Velvet Revolver’s Matt Sorum and Rocker Friends Can’t Bear Bile Farming in Asia
By Jon Wiederhorn
Ex-Guns N' Roses and current Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum and a bunch of his rocker peers are teaming up to speak out about cruelty against Asian bears.
With the guidance of Animals Asia, Sorum, Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott, ex-Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke, current Velvet Revolver/former GNR bassist Duff McKagan, ex-Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach, Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens, and Deep Purple vocalist Glenn Hughes have recorded a minute-long PSA to protest the practice of Asian bear bile farming.
More than 10,000 bears--mainly moon bears, but also sun bears and brown bears--are kept on farms in China, and around 2,400 more are farmed in Vietnam. The bears are milked regularly for their bile, which is used in traditional Chinese medicine and is believed by many to help reduce fever, protect the liver, improve eyesight, break down gallstones, and act as an anti-inflammatory. But the animals are kept in cages, and the brutal process involves using catheters through open wounds.
"Watching the Animals Asia movies was a shock and an education for me," says Sorum, who was recently appointed the Animals Asia Ambassador for the United States. "I previously had no idea of the issue but felt compelled to do anything I could to help. I was inspired further when I met [Animals Asia founder and CEO] Jill [Robinson], and when she later asked me to be the U.S. Ambassador for Animals Asia, I was honored to accept. This is all about those of us in the West standing up, alongside those who inspire positive change in China. We must continue to grow the number of voices in opposition to this cruel, horrific industry."