting to change the way we treat our fellow creatures," he told the U.K.'s Sunday Times. "I suppose I’ve lived a crazy life, and watching wildlife brings back a sense of tranquility.” 


The 64-year-old, regularly listed as one of the greatest guitarists to ever play, has turned his sprawling English estate into a wildlife refuge for abused animals. He currently cares for 36 hedgehogs, seven badger cubs and two tawny owls. "People know about the astrophysics, but I love gardening too and I’ve always been passionate about the welfare of our wonderful British wildlife," he added.


Indeed, May has regularly been on the frontline of animal welfare initiatives, especially those relating to fox hunting and badger culls. His group "Save Me" was specifically formed to "campaign for the protection of all animals against unnecessary, cruel and degrading treatment."


“Badgers have been in this country longer than we have, they've been here for literally millions of years minding their own business ... we think that we're the only species on the planet that matters, which is obviously self evidently not true," the Telegraph quoted May as saying

"We are animals and we're obviously quite important — but the rest of the animals are quite important too," he continued. "I don't think we have the right to treat animals the way we do."


As an example of his passion for animals, check out May below describing the ordeal of "Percy the Hedgehog," who was viciously attacked by a U.K. man last year: 

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Queen guitarist turns estate into wildlife refuge
Brian May, one of the greatest guitarists of all time, hopes he's remembered more for his work with wildlife than his music.