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Stop the Exploitation: Why It’s Time to End the Harmful Role of Animals in Film and Television

AnimalsStop the Exploitation: Why It's Time to End the Harmful Role of Animals in Film and Television

The Exploitation of Animals in Film and Television

In recent years, more attention has been drawn to the harmful role that animals often play in film and television productions. From using live animals in dangerous stunts to subjecting them to grueling training regimes, the entertainment industry has a long history of exploiting animals for the sake of a good show. However, it’s time to put an end to this harmful practice and find more ethical alternatives. In this article, we’ll explore why it’s essential to stop the exploitation of animals in film and television.

The Problem with Using Animals for Entertainment

Animals have been used in entertainment for centuries, but that doesn’t make it right. In fact, the use of animals for entertainment is often cruel and has led to numerous deaths and injuries. For example, in 2013, a tiger featured in the film «The Life of Pi» nearly drowned during a water scene. Similarly, in 2015, a dog named Hercules died on the set of the film «A Dog’s Purpose» after being forced into a turbulent pool of water against his will. These incidents highlight the dangers and risks associated with using animals in film and television.

Furthermore, the process of training animals for entertainment can be incredibly stressful, and sometimes even torturous. For instance, animals are often forced to perform tricks or movements beyond their natural capabilities. Many animal trainers use harsh methods such as electric shocks, whips, and choke collars to train animals, which are generally designed to control rather than teach. These methods can cause immense psychological and physical damage to the animals, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.

Alternatives to Using Animals in Film and Television

The good news is that there are numerous viable alternatives to using animals in entertainment. Advances in technology mean that realistic computer-generated imagery (CGI) and animatronics can now convincingly recreate animals, making them seem lifelike on the big screen. This technology was used extensively in films such as Life of Pi, Jurassic Park, and The Jungle Book.

Moreover, using trained actors to mimic the behavior of animals is another alternative. It’s worth bearing in mind that many of the most successful and popular animal-based movies, such as «Babe» and «The Lion King,» feature cleverly trained animals that create the impression of authentic animal behavior.

Why Continuing Animal Exploitation in Entertainment is Harmful

The continued use of animals in film and television perpetuates the idea that animals exist solely for our entertainment, leading to a disregard for animal welfare. Children, in particular, can be deeply affected by this normalization, growing up believing that it’s acceptable to use animals for human entertainment. This lack of respect for animals can extend beyond simply their use in entertainment, leading to animal cruelty and neglect more broadly in society.

Moreover, the continued use of animals in entertainment often creates a distorted image of what animals are really like. For example, movies often depict animals performing unnatural stunts or behaviors, leading people to believe that these are normal for animals when, in fact, they’re not. This distortion can also lead to people keeping animals as pets for their entertainment value rather than considering what’s best for the animal’s welfare.

Legal Protections and the Role of the Public

Many laws exist to protect animals in entertainment, but enforcement is often lax. In the United States, for example, the Animal Welfare Act regulates the treatment of animals used in exhibitions, but the number of animals covered is limited, and enforcement is weak.

As consumers, we need to be aware of the potential harm caused by the use of animals in entertainment and speak out against it. People should not support productions that use live animals and should instead advocate for the use of alternative methods. This also means we should be mindful of the types of media we consume and the messages they convey about animal welfare.

The Benefits of Ending the Use of Animals in Entertainment

Ending the use of animals in entertainment would bring numerous benefits. Firstly, it would prevent harm and suffering to animals. It would also help to shift societal attitudes towards animals and foster a greater appreciation for animal welfare. Additionally, it would improve safety for performers and reduce the risks associated with using live animals. Lastly, it would promote the development of alternative technologies and creative solutions for filmmakers, leading to more innovative and entertaining productions.

A Call to Action

It’s time to end the harmful role of animals in film and television. We need to recognize the harm caused by exploiting animals for entertainment and find alternatives that are more ethical and humane. This will require a concerted effort from everyone involved, including filmmakers, animal trainers, and viewers. Ultimately, we need to acknowledge that animals are sentient beings that deserve our respect and protection.


The use of animals in film and television has a long history, yet it is a practice that causes harm and suffering. Animals are often subjected to dangerous stunts and cruel training methods, leading to many deaths and injuries. However, there are alternatives, such as computer-generated imagery and trained actors, that can be used instead. Continuing to exploit animals for entertainment perpetuates the idea that animals exist solely for our amusement and can lead to a lack of respect for animal welfare. As consumers, we can make a difference by speaking out against the practice and supporting productions that use alternative methods. Ending the use of animals in entertainment will bring numerous benefits, including preventing harm to animals and improving safety for performers. It’s time to prioritize the welfare of all animals, including those in entertainment, and put an end to their harmful exploitation.

Luna Miller

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