Target: Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Goal: Stop the entertainment industry from using animals as props.
Animals are exploited and used as involuntary props in movies and on television shows every day. They are used to sell products and services and to boost the profits of movie studios and television production companies. To obtain one juvenile ape, an entire family is usually brutally murdered.
Animal “performers” are subjected to inhumane and unnatural living conditions. They are shipped across the country in freight train cars or cramped in the back of cargo trucks. Typically, their enclosures when not performing are barren and filthy. They are isolated from their family groups and often pay the ultimate price: their lives.
People consider animals in movies or on television to be cute and entertaining. This does not justify forcing animals into captivity to suffer for our entertainment. Animals have the right to live in their natural environment and to live free. There is nothing glamorous about showbiz for exploited animals. Most of these animals have been torn away from their mothers as infants and subjected to cruel and abusive training methods.
No animal ever dreams of being a “star.” Performing for them can be torturous and stressful. Trainers often beat young animals with fists, clubs, or broom handles to force them to perform on cue. The abuse causes the animals to be constantly anxious and afraid. When animals, like apes, become too large and strong to handle, they are shipped off to second-rate facilities or roadside zoos. They may spend their remaining decades in small cages in solitary confinement. Animals no longer needed are often sold to private owners for meat, canned hunts, or treated as fashion accessories.
The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) became law in 1966 and regulates the treatment and minimum standards of care for animals in research, exhibition, and transport. It also governs how animals are treated in the entertainment industry. When animals are used in movies or television productions, there is usually a “no animals were harmed” seal of approval from the American Humane Association (AHA). This “seal of approval” is highly misleading though as AHA does not monitor off set living conditions, animal training, or question how the animals were acquired. The AHA is funded by the Screen Actors Guild, the industry it is monitoring, and almost never files complaints of mistreatment or abuse.
There is no reason to subject animals to a lifetime of misery as performers. Technology now exists which makes the use of animals in films and televisions productions obsolete. Technology such as computer generated images, animation, and animatronics provide real-looking animals that do not subject animals to cruelty and inhumane treatment.
Animals are neither novelties nor props. They have their own needs and rights, especially the right to live in their natural environments and learning their natural behaviors. By signing this petition below, you will urge U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to ban the use of animals in the entertainment industry. The Animal Welfare Act has been insufficient in curbing the cruel and inhumane treatment of animals and alternative methods exist that make the use of live animals redundant.
Dear Secretary Vilsack,
The use of animals in the entertainment industry is cruel and inhumane. Animals in “showbiz” often live in deplorable conditions and lead a miserable existence. They are brutally trained and suffer stress, emotional instability, and fear.
The entertainment industry has the technological capabilities to make the use of animals in movies and television productions obsolete. There is computer generated imagery, animatronics, and animation which provide life-like animal “actors” without inflicting violence and atrocities on animals of any species.
The Department of Agriculture regulates the Animal Welfare Act. I urge you to realize that animals should not be props for human entertainment and should live their lives freely and without fear. Please save animals from subjugation and abuse and ban their use by the film and television industry.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Beawolf