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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Ricky Gervais Declares: Save the Queen’s Bears!

Written by PETA | August 30, 2008
virginmedia / CC
Ricky Gervais

Looks like one of the funniest celebrities in the world is joining PETA Europe’s worldwide fight to stop the slaughter of Canadian black bears for silly hats. And I’m particularly excited about this celebrity, who is probably one of my favorite entertainers of all time: Ricky Gervais.

Gervais, whom you probably know as the star of Extras and the original version of The Office, has written a letter to U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown asking him to replace the bear fur on the Queen’s Guards’ caps with a cruelty-free material. In his letter, he points out that it takes the entire hide of a bear to make one hat—and that’s nothing to “have a laugh” about!

Oh, maybe you should just read the lovely man’s lovely letter, before I manage to work in “Freelove Freeway” or Sir Ian McKellen’s “wizard, you shall not pass” bit.

Click the letter to enlarge
Letter from Ricky Gervais

 

Written by Amanda Schinke

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  • Peta_fan says:

    To Max and those concerned. The fact you can defend such an arbitrary tradition demonstrates that your an irrational inhumane individual and I doubt I’d be able to remain so constrained if I ever met you. So concerned with the ‘great history’ the material of a hat signifies your willing to disregard animal rights so callously if only the textiles of a uniform can serve to seal its place in our memories then then I think your underestimating people. you sir are a nob.

  • BRENDA says:

    WELL AS MANY OF YOU MAY NOT THINK ABOUT SOMETIMES NOT ONLY ARE CUBS AND THEIR MOTHERS KILLED BUT OTHER ANIMALS ARE BEEN KILLED I DONT EVER IMAGEN HOW THIS WORLD WOULD BE IN 10 MORE YEARS I MEAN TERRORISM GANGSCHEATING KILLING LYING I AM ONLY 15 YEARS OLD AND I’M JUST GETTING STARTED TO THE REAL WORLD. PEOPLE DONT THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX OBVIOUSLY NO ONE WOULD WANT THEIR BABIES DEAD OR A KID LOOSING THEIR MOTHER BUT THAT’S WHAT CUBS ARE GOING THROUGH WITH THIS KILLINGS JUST FOR TRADITION I AM NOT BRITISH AND I DONT LIKE TO JUDGE BUT I THINK KILLING ANIMALS IS EVIL NOT THINKING OF THE ANIMALS. IF YOU WOULDNT LIKE YOUR DOG OR CAT OR BIRD THEN DONT DO IT AND LET PEOPLE HELP BECAUSE I DONT THINK THAT YOUR GRAND KIDS WOULD LIKE TO BE DESAPPOINTED IN YOU BECAUSE YOU DIDNT HELP TO STOP THE KILLING OF CUBS OR BEARS OR THAT YOU WERE AGAINST IT SO DONT ONLY THINK ABOUT YOUR CULTURE THINK ABOUT ANIMALS THEY HAVE HEARTS THEY FEELTHEY SEE THEY LOVE THEY CARE IVE SEEN BEARS WITH THEIR BABIES AND THEY TAKE AS MUCH CARE OF THEIR BABIES AS YOU TAKE CARE OF YOUR NEW BORNS THINK ABOUT IT

  • marilia says:

    Thousands of bears murdered BY HUMANS for vanitty in the 21st century… did anyone mention CIVILIZATION?

  • Samantha says:

    To hold onto radition in the 21st century is ridiculas. Times change peoples attitudes change. We humans have become so selfconsuming. We need to start putting animals needs beyond our own recognise that animal slaughter for the sake of fashion tradition etc is unacceptable inexcusable and darn right disgusting! We have enough intelligence after years of research to know animals feel pain they move in social groups they love and show affection to there young they morn. We have enough technology to go without animal furskin for luxary purposes fashion what ever you want to call it. We do things for the sake of doing itbecause we can! This does not make it right! If thats the case we can NOT use animals for our own selfish satisfaction. Go Ricky Gervais he is someone we can all look up to and admire.

  • Natasha says:

    Just because something is ‘traditional’ does not make it right. Slavery was traditional for many years as was the persecution of women. Many people still think women should be confined to the home because it is ‘tradition’. Tradition stands for nothing.

  • claire says:

    I am utterly disgusted by this practice and as it is easier to stop than continue it why has it not stopped? Is there a petition anywhere for people to sign?

  • Nathan says:

    Ricky is one of my favorite people. I am so glad to know he is backing such a wonderful cause.

  • Rosa says:

    For a moment let’s take a step back and look at the main argument in opposition of finding a suitable cruelty free alternative for these hats which I will not deny represent the history of our country for many people. I think we all know why people want to keep the guards hats. Tradition. Let’s define tradition for a brief moment generally speaking it is referred to as the handing down of statements beliefs legends and customs from generation to generation by word of mouth or by practice or a longestablished or inherited way of thinking or acting. Ok this is when I will start to get slightly hot headed so if you get upset by people making very loud and opinionated points with the bullshit snipped off I suggest you take a tic tac right now. Was not the slave trade a tradition? Sending children up chimneys that’s a tradition too?? Dubious?? Okay think of witchhunting in the Shakespearean era that was a tradition no? So tell me what’s more important Tradition or moral value? If you are truly that het up about keeping the customs around that have surrounded our British soldiers for hundreds of years I suggest you look a little further than what they wear on their heads because I can tell you now HAT’S REALLY AREN’T THAT IMPORTANT. Especially if having one means the cost of a beautiful animal’s life. Thank you Rosa

  • Joanne Marie Sevigny says:

    Hi Max I admire your dedication to your cause but take it easy! dont have a heart attack! I think that if you truly beleive in the history of those hats it grand time that you realise that all those who wore those hats made of bear skin wont be rolling in their graves over the idea of respecting God’s creatures. AND DONT BLAME CANADIANS EITHER BECAUSE I AM ONE OF THEM AND LET ME TELL YOU IF THERE WAS NO ” DEMAND ” FOR THE FURS THERE WONT BE ANY KILLING!!!!! yOU HAVEN’T FIGURED THAT OUT YET????? WOW I THINK YOU SHOULD PUT ALL YOUR ENERGY WHERE IT BELONGS!

  • Fred says:

    Max ‘You’re’ the most patronising arsehole I have ever come across on the internet. You obviously just like arguing and trying to appear smarter than everyone else I wonder why.

  • Max says:

    liz grow up. if you can’t engage in debates or express your opinions without resorting to swearing then chances are you aren’t mentally advanced enough to engage in them or hold them. oh by the by your is a possessive pronoun. I believe you meant “you’re”. as i have said before that is not why i am here but as the majority of the people on this page don’t actually seem to want to take into account the facts of the case and create acceptable soloutions then I guess there is no point in me being here.

  • Liz in New Zealand says:

    Well done Ricky for using your “Fame” for a good cause. Max your a twat but I think your the kind of twat that enjoys arguing with strangers on the internet for attention so “fill your boots”.

  • dr0n3 says:

    Im British my opinion is that it makes no difference to use synthetic material… nobody would really care if they are not bearskin… apart from completly stuck up twats who would probably enjoy masturbating to fox hunting and blood sport.

  • Emma Bowden says:

    Sigh pomp and ceremony again!!! There are plenty of people with their head stuck up their own backside here. Forget what USED to be done you are not living in the past. Bears should NOT be killed for such a trivial purpose end of story. I also have seen the bear hunt filmed undercover so I have a pretty good idea of what goes on as i have also seen the atrocities of the Canadian seal hunt where seal pups are skinned alive on the ice. Dont try and offset another countries barbarism ie China being used as an example China is critised daily for its appalling treatment of animals and humans and rightly so but dont try and say oh China are much more awful than we are with regard to animal cruelty that doesnt make what Canada is doing acceptable and i have plenty of campaigns on the go opposing my own countrys treatment of animals as well trust me!!! No one is being singled out for being more cruel than another country. I agree with the other post made preserve what hats you already have and dont kill anymore bears for such a ridiculous reason. If you are nothing without a bearskin then that proves that you really are not a man at all so get a grip and understand that you cant live in the past and we have to move forwards and acknowledge that just because a life does not come in the human form that it is not just there to be used for the vanity of mankind. Anyway as a British taxpayer I am opposed to this and so are most MP’s and an astonishing amount of the British public so whoever is daft enough to think bearskin maketh the man you must have a very very small manhood hahaha. Well done Gervais for having the guts to say something and well done PETA for launching a campaign that has gained much media coverage.

  • Sarah says:

    This is really pathetic. They’re hats!!! Like seriously a life for a hat?? REALLY doesn’t compare. And the historical value? As if history is anything to go by we used to bloody well torture people cause we tought they were witches! Shouldn’t we be trying to ADVANCE?! Don’t live in the past. Hah. Everyones hating on Max. Good Job. And good job Ricky my most favourite comedian EVER!!

  • anita says:

    british history god that rant of yours was so long! n it was all a load of rubbish they are silly hats. why else would all the tourists take a picture of the guards? because they’re interested in the history behind the guards? no. its because of their hats there are plenty of synthetic material you cn use. theres 1 reli obvious 1…. bt i cnt remember… let me think… oh yh its called faux fur! sorry bout all th txt spk bt i am a teenager who reli cnt b bothered typin it all out XD

  • vincenzo says:

    I have asked many times to where it can get cruelty selfishness unfortunately I have not yet been answered. This nonsense of hats is yet another case of animal abuse unjustified!!!!!

  • tiziana says:

    But who has determined that the animals must be for our use and pleasure? Some things can not be heard!!!!!

  • Sophie Drewery says:

    I love Ricky Gervais even more now! I’m British and I think it’s sick that something that we’re supposed to say “Look that’s ours and we’re proud of it!” to is so sick!

  • giovanna says:

    The hats can be made of some other material and be beautiful. Killing bears for this reason it is uncivilized!

  • Marisa Bentley says:

    Oh for heaven sakes get REAL!!! Killing bears for “silly” hats is absolutely ridiculous! Not to mention so disgustingly selfindulgent it’s embarrassing to the human race. We are to be STEWARDS of the Earth not creepy stalkers hunters of innocent animals!!! WAKEUP PEOPLE!!! As an American I’ve always viewed Britain as a forward thinking country that embraced the humane treatment of animals. I won’t go into the brutal tradition of Fox Hunting or other terrible practices my own country participates in that hurts animals…Sometimes I just don’t get it…why…why…would anyone want to hurt another living being??? Let’s just all work together to clean up our karma and protect animals. Let’s put an end to the senseless killing of bears for hats!!??!? Why would the Queen want to support such retched behavior…can’t that environmentallyfriendly Prince Charles convince his Mom to stop this meanspirited unsportsmenlike carnage? I hope so.

  • Cathy Munroe says:

    I am so tired of hearing people using tradition and culture as a reason to continue on with outdated and barbaric animal right abuses. Get with the program and use faux fur for their stupid hats!

  • SILVIA says:

    Thank you for what you do for bears and even more thanks for allowing me to help those magnificent creatures! Silvia Italia

  • Jenny Jozwiak says:

    If there is any alternative to killing a wild animal for no important reason A hat? I dont think so…. other than self defense then any country who considers itself “civilized” should gladly implement it. Synthetic fur is just as good as the real thing and the horror of what happens to these bears can be spared. When will humans finally stop being so selfish and stupid and cruel? When will we realize that we are not the only beings on the planet who have a right to live love and be free.

  • Deborah Kemp says:

    Silly hats or not. Tradition or not. Killing the beautiful Black Bear for them is totally unacceptable. A synthetic version is what is needed and it is long overdue.

  • Peter Johnson says:

    To Kill or cuase pain and suffering to any other living thing is completely wrong especially for a fassion accessory being one of the worst reasons. In Australia our Anzacs are remebered by 1 minutes silence by the nation and a parade march. If it is your tradition to wear animal skins it something you should now be embarresed about and wanting to change as soon as poissible. It was tradition that women got paid less shall we bring that back too. Stupid glory seeking trends !!!!

  • Interested says:

    Without a large interest in the topic but a big interest in how people interact this site has provided a wide range of examples. There is a point of view being presented. Some people here are responding emotionally with little of no factual information. Some people have a whole range of information at their disposal but only seem to be looking from one side not saying which side I agree with. When lacking either intellect or understanding of the topic on hand there are some here who resort to flaming or emotionally charges outbursts without apparently taking effort to counter or understand other’s points of view. Presenting counter arguments without acknowledging that the original argument might have some merit might be seen as one sided and put others offside to before they even start to read your reply… Keep posting this is a wonderful source of information on human communication via ICT and how ‘anonymity’ seems to change our ‘common’ decencies.

  • hilary says:

    These are the Queen’s Guards and Mr. Gervais’s letter should also be sent to the Queen who can be quite progressive. Also re. Australian sheep animal abuses. Elizabeth II is the Queen of Australia. A directive from the Top can have considerable effect.

  • Brian Stegner says:

    Max After reading all of the posts here I want to say that your initial statement seemed very overdone you were clearly upset or angered and your post contained typos or misspellings etc. But after reading your reply to the various people that had commented ‘at’ you I see that even you have hit upon the crux of the issue in terms of ‘what to do’ and that is we need to find an alternative. To the others many of whom like myself are not using or requiring animal byproducts in our lives all I can say is It is easy to come down hard on an individual because we all know what goes on out there and it is in almost all cases unwarranted and unnecessary cruelty terror and torture that animals globally are forced to endure until death finally frees them. It is truly horrifying. But insulting those that don’t share our compassion and beliefs is going to accomplish nothing. You have to understand that education as in the individual ‘finding out’ what is happening is the best way for other individuals to develop changing outlooks and behaviours. Who’s to say that max might not have found himself urging the government to try a little harder to find a substitute if he hadn’t been attacked? We’ll never know the answer to that one will we? And if there was even a chance of ‘Max’ or anyone who wasn’t already on our the animals side then attacking him or others might actually perpetuate that which we rightly want to see changed in the World. Perhaps personal attacks make the emotionallycharged individuals ‘feel better’ but one thing is certain alienating those who don’t share our views on animal welfare is killing more animals not fewer in the long run. Nice going.

  • Sean says:

    make the hats out of fake fur and we won’t have a problem. I don’t care if they have some history. They ARE silly hats if they require an animal’s life to make them.

  • Debra says:

    This is ridiculous. Silly or historic it makes no difference. Make them with fake fir. Simple. Same hats fake fir no dead bears. I don’t understand why this is even a dilemma.

  • caleb says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with the Ricky Gervais letter and i’m a huge fan of his however I do feel the need to say that it seems a bit hypocritical that he would stand up for bears when in fact he is a flesheater. And i’m willing to bet that he wears and uses leather products as well. Bears do need to be protected and it’s nice of Gervais to speak up on the matter i just think he should consider changing his own lifestyle. If we all did that we wouldn’t need to write letters demanding bear’s rights.

  • lynda downie says:

    Thanks for speaking out for the bearsRicky.

  • Steve says:

    Hi Canadian Gervais fan here also a meat eating rightwing knuckledragging conservative. Writing to say I agree with Rick. Genuine bear skin is unnecessarily destructive for this purpose. Don’t kill the bear use a synthetic. Actually I am under the impression that the equivalent Canadian guards in Ottawa wear synthetic fur hats. Hope that I’m right I’ll look into it. Thanks Rick love all your shows keep the podcasts coming Steve

  • JS says:

    i think it’s ridiculous how everyone is getting so heated about Max’s comments. While i personally don’t agree with him and i’m all for animal rights GO RICKY G! everyone is allowed to their own personal views. what’s the point in cruicifying one single person for their opinion? i personally give Max props for defending what he feels is right. rather than seeing the true issue at hand you’re all just making personal attacks so you can feel good about yourself and NOTHING comes out of it. why not put all that anger and whatever you have going on into something useful?

  • Peter says:

    dude is totally awesome. just saw him in Night at the Museum. i’d pretty much start laughing even before he said anything. glad he’s on board!

  • Pete says:

    Max is such a plonker. Save the bears.!

  • Max says:

    Mars I refer your pointless comments to my previous remark. pay attention to them would you?

  • kirsty says:

    silly hats? maybe if the blogger Canaduck sacrificed his hair or fur they would be great hats?

  • yvonne says:

    Well GB has a very honourable history doesnt it?? There arent enough beds in hospitals to deal with the sick law and order has broken down and is now reduced to a new craze called “knife culture” and the most powerful expensive symol of all forces the taxpayers to pay for BEARSKIN hats!! People wake up. What sort of a democracy is this? Why isnt this money being spent more wisely? The fact that the royal family have no interest in what happens to innocent animals doesnt surprise methe queen has killed pheasants with her bare hands for Christ sake but the English taxpayers need to take a stand against any more of this ridiculous and expensive cruelty. Applaus to Ricky Gervais Pamela Anderson and all other celebs who put their voices to good use.

  • mill says:

    WAY TO GO RICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reen says:

    I just wanted to add that I am from the UK and I am utterly ashamed to be at the moment. I find it appalling that some people think that this is OK. I am utterly horrified that my tax money is being used in such a foul and disgusting way. This needs to be stopped. In the old days it was different we change as a society we adapt. It is a travesty that this is allowed to happen and I am very very let down by my fellow Britain’s who think this is OK. We are supposed to live in a civilised society. I can’t get over this the Prime Minister will be receiving a letter from little old me too.

  • Elise says:

    My sister and i recently did a protest about the way in which these beautiful animals are killed all in the name of the ridiculous Royal Family. What on Earth is so royal about them…? I wish that the Government would get rid of the guards who just stand there aimlessly and occassionaly walk up and down like idiots stop this cruelty and rid the world of the socalled Royal Family theyre the same as eveyone else… just take off the ridiculous jewels and other inanimate objects the Queen prances around in

  • Pieter says:

    Well done Ricky! I absolutely agree. Leave those bears alone!!

  • Samantha says:

    Lana awesome. Absolutely right. No one here is trying to take away from the importance of this tradition but evolution will be needed for as long as human beings exist. Animals and nature evolve to survive in nature but we must evolve to survive ourselves. This topic is one small aspect of of behavior that we as human beings need to evolve out of. We need to stop using history as an excuse for our actions and realize that our world today is a growing changing metropolis that understands that all of our practices are far from perfect and as a species we have so much room to grow. To Herts Call me crazy I know a lot of people would but as an animal rights activist if I came in contact directly with someone who worked in the Chinese fur industry as a hunterpoacher or anyone else who makes the living by means of animal suffering there would definitely be some asskicking and I would feel 110 justified. I have no compassion for someone so without compassion themselves. And yes I’ve heard of “an eye for an eye makes the world blind” but maybe there are some people who deserve to see anything. And I don’t see any irony behind this the people whose ass would get kicked DID something to deserve it while the animals who suffer needlessly everyday have done nothing wrong other than trying to exist in the midst of our destructive activities. How dare they right? And I know you were just putting an idea out there but I don’t think the compassionate men and women who stand up for those who can’t speak for themselves are doing it for the purposes of hopping on the bandwagon or appearing more likable. I think they just give a sh!t. I commend people who use their status to draw attention to much needed topics such as this one. I would love to be in the public eye for the sole purpose of bringing attention to important topics.

  • Mars says:

    Max get a life! Why are you here whimpering about nothing at all? You’re ridiculous. Most people here know what’s what. And what’s not cool is fur of any kind. Replacing bear skin with something synthetic will not be something noticed or missed by 99.9 of the people…Oh except by you perhaps. Dear Lord! Let’s save those precious bears and indeed all animals.

  • Chris says:

    No one is suggesting that the hats need to go or that a tradition be steamrolled by the millenium just don’t make them out of fur! What’s the big deal?

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