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Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, and the other daring Formula One (F1) drivers race because they love it and earn fabulous sums of money—and they can retire when they wish to. Not so for the suffering, often underfed, even beaten dogs used in Alaska’s notorious Iditarod dog-sled race who get chained out in the ice and snow between races with almost nothing for shelter and who have even been killed when they’re injured, sick, or too old to win cash for their mushers. So, how is it that F1 is greenlighting this abominable cruelty?
The Iditarod has lost nearly all its major sponsors, but F1’s owner, Liberty Media, still has ties to the deadly event and its company GCI continues to sponsor the race to the tune of more than $250,000 every year. Why would F1 want to be associated with cruelty to dogs? We bet most drivers—particularly those with dogs, like Hamilton—would say that it should get out now!
Dogs used in the Iditarod are made to run the approximately 1,000-mile race while pulling heavy sleds through biting winds, blinding snowstorms, and subzero temperatures in some of the most grueling conditions on Earth. More than 150 dogs have already died in the race, not counting those who died during the off-season while left chained up outside in subfreezing temperatures or those who were killed because they didn’t make the grade. Forcing dogs, humans’ oldest animal companions, to run against their will to entertain us is a form of speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.
Racing should involve only willing human participants. Please politely ask F1’s owner to stop supporting the cruel Iditarod.