Tommy Lee spoke out about the annual Running Of The Bulls Festival earlier this month.
“I’m no stranger to wild behaviour,” he wrote in a new comment piece published in the Independent, “but there’s one thing that even I wouldn’t do, and that’s running ‘with’ the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. That can f**k right off.”
In the piece, which he wrote on behalf of PETA, the Mötley Crüe drummer explains that prior to the Running of the Bulls, electric prods and sticks are often used to torment the bulls. The panicked animals then slip and slide along the narrow streets, pursued by hundreds of people. “This isn’t a test of nerve and resolve,” writes Lee. “It’s a pathetic display of human idiocy and cruelty.”
At the end of the day, the bulls are herded into the bullring, where as many as eight men taunt, beat, and stab a single bull with daggers and harpoon-like banderillas until he becomes weakened from blood loss. Then the matador stabs the exhausted animal with a sword, and an executioner cuts his spinal cord. “It’s truly more twisted than anything I could have imagined, even during my wildest days with Mötley Crüe,” writes Lee. "And let’s be honest: if people paid to watch a man in a sparkly leotard torment and butcher a dog or cat in this way, we wouldn’t dare try to excuse it as “tradition” – we’d declare him a sicko, lock him up, and throw away the key."
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – notes that a 2013 Ipsos MORI survey revealed that more than 70 per cent of Spaniards have no interest in attending or supporting bullfights, which means it’s largely tourists who fuel the industry.
“Fortunately, organisations like PETA and other kind people are working to get these cruel, cowardly spectacles banned across Spain – and they have my support,” concludes Lee. “I hope they have yours, too.”