Animal rights campaigners have rushed to defend British funnyman Ricky Gervais after he was criticised for condemning bullfighting while continuing to eat meat.
The Office creator was slammed in an article published by British newspaper The Times, with the report branding him a hypocrite for failing to go vegetarian despite his tough stance on animal cruelty.
Gervais hit back, writing on his blog: "I think there is a difference between animals being humanely killed for meat and animals being tortured to death for fun. It's the 'enjoying it' part I don't understand."
And bosses at a leading animal rights group have leaped to the star's defence, insisting he is right to highlight the horror of bloodsports.
In a letter to The Times, a spokesman for the World Society for the Protection of Animals writes: "(We are) sad to see Ricky Gervais being attacked for standing up against bullfighting. Like Ricky, WSPA believes it is possible to eat meat and at the same time support charities like us, who campaign to end cruelty to animals around the world.
"WSPA and Ricky are supporting the 180,000 plus people of Catalonia (Spain) who are calling for a bullfighting ban in this region - a ban that will inspire other bullfighting regions to courageously speak out against this archaic practice."