After visiting Santorini and seeing firsthand the cruelty that donkeys and mules used for "taxi" rides endure on the Greek island, MÖTLEY CRÜE drummer Tommy Lee — who was born in Athens — sent Greek authorities a letter on PETA's behalf this morning demanding an end to the practice.
"I'm honored to have been born in Athens, and wherever I tour with MÖTLEY CRÜE, I proudly proclaim my Greek heritage," writes Lee. "But there's an issue souring the reputation of Greece that I hope you'll help resolve: the sickening abuse of broken-down donkeys and mules made to lug tourists up steep hills on Santorini."
Lee goes on to point out the cruelty of forcing donkeys and mules to carry humans up and down the 500 steps from the port to Firá's old town — and says that PETA Germany's eyewitness exposé, which revealed that handlers whipped and hit donkeys and mules with sticks, animals were denied food and water, and donkeys and mules were forced to labor under the scorching sun, "haunts me."
PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to use for entertainment" — is opposed to speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview.
Lee's letter to minister for agricultural development and food Makis Voridis follows below.
"Dear Minister Voridis,
"I'm honored to have been born in Athens, and wherever I tour with MÖTLEY CRÜE, I proudly proclaim my Greek heritage. But there's an issue souring the reputation of Greece that I hope you'll help resolve: the sickening abuse of broken-down donkeys and mules made to lug tourists up steep hills on Santorini. I visited the island this summer on a yacht trip — we docked there for two days, and I refused to ride a donkey up to the city center.
"I just saw this story about it on CNN and decided to join my friends at PETA in trying to stop this cruelty. I was especially angry to learn that a law passed just a few years ago to help the donkeys isn't being enforced. Tourists should take Santorini's cool cable car! Instead, they pile on to struggling donkeys, who are forced to carry humans up and down the 500 steps from the port to Firá's old town several times a day. Ill-fitting saddles cause inflamed wounds that often go untreated. Animals have no protection from the scorching Greek sun and are only rarely granted short breaks. They're even denied food and water. The video footage of these suffering animals haunts me.
"I understand that you have the power to stop this cruelty and make Santorini hospitable to both tourists and animals. Please put an immediate end to the old-school cruelty of 'animal taxis.' I look forward to your response. Thanks for your time and consideration.