Ricky Gervais and Russell Brand Compare Animal Cruelty to Slavery

Ricky Gervais and Russell Brand Compare Animal Cruelty to Slavery

Comedians Ricky Gervais and Russell Brand discussed their love for animals on an episode of Brand’s podcast “Under the Skin with Russell Brand.”

I don’t remember not loving animals. I was born into a family with pets… It makes me feel good… I don’t know why an animal makes me feel good. I’m in awe of an animal… We’re just part of nature. We’re not above it,” Gervais said.

He continued: “We’re nothing special. We’re not as important as bees.

Gervais went on to talk about how tradition and culture should never be an excuse for animal cruelty. “There’s something wrong with someone who actually enjoys seeing an animal in pain. I mean, that’s one end of the scale, but then there’s people in denial. There’s lots of propaganda out there why it’s okay—why bullfighting is okay because its an honorable way for the bull to die,” Gervais said.

He continued: “Shut up, because it’s tradition, well so was slavery and child sacrifice! It’s not culture. I don’t get it.”

The duo also bonded over the loss of their cats.”My cat did die last week, sadly, it was also 16… and like, I was so affected by it. I was surprised by the amount of grief and sadness that I felt,” Brand said.

Leonardo DiCaprio Says Ending Wildlife Trade 'Most Important'
Ricky Gervais previously called for a ban on wildlife consumption. | After Life

The Comedians Discuss Animal Cruelty

This isn’t the first time the two actors have spoken out for animals. Last month, Gervais urged the closure of wildlife markets and called for a ban on wildlife consumption in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“For the sake of people and animals, wildlife trade and consumption has to end, now,” the longtime animal lover and vegetarian told the Mirror.

After watching footage of Indonesian wildlife markets where snakes, bats, and dogs were sold, he added: “We can’t carry on exploiting animals, eating wildlife and trashing the planet. The wildlife trade and markets have to close, otherwise it will be a case of when, and not if, we have another global pandemic.”

The comedian has also spoken out against horse racing and animal testing.

Brand, who hasn’t eaten meat since he was 14, previously defended Lewis Hamilton after people called him a hypocrite following his comments on climate change.

In an Instagram Story, Hamilton wrote about the climate crisis. He said, “I’m sad right now with the thought about where this world is going,” and urged his friends and followers to go vegan. He said, “it is the only way to save our planet today.”

The fact that Hamilton drives racing cars for a living and Formula One isn’t yet carbon neutral, led people to criticize his comments and call the athlete a hypocrite.

Brand said whether Hamilton is hypocritical or not is irrelevant—because the vast majority of people are. “He’s trying to communicate,” said Brand in a YouTube video. “Why wouldn’t he communicate?”