Lewis Hamilton has criticised bullfighting.
Lewis Hamilton has been blasted by Spain’s Minister of Culture and Sport Jose Manuel Rodriguez Uribes due to his criticism of bullfighting. The F1 champion took to Instagram last week to bemoan the fact events involving the blood sport are still staged around the world.
Hamilton shared a graphic video depicting the reality of bullfighting and revealed he is campaigning to put an end to children being taught the skills it involves.
“This is truly disgusting Spain!” Hamilton wrote. “Kids in Spain are taught to torture and kill bulls – starting at the age [of]14.
“We’re asking Spain’s Ministry of Education to close bullfighting schools, immediately! You can help by sharing the petition.”
Hamilton, who has been vegan for the past few years and lives off a plant-based diet, has received criticism for his comments.
Rodriguez Uribes has demanded “respect” from the F1 champion towards events which some in Spain regard as a traditional art form.
“His words are offensive and he is criticising people who like and have a positive feeling towards a practice that in our country has cultural roots,” Rodriguez Uribes said, as reported by Spanish outlet RTVE.
“His statements do not help communication and understanding. His disagreement is legitimate, but respect is essential.
“Fernando de los Rios, who was a great teacher and minister during the Second Republic, said that what human societies need is the revolution of respect. And I think it is true, that sometimes we have to ask for respect.”
Rodriguez Uribes was not the only person to respond to Hamilton, however, with bullfighter Cayetano Rivera taking aim at the 35-year-old.
“Mr. Lewis Hamilton doesn’t like bullfighting,” Rivera said. “So what?
“Anyway, before you criticise someone’s culture, you should at least learn a little bit more about what you’re talking about. Respect. And don’t let the unscrupulous confuse you.”
In 2017, Mercedes driver Hamilton lifted the lid on why he chose to ditch animal products, with the cruelty involved in farming impacting his decision.
“I stopped eating red meat two years ago,” Hamilton said. “I have generally been pescatarian for the majority of the year and now I’ve cut fish.
“As the human race, what we are doing to the world… the pollution [in terms of emissions of global-warming gases]coming from the amount of cows that are being produced is incredible.
“They say it is more than what we produce with our flights and our cars, which is kind of crazy to think. The cruelty is horrible and I don’t necessarily want to support that and I want to live a healthier life.”