Simon Cowell is famous world-round for his hardened demeanor and harsh judging on televised talent competitions like The X Factor and American Idol. But even Cowell couldn't help but be moved by the plight of dogs trapped in South Korean dog meat farms. After a recent speech in support of Humane Society International, Cowell put his money where his mouth is and donated £25,000 ($32,575) to the organization to help them meet their goal to "rescue 200 dogs from being eaten."
HSI UK executive director Claire Bass released a statement commenting on Cowell's donation:
Simon's generous donation means the world to us, and provides a huge boost to our appeal to close this horrendous dog meat farm. More than 200 dogs are languishing in the most appalling conditions, but we have a real chance to save them. With every dog farm we close and every farmer we help switch to a more profitable, humane business, we're showing the South Korean government that it's possible to end this cruel trade.
She went on:
These poor dogs have had the worst lives so far, so we're desperate to get them out of those dreadful cages and show them love, soft beds and loving arms for the first time in their lives.
Cowell made an appearance on Good Morning Britain last December, where he tearfully tried to raise awareness of the horrible situation these South Korean dogs were in. He commented then:
It's like eating your friend. And it's the fact you're eating such a kind, helpless, sweet animal...It is strength, in my opinion, to say we are not going to do it. If everyone could come together now, through social media, through a different generation who just say no, enough people will listen. That's what happens in the world today.
Simon's interview included shocking footage of the conditions at a dog meat farm in Namyangju, South Korea. According to the Daily Wire, "dogs are routinely kept in filthy, unsanitary conditions, spending their lives in wire cages with no protection from the elements." The farm in Namyangju is only one of the 17,000 throughout South Korea.
Cowell's soft spot for dogs has been noted in the past. On the 2012 season of Britain's Got Talent, Simon was an ardent supporter of Ashleigh and Pudsey. Three years later, he was similarly excited about competitors Jules O'Dwyer and Matisse.
Simon lives with three Yorkshire terriers, Freddie, Squiddly and Diddly, and they're the cutest little family in the world.
It seems that beneath his harsh exterior, Simon has a pretty big heart, and he's using it to help dogs in need.