Matt Damon, as well-known for his charity work as he is for his Hollywood performances, found himself drawing the ire of animal rights activists last week after he was spotted attending a Mexican bullfight.


According to the Daily Mail, the 41-year-old actor was at the La Monumental bullring stadium in Mexico City with friends. Witnesses said he looked rather bored, even yawning a times, but still applauded some of the action. Either way, some found it to be a hypocritical move for an actor who in the past has advocated for animal welfare, including shutting down all SeaWorld marine parks


"Paying to have a bull tortured for entertainment is barbaric," wrote one commenter on Ecorazzi. "This shows a lack of compassion or even any interest in justice."


But Damon, not one to ignore controversy, was quick to clear the air. Within 24 hours after PETA wrote to him asking why he would attend a spectacle they consider a "tradition of tragedy," Damon was on the phone to set the record straight. 


"Matt said that he went to the bullfight believing that bullfights should be stopped but felt that he should see the cruelty for himself while he was in Mexico," PETA's Jane Dollinger told "He said that seeing with his own eyes what these tormented animals go through only reinforced an already strongly held belief that bullfights should be relegated to the history books."


"He also said that he was upset to think that his attendance was in any way construed to be an endorsement of such a barbaric activity," she added.


According to PETA, more than 250,000 bulls needlessly die each year in bullfights. To learn more about the sport, and find out what you can do to help end the tradition, hit their official site here

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Matt Damon defends appearance at bullfight
Actor says witnessing the cruel sport only reinforced his belief that it should be stopped.