Lewis Hamilton shared a video of his trip to New South Wales Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc. (WIRES) in Australia this week, where he fed baby kangaroos and met with people working to save animals impacted by the nation’s bushfires.
“I had the incredible opportunity to visit NSW, Australia to see the admirable work @WIRESWildlifeRescue is doing to care, rehabilitate and preserve the country’s native wildlife following the recent, devastating fires,” the six-time Formula One World Champion wrote on Instagram.
Founded in 1985, WIRES is the largest wildlife rescue and rehabilitation nonprofit in Australia. Its rescue team is led by volunteers.
“It was one of those days that really put things into perspective,” Hamilton continued. The 35-year-old athlete explained in the video that he flew in from London to visit WIRES. He donated $500,000 to the charity last January, according to Reuters.
Hamilton wanted to meet with the people responsible for taking care of animals displaced by the Australian bushfires. He saw koalas and baby kangaroos, bottle-feeding two babies.
‘Over One Billion Animals’
Hamilton said in the video that he wanted to see the devastation of the fires with his own eyes.
“Over one billion animals were impacted by the fires and it’s going to take years for Australia to recover, so it’s thanks to non-profits like WIRES, an organization I supported during the fires, that we have the resources to help preserve this beautiful country and its amazing wildlife,” he wrote.
Hamilton is vocal about his compassion for animals. The champion race car driver adopted a plant-based diet for his health in late 2017. But soon, he began to talk about veganism, speaking to his millions of Instagram followers about the ethical issues with leather, hunting, animal agriculture, and the climate crisis.
Last February, Hamilton shared a video of various farm animals. One clip showed adult hogs packed so tightly into an enclosure that not one of them could move. Another clip showed chicks being dumped into a pit. They were likely male chicks, who are considered useless by the egg industry and typically killed shortly after hatching.
“This is the world we currently live in where humans believe that an animal’s life is worth less than one of our own,” Hamilton wrote. “The food you buy and eat today, at home, or in restaurants is coming from places like this.”
Hamilton is an executive producer of Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Cameron’s documentary “The Game Changers,” which explores the myth that athletes need meat. He launched Neat Burger, a vegan fast-food chain, in London last September.