Dear Arwa Lodhi

 

I read an article written by you entitled “Animals abuse in
films: Why Hollywood is no place for animals” and I couldn’t not help myself
but to write this letter to you. Upon reading this article I have to agree with
this that Hollywood is indeed no place for animals. They beautiful creatures,
which are plucked out from their natural habitat, taken away from their parents
at a young age, trained throughout their young life and forced to perform which
does not come naturally to them. With little care for their wellbeing, many
animals are hurt during production of a number of Hollywood blockbusters. The
list is endless and still increasing each year. As you mentioned, AHA (Animal
Humane Association) is the official body, which should be helping these animals
by ensuring no violation of animal rights and proper health care for these
beautiful creatures on or off production set. In other words, AHA is
responsible to monitor treatment of animal entertainers on sets of thousands of
motion pictures. Still a number of animals have been injured and even died in
the production of many multi-million dollar movies and nothing had been done
about it. What does these officials at AHA do? They pocket some profit in term
of bribe from the producers of the movie and in return provide them with the
tag – ‘No Animals were harmed in the making of the movie’ commonly seen at the
end of film and TV credits.

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Movies like ‘Life of pi’, ‘a dogs purpose’, ‘Benhur’, ‘First
Blood’ and many more have made millions at the box office. In every movie
mentioned above one or many animals were abused and even killed. Multiple Oscar
winner Benhur, released in 1959, saw a number of horses being killed, someone
from the cast and crew mentioned that they lost the count as more than 100 or
so horses died during the shoot as there was little but no care for them.

Similarly in the most recent and famous movie ‘Life of pi’ which won 4 oscars
and made over 600 million dollars at the box office, a real Bengal tiger was
used where the CGI effects could not do justice to the scene. In one of the
scene this majestic and endangered animal was almost drowned. Such incidents
should have been reported and some serious penalties should have been levied on
the producers of these movies. They make billions of dollars but at the cost of
lives of these animals. It was later discovered some AHA official was in close
relation with the producers of ‘Life of pi’. What does this tell us? Obviously
they were bribed to keep their mouth shut. You are absolutely right in calling
AHA as untrustworthy and corrupt to its core.

 

The full extent of animal injuries and deaths in
entertainment productions cannot be known. In the name of entertainment there
are many movies since the very start of Hollywood industry that have subjected various
different animals to torture and inhumane treatment. There is nothing glamorous
about showbiz for animals. They are torn away from their mothers as infants,
and subjected to abusive training methods for the start. They are forced
to follow commands and perform and this does not come naturally to them. You
have described it absolutely correct when you wrote, “it’s not natural for
animals to ‘perform’ and the ‘carrot’ works less effectively than ‘the stick’ “.

These animals, which are already being deprived of their natural habitat and
forced to live in a cage, tied to a chain. Trainers who supply animals to the
entertainment industry are frequently spotted by the U.S.

Department of Agriculture for violating the federal Animal
Welfare Act, which also establishes only minimal guidelines for animal
care. These animals are not suppose to be showcased in front of a crowd making
loud noises, clapping and cheering mostly but they are still noise for these
primates which can be traumatized by bright lights and screaming people. What
would you expect a lion or a tiger to do in such situation? It will surely
retaliate. Its their natural instinct to be aggressive, and if they become
aggressive either they are caged again or put down. 

 

 

Us, humans have to understand, being the most conscious
species on this planet Earth, these are profoundly shrewd and delicate
creatures and they unquestionably are no props or toys for us to play with for
our entertainment.

I firmly believe its time we stop abusing animals for our amusement
be it in a circus or for a production of a movie. Computer generated technology
can now make any image come to life. Why is it not regularly employed in
movies? Very simple, as it costs money and in order to maximize their profit,
they use a real animal. Therefore, it comes upon us to spread the word of this
injustice and ask everyone to collectively boycott such movies and
organizations.

 

Thank you

Your Sincerely