Commend Filmmaker for Protecting Animals


Target:  Darren Aronofsky

Goal: Commend filmmaker for using technology to replace animals in film

Award winning filmmaker Darren Aronofsky has set a wonderful example for the film industry by deciding not to use captive animals in his new movie about Noah’s Ark. Aronofsky has opted to use digital technology to replace animals in order to avoid using them in a way he finds ethically questionable. We should commend Mr. Aronofsky for his decision to protect animals from the ethically questionable treatment to which they can be subjected on the sets of movie productions.

Ever since he filmed The Fountain in 2005, Aronofsky has been wary of using animals in his films. The film included monkeys, and he was horrified at the treatment that the animals received. He states, “Since then, it’s just become more and more clear that I didn’t want to work with captive mammals ever again.”

According to Debbie Leahy of the Humane Society of the United States, it is common for animals to receive poor treatment both on and off the set during film production. Many animal trainers used by Hollywood have numerous animal rights violations. Abuses can occur during preproduction, and travel conditions to and from the set are often bad.

Aronofsky became acutely aware of the ethical issues surrounding the treatment of captive animals after a trip to the circus with his young son. “The cruelty is just unbelievable. I don’t think I was aware of it when I was young. Going as an adult, I was pretty nauseated and turned off, and I left the circus.”

When it came time to film Noah’s Ark, it was an easy decision for Aronofsky to replace live animals with digital images. In addition to the moral and ethical issues, it made more sense practically to use computer generated imagery. This sets a great example for other directors in the industry and illustrates how easy it is to avoid the use of captive animals in filmmaking. If captive animals are unnecessary to film Noah’s Ark, it is hard to fathom a film that does require their use. We should thank Darren Aronofsky for setting an example for other filmmakers in protecting animals from exploitation.


Dear Darren Aronofsky:

I recently learned of your efforts to protect animals by choosing to use computer-generated animals in your production of Noah’s Ark. This sets a wonderful example for other filmmakers and will hopefully prevent animals from the abusive behavior that can occur on film sets.

By choosing to follow your ethics you have helped the film industry move towards a future where the exploitation of animals is no longer required to make an engaging and believable film. Thank you for your commitment to animal welfare.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Photo Crafts Shop of Denver via Wikimedia Commons

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