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Tommy Lee Asks Greek Government to Stop Donkey 'Taxi' Rides

Tommy Lee peta
Todd Williamson/Getty Images for PETA

Tommy Lee accepts the Skins award onstage at PETA's 35th Anniversary Party at Hollywood Palladium on Sept. 30, 2015 in Los Angeles. 

Tommy Lee is channeling his Greek roots for a good cause.

The Athens-born Mötley Crüe drummer was stunned by the cruelty that the donkeys and mules endure when used for "taxi" rides in Santorini, and as a result, sent a letter to Greek authorities asking them to end 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 also points out PETA Germany's eyewitness exposé, which revealed that handlers whipped and hit donkeys and mules with sticks, and forced to labor under the scorching sun, an ordeal that the drummer says "haunts me."

Read the full letter, via PETA, below.

Lee's letter to Minister for Agricultural Development and Food Makis Voridis follows. 

December 4, 2019
The Honorable Makis Voridis?
Minister for Agricultural Development and Food
Greece

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.

Sincerely,

Tommy Lee