‘Cruel Is Not Your Color’: Keith Urban Gets Empathy Lesson From PETA For Salinas Rodeo Show

‘Cruel Is Not Your Color’: Keith Urban Gets Empathy Lesson From PETA For Salinas Rodeo Show
‘Cruel Is Not Your Color’: Keith Urban Gets Empathy Lesson From PETA For Salinas Rodeo Show

For immediate release:
July 9, 2024

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Monterrey, California.

In advance of his July 12 performance at the California Rodeo Salinas, PETA today sent a letter to musician Keith Urban asking him to cancel the show and stop promoting rodeos, where cows (including calves), horses and other animals are terrorized, injured and often killed. Because Urban ignored previous requests to sever ties with cruel rodeos, PETA also sent the singer a free Empathy Kit, which offers a simple, step-by-step guide to cultivating compassion and recognizing that all sentient beings experience pain, fear, love and joy.

A calf is thrown to the ground and tied up at a rodeo. Credit: PETA

“Keith, Somebody like you should know better than to promote these barbaric spectacles, in which bulls are prodded with electric prods, calves’ necks are twisted as they are thrown to the ground, and horses are brutally encouraged to buck,” says Lisa Lange, PETA’s Senior Vice President. “PETA is calling on Urban to be a light in this world, take a lesson from our Empathy Kit and pledge never to support such cruelty again.”

PETA, whose motto reads in part that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” points out that every animal is someone and offers free empathy kits for anyone who needs a lesson in kindness. For more information, visit or follow the group on X, Facebookor Instagram.

Below is PETA’s letter to Urban.

Dear Keith,

I hope this email finds you safe and sound. I am writing on behalf of PETA regarding your upcoming performance at the California Rodeo in Salinas. We have reached out to you on this topic before and deeply regret that you continue to promote this type of animal abuse, so we hope our Empathy Kit will convince you. It points out that empathy is not just a feeling—it involves action, and our kit is a step-by-step guide to cultivating true compassion. You can get a head start by choosing to only engage in entertainment with willing participants who will not be harmed for your enjoyment.

Your deep love for your animal friends is obvious, so it is disconcerting to see such a disconnect when it comes to the cows, calves, and horses that are violently harassed and abused at rodeos. These animals deserve the same attention as the animals you cherish at home. Cows and horses used for rodeos are often electrocuted with electric “hotshots” to force them out of a chute, and calves have their necks twisted as they are thrown to the ground at high speed. Many animals suffer fatal injuries, such as broken backs, or die from heart attacks or aneurysms. When they become too old or worn out to be useful to their exploiters, they are usually sent to the slaughterhouse. Please remember that each of these individuals feels pain and fear in the same way that we do. Every moment of their suffering is real. Every animal is someone.

We urge you to cancel your performance at the California Rodeo Salinas and pledge to never support such cruelty again. It is time to act with empathy and a better life for all animals, which shows that Somebody like you can point the way to a kinder world. Don’t you want that?

Thank you very much for your attention to this important issue.

All the best,

Nicole Cummins

Senior Officer, Celebrity Relations

PETA | Los Angeles