A PETA-blue megaphone is on its way to Sir Lewis Hamilton for his birthday on 7 January. The gift is perfect for the vegan Formula 1 (F1) champion to use to bellow his condemnation of the cruel Iditarod dog-sled race for the world to hear – despite the F1 ban on political speech that he opposes.
PETA hopes the gift will inspire Hamilton to speak up for the dogs forced to run in this gruelling race and use his influence to urge F1 owner and Iditarod sponsor Liberty Media to join ExxonMobil and Coca-Cola in cutting all ties with the event.
One word from Hamilton could persuade Liberty Media to stop giving a financial lifeline to this deadly dog race.
What’s the Iditarod?
In the Iditarod, dogs are forced to pull heavy sleds through some of the most extreme weather conditions on the planet. Winds can reach up to 80-mph, and temperatures can drop as low as minus 50 degrees.
Nearly 250 dogs were pulled from the trail last year due to exhaustion, illness, or injury. The remaining ones were left to work even harder to pull the mushers.
The Iditarod’s official death toll of more than 150 dogs doesn’t include the countless animals who were killed because they weren’t fast enough or who died during the off-season. Many perish while chained to dilapidated boxes or plastic barrels in the bitter cold, a practice exposed by an undercover PETA US investigation.
How Is F1 Implicated?
The Iditarod has lost nearly all its major sponsors, including ExxonMobil. Yet F1’s owner, Liberty Media, hasn’t joined the list and still has ties to the deadly event: one of its companies, GCI, continues to sponsor the race to the tune of more than £215,000 every year.
How Can You Help?
Racing should involve only willing human participants, such as Lewis Hamilton. You can help end the exploitation of dogs by calling on F1’s owner to stop supporting the Iditarod: